Since we promote hiking, so we want to make sure you feel informed, here’s some tips on staying safe while you’re out there.
The most important thing is to be prepared for your trip. There’s nothing worse than not having an essential item. Think ahead, write a pack list and make sure you’re prepared for the conditions. Break it down into categories, and address each area: Safety (first aid kit, whistle, light, emergency beacon, map, compass), Fuel (food, water, cooking), Clothes (raincoat, warm layers, sun protection, appropriate footwear), Shelter (tent, sleeping bag, mat). The basics will get you out the other side, not the luxuries. Know the conditions you’re heading into so you can pack accordingly. Ignorance is no excuse when outdoors, there’s so much information available these days, and it can go drastically wrong if you’re not prepared.
Travel in groups
There is most definitely safety in numbers, if something goes wrong there is an immediate point of call who can help. This isn’t to say solo trips aren’t possible, but make sure you are thoroughly prepared.
Knowing how to read a map is so important if you plan on spending time outdoors. Familiarize yourself with exists, expected distances and times, direction and your preferred route. Make sure to tell someone where you’re going (in detail) in case you’re late to return. If a search party is ever needed they’ll be using the information you leave with your home contact.
A basic weekend first aid course could be enough to save a life, both in the bush or in everyday emergencies. If you’re particularly adventurous, a longer advanced bush skills first aid course would be beneficial. The further you go from the city, the further you are from help. Remember to keep your first aid kit fully stocked and suited to the conditions of your trip.
Food is fuel. You’ll only fall into the trap of not bringing enough food or water once, then swear to never go through that again. Water is the important one, always carry 2-3Litres of water per day for drinking, and know if there is access to water along the way. Spare muesli bars will get you through, but they’ll taste very bland if you’re eating them while watching your buddies tuck into fresh bread rolls with delicious fillings.
There’s plenty more information out there on sites like www.lotsafreshair.com , but these basics should get you safely on your way to then Hike it Out. And don’t forget a rubbish bag to hike it out!!