Overnight walk camping
Overnight walk camping (photograph: Dan Broun)

Safety in parks

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​​​​​​​​​​Sa​fe walking guidelines

We want all walkers to have a safe and enjoyable experience, so please: 

  • Plan to walk safely:​ know your way, walk within your capabilities. Choose walks suitable to your experience and fitness. Study maps and route guides and seek advice from experienced bushwalkers or local PWS staff about track conditions and campsites.
  • Be prepared: take clothing and equipment to suit changeable weather and track conditions. Weather conditions in Tasmania can change quickly and frequently, especially​ in mountain areas. Snow, rain, wind and sun are all possible at any time of the year. 
  • Avoid walking alone: walk with friends. Consider taking a Personal Locator Beacon (PLB)​ if you are walking in remote areas​.
  • Tell someone: let a reliable person know your plans, before you go – be sure to advise them of your safe return. Make a plan if you do not return on time, such as, call emergency services on 000​ to advise Tasmania Police.​
  • Record your trip intentions in the log books: this will help searchers to locate you if you are reported overdue or missing, or there is a bushfire in the area.
  • Be flexible: be prepared to turn back or change your plans if the weather deteriorates or the walk is more difficult than expected. 

For a safe and enjoyable walking experience our essential safety tips for bushwalking in Tasmania​ video is recommended:

 


 

For help in a life threatening or emergency situation, call emergency services (0​​00) for police, fire or ambulance.​

​Plan your activity​​

Before you embark on an activity in one of our parks, che​ck the conditions of the area you intend to visit. This should include possible ​fire weather and any current fire activity.

​Choosing the right walk

We use the Australian Walking Track Grading S​ystem​ to grade our walks. These easily recognisable icons allow walkers to make an informed choice about the difficulty of the walk and whether it is a suitable choice​.

​​
​Australian Walking Track Grading System
​​​​​​Grade 1 walk icon of person and wheelchair user
Grade 1:
No bush​walking experience required. Flat even surface with no steps or steep sections. Suitable for wheelchair users who have someone to assist them.​
Grade 2 walk icon of adult and child
​Grade 2:
Suitable for most ages. The track has a hardened or compacted surface that may have a gentle hill section or sections, and occasional steps.
Grade 3 walk icon of walker on easy slope
​Grade 3:
Some bushwalking experience recommended. Tracks may have short steep hill sections, a rough surface and many steps.
Walk icon of walker or medium level slope with pack
​Grade 4:
Bushwalking experience recommended. Tracks may be long, rough and very steep. Directional signage may be limited.
Grade 5 walk icon of walker on hard slope with pack and walk poles
Grade 5:
Only suitable for very experienced bushwalkers with specialised skills, including navigation and emergency first aid. Tracks are likely to be very rough, very steep and unmarked.

Bushfires and planned burns​​

Take the time to check the fire conditions in the area where you are planning to visit.  A current alerts list can be found at the Tasmania Fire Service​.

In case of bushfire: 

  • Check the weather and fire situation in the area before going bush 
  • Plan your trip to include refuge areas 
  • Lodge your intentions in log books or at visitor centres
  • Carry a PLB or satellite phone
  • Protect yourself from radiant heat 
  • If caught on foot, seek shelter 
  • Do not try to outrun a fire 
  • Make yourself visible to aircraft in the area by wearing bright clothing or waving some form of bright material
  • Keep as low as possible to avoid breathing heated air and smoke 
  • Drink water regularly to avoid dehydration. 

For more information, please see our Bushfire safety page​.

In case of emergency:

​Keep it clean

Help us limit the spread of root rot (Phytophthora cinnamomi) and other pests and diseases by cleaning and maintaining your gear.  This involves cleaning the mud from your boots, camping gear and vehicles before and after your visit.   Some locations have special wash-down stations, please follow the instructions on site.

More information can be found on our biosecurity page​.

​​What to take​​​​​​

Different walks require different equipment; Tasmania’​s weather can change quickly, and summer snowfalls in our high country are not uncommon. To ensure your safety and comfort please be prepared. 

Here are our minimum recommendations: 

The Basics (minimum pack list for day walks) 

  • Light day pack
  • Weatherproof jacket
  • Warm hat
  • Sunhat and sunglasses
  • Hiking boots and socks (minimise blisters, make sure shoes are worn in before you leave)
  • Gaiters
  • Sunscreen
  • Water (1 litre per person for every 3 hours of walking)
  • High energy food
  • First aid kit (suitable for walking in remote areas)
  • Emergency space blanket (for hypothermia)
  • Mobile phone (be aware that in remote locations you may not be able to get a signal)
  • Rubbish bag for your waste (please take it out with you)

Alp​​ine walks (for walks such as the Overland Track and Frenchmans Cap, these are in addition to The Basics)

  • Warm clothing, including a fleece or woollen jumper, hat, gloves and a neck warmer
  • Good quality water​proof jacket with stormfront and hood (seam sealed and breathable fabric, Gore-Tex or similar)
  • Good quality waterproof over trousers (seam sealed and breathable fabric, Gore-Tex or similar)
  • Thermal under layers (long sleeve top, long pants)​

Multi-day walks (in addition to The Basics)

  • Large, waterproof hiking pack (plus pack liner)
  • Tent (3-4 season rated with an inner and outer layer)
  • Sleeping bag and inner sheet (rated to at least 0°C for coastal areas and -10°C for alpine areas)
  • Sleeping mat
  • W​aterproof jacket
  • Quick-dry walking clothes (long sleeve shirt, shorts/trousers, fleece jacket—avoid denim and cotton)
  • Camp clothes in waterproof bag​
  • Toilet trowel and toilet paper
  • Basic personal toiletries
  • Antibacterial gel
  • PLB (Personal Locator Beacon)
  • Map (mobile phones cannot be relied on in remote areas & a printed map is a necessity)
  • Fuel stove and fuel
  • Lighter and matchesspan
  • Food (lightweight, energy-dense, remove excess packaging)
  • Cooking and eating utensils
  • Water bottle(s) or bladder, capable of carrying 2-3 litres
  • Torch / head-torch and spare batteries

Walker Pac​k List

Our full pack list is available for download. It includes all the questions you need to ask yourself before you go for a walk in one of our national parks​ or reserves. Use it to make sure you have everything you need before you head out.

  Walk​er Pack List   (688Kb)​

​Persona​​l Locator Beacons (PLBs)

​​​Many walkers appreciate the security of carrying a Personal Locator Beacon (PLB) to activate in the event of a life-threatening emergency. PLBs can be hired from Service Tasmania shops (Mon-Fri only) in Hobart, Launceston, Burnie and Devonport. Phone 1300 135 513 for further information.

PLBs are also available from the Cradle Mountain and Lake St Clair visitor centres, though numbers are limited and cannot be reserved. 

​​There are also independent hire companies, including ​EPIRBHire and The Bushwalking Blog.​ 

​​​​​Maps

Map​s are a must for remote area walks.  TASMAP is the Tasmanian Government’s mapping arm and supplies a number of topographic maps, including National Park, Walk and Recreation maps.  These can be purchased online at TASMAP​. ​

Contact

Parks and Wildlife Service
GPO Box 1751
Hobart TAS 7001
Phone: 1300 TASPARKS, (1300 827 727)