With modern satellite guidance, enabling us to pinpoint our position on the earth to within metres, people are still getting lost on regular bushwalks nearly every day.
Many bushwalks are well signposted, but occasionally signs can be damaged or missing. In less travelled areas, wallaby or kangaroo tracks can be more frequented than the path. These wildlife tracks make it hard to see the actual trail, meaning it is easy to stray from the marked trail without even realising it.
And occasionally you don’t realise you are on the wrong track for quite some time.
And if you lose too much time or become lost, your short walk can become a battle for life and death.
A couple of simple precautions can really make a difference – especially for day walks. You should consider carrying a day pack with the following items in it:
- a first aid kit, especially a compression bandage for snake bites
- a space blanket for emergency shelter
- a whistle for attracting attention – it is less tiring to blow than yell and the sound travels further
- a map of the area – or take a photo of the trail map on your fully charged phone
- some extra water / water purification tablets
- a distress alerting device such as a PLB (personal locator beacon).
If you’re planning more remote or less travelled tracks, then in addition to the above, Sergent Steane of the Tasmanian Police recently advised:
“If you’re going to those more minor routes, do your homework, make sure you’re experienced for it, get your maps. Certainly make sure you’re fit enough, do some warm-up walks.”
Hiking is fun, and a wonderful way to see some fantastic parts of Australia, hidden from those who demand road access and a kiosk/cafe in the car-park. Just make sure you take some simple precautions to have a safe and enjoyable time in the great outdoors.
For more information on what distress alerting device would suit your needs, download Save Our Selves – a guide for getting help in remote areas.