Bushwalking or hiking can be a fun and rewarding outdoor experience, but it is important to be prepared for potential hazards. The following ten essential items can help ensure a safe and enjoyable adventure: map and compass for navigation, water to keep hydrated, a first aid kit for minor injuries, sun protection such as sunscreen and sunglasses, snacks and food, warm clothing and a rain jacket for unpredictable weather, a whistle to alert others in emergencies, a head torch for low-light conditions, insect repellant, and a mobile phone with emergency contacts programmed in case of an emergency. It is recommended to carry at least 2-3 liters of water per person for a full day of walking.
10 Essential Items to Pack for a Safe Bushwalk
A bushwalk can be an exciting and rewarding outdoor experience, but it is essential to be prepared for potential hazards. Packing the following ten items can help ensure a safe and enjoyable adventure in the great outdoors.
1. A Map and Compass
A map and compass are critical for navigation and can help you find your way back if you get lost. Make sure you know how to use them before heading out on your hike.
Dehydration is a serious threat when bushwalking, particularly in hot and humid weather conditions. Ensure you carry enough water for your whole trip and a little extra, reporting to keep you hydrated throughout the hike.
3. First Aid Kit
A basic first aid kit with essentials such as bandages, adhesive tape, gauze pads, antiseptic wipes, and pain relief medication can help you deal with minor injuries or emergencies.
4. Sun Protection
Protect yourself from the harsh sun rays by carrying sunscreen, sunglasses, and a hat. Sun protection can prevent sunburn and skin damage, helping you stay comfortable and healthy during your hike.
5. Snacks and Food
Pack high-energy snacks such as nuts, energy bars, and dried fruits to replenish your energy during the hike. Additionally, substantial and nourishing foods such as sandwiches, fruits and wraps are great options for fuel on longer walks.
6. Warm Clothing and a Rain Jacket
Bushwalking weather can be unpredictable, and temperatures can drop suddenly, even during the day. Be prepared for any weather by carrying a rain jacket, woolen hat and gloves, and extra warm clothing.
7. A Whistle
A whistle is an essential safety item that can help alert other hikers or rescuers about your location in the event of an emergency. Three consecutive whistle blows can make a loud sound that can be heard from a distance away,
8. A Head Torch
A head torch is a hands-free lighting option that can help you navigate in low-light conditions or in case of a delayed return after sunset. It’s always smart to pack extra batteries so that you’re not left stranded.
9. Insect Repellant
Bushwalking can bring you in contact with a variety of insects, including mosquitoes and ticks, which can carry diseases. To protect yourself, carry insect repellent and wear long-sleeved clothes in light colours to deter biting insects.
10. Mobile Phone and Emergency Contact Details
Carrying a charged mobile phone can be extremely useful in an emergency situation, giving you access to the emergency services to call for help. Make sure your emergency contacts are programmed into your phone and carry ID with emergency contact details.
Q. How much water should I carry on a bushwalk?
A. The amount of water you need when bushwalking depends on various factors such as your physical condition, weather conditions, and the distance of your hike. As a general guide, carry at least two to three litres of water per person for a full day of walking to ensure you remain hydrated.
Q. What should I do if I get lost during a bushwalk?
A. If you get lost during your hike, stay calm and try to backtrack along the path you came from. If you cannot find your way back, use your map and compass to navigate your way out and seek help.
Q. What are some common hazards during a bushwalk?
A. Some common hazards that hikers may encounter during a bushwalk include slippery tracks, steep ledges, venomous snakes, hostile wildlife, and extreme weather conditions. It is always recommended to research your desired hike thoroughly beforehand and prepare accordingly.
Q. Can I use my mobile phone as a compass?
A. While mobile phones may have compass apps, they should not be relied upon entirely when bushwalking. It’s essential to carry a physical compass and map to navigate accurately, as phones can easily lose battery or signal remotely.