What we do, and what you need to do, if you want to attend a walk
We ask all walkers to follow all instruction from the Leaders, we take walkers safety very seriously.
- ALWAYS let the Leader know if you have a problem.
- Stay together - don’t wander off, hang back or rush ahead. If you decide to go back or end your walk for whatever reason, please always tell the Leader or ensure someone in the group will tell the Leader for you. We don't want to send out a search party or alert emergency services that there is a lost walker in the bush.
- PLB - Walk leaders usually carry a Personal Locator Beacon (PLB) on a bushwalk, this can be found in their bag with usage instructions. We like all walkers to know this just in case your walk leader is the one needing help. A PLB is a radio transmitter that can contact emergency authorities via satellite once it has been set off. Most contain a Global Positioning System (GPS) to report your exact location. If this is set off on a walk it is important to stay where the PLB is set off, so emergency services can find you. Obvious, I know..... :)
- Risk - Only walk within your ability. You are responsible to decide if a walk is suitable for you. Please choose walks that are well within your ability. Even "young" people, who are regular gym members have struggled on hard hikes, can't keep up and have had to turn back. Always ask for more information about a walk if necessary. The walk leader is the best person to ask for more details about a walk.
- Water – always carry sufficient water for the walk duration and temperature. At least 2 litres are recommended for most medium to hard walks. For easy walks, even if we plan to stop at a coffee shop halfway, the expectation is that you will still bring sufficient water.
- Food - you may need to carry food and hydrolyte powders; it is best to have a few snacks even for a short walk. If not for you, it may be useful for a fellow walker who may start to feel faint. Always eat before a walk, don't have a walk day as a "fast" day.
- Poles – check if you need walking poles to help on steep ascents/descents.
- Footwear – please wear covered toes and good grip shoes, these are vital. Open toe walking sandals are only good for tarmac, beach type walks.
- Be prepared for the unexpected - sometimes walks can be on difficult and slippery terrain, creek crossings, steep gravel slopes and a myriad of other problems. Terrain can change with the seasons, what was a dry track one month can be wet or a very muddy track the next walk. Walk Leaders try and tell you what to expect but we sometimes get it wrong. You need to be prepared for the unexpected - get your gear right and be prepared.
- Medicine - please bring any medications you may need on a walk.
- First Aid - all walkers should carry a small 1st aid kit, particularly for a bushwalk, plus a snake bandage. In the event someone is injured one first aid kit isn't always sufficient, so it is always good to have back-up supplies. If we did have a snake bite injury, 2-3 snake bandages would be very beneficial. We have a suggested First Aid List below.
- Members are asked to complete, and always carry, a form completed with emergency contact information and details of any medical condition that may be useful for a 1st aider to know. If you are a Temporary Member you may like to include a similar note in your bag. Link to the Emergency Form is here.
First Aid Kit Items you should consider to carry, the 1st 4 are essential:
- Emergency Contact and Medical Information Form
- Snake bandage – get the “snake” specific one – if your chemist doesn’t have, order one (can be used for a multitude of injuries, not just a snake bite)
- Space blanket – if we had an injured person it may take many hours, even overnight to be rescued, the injured party plus anyone who stays with the injured could need several space blankets – if we all had a space blanket this could make a big difference
- Plasters and dressings – an assortment of Elastoplast and gauze dressings, small and large
- 1 x 5cm cotton bandage to hold on a dressing
- Adhesive tape
- Antiseptic ointment (such as betadine) or Antiseptic Powder (such as Medipulv) – keep a check on dates, these things expire
- Medicated antiseptic wipes
- 1 triangular bandage