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Walking Safely

Safety Tips

Be prepared for the seasonal climate. Areas such as the ones surrounding the Hume & Hovell Walking Track & the Six Foot Track can be very cold in winter, cold on summer nights and very hot on summer days. Pack warm and waterproof clothes and a good sleeping bag.

Certain sections of the tracks are closed on days of total fire bans due to the risk of bushfires. Check the Rural Fire Service (RFS) website about fire danger before embarking on your walk. The RFS have also developed this great guide to bushfire safety for bushwalkers. Always be careful with the use of fire at campsites, observe any fire bans and only use the metal fireplaces provided. Note that some camps do not allow fires – observe local signage. Do not leave a fire unattended and drown the fire before breaking camp.

Be sure to take adequate food and fresh water with you. In many locations the tracks are located close to streams or lakes so only a short diversion is required to obtain water. Untreated water is available at most campsites with the exception of campsites along the Berowra/Somersby track on the Great North Walk and Browns Creek and Tin Mines on the Hume and Hovell Walking Track. Rainwater available in tanks is not monitored and needs to be treated or boiled before drinking, preparing food or cleaning teeth. Water availability is not always guaranteed and depends on seasonal conditions.

Pack a compass, the relevant topographic maps, matches in a waterproof container and a groundsheet. Walk in a group and stay together, walking at a steady pace and resting often.

Observe track surroundings and markings and should you get lost, don’t panic. Please be aware that mobile phone coverage on the walking tracks cannot be guaranteed.

The “Think before you Trek” initiative by the NSW Police and the NPWS is a great concept to keep in mind. It encourages bushwalkers to TREK:
T - Take adequate supplies of food, water, navigation and first aid equipment.
R - Register your planned route and tell friends and family when you expect to return.
E - Emergency beacons (PLB's) are available free of charge from the NSW Police Force and NPWS.
K - Keep to your planned route and follow the map and walking trails.
As part of this program bushwalkers and adventurers in the Blue Mountains can borrow a Personal Locator Beacon (PLB) for free. These PLBs are available from Springwood and Katoomba Police Stations and Blackheath NPWS office. To find out more information visit the Police website

Looking After the Environment

The aim for walkers and campers is to leave no sign of your presence. You can do this by:

  • Avoiding any disturbance to plants, animals, rock formations and cultural features
  • Carry out all rubbish – do not burn or bury foil, plastic or food scraps.
  • Use toilets where provided, or bury human waste well away from any watercourse. (Do not enter private lands outside the 20 meter track corridor)
  • Use a bushwalking stove instead of a fire and obey all seasonal fire restrictions
  • Protect water quality – do not wash up or use detergents, soaps or toothpaste near any watercourse.
Respect Our Neighbours

Many of our walking tracks do not exclusively traverse Crown land. Please obey local signage, locked gates and vehicle access points. Remember to leave gates as you find them!
 

 
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