Problems and Issues
- Keep an eye on your time - will you get to the end on time? If not, do you need to turn around or shorten the walk?
- Sometimes there can be a disagreement about what to do or the route to take. Try to follow the leader’s guidance. If the group has to split, never let anyone go off alone. Always get at least one other person to go with them.
If you are lost
- Try to retrace your steps until you recognise being on the right track, then either return to the beginning or follow the correct path.
- If you are still lost call 000 and ask for Police. Tell them that you are lost in the bush. They will ask questions and direct you.
- Stay together as a group.
- Stay warm and dry.
In an emergency
- If someone is injured and cannot walk, ring 000 and ask for the Police then Search and Rescue.
- The 000 number will work on your phone even if you have no credit.
- Do not walk on Total Fire Ban days, or in an area where bushfires are active or predicted.
- Check the forecast again on the morning of the walk. Conditions can change quickly so do not go on a hike if bad weather is likely. This includes stormy weather, heavy rain, very hot weather (over 28 degrees) and high winds (over 40 km/ hr) in forest areas. Carry extra water in hot weather.
- Be prepared to change your plans to suit the conditions
Unfriendly animals: snakes, leeches, insects
- Most snakes will avoid you, but they can be found on tracks sunning themselves. Keep alert. If you see a snake, stand clear and make noise. They will usually then move away. Do not try to hit them with a stick and do not throw stones at them.
- Australian leeches live on the ground, rather than in water as in some other countries. Leeches can be a problem in wet areas, near rivers and when you stop to sit on the ground. Wear long socks that you can tuck your trousers into to prevent them getting onto your legs. Check each other and any bags left on the ground. Leeches will fall off if you wipe them with sunscreen lotion, insect repellent or any alcohol-based product. Hand sanitiser or antiseptic should be used on any wounds.
Photos of leeches – unengorged and engorged?
OR a snake OR a big bull ant?
- Mosquitoes, ants and other insects could be a problem so carry a tube of insect repellent and antiseptic cream for any cuts or bites.