Tag Archives: first aid

Bushwalking Skills | Making a Bushwalking Aide-memoire

Do you lead bushwalks? Thought about carrying an aide-memoire  for emergencies? What resources will you need?

In the nineties, when I was actively upgrading my bushwalk leadership qualifications, I kept an aide-memoire to help me remember the key points of bushwalking for in-the-field examinations. This was initially kept in several “Granny’s brag books”,  4″ x 6″ photo albums with the cardboard stiffeners removed and with the individual plastic pockets sealed, then progressed to a Sharp Organiser, then to a Palm PDA and finally to my Nokia Smartphone, before being archived to a wiki (see link above). To keep the number of “album” pages to a minimum, the text was reduced to 7 pt.

The first aid was collated from Senior First Aid courses which I did with St John’s and the Red Cross, with additional information added from wilderness first aid courses and books I had read.

 Disclaimer: Although I culled information, which I knew was out-of-date, when I first set up this wiki, I have not updated the first aid information for the last few years, and as some things change every few years eg snake bite and EAR, the aide-memoire needs to be checked with an up-to-date first aid manual.

For many years, I carried this information, in note form, as a resource for emergencies, especially when leading bushwalks to remote areas of Australia. You might find such a concept useful, and perhaps be able to use the topic outline as  a worthwhile starting point.

If I was making one today, I would add it as a pdf to my Smartphone, which I usually carry with me. You could of course use your camera-equipped smartphone to copy relevant pages from books and save as a photo album. If you carry a Kindle with you, for your light reading, you have another alternative. However, in a pinch, I think “Granny’s brag book” would prove to be the most reliable of them all!

Recently I have added some excellent  leadership articles by Rick Curtis (Director, Outdoor Action Program), which no longer seem to be online at his website. This material is the Group Development and Leadership Chapter from his Outdoor Action Program Leader’s Manual. You can find some of the more useful articles in the sidebar to the right, under Bushwalking Resources, and the rest in my wiki. The text may be freely distributed for nonprofit educational use. However, if included in publications, written or electronic, attributions must be made to the author. Commercial use of this material is prohibited without express written permission from the author. Copyright © 1995 Rick Curtis, Outdoor Action Program, Princeton University.

Discussion: 
I’d love to know if you carry an “aide-memoire”, what type and what it contains.

Other related leadership articles
See Categories or Labels in the sidebar on the right.
 

  Creative Commons LicenseThis article by Bush Walker is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.

Bushwalking Boots | Preventing Blisters in Poorly Fitting Boots

Ever found that perfectly good boots are giving you blisters? Too expensive to throw away? Discover some solutions to this problem.

Leather boots often take ages to break-in. Some brands of expensive leather boots, with a full thickness hide, can take months, before they feel comfortable.

Some  solutions I have tried include:

  • wearing multiple socks to increase the padding ( eg two thick or one thin inner and one thick outer)
  • wearing the boots for a few months, for short durations, until your feet toughen
  • soaking the boots in a bucket of water, and then wearing them until they dry
  • preemptive bandaging of your feet, before beginning your walk
Blister location

The outline sketch on the left shows where I usually got blisters after an extended pack-carrying walk, with my old leather boots. HINT: To help you remember where the blisters occur, make a sketch by standing on a sheet of paper, immediately after your walk
If you have a similar blister pattern, it may be related to where the toe of your boot bends, just below the lower end of the tongue, which often produces a ridge, which can rub on the top of your toes, causing blisters. Try stretching the boot to get rid of the ridge (see below)

Stretch boots
  • add extra padding to your boots eg inner soles (gel are best but expensive and have a shorter life)
  • stretch the boots, by soaking thoroughly and then jamming something like a bottle or log of wood inside the boot and waiting for it to dry.

Don’t forget that:

  • your feet are often different  sizes, and that this can vary depending on the temperature of your feet. Don’t be surprised if you need two socks on one foot and three on the other.
  • leather doesn’t like intense heat. It will crack, if placed too close to a fire. 

Related post

Bushwalking Boots |Selection and Fitting Criteria

  Creative Commons LicenseThis article by Bush Walker is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.

iPhone Apps for Bushwalkers Revisited

It’s over a year since I began reviewing iPhone apps for bushwalkers. During this time I have tried hundreds and found that I only use a few regularly.

While there are hundreds of iPhone apps useful to bushwalkers and growing every day, what you personally find useful is determined by your past experience, the type of walking you do, your interests,  and your willingness to be dependent on high tech devices.

