The ABC recently reported that Emergency Services had found a South Australian woman after she had been missing for more than two days in Central Australia. The woman went missing near Kings Canyon, after walking away from her husband during an argument. Becoming separated on a bushwalk is a scenario that could happen to any couple.
With children, becoming separated is a very real risk.
Children going on a bushwalk or hike can become easily discouraged, or fall behind. They are easily distracted, and will follow the slightest wallaby track off the main path. Once lost, they may hide, and be afraid to show themselves to any strangers, including those who are helping to look for them.
With a few simple steps, bushwalking can be safe and enjoyable for all.
- Wear appropriate clothing – good shoes, broad brimmed hat, and light weight pants / long sleeved shirts. Tailor your clothing to the expected weather.
- Carry plenty of water – a water bladder in a back pack is an excellent way for even young children to carry enough water for most hikes.
- Carry plenty of healthy snacks – children love to eat, and wholesome nuts, dates and fruit make excellent snacks.
- Always keep the children in sight – we found that
You should put a small survival kit in the children’s packs. Our kids loved being involved in this process. Items we put in their survival kit were:
- Space blanket
- Hand powered torch
- Whistle for attracting attention
- A snake bite compression bandage
- Some additional nuts / dates.
- Any appropriate medication if required.
Appropriate clothing for conditions is a must to make hiking fun!
Children are very good at following instructions, particularly in emergencies. We told our children that if they were lost or separated from us, they needed to:
- stop and seek shelter
- blow their whistle regularly
- wait for us or someone else to come to them
As parents, we carried all the rest of the things required, such as extra water, lunch, additional clothing, and the like. We also carried a comprehensive first aid kit and most importantly a Personal Locator Beacon.
You need to consider how this fits in with your remote communication plan. More information on what remote communication is, check out Save Our Selves, A guide for getting help in remote areas.
The full story on the missing woman’s rescue can be found here: http://www.abc.net.au/news/2015-06-20/cheryl-redway-found-alive-after-missing-for-two-days-in-nt/6560628