These are some thoughts on what equipment you may need on walks. This section is intended as a guide only. More information can be gained by reading the excellent booklet Walksafe, published by Bushwalking Victoria.
Bushwalking equipment can be broadly divided into two sections – clothing and equipment. It is difficult to give a definitive listing that will suit all people and conditions as there are many factors that need to be considered. These include: weather (current and predicted), terrain (including altitude), time of year, length of walk and personal preferences.
Some Things To Consider
Is it likely to be hot or cold? What about wind chill? What about UV protection, even in winter?
(Hat, sunscreen, long-sleeved shirt,OR, beanie, gloves, blizzard jacket, overpants.)
How long will you be out for? Equipment required for a one hour walk along a beach will be substantially different to that needed for an extended walk in Alpine conditions.
(Your trip may last a lot longer than you plan. Is your clothing adequate to protect you under all possible weather conditions? What if someone is injured and you have to stay with them while others get help?)
Is your equipment suitable for the type of terrain you will encounter? Are you on formed paths or tracks or will you be doing some ‘scrub bashing’. (Boots, long pants, gaiters or shorts & t-shirt.)
Will your event be at altitude? A cold wet, day at the bottom of a mountain may develop into a blizzard as you climb – even in Summer.
(Always carry a blizzard jacket in Alpine conditions. They are useful in minimising wind chill even if it’s not actually raining.)
Time of Year
What time of year is it? Tailor your gear for the season.
(Except in Alpine conditions where you tailor your gear for possible snow all year round.)
Length of Walk
In conjunction with the factors listed above, your ability to return to safety in the event of injury or extremely bad weather (your escape route) may have a bearing on what gear you will need.
(Can we get back to the car in an hour or so or might you need to activate your PLB [Personal Locator Beacon])?
All people have different needs. If you look at any group of walkers you will generally observe a range of clothing preferences. You may be comfortable in shorts and a t-shirt while others are wearing long pants and a thermal top. If you’re not sure, it’s better to have extra layers with you.
(Better to be looking at it than for it!)
The following are suggested lists for different club events