Family Bushwalkers Inc.

Information for members

MEMBERSHIP FEES

Membership of the Club is from 1 October to 30 September. To become a member, to renew or to change membership details, please use the form at the end of this program. See the application form for details of membership fees.

DAY WALKS

Meeting times and places

The normal meeting time is 8.50 am, unless shown otherwise - highlighted with ***.

The usual meeting points are:

W:      The northern car park of the Cooleman Court shopping centre,
        Brierly St, Weston, the corner across the road from McDonalds;
K:      Kambah shopping centre car park, corner Drakeford Drive & Marconi 
        Crescent, opposite the service station; and
Q:      Queanbeyan Swimming Pool car park, Campbell St.

Cancellation of walks

Walks are likely to be cancelled: If in doubt, contact the leader.

Transport

Transport is not organised by the Club, but car sharing is usually arranged at meeting places. The suggested contribution for each passenger is given for each walk. It is based on 10 cents per passenger per km, rounded to the nearest dollar, with an increase as determined by the leader for rough or difficult tracks. Park entry fees are usually divided equally among all people in the car.

Car drivers should check the destination with the leader at the meeting place. Drivers unsure of the route should ask the leader to wait at significant corners. A tail car may be nominated by the leader. Convoys inconvenience other drivers, so please allow plenty of room for overtaking traffic.

Start and finish

Day walks usually leave the cars by 10.00 am. The time of return to the cars cannot be guaranteed, because all sorts of events can delay the walk, but it will usually be by 4.00 pm in winter and 6.00 pm in summer. These times depend on the grade of the walk. Hard and exploratory walks may start earlier and end later. This will normally be indicated in the walk description.

It is our custom to bring a thermos and enjoy a friendly chat after walks before driving home.

Overdue walkers

Please direct any enquiries concerning overdue walking parties in the first instance to the Club's Emergency Officers. See front cover for contact details. If neither of them can be contacted, please contact an Office Bearer or Committee member. They will advise Police Communications of the situation. Upon return, leaders of overdue parties must contact the Emergency Officers as soon as possible.

PACK WALKS

Start and finish times, meeting points and transport arrangements for overnight pack walks are much more variable. Those interested in these walks should contact the leader for details, as indicated in the program.

ADVICE TO WALKERS

Bushwalking is an outdoor, active recreation. The aim of the Club is to enjoy the bush in good company and in safety. Each walker must be aware of the hazards and be prepared for them. If in the leader's opinion a walk is not suitable for a particular person, the leader has a right not to accept that person on the walk. The Club expects all members and visitors to diligently follow the advice given below:

RULES FOR WALKERS

The Club expects all walkers to observe the following rules:

WALK DESCRIPTIONS AND GRADINGS

The standard entry for a scheduled day walk should include the following information: Day(s); date(s); title; grade; distance; description (route, climb if graded above 'very easy', terrain, main interest or special attractions); map reference for parking place at start of walk; car distance and passenger contribution; map(s); leader and phone number; meeting point. Where relevant it will also show: Non-standard starting time; expected late return; car shuffle or cross-over; any special hazards; and any special instructions.

Some terms used in walk descriptions:

Compulsory swim	            Unavoidable River or pool crossing too deep for
                            walking.
Fire road, fire trail       Rough vehicle track, usually comfortable
                            for walking.
Foot pad                    Narrow track worn by passage of feet.
Foot track                  Constructed narrow track for walkers.
Creek or river crossing     Stream crossing without a bridge; may mean wet feet
                            or use of stepping stones or logs.
Rock scrambling             Use of hands on steep, slippery, rocky slope.
Rock hopping                Stepping or jumping springing from rock to rock in
                            or above water.
Scrub                       Low trees or shrubs, collectively.  Light
                            scrub offers little impediment; medium
                            scrub requires some extra effort and use of 
                            hands; heavy scrub requires considerable effort
                            and constant use of hands.
Total climbing              Sum of all climbs on the walk, not just the
                            difference between the lowest and highest points.

The grading system

Walks are graded by experienced walkers, but gradings will always be somewhat subjective. The difficulty of a walk can be greatly affected by changes in the weather, vegetation, and track conditions. Walk descriptions include the approximate distance, total climbing, and notes on the terrain. These factors are used in the grading system, and regular walkers will learn to match their capabilities to them. One of five grading is obtained by scoring the three factors according to the table:


FACTORS                                                                GRADING
Distance (km)  Climb (m)   Terrain                                     Score Grade
               900-    6
21-        5   700-899 5  Mostly rough going/thick scrub           5   14-16 VERY HARD
16-20      4   500-699 4  Moderately rough going/some scrub        4   11-13 HARD
11-15      3   300-499 3  Some rough going                         3    7-10 MEDIUM
6-10       2   100-299 2  Mostly road, track or footpad,           2     4-6 EASY
                          no rough going
0-5        1     0-99  1  All road, track or footpad,              1       3 VERY EASY
                          no rough going

Note: Rough going includes medium or heavy scrub; rocky, loose or slippery ground; rock scrambling; and stony creek crossings.

The gradings

Very Easy       Distances up to 5 km; urban or nature park rambles;
                suitable for family groups, including young children
                needing to be carried. No previous bushwalking experience
                required.
Easy            Suitable for people with little or no bushwalking experience.
Medium          Moderate fitness and some bushwalking experience required.  Many
                who have not been on a full day's bushwalk before find these
                quite difficult.
Hard            Demanding walking.  Fit and experienced walkers only.
Very Hard       Strenuous walking.  Fit and experienced walkers only.
Exploratory     Route not fully known to the leader.  May be physically
                demanding, with delays and diversions from the intended route.
                Fit and experienced walkers only.

OPPORTUNITIES TO DEVELOP YOUR BUSHWALKING SKILLS

The Club wishes to encourage members to improve their skills in navigation, first aid and more advanced bushwalking. The following activities are open to all: The Club needs new leaders and new ideas for walks. If you are interested in leading or in finding out more about it, please feel free to talk to walk leaders, the Walks Officer, or to other Committee members, and to come to the next Walks Program Meeting with your ideas. From the Walks Officer you can also obtain a copy of Notes for Leaders, which contains detailed advice on what is involved in leading a walk.

The Club is affiliated with the NSW Confederation of Bushwalking Clubs which provides some public liability insurance cover for club officers, leaders, and members, and has a Policy on Natural Areas and a Bushwalking Code.