So you're going on a bushwalk - do you know the true track conditions or are you heading out into the great unknown?
Cartoon by Brad Lester
Don’t let this happen to you!
When is a track not a track? When it is a creek ...
- Have you checked the weather forecast for the area?
- Do you understand how quickly weather conditions can change in the area, especially in the High Country?
- What are the current track and access conditions?
- Will you be checking with someone who knows or has recently been there?
- Have you had a look for updates on the Parks Victoria website or if possible, speak to the land manager or park ranger?
- Have you been to the area before?
When is a track not the track? When it's the wrong track or it's not a track...
- Can you read a map?
- Do you have a decent and recent map of the area? (Here is a good guide on where to source maps)
- Do you have adequate navigation skills for the walk?
- Are you able to follow a faint track or stay on an unmarked “route only” and not wander off into a scrubby gully?
- Are you respectful of the environment by not walking off track?
Answered NO to the above? You should be going out there with a Bushwalking Club!
Club walk leaders:
- Are trained to plan and successfully lead walks,
- Will mentor inexperienced walkers,
- Guide aspiring walk leaders into being capable and confident leaders, and, best of all
- Will get you back to civilisation.
A club walk leader will have done all the planning for you, so you can:
- Walk with confidence,
- Enjoy on the scenery,
- Experience the pure enjoyment of being out there in the bush, and
- Forget time - as the club leader knows where the group should be and when they should be there.
Want to answer YES to all the above? A Bushwalking Club ticks all the boxes!
- It is inexpensive. Annual Membership of a club is on average between $50-$100 a year and you can go on as many walks as you like!
- Clubs often have a bushwalking/camping gear for hire/loan to members, so you don't have to buy lots of stuff.
- Enjoy the companionship, and the pleasure of being with like-minded people;
- Relax in the safety of a group,
- Be rescued if you accidentally walk into an irate wombat’s burrow,
- Be missed if you inadvertently disappear into a ferocious Bunyip’s den.
- First Aid - there will probably one or more people on the trip who have First Aid qualifications.
- Meet new people, some may even become close friends!
Please do not go out into the bush on your own, even very confident and experienced walkers can become disorientated in weather changes or sprain an ankle and be unable to walk further!
Be prepared – enjoy the bush- and easiest of all - join a club!