Equipment, whether hired, borrowed or owned by the school or students, must be in a safe condition and suitable for the activity.
Before overnight bushwalks, staff must ensure that food, essential clothing and personal equipment are suitable for the planned journey.
It is also essential that each student’s backpack is checked immediately before the start of a bushwalk to ensure that all the necessary items are included and the weight of the backpack is appropriate for the student.
First aid kits
First aid kits appropriate to the location and level of training must be carried.
Clothing is the individual’s primary protection against severe and variable weather conditions.
Clothing lists need to be appropriate for the activity, environment and season.
To protect against
sun exposure) use broad-spectrum, water-resistant SPF 30+ sunscreen on all exposed parts of the body, applied according to the manufacturer’s recommendations. Students who own sunglasses should be encouraged to bring and wear them when required. In addition, the use of sun hats should be maximised.
Staff and students must be easily identifiable.
Staff must determine the most suitable identification system based on an assessment of the environment, students’ skills, the type of activities to be undertaken, and the age and number of students.
Equipment, food supplies and clothing
Equipment appropriate for walks not longer than one day:
- food and water suitable for the length/nature of the walk, including emergency options
- footwear that is comfortable, well broken-in and in good repair — in more rugged terrain, footwear should have ankle support
- rainwear suitable for the activity and location
- a well-fitted pack
- maps/walk guide suitable for the activity and location.
Equipment appropriate for overnight or extended bushwalks would, in general, include the items described above, and the following items:
- a well-fitted backpack with a waist belt and waterproof liner (e.g. garbage bag)
- a tent or shelter appropriate to the conditions
- overnight equipment, including sleeping bag, sleep mat, toileting equipment and catering equipment.
In addition, on overnight walks, staff should carry:
- a repair kit for key equipment such as stoves, packs and tents
- a stove (even if the group plans to cook on fires)
- detailed maps of the area (laminated or in a waterproof holder) and a compass
- spare emergency food and water
- a length of rope if walking in areas where a handline may be necessary or if needed as a navigational aid.