It doesn’t matter if you are going for a half hour stroll or a multi-day trek, the principles are still the same.
Plan your hike
- Will this be a solo or group hike?
- Research your trip using a current map and advice from experience walkers and local authorities.
- Understand the environment you are entering and risks associated with it, plan for the unexpected.
- Emergency response / rescue can take time always have an emergency plan factored into your trip.
- Know how to access local emergency response via phone and/or radio.
- Leave a hard copy of your plan in your vehicle and with a reliable contact person.
- Fill out trip intentions books at the start of trips and in huts if available.
- Notify your contact person(s) if you change your plans.
- Submit your trip intentions by downloading and completing this form.
- If you own a PLB ensure that is is registered and on every remote trip register your intentions here.
Your fitness and experience (or that of your groups weakest link)
- Consider your physical condition, medical knowledge, experience and skills for the area and type of trip.
- Travel within your ability and knowledge of area.
- Consider what navigation skills may be required?.
What are the forecast weather conditions?
- Always check a current weather report but do not rely on it, plan for worst-case scenario by carrying extra food, water, clothing and equipment.
- Consider aborting your trip if dangerous weather is forecast. This could include conditions like heatwaves, fires, floods, extreme winds or extreme cold.
What equipment should you take?
- Always carry maps and a compass, and know how to use them for navigation.
- GPS and mobile phones can help but they do not replace experience.
- Clubs can be a good way to advance your experience and knowledge.
Food and water requirements
- Always carry sufficient water for trip – day and overnight trips
- Carry more water than you’ll need, plan for emergencies.
- Stay hydrated and do not rely on creeks unless you have reliable information.
- As with water carry sufficient food for the trip and pack extra in case of emergencies.
Shelter and clothing requirements
- Dress for conditions, bring extra and have wet weather clothing available.
- Always have enough to cover you for the worst-case scenario.
- Weather conditions in wilderness environments are sometime unpredictable.
Let someone know before you go
- You should always plan for the unplanned.
- Always leave trip intention forms with someone who can raise the alarm if you do not make it back in time.
- Always pack extra food, water and clothes for inclement conditions.
- You never know when the weather might change.
While this list is not conclusive I hope it gives you the general idea that planning is the single most important aspect of anything you do.