Family Bushwalkers Inc.
Information for members
MEMBERSHIP FEESMembership 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
Meeting times and placesThe 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 walksWalks are likely to be cancelled:
in doubt, contact the leader.
- if fewer than four people turn up;
- if severe weather is forecast or a total fire ban is in force.
TransportTransport 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 finishDay 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
It is our custom to bring a thermos and enjoy a friendly chat after walks
before driving home.
Overdue walkersPlease 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 WALKSStart 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
ADVICE TO WALKERSBushwalking 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:
- If you have doubts about your ability to undertake bushwalking, please
consult you doctor beforehand.
- For your enjoyment and that of others it is important that you read
carefully and understand the walk descriptions. If you have any doubts, phone
the leader beforehand. Leaders' phone numbers are always given in the program.
- You should select an easy walk for your first walk with the Club, unless
you are very experienced and the leader approves. Walkers with fitness
problems and new members should stay with walks graded 'Very Easy' or 'Easy',
until confident of their ability to undertake harder walks as indicated by the
- If walking with children, make sure to choose a walk which they can manage
comfortably. Most walks under 10 km over easy terrain are suitable for
children of, say. 7 years and older. Our family walks are usually 2-3 hours
and are intended for families with younger children.
- Most day walks take the party several hours away from car or phone, and
pack walks, often much further away. We advise all walkers to take their own
first aid kits, and there are several recommended kits on sale, eg. St John
Ambulance. The Club cannot guarantee that there will be someone in each party
with first aid or medical qualifications. Some first aid needs arise more
often than others: sunburn, thorn pricks, insect bites, abrasions and bruising
from falls, blisters, heat exhaustion through not drinking enough, and sprains
and strains from slipping on rock or wet wood.
- Visitors are welcome on all walks, but they must discuss the walk and
their own experience with the leader before going to the meeting point. If you
have doubts about your ability to keep up with the group on a particular walk,
do not attempt the walk.
RULES FOR WALKERSThe Club expects all walkers to observe the following
- Dogs and firearms are not allowed.
- Bring lunch and plenty to drink - about 1 litre per adult and 1.5 per
child in normal weather, and more for hot weather.
- Dress appropriately and always bring a hat, waterproof jacket or coat, and
warm clothing, eg. heavy woollen sweater, gloves, warm headgear, for
unexpected cold weather. You can encounter very cold winds on the ridges and
be caught in rain and snow storms. A tired, wet and cold walker is vulnerable
to hypothermia (exposure). You can avoid distress by wearing the right
- Wear strong footwear with thick treaded soles. Walking boots with thick
socks are best, but joggers or gym shoes are suitable for easy and medium
- For day walks bring everything in a light day pack so that both hands are
free. Hand held bags are neither comfortable nor suitable.
- Keep together. Use the same route as the leader and do not get ahead of or
behind the party. Call out if you are getting behind, or if you have been told
a walker is making a toilet stop. Pass the message to the leader, who will
stop. If the party is large, a tail is usually appointed to look after slower
walkers and check periodically with the leader. The most common causes of
separation are getting ahead of the leader or making a toilet stop without
telling anyone. Do not assume you can drop behind and then easily catch up.
- If you do become separated, stop and call out. Do not keep walking. Wait
in a visible place even if you have to wait some time. The leader will return
for you. Call out at intervals.
- If you want to leave the walk for any reason, always consult the leader
first - and abide by the leader's ruling.
- The Club endorses minimum impact bushwalking. Avoid damaging the bush
environment, leave absolutely no litter, and do not burn plastics in fires.
- Call for a stop at the first sign of a blister or other injury. The party
will gladly stop for a rest while any necessary first aid is given. If you use
someone else's supplies, replace them.
- If the leader is making a head count, assist by standing still.
- Use mobile phones for emergencies only.
WALK DESCRIPTIONS AND GRADINGSThe 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
Some terms used in walk descriptions:
Compulsory swim Unavoidable River or pool crossing too deep for
Fire road, fire trail Rough vehicle track, usually comfortable
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 systemWalks 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:
Distance (km) Climb (m) Terrain Score Grade
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.
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
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
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 SKILLSThe 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.
- Navigation training and exercises. Members wishing to practice navigation
may bring map and compass on a walk and check their navigation with that of
the leader. While leaders will not be able to give you undivided attention,
you will find them willing to help and advise, particularly if you have phoned
them beforehand. In this program there are special opportunities for learning
navigation - see Saturday 20 May for details.
- First aid training. The Club is prepared to subsidise attendance at St
John Ambulance courses. Conditions apply, and information is available from
- Advanced bushwalking. The Club offers you many pack walks of varying
difficulty into more rugged terrain over two or more days. The best way to go
about this is to start with a simple overnight walk with an experienced
leader, but because of the greater safety and fitness requirements, you must
ask the leader's permission beforehand. This applies to all overnight pack
walks. A kit list is available from the Secretary-Treasurer, and on the walk
you will hear lively debate about the best gear. In addition to the special
introductory pack walks in this program - see 6 March and 1-2 April for
details - you are welcome to call the Secretary for the name of an experienced
wilderness bushwalker if you would like personal advice about gear, routes,
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.