On this page, there is information about:
Yarrawood's bushwalking mentors
Footwear for walking
Bushwalking clothes and equipment
The ethics of bushwalking
Frequently asked questions (FAQs)
Yarrawood's beginnings and early days
Walks in the Yarrawood program have been graded according to the following scheme. To grade a walk, add together the points from each of the three columns:
Pts Walk length Pts Height lost+gained Pts Track condition
1 0 - 10 km 1 0 - 300 m 1 Constructed
2 10 - 15 km 2 300 - 600 m 2 Unconstructed
3 15 - 20 km 3 600 - 900 m 3 Absent/scrambling
4 20 + km 4 900 + m 4 Ropework required
The total gives the grade:
Easy = 3 - 4 pts
Medium = 5 - 7 pts
Long = 8 - 10 pts
Hard = 11 - 12 pts
Walks classified exploratory are not familiar to the leader, so the grade is a guess! If you are in doubt about the suitability of a walk for you, talk to the leader.
YARRAWOOD'S BUSHWALKING MENTORS
Would you like to talk to someone from the club about the "how to" of bushwalking and camping? Two very experienced club members, Geoff and Deborah, are available to help. Ask any activity co-ordinator for contact information.
FOOTWEAR FOR WALKING
- Appropriate footwear is essential for happy walking. Thongs, sandals and skimpy shoes of any kind are not suitable.
- Walking shoes or boots must be chosen with four criteria in mind – comfort, sturdiness, support (for arches and ankles) and grip.
- In general, footwear made of lights and relatively soft materials, such as canvas, suede, Cordura or other synthetic fabrics, is more comfortable than full-leather shoes and boots.
- Lightweight sandshoes, trainers and joggers are suitable for many walking conditions but leather boots are a must for extended walking over rough or muddy surfaces.
- Lightweight (or lighter weight) boots made from a combination of leather and synthetic material are available and these are suitable for most forms of walking.
- When selecting boots for purchase:
-keep looking until you find the boots that are virtually “slipper” comfortable
-expect to find that one size larger than normal will give you the required level of comfort
-arrange with the store to let you have the boots on approval and test them by wearing them around home for a week or so.
- Wear woollen or mainly woollen socks (wool is soft and remain warms even when it is wet).
- Consider wearing two pairs of socks, one thinner and one thicker.
WALKING EQUIPMENT - WEEKEND WALKS
This list is the Club’s recommended equipment list, to be used as a guide only. What you actually pack should be tempered by considerations of weight, activity and location. Many experienced bushwalkers will leave out (or cut to a minimum) the “luxury” items marked * below to minimise weight. Aim for a total pack weight of 12 – 14 kg.
Backpack At least 60 litres capacity with an aluminium internal frame and a padded hip belt. Must be strong, tough & waterproof.
Sleeping bag Lightweight (less than 1.5 kg), nylon-covered, down-filled, box-walled construction, rectangular or mummy shaped, with a hood. Rated to at least -5°C (4 season), or better if you are a "cold" sleeper.
Sleeping mat Thermarest (recommended) or closed cell foam (Karrimat).
Inner sheet Silk (preferably) or cotton; adds warmth and keeps the bag clean.
Tent and pegs One- or two-person tent, lightweight (e.g. 2.8 kg for a 2-person), waterproof, with sufficient pegs. Know how to pitch it before the trip.
Food 2 lunches, 1 breakfast, 1 dinner, scroggin (for a weekend).
Water flask At least 1 litre, full when you start.
Cooking gear Stove & fuel ( if required), billies, hooks, lifter, chux, steel wool, dish, mug, knife, fork and spoon
Map & compass
Clothes First Aid Kit Accessories
Comfortable day shirt & shorts 5cm wide Elastoplast Matches or lighter
Sun hat, wide brimmed 5cm conforming bandage Small torch & spare globe
Reliable footwear & socks dry sterile dressing Spare guy rope (4 metres)
Waterproof jacket triangular bandage Personal toiletries, towel
Waterproof overpants roller compression bandage Toilet paper & matches
Woollen shirt/fleece jacket moleskin & lambswool Sun cream & sunglasses
Woollen or "thermal" undershirt scissors & needle Garbage bag, Trowel
Long-johns band aids, Water container
Balaclava or beanie Betadine Purification tablets/filter
Wool/fleece gloves personal pain killers Handkerchief (not tissues)
*Spare underclothes & socks insect repellent *Wet Ones
*Booties, *scarf, *gaiters Stingose *Pack cover/liner
pen & paper
WALKING EQUIPMENT - DAY WALKS
Day Pack Sun cream & sunglasses Waterproof Jacket
Toilet paper, matches, trowel Sun hat, wide brimmed Map and compass
Lunch & snacks Fleece jacket (or woollen shirt/jumper) At least 1 litre of water
First aid kit as above Garbage bag, Torch
The basic objective of the Yarrawood Club is to promote and develop knowledge and appreciation of the natural environment through the enjoyment of bushwalking and related activities. In pursuing this objective, the Club requires all participants to observe the following guidelines.
