Walking the World – A Hiking Handbook for Exploring Australia

by Julia on August 27, 2019

 

Do you feel at home with the outdoors? Someone who seeks contentment and peace through being surrounded by the wonders and beauty of nature and Mother Earth?

To understand how small we truly are in the scope of this planet and all its natural splendour?

 Well, if you’re someone who seeks thrill and adventure with the thought of a big, natural world and all that comes with it, you’re in luck with Australia.

Yes, many see us as a flat landscape or a vast expanse of land. However, our far island continent has many mountains and valleys to hike and explore. As the line in “My Country (I Love a Sunburnt Country)” by Dorothea Mackellar “…of ragged mountain ranges, of droughts and flooding rains.”

So let me guide you on some of the tips for how to make a hiking trip go well and don’t forget to take in the experience.

Proper Protective Footwear:

If and when you choose to embark on a bushwalk or a hiking trip, one element that should be paramount is that of protective and good quality footwear.

 Having a decent pair of hiking boots on your feet will allow you to trek through many different terrains.

Many come with extra grip and waterproof varieties, making sure that you are well prepared and shielded against everything – from rocks to animal life and can venture through everything from mud to river streams.

Pack your essentials:

Whether you’re a beginner or a well-experienced trekker, it is beneficial to make sure that you pack and check that you have all the necessary equipment for your journey.

It is also wise to make sure that essential tools, such as a compass, are in working order. If your equipment becomes useless, you could find yourself in trouble.

It is best to test your gear, such a tent (if camping overnight) and wear suitable clothing to make sure they suit the conditions.

Make sure that you have the appropriate amount of supplies, regardless of whether you are doing a day trip or a five-day expedition.

Stay safe by understanding your route and your surroundings:

Whether it’s a trek along King’s Canyon in the NT, or a trek along the Mornington Peninsula in Victoria, plan your route and understand the climate into which you are heading. Keep up to date on the weather forecast.

Many reasons people get into strife is that they don’t prepare a contingency or emergency plan when things go awry. Also pack a first-aid kit for the unexpected. These include such as slips and possible animal bites.

Pack and learn to understand the old compass and map. Technology can fail you, and, depending on how remote you are, you may not get a signal.

Get fit:

When it comes to a hike, you can actually put a strenuous amount of pressure on your body, especially if you aren’t in the greatest of shape.

Even if you may have a small figure, it may not mean you have the appropriate stamina needed for a long hike.

 I can attest to this. I have done the “1000 steps” walk, located in Dandenong Ranges National Park, in Melbourne, Victoria ­– twice. It is not an easy trek.

It is 3kms in length, and before you even get to the stairs, there is a steep incline of dirt track. On my first attempt, I ran out of stamina and only made it to the base of the stairs.

Build on your core strength and learn to control your breathing. It may sound weird, but the strength you need  isn’t always in your legs.

Enjoy nature!

In saying that, learn to accept and feel pride in your improvement and how far you have come. For after weeks of doing this, and alternating my exercises to meet my specific needs and my capabilities, I did it again.

While I didn’t make completely to the top, I made a sizeable improvement, I made it halfway up the stairs. Learn to enjoy the small victories and the reward of nature around you.

Therefore, in your essentials, don’t forget a camera!

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