Bushwalkers urged to plan and prepare with winter here

With winter here, police are urging anyone planning on bushwalking to plan and be prepared.

“With winter here it’s timely to remind anyone planning on bushwalking or entering alpine areas to plan and be prepared,” said Detective Inspector Steve Jones, OIC of Western Search and Rescue.

“It’s imperative that anyone planning on bushwalking is aware of the weather forecast and suitably prepared for all conditions including sub-zero temperatures.

“When walking in elevated and alpine areas the temperature can change quickly. The day may be warm and fine when commencing a walk but change rapidly as weather patterns move through and light reduces.

“It’s a priority to carry equipment to keep you safe and enable contact with emergency services if you require assistance.

“Mobile phones should not be relied on as a single source of communication and navigation. Batteries will not last as long when cold, and mobile navigation apps deplete batteries quicker than other apps. Police suggest walkers carry physical maps and not rely solely on mobile phones for navigation. Walkers are also encouraged to carry a battery bank to recharge mobile devices, and a torch per person. Personal Locator Beacons should be carried, but they are a one-way communication device.

“Police and rescue agencies will always respond to requests for assistance, but it’s important to remember that if you require assistance, Rescue Helicopters are not a magical solution – in bad weather, aircraft are often not able to fly due to conditions and ground crews could be hours away. Carrying suitable equipment will ensure you can remain safe until help arrives if required.”

Police urge bushwalkers:

  • Ensure you’re prepared with appropriate equipment – take a map and torch, clothing and footwear to suit any conditions, regardless of the season take a waterproof jacket; adequate food and water, first aid kit.
  • Research the intended trip – ensure the trip is within your abilities and fitness level, and you have a route plan, map and check the expected weather forecast.
  • Let someone know before you go – ensure someone knows your route and expected return time.
  • Always carry a fully charged mobile phone and a PLB and consider a portable charger to extend battery life.

/Public Release. View in full here.