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Bushwalking safety

Walking in national parks and reserves provides a great opportunity for solitude and self-reliant exploration. If you’re keen to head out on a longer walk or a backpack camp, that’s great – you’ll never run out of options. But always be prepared.

Read more about Bushwalking safety

Plan your walk

  • Research your walk and make sure everyone is comfortable with the planned route
  • Go at the pace of the slowest person and don’t overestimate your abilities
  • Walk in groups of 3 or more people – in an emergency one of you might need to wait with the injured person while the other gets help.
  • Check the difficulty – some walks require rock scrambling and abseiling skills. If you’re note sure of the difficulty, contact the local NPWS park office.
  • Check weather forecasts and park conditions and be aware that weather conditions can change.

Tell somebody

  • Give route details to your friends and family or the NSW Police. Tell them about any medical conditions and when to expect you back.
  • Check in when you return
  • The NSW Police Force and the NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service provide bushwalkers and adventurers in the Greater Blue Mountains and Kosciuszko National Park with a free loaned Personal Locator Beacon. Find out more about the Think Before You Trek initiative and how to submit an online trip intention form before your wilderness adventure

Stay on track

  • Walking tracks in NSW national parks parks are not always signposted or maintained, so be sure take care.
  • To protect our landscapes for generations to come, please ensure that native plant and animal communities are disturbed as little as possible

What to bring

  • You may not have mobile phone service; if you’re really heading bush, consider taking a locator beacon which can be used as a last resort.
  • For longer walks take plenty of water, snacks and a first aid kit
  • Wear or take appropriate clothing and closed-toe footwear and always take a windproof and waterproof jacket
  • Take a topographic map and compass and be confident with how to use them
  • If you're camping take a good tent, sleeping bag, insect repellent and a torch.
  • In a natural environment there is sometimes no escape from pests including mosquitoes, ticks and insects. Be sure to wear appropriate clothing to prevent bites, spray clothing and exposed skin with an insect repellent and reapply as directed, particularly if camping – and be sure to close that tent flap at night. More information is available at NSW Health

People on 1080 Beach. Photo: Dina Bullivant