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Safety in remote parks
Remote parks have very few facilities or services, and the weather can quickly change. If you walk, ski, kayak or camp in these areas, you must be fully prepared and completely self reliant.
Before you go
- Check the Bureau of Meteorology for weather forecasts and warnings, including High Fire Danger days
- Contact the local park office about local conditions, tracks, river and stream levels and possible fire danger
- Never travel alone in remote areas. For safety, a group of three is considered a minimum
- Plan ahead - choose your walks and activities to match your abilities, stamina and fitness
- Pack more than enough food, water, torch, sunglasses, sunscreen and a good first aid kit
- A Trip Intentions Form could save your life. Tell a friend where you are going, give them a map of the park, marking which areas you plan to visit, your vehicle registration number and when you plan to return. For more information go to Let someone know before you go
- Wear your new boots in before you leave home! Blisters are not only painful but your slow pace may risk your group reaching their destination after dark
- Always bring a detailed topographic map of the areas you visit and a compass and know how to use them both
- Mobile phone coverage is often limited in remote areas. In case of emergency you may wish to bring a satellite phone, or hire a Personal Locator Beacon (PLB)
- Park roads and tracks are often rough and built in steep terrain. Drive carefully at all times and beware of wildlife crossing the road
- In an emergency, dial Triple Zero 000 to access police and emergency services.
- Check the Australian Alps Weather before you leave home
- Dramatic weather changes are common in alpine areas. It’s best to pack clothing for all conditions. Ensure you pack a space blanket in case of emergency
- Cold, wet and windy conditions are a dangerous combination in alpine areas. Be aware of the causes, symptoms and treatment of hypothermia
- Understand the risks associated with backcountry skiing and snowboarding, including unstable and deep snow; steep icy slopes; cornice formation; avalanches; and, extreme weather
- Be self-sufficient with drinking water. Carry it in or know how to make untreated water safe for drinking.
- Skills in using a map and compass are essential in alpine areas.
Victoria’s desert parks
- Plan your walks for the cool season. Summer day time temperatures in Victoria’s desert country are far too high for safe or comfortable walking
- Before heading off for a multi-day walk, ensure you inform the nearest Parks Victoria office
- Be self-sufficient with drinking water. Carry plenty in or know how to make untreated water safe for drinking.
- Victoria’s desert parks have very few tracks or roads. Skills in using a topographic map and compass are essential.