Blue Mountains Bush Safety
Bush safety 101: There are no such thing as safe bushwalking tracks, only safe bushwalking practices.
How Not to Die in the Bush….
Most people are quite capable of visiting the Blue Mountains, enjoying nature and surviving, just by following a few basic bush safety rules. Some people call this ‘common-sense’ but I teach kids to try and use ‘good sense’ when they’re out and about in nature.
Always take drinking water, snacks and wear a jacket and sensible shoes. Always let someone know where you’re heading, even on short hikes, A popular catch phrase in Katoomba is If you don’t like the weather, come back in ten minutes.
What about snakes?
Do keep an eye out for snakes, especially in the warmer months. Yes, they do exist and are a lovely and essential part of our ecosystems. There are in fact, quite a variety of venomous snakes in the Blue Mountains. Even so, it’s rare for anyone to get bitten.
As long as you leave snakes alone and don’t step on them or slap them, most snakes will get out of your way, before you even know it was there. Humans aren’t the preferred prey of Australian snakes.
“Slap them?” I hear you ask. Snakes are known to enjoy basking on sunny rock platforms. Humans are known to enjoy climbing up onto sunny rock platforms. That’s how you slap a snake (and potentially get bitten).
But I might get lost or hurt…
Stick to the tracks and stay with your group. Read and obey the signs. There are dozens of easy, and many well signposted tracks in the mountains. Do your research and make sure you choose a track suited to your group. There is a wealth of information in libraries and on the web; Wildwalks, National Parks and Blue Mountains City Council are all good places to find out more.
Take a small first aid kit and know how to use it. Have a charged mobile phone handy. Most of the shorter tracks in the upper mountains are in mobile range, or not far from it. Oh, and in case it’s not obvious DON”T EVER climb over railings, especially near cliffs! Sorry for shouting; I used to think this was obvious bush safety information but apparently not.
For longer hikes, ensure you have adequate communication and navigation capacity, as well as first aid, food and personal gear. For remote bushwalks, I suggest four is the minimum group size. If someone is injured or ill, one person can stay while two go and get help. For further information on Bush Safety, especially for longer hikes, check out Think Before You Trek info on the NSW Police website http://www.trek.nsw.gov.au/ or download the brochure at … http://www.police.nsw.gov.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0006/142683/trek_dl_brochure.pdf
One last thing, don’t forget to check for alerts and track closures before you leave home If you’re heading out for a bushwalk do check the National Parks website for alerts and closures