Top 5 safety precautions to remember when bushwalking
26 April, 2023
Safety precautions are any measures taken to protect people, equipment, or data from harm or loss. These include wearing protective gear, following safety protocols, and performing routine maintenance and inspections. Other safety precautions include using proper labeling and signage and avoiding hazardous areas. Safety precautions when bushwalking are not an exemption. Here is what you should always remember:
- Wear the right clothing and footwear: Wear appropriate clothing and shoes for the terrain and weather conditions you will be facing. Make sure you can be seen in long grass or dark conditions. Wear closed-toe shoes with plenty of grip and traction, and avoid sandals or flip-flops. Long pants will protect you from scratches and thorns, and a long-sleeved shirt can help protect you from the sun and insects. Choose lightweight materials such as cotton or nylon that will keep you cool and won’t weigh you down. Wear bright colors or reflective materials to make sure others can spot you in the bush.
- Let someone know where you are going: Before you set out, let someone know where you are going and when you plan to return.
It is important to inform a friend, family member, or another trusted person of your plans in case of an emergency. They can alert the authorities if you do not return as planned so that a search can be organized if necessary. In addition, someone should also be informed of any changes to your plans, such as a change in route or a change in the duration of the bushwalk.
- Carry a first aid kit: Make sure you have a well-stocked first aid kit with you, in case of an emergency.
A first aid kit should contain a variety of items to help you deal with common injuries and illnesses. A well-stocked first aid kit should include the following items:
-Bandages: A variety of bandages of different sizes and shapes, including adhesive bandages, gauze pads, and roller gauze.
-Antiseptics: Such as hydrogen peroxide and alcohol wipes to help clean and prevent infection.
-Antibiotic ointment: To help prevent infection when treating wounds. -Pain relievers: Such as ibuprofen, acetaminophen, and aspirin, to help with pain and reduce inflammation.
-Tweezers: To help remove splinters and ticks.
-Scissors: To cut bandages and tape.
-Thermometer: To measure body temperature.
-Emergency blanket: To help keep a person warm in case of hypothermia.
-Splint: To help immobilize an injured limb.
-Flashlight: To help you find your way in the dark.
-Safety pins: To help secure a bandage or splint in place.
-Personal medications: If you have any, make sure to include them in your first aid kit, such as an epi-pen or inhaler.
- Stay on the marked track: Stick to the marked track and don’t venture off-track into areas you are unfamiliar with. Staying on the marked track when bushwalking is essential for your safety.
A marked track is a path that has been clearly marked with signs, flags, or tape to indicate the route of the track. Following a marked track helps to ensure that you are not getting lost or wandering off into unknown and potentially dangerous areas. It also helps to ensure that you are not damaging the environment or disturbing wildlife. Staying on the track means that you can also be easily found in case of an emergency.
- Leave no trace: If you take something with you, make sure to take it back. Don’t leave any litter or damage the environment. Respect the natural surroundings and respect the wildlife.
The seven principles of leaving no trace are:
-Plan ahead and prepare: Make sure you are prepared for the trip. Research the area and plan your route, know what the weather will be like and bring the right supplies
-Travel and camp on durable surfaces: Stick to established trails and camp in designated areas to avoid damaging the vegetation.
-Dispose of waste properly: Pack out all of your trash and dispose of it in the proper places.
-Leave what you find: Take only photos and leave the plants, rocks, and other natural items in their natural state.
-Minimize campfire impacts: Use a lightweight stove instead of building a campfire and make sure to fully extinguish it before you leave.
-Give wildlife plenty of space and don’t feed them. Be considerate of other visitors:
-Be respectful of other visitors and keep noise to a minimum.
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