Take care out there: bushwalkers, hikers urged to prepare
(Media Release from Parks Victoria, November 8, 2017)
With warmer weather and holidays approaching, Parks Victoria is encouraging bushwalkers and hikers to be prepared when out exploring.
Parks Victoria manages more than 4 million hectares of the state; a varied landscape of mountains, desert, forests and coastline. This includes more than 70 national and state parks, through which run hundreds of trails, tracks, paths and roads.
When out exploring Victoria’s spectacular spots, Parks Victoria recommends some basic preparations to stay cool, stay safe, and have fun.
- Plan: Choose a track that suits your timeframe, fitness, ability and needs.
- Check conditions: Visit www.parks.vic.gov.au or call 13 1963 for current park conditions.
- Stay in touch: Let friends or family know your plans. Avoid walking alone. Remember there may not be phone reception.
- Prepare for adverse weather: What’s the forecast? Are you weather-ready? Check www.bom.gov.au or download the BoM app for forecasts in your area.
- Be mindful on hot days: Avoid remote areas, stay hydrated, return before it gets too hot.
- Be fire aware: Familiarise yourself with bushfire safety information. Check www.emergency.vic.gov.au for information on active fires, danger ratings and total fire bans, or download the VicEmergency app to receive customised alerts.
- Pack the right gear: Protective clothing, appropriate footwear, plenty of water, extra food, wilderness first aid kit, map, compass and GPS.
- Emergencies: In an emergency, call Triple Zero (000). Be aware you may travel out of phone range.
- Caring for the environment:
- Put campfires out cold with water when you are finished and before you leave.
- Keep wildlife wild: don’t feed native animals.
- Carry in, carry out: take all rubbish with you when you leave.
- Respect heritage: both Indigenous and European.
- Stay on track: don’t widen tracks or take shortcuts.
- Got to ‘go’? Use a toilet, or take a walk at least 100 paces from water and campsites. Dig a 15cm hole and cover well.