- Do nothing to mar the natural landscape. Leave all campsites better than you find them.
- Never kill or harm birds or animals (even snakes) or allow others to do so.
- Don’t cut live trees or pick wildflowers. Use only dead branches for fires.
- Don’t bring domestic animals into the bush.
- Don’t light fires in ecologically sensitive areas, such as alpine plateaus.
- Before lighting your fire, clear away all dead leaves and bracken. Don’t light a fire too close to a tree trunk. Use an existing fireplace if possible.
- Don’t burn any food containers (even plastic), for they all leave a residue which won’t decompose. If you can carry it in full, you can carry it out empty.
- Make sure fires are completely out before leaving by dousing them with plenty of water.
- Radios etc. should be left at home.
- Leave no visible evidence of toiletting - bury it. Burn all toilet paper after use.
- Accept the leader’s decision in all matters relating to the conduct of the walk.
- Be self-sufficient - don’t make yourself a burden on others through thoughtlessness. Ensure your level of fitness is adequate for the walk.
- Wash downstream from campsites, using only biodegradable soaps.
- Do not use the campfire of another party unless invited.
- Endeavour not to disturb the sleep of others.
- Don’t walk across cooking and eating utensils and food.
- Be helpful and companionable to those met on the track.
A Day in the Bush - the guide to bushwalking in the Sydney written by a current and former Yarrawoodian - is still in print after 18 years.
Published first in 2000, updated in 2005 and substantially revised in 2011, A Day in the Bush: Bushwalks in and around the Sydney region is now available as a comprehensively revised edition. Dr Les Higgins, a life member of the Yarrawood Bushwalking Club, has been bushwalking for most of his life. A Day in theBush, which he co-authored with Tony Rodd, has been in print for 15 years. Before retiring, Les was an associate professor teaching and researching health psychology at The University of Sydney. Since retiring, Les has been very busy exploring and writing about the effects nature has on our minds, health and general wellbeing.
This very large and rapidly growing area of scientific investigation is enlarging and re-shaping our understanding of ourselves and our relationship with the natural world. Les writes about this relationship in his blog, ourgreengenes.wordpress.com.
Veechi Stuart 2009, Blue Mountains Best Bushwalks (2nd ed) Sydney , Woodlane Press
Veechi Stuart 2008, Sydney' Best Bush,Park &City Walks Sydney , Woodlane Press
Sally Tertini & Steve Pollard 2015, Wild Swimming Sydney Sydney, Wild Things Publishing
For "how to to do it" information on bushwalking and camping:
and car camping :
Bushwalkers Wilderness Rescue Squad
NPWS; for park closures & info on National Parks
Bureau of Meteorology
Bushwalk Australia: Information for bushwalkers, from bushwalkers
Kosciuszko Huts Association
Youth Hostels Association
National Parks Tasmania
Cycleways in Sydney
Venus Gear Repairs
Am I fit enough?
Because bushwalks range from very easy to pretty hard, it's difficult to generalize about fitness levels. However, it's fair to say that the fitter you are, the more you'll enjoy walking. On the other hand, you don't need to be super fit to go bushwalking; for easy and medium level walks, moderate fitness is adequate.
Weekend bushwalking in itself isn't enough to maintain a reasonable level of fitness. To keep in trim, you should develop the habit of at least 30 minutes of a brisk walk at least 3 times a week.
If you do this and have some experience of walking with a pack, you should be able to cope with most club medium overnight walks and nearly all day walks. If you're not up to this fitness level, stick to easy walks at the beginning.
Do I have to go camping?
No! About half our activity program are day walks or other single-day activities. As you get more experienced, we hope that you might want to try camping, either on a car camp or into the bush. But there is no pressure to do so. There are lots of other things to do with Yarrawood.
Yarrawood's beginnings and early days