Good planning prior to a bushwalk reduces the risk of injury, reduces the need for rescue, reduces our impact on the environment, and ensures everyone has a good time and wants to go bushwalking again and again in future.
Bushwalking Victoria publish a Bushwalking Manual with extensive information about planning a hike, which is particularly useful for walk leaders.
Before you go, use the following checklist
- Check for National Park and track closures
- NSW State Parks may be closed for logging, replanting, pest control, hazard reduction or fires. Check these types of closures here
- NSW State Forests may also be closed for hunting. Phone the Forestry Corporation of NSW Information Line on 1300 655 687 or (02) 9871 3377, Monday to Friday 9.30am – 4.30pm
- Check Weather report and river heights
- See currant bushfire warnings and planned hazard reduction burns
- See Road and public transport disruptions for trains, ferries, light rail and buses
- Bring a compass and topographic map
- Pack, borrow or hire a Personal Locator Beacon (PLB). See list of National Parks offering this service.
- Wear and carry appropriate clothing and gear for the expected (and unexpected) weather, activity grade and conditions
- Bring sufficient food and water for the duration of the trip plus some extras for emergencies or delays
- First-aid kit packed
- Create an exit plan to be followed if trip needs to be curtailed due to an accident or illness
- Lodge a Trip Intention Form with the local National Park office or Police and leave a copy of your Activity Plan with a responsible person with instructions on what to do if you do not return on time.