Bushwalking comes in many shapes and varieties. From a stroll through an urban forest or local park, to getting out for a few days hiking in the hills and valleys of one of Australia’s national parks or reserves. Depending on where you come from, you might know bushwalking as hiking, trailing, rambling, hill walking, or tramping. In Australia, it’s all bushwalking. In this country, there is such a wide variety of terrains and landscapes for you to explore, so there is a huge and almost never ending opportunity for you to get out into the bush and if it’s on a trail or across areas of wilderness, it’s all known as bushwalking.
Here are a few tips to keep you safe and sound when you go out on your bushwalking adventure.
Always have someone with you. This rule doesn’t really need much explanation. If you are with someone else and you come across any trouble or problems, you are much more likely to come up with a solution.
The bush is a beautiful and wild place, but you really need to treat it with the respect that it deserves. That means dressing for the occasion for a start. Wear long sleeved shirts and long trousers to protect yourself against the bugs or prickly, thorny plants. Make sure you wear a decent pair of bush shoes or boots with non slip soles. Also, keep your noggin protected from falling critters or other debris by wearing a good hat.
Another way of having respect for your surroundings, is not to touch anything that you are unsure of. Keep your hands to yourself. Everything that looks nice is not necessarily conducive to your good health. If you are unsure of a plant, don’t risk poisoning. If you have been touching plants, make sure you wash your hands before you eat because some plants can leave a poisonous residue that you won’t be able to see, but you might inadvertently swallow if it gets onto your food.
Before you head out on your journey, you should do a little research of the terrain, as well as the likely animals or plants that you might come across. Always bring a map and compass with you. It doesn’t take long to learn how to use these rudimentary tools, but you will thank yourself for the time it took if you ever get lost. And make sure you tell someone else where you are going, leave an itinerary of your walking plans if you intend going for more than a day.
Finally, leave only your footprints and take only your memories (and a few snapshots). This is especially true of your rubbish. Don’t leave any marks that you have been there except the prints you leave on the ground. Have some respect for this beautiful country of our. And, before you get into your car at the end of the journey, give each other the quick once over to check that no critters are looking to hitch a ride.