Listed here are a collection of hiking problems and ways in which to avoid them to make sure Hoadley Hide more enjoyable.
Problems that may occur
Every year, many Venturers return from the Hide nursing their injuries and moaning about the disasters that made the weekend a miserable time for them. Many of the problems experienced could have been prevented by better hiking preparation and asking your VL to check your pack and its contents the night before the Hide. Here are some of the pitfalls to avoid:
Keep them to a maximum of 11 to 14 kilograms. Only take essentials. (see the page on Lightweight Hiking).
Examine stitching, straps, buckles and fittings and make repairs well before Easter. It is difficult to carry a pack on one shoulder! If your pack does break during the Hide, go to the nearest Stunt or VOC for assistance.
Blisters On Your Feet (or is that a foot on your blister!)
Ensure that you have footwear suitable for hiking and well fitting, thick hiking socks. Nylon socks, sneakers and nylon shoes seems to cause most foot problems as your feet sweat in nylon socks. With soft soled shoes you feel every little stone you walk over, as well as having very little ankle support. Preparing your feet by hardening them prior to hiking is a good way to minimise blisters.(see the page on Feet are made for Walkin’). New boots are also a “NO – NO” unless they are broken in by immersing them in water (30 – 45 minutes) until they are thoroughly wet and pliable and will easily stretch. Put them on with your normal hiking socks and walk on a level surface (60 – 90 minutes) until they have dried and moulded to the shape of your feet.
Make sure that your Team has a suitable first aid kit, especially for cuts, blisters and cracked lips. REMEMBER – at the first sign of sore feet (heel,, toe or ankle) – STOP. Put a strip of adhesive plaster on the affected part – this will help protect the sore area and hold the skin together.
Ensure that you have adequate food of the right type. There are a variety of dehydrated and freeze-dried foods available from Snowgum stores and bushwalking and camping stores. They are nourishing, light-weight and easy to prepare and weigh a lot less than canned food.
Getting Lost (OK – this happens to everyone at some stage)
The map is not often wrong. Take note of the road or track directions prior to starting out from every Stunt site. Check with the compass if in doubt about which route to take. Check the contours on the map and decide if they indicate an uphill or downhill route and look around and relate them to the ground. A few short pauses along the way to examine the map, direction and shape of the ground could save you many extra kilometres on foot.
Remember, some tracks will be overgrown and some newer logging tracks may not be shown on your map. A little practice at reading contours will be invaluable. Scrub bashing is not recommended, it is hard work and very time consuming.
If you get a bit bushed – STOP
Think where you went wrong Study the map and terrain Work out where you think you are Head back to where you went wrong
Make sure that your tent is waterproof. Many nylon tents available and advertised as being water or storm proof, leak in the rain. An additional tent fly will ensure a dry night’s sleep.
A waterproof jacket (and trousers) are essential. If you can’t afford to buy waterproofs, they may be hired at a small cost. There is nowhere to shelter from the rain on Hoadley Hide. Put on your waterproofs when it starts to rain – don’t wait until you get wet!
Don’t forget to fill your water bottles before leaving home and each day when you leave the VOC – you get awfully thirsty on a hot day. Leeches may be encouraged to let go by using salt or heat from a match – but don’t set yourself on fire! Another tried and proven method is rub them gently with a roll-on deodorant stick and watch them drop off – so you see there are other uses for deodorant other than keeping your arm pits smelling sweetly!