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Safety on Day Walks

  • Medical condition - Please inform the leader before the walk of any medical condition you have that may affect you, and advise of the appropriate treatment should it be required during the walk.
  • Individual responsibility- The safety of the group is the responsibility of each individual. Be aware of others, especially in difficult situations.
  • Keeping together - Be aware of who is walking in front and behind you and keep them in sight. (However, don’t walk so close to the person in front that you risk being hit in the face with a branch that springs back, and beware of swinging walk poles!). Pass a message forward to the leader at once if anyone drops behind.
  • Separated from the group - If you are not sure where the rest of the group is, stop and shout. If there is no answer, blow your whistle in groups of three blasts and listen for a response. Either stay where you are or move a short distance to an obvious clearing - don’t wander further into the unknown.
  • Struggling to keep up - If you are finding the pace too hard, or are otherwise in difficulty, stop and advise the “Tail-end Charlie”. Don’t wait until you are exhausted.
  • Calls of nature - Naturally, you are likely to require toilet stops but do not drop back behind the “Tail-end Charlie” without advising them of your intention to leave the group.
  • Snakes alive! - Watch out for snakes when walking - especially in warm weather. Adequate protection (e.g., long trousers/gaiters) is recommended especially when walking off-track.
  • Ticks - Ticks are often encountered in WA’s bush. To reduce the chance of picking up a tick wear light-coloured clothing so you can spot and remove them quickly. Apply suitable insect repellent and avoid brushing up against foliage when possible.
  • Campfires - Think carefully before lighting fires. Be aware of the weather conditions and Fire Regulations and check that the ashes from a fire are COLD before departing.

Transport

  • Paying your way- When travelling in someone else’s vehicle, you must pay your way. Please do not wait to be asked for your cash contribution. It is expected that passengers will share the fuel costs between them and ensure the amount contributed is appropriate considering not only the driver’s cost of fuel, but also the driver’s general costs of maintaining a car. When on a walk where vehicles are involved in a car shuttle, a small contribution should also be offered.
  • Travelling in convoy? - Each driver in the convoy should make sure they take note of the convoy vehicles immediately in front and behind. At all turn-offs, wait until the driver behind indicates that they are aware of your intentions.

Bush Hygiene & Bush Etiquette

  • Litter- All litter must be removed from the bush. This includes fruit peelings, plastic, foil, etc. Please remove all traces of your presence. If you carried it in, also carry it out!
  • Toilet waste- including toilet paper, are to be properly buried between 150-200mm (6-8") deep - not just covered by rocks or leaves. Always ensure that your toilet stops are at least 100 metres from any water source and the rest of the group.
  • Dieback Disease- To help limit spread of Dieback Disease in the bush, clean mud and gravel, etc. from your boots or shoes before attending a walk. We recommend that you spray your boots with a solution of 70% methylated spirit and 30% water.
  • Mobile phones- Preferably switch your phone to silent or turn it off. If you feel a need to leave your phone on make sure it has a subtle non-intrusive ring-tone or put it on vibrate mode.
  • Walker ‘n talker– Everyone walks for their own reasons. Some like to chat while others enjoy the quietness of the bush. Most of our members are reasonably sociable types, but if you are a prolific talker, consider that not everyone may want to hear your voice all day.
  • Sorry, no pets!- For environmental and safety reasons, pets are not permitted on Club activities.
  • Tread lightly- See the Club's Minimum Impact Bushwalking Code forguidelines on minimising your impact on our bushwalking environment.

Does the Club's Personal Accident Insurance policy cover transport by ambulance? 

This is a complex topic as ambulance service arrangements, including charging of fees for ambulance transport, vary from state to state.

As some of the activities we undertake occur in remote areas, ambulance transport following an injury or illness could involve long distances resulting in a fee amounting to many thousands of dollars.

Under the ‘Payment of non-Medicare Medical Expenses’ provisions of the Club’s Personal Accident policy, the cost of ambulance travel following an injury while engaged in an approved activity can be claimed. However, under the policy compensation for such benefits is limited to 80% of expenses incurred to a maximum of $3,000, and therefore the cost of ambulance transport would likely exceed this limit, especially if other non-Medicare medical costs are to be claimed.

Some private health insurance funds also provide cover for ambulance transport.  Typically, these include exclusions and/or caps on the amounts payable. Before relying on such cover, confirm that it provides sufficient cover should ambulance transport be required while on a bushwalk.

Bushwalking Australia strongly recommends that:

  • Bushwalkers in NSW, Victoria, South Australia, Western Australia, NT and the ACT take out
    ambulance service membership in their home state. Membership will also provide cover while interstate.
  • Bushwalkers from Tasmania or Queensland visiting and walking in the other states and territories should consider travel insurance that covers ambulance transport.
  • You check the website of your state ambulance service for comprehensive information on this topic.