Bush Walking

Bush Walking

One of my more pleasant pastimes is bush walking. The Canberra region offers some easy and difficult areas for walking. There is a good collection of fire trails in the forests to the west of the Murumbidgee River, and the area to the south, in the Namadgi National Park offers some easy and some not-so-easy walks. The books by Graeme Barrow can be found in most good bookshops in Canberra and give a wide selection of walks for all fitness levels, but, for the more adventurous there is nothing better than grabbing a map and trying new areas. My collection given in the link below, Bush walks around Canberra , require a fairly good level of fitness.

I have a reasonable good understanding of maps and have never been truly lost, although I have been "bushed" a few times. I suggest that all people who go bush walking take some time to learn how to read a topographic (topo) map, and that they always carry a map with them. I would also suggest you learn how to use a compass in conjunction with a topo map. (There are always people around who will be only too pleased to teach you.) You should gain a good understanding of how to read contours, and most importantly, how to adjust your compass for magnetic deviation, or variance. You should also learn how to read your position on the the map in the grid coordinates of Eastings and Northings. Should you, or your party, become lost and have to report your rough position to the authorities they will expect to be given a position in grid coordinates. A description of how to report your posiiton is shown on most topo maps in Australia.

It has become fashionable now to use carry GPS receiver and, while they are handy little instruments, they are not much use if you can't read a map. There are several web sites available (2006) that explain how to use GPS for bush walking. One good one is listed below

If you want to learn how to read a map properly you could take up Orienteering or Rogaining. If you are interested see the link on my home page.

Send comments to me.

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