After trying most, I regulary use only a few of these. On bushwalks, my choice will vary as it is dependent upon on the duration of my walk, and hence how important it is to save battery power,  and upon how much non-walking time I will have available.

My iPhone Apps

Navigation: Bit Map, Declination, Maps, Google Earth, Compass
Field Guides: Good Reader, BooksApp, Kindle, Aus. Birds (Morecomb), Field Guide Fauna Museum Victoria, Bird in Hand, WhatBirdNZ, Wikipanion, MyEnviro, FrogLog
Bushcraft / Survival : KnotsGuide, SASSurvival, Knots, GoneTrekking
Camp Food: Jamie Oliver’s Recipes, Poh’s Kitchen, Nigella Quick (….LOL)
Fitness: Walkmeter, Beat Monitor, Cadence, iHandy Level
Weather: Pkt Weather, Rainspotting, Clouds, iBarometer, ShralpTide, Clouds,WeatherNZ
Travel: Frequent Flyer, Webjet, Plane Finder, Lonely Planet, Trip Advisor
Astronomy: Star walk, Star Guide
NZ: WeatherNZ, WhatBirdNZ, SnowReports
Photography: Flickr
Medical: Elastoplast, MediProfiles, St John NZ

Disclaimer: Navigation using your iPhone always needs to be backed up with a compass, map and a dedicated GPS. 

I have written reviews of many of these iPhone apps previously in this blog, several articles about how to use iPhone apps in general while bushwalking, and detailed articles which focus upon iPhone apps for navigation, fitness and NZ.

Read more…..

  Creative Commons LicenseThis article by Bush Walker is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.

Bushwalking in the Vulkathunha – Gammon Ranges, South Australia | Pt 1 Trip Planning Resources

Where are the Gammons? Why visit the Gammons? When is the best time to visit the Gammons and how long do you need? What level of experience do you need and does it require any special planning and equipment because of its remoteness? What resources are available to help you plan, appreciate and enjoy what you see?

UPDATE: there has been a mouse plague in the Gammons (April -? 2011) and I would advise taking your tent inner, storing food outside your tent in air tight bags and hanging your food out of reach.

Bushwalking, Vulkathunha-Gammon Ranges National Park ……..in brief

Gammon Ranges 

Vulkathunha-Gammon Ranges National Park is an arid wilderness of spectacular rugged ranges and deep gorges 400 km N of Port Augusta off the Copley-Balcanoona Rd. The park has important cultural significance for the Adnyamathanha people who are the traditional custodians of the region. There are several access points, both for 2WD and 4WD vehicles, with the heart of the park offering challenging wilderness bushwalking experiences. The park includes limited caravan sites, bush camping, 4WD touring tracks and several accommodation options. Bookings are essential for hut accommodation and shearers’ quarters. The park adjoins Lake Frome Regional Reserve and shares a boundary with Arkaroola Wilderness Sanctuary. Vulkathunha-Gammon Ranges Traditional Owners and DEH co-manage the park. ” (DENR )

Google Aerial view of the Gammons

View Larger Map

Access

 The last 100 km is largely over dirt roads, which can sometimes be badly corrugated. If you wish to set up a base camp at Grindell Hut inside the Park, I recommend that you use a 4WD as the tracks are sometimes sandy and the wheel ruts can be deep. Many conventional cars will not have sufficient ground clearance. Make sure you carry essential spare parts for your vehicle and read the RAA Outback Driving booklet. 

Up-to-date road conditions can be checked via the Far Northern and Western Areas road condition hotline – 1300 361 033 or by visiting http://www.dtei.sa.gov.au. Alternatively call the Desert Parks information line on 1800 816 078.

Google Map Directions Adelaide to Copley (just north of Leigh Creek)
SA Outback Fuel Chart
(pdf)
Google Map Directions Adelaide to Copley( just north of Leigh Creek)
Google Maps Copley, Vulkathuna – Gammon Ranges Nat Pk and Arkaroola Village

Outback Driving (RAA)

Climate

If you are planning a trip to northern SA (eg the Gammons) check the forecast carefully as the temperature is often in the high twenties or low thirties, when it is in the high teens in Adelaide. My experience is that it is often 5 -10 degrees warmer than Adelaide but colder at night. 

Check the Weatherzone climate statistics for Arkarooola  , the nearest weather station or visit the Arkaroola Wilderness Sanctuary’s Climate Information page which compares the climate with other capital cities.

Long term averages show May to early September to be the  best from a temperature perspective (mean max 19-20 deg C). Mