Australia is full of endless hiking opportunities for hikers of all experience levels – from coastal walks that take you along rugged cliffs, to long and rigorous trails that wind through ancient forests.
As relaxing as hiking through nature can be, it’s important to be mindful of the dangers that may loom ahead – especially when dealing with Australia’s harsh and unpredictable climate.
Whether you’re new to the trail or a pro at scaling mountains, be sure to equip yourself with these 5 essential items for every hike.
Everyone has a horror story about the blisters they copped after hiking in their dad’s old hiking boots.
If you’re planning to traverse through the wilderness, it’s important that you have quality boots to keep you comfortable and dry every step of the way. While this doesn’t mean that you need high-cut boots suited for the Snowy Mountains, it does mean that your boots should be fitted properly and have the right tread to prevent you from slipping.
Yes, technology comes to our aid every day, but in times of danger when you’re out hiking, it may not be able to help. That’s why it’s always important to carry around a map and a compass.
If you’re heading deep into the bush, it’s also helpful to carry a handheld radio and a Personal Locator Beacon (PLB), which is available free of charge from some state police forces and NPWS (National Parks and Wildlife Service).
A CAOS Survival Bracelet has a compass, fire starter, knife, and whistle all in one, and you’ll be thankful that you have it if you ever find yourself lost in the bush, it’ll help you make it home before the family sends out a rescue party!
Plan activities for everyone
If your camping group consists of more than 4 people, chances are pretty high that there’s going to be some variance in taste. Some campers are more than happy to sit back and play a board game, while others are keen to unleash the fishing rods or tackle a lengthy hike.
Before you decide on a location, have a chat with everyone and go through some options. Always try your best to choose somewhere that caters to everyone’s preferred activities. After all, this is a time to bond, not bicker!
While we all may think that we carry a bit of Steve Irwin in our blood, chances are there’s more Russel Coight in most of us.
That’s why if you’re planning a day hike or a trip into the outback, the first step should always be to equip yourself with a survival or first aid kit.
The CAOS Survival Travel First Aid Kit has been designed with weight and space in mind, without compromising on any of the items that should be on your travel first aid checklist.
Stocked with all your essential gear, as well as additional extras – including a Bites and Stings module (comprising an Instant Ice Pack, Smart Bandages, Tick Removal Spoon, Saline and Sewing Kit), this first aid solution is every hiker’s best mate.
Food and Water
This may seem like a no-brainer, but too often, hikers opt to bring along less food to make for more room for other needless hiking supplies. When going for a hike, bring along more than an energy bar and a bottle of water. After all, your body will need frequent replenishing if you’re trekking a few kilometres in the scorching sun.
The rule of thumb for staying hydrated when hiking is two cups of water every hour, or a few sips every ten minutes. In terms of food, it’s best to carry small snacks like nuts and trail mix and eat a small amount of every hour to maintain your energy and concentration levels. For longer hikes, pack a wholemeal sandwich that’s loaded with nutrients!
If you’re planning to navigate a long and treacherous trail, chances are you’re going to be carrying quite a few hiking supplies, like the ones we’ve mentioned.
By investing in a good hiking backpack, you’ll not only experience a more pleasant hike, but your limbs will thank you for it at the end of the day. A good backpack is designed to accommodate everything that you need for a hike, all while being easy to carry and kind to your back.
The CAOS 65+5L Backpack Pro 5.2 has multiple pockets, in addition to a main storage compartment, which allows you to store all of your much-needed supplies. Its huge 70-litre capacity is perfect for both day and long hikes, and the padded shoulder straps are lightweight for extra comfort and support.
Have you heard of TREK?
Before you set out on your next bushwalk, become familiar with TREK - Think Before You Trek. This is an initiative run by New South Wales Police and the National Parks and Wildlife Service to encourage bush safety. The acronym stands for:
T - Take adequate supplies of food, water, navigation, and first aid equipment.
R - Register your planned route and tell friends and loved ones when you expect to return.
E - Emergency beacons or PLB’s are available free of charge from state police forces and NPWS.
K - Keep to your planned route and follow the map.