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Preparing for your walk

Planning for your walk, whether it is long or short, can make the walk a lot more enjoyable and safer. Don't just hit the track and hope for the best. Short walks can often be planned quickly a week-long walk will need you to spend a lot more time working through all the logistics. Planning may sound boring, but it can be fun and certainly makes the trip better.

The planning is not intense, but there are a few basic logistics to think about (transport and safety checks), as well as making sure you and your friends are well prepared (food, gear, fitness, skills etc).

Start here with the checklists.

  • Some (not most) walks will need a permit, book ahead to make sure you get the time you want. For interstate or long walks you may also need to book transport and accommodation for before and after the walk. If going with a guide, that will need booking.

Is the walk right for you and your friends?

  • Think about why you want to go on a bushwalk. Is if for solitude, exercise, catching up with friends, views or photography. Think about what you want to get out of the bushwalk and is the walk you are planning a good way to help that.

  • Do you and your group have the fitness, strength, agility and endurance for this walk? Can you improve your health and fitness before the walk? If not, is there a better option?

  • If you don't have the skills need (eg for navigation, first aid or coping with specific weather), consider inviting a friend who does and can help you learn. If not consider joining a walking club or a commercial guided group or doing another walk whilst you build your skills.

  • Use a checklist and make sure you have the gear, food, water, fuel and other supplies you need to undertake the walk. Also similar for travelling to and from the walk.

  • Google maps can be very helpful. maps and notes have basic notes, but also links to the trackhead on a map. In some remote areas this can be challenging, so think about the quality of roads, your driving skills and the vehicle you have. Use public transport where you can.

  • Please give the full details of the walk, what gear you have and who you are walking with to a trusted person. If you are late coming back they can contact the police and get you help.

Check the weather conditions & facilities are open before starting.

Shortcuts to planning resources

Day walk skills & gear
Skills and Equipment that will help make your time on track safer and more enjoyable.
Multiday Bushwalking Skills & Gear
Overnight bushwalking is great fun. Build your skills and find the gear that will make your time on track safer and more enjoyable.