The National Trail traverses wild and inaccessible terrain. Solid preparation is your best defence against health and safety risks. You will need to ensure you carry adequate food, water, clothing and shelter. We recommend you undertake first-aid training and that you carry a well equipped first aid kit and first aid information. Drink only purified water.
The National Trail is an epic adventure for the self reliant trekker. A distance trek should not be undetaken lightly. Before you go, develop a safety plan and know what you will do in an emergency.
Do not rely on mobile phone coverage
While mobile phone coverage is improving, many areas of the National Trail do not have any mobile phone coverage at all. Do not rely on mobile coverage and consider other options for ensuring your safety.
Distress beacons save lives. We recommend you carry a personal locator beacon (PLB) which can be activated in a life threatening situation.
Many trekkers also use the services of ‘spot’ tracking devices. Private companies offer combination GPS tracking and messaging.
When travelling on roads and in built up areas we recommend all trekkers wear a high visibility vest.
General Safety Guidelines
- Prepare well
- Let someone know where you are going and when you plan to get there
- Have a plan so that your back up knows what to do if you do not make a scheduled contact
- Prepare a contingency plan in case of accident, emergency or severe weather event
- Carry a compass
- Keep hydrated (drink plenty of water)
- Be aware of the weather
- Dress for the conditions
- Carry an emergency kit
If you take any medications on a regular basis, consider how you will store and replenish.
Make sure you plan to carry sufficient food to meet your daily intake requirements.
Know basic treatments for
- cuts and abrasions
- broken bones
- snake bite
In the bush and on the Trail, treat all cuts and abrasions immediately. Even small wounds can become infected if left untreated.
If you are travelling with animals, speak to your veterinarian about an animal first aid kit before you go.
Self care is important in the bush.
Treat all small cuts and abrasions early to avoid infections.
Dispose of human waste thoughtfully – bury away from camp sites and water sources.
Adverse weather events can occur at any time of the year. You may encounter
Weather can change rapidly and it is important to be prepared for all conditions. The Maps will indicate areas where you are likely to encounter changeable weather conditions however adverse conditions can occur at any time and you need to be alert for changes in conditions.