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The Great Southern TOURIST NEWS -- 49
Tread safely in bush
WITH national parks dotted
throughout south-west Victoria
and eastern South Australia,
bushwalking is a popular hobby among
locals and visitors.
Walks can range from a short
sightseeing venture to a day trip or
overnight stays. Bushwalking Victoria
has a number of tips for people ready
to tackle the region's trails.
WHILE small groups can be easier
to manage and have less impact on
the environment, a minimum of four
people is recommended for safety.
This means that in an emergency
one group member can stay with the
injured person while the other two
walk out together to raise the alarm.
Bushwalking clubs can be an excellent
source of information and can offer
trip suggestions, equipment hire and
potential walking companions.
WHEN walking with children, allow
for a slower pace and more frequent
and longer rests.
Short walks with as much variety
as possible are more likely to hold
children's interest and keep them
within their physical capabilities.
One rule of thumb is: children aged
five to 15 years can only walk as many
kilometres as their age, and less in
difficult terrain or poor conditions.
BEFORE heading out on a walk it is
important to know how long it will take.
As a rough guide, average walkers
should allow an hour to cover three to
four kilometres on a smooth, flat track,
or one to two kilometres in rough ter-
rain. These times need to be modified
for fitness, pack weight and extreme
n Fire restrictions for the appropriate
n Weather forecast for the specific
area where you will be walking.
n River levels if major crossings are
n Tides for some coastal walking.
n Owner's permission if the route
involves crossing private land.
n Leave trip intentions.
RECORD YOUR PLAN
BEFORE heading out on longer walks,
a clear record of a group's trip inten-
tions should be left with a responsible
These should ideally include a
photocopy of a map marking the
intended route and possible alterna-
tives. Include the names of walkers
and the time of expected return.
This information can also be left
with a park ranger or in park or track
ALWAYS wear comfortable, well-
treaded footwear and thick, well-fitting
No matter what the weather, it is a
good idea to carry a waterproof jacket.
In the cold, a beanie, gloves and a
warm jumper are essential and in the
heat wear a hat and a light-weight
THE daily water requirement of the
average person is about two litres in
cool weather, which rises to five litres
in hot weather.
Before heading out on a walk make
sure you carry plenty of fresh water.
IT'S a good idea on longer walks to
always carry a map and a compass. Pay
attention to geographical features and
When features on the ground do not
agree with those on the map, stop and
assess the situation.
If possible, retrace your steps until
you are comfortable you know where
Alternatively, continue on a course
that will bring you to a known feature
in a reasonable time, such as a road or
Otherwise, remain where you are
and make phone contact with police if
possible. Keep calm, warm and seek
shelter while waiting for help.
WHEN bushwalking, stick to the motto
of taking out what you bring in. Protect
the bush by keeping to the track,
following sanitation guidelines and
respecting flora and fauna.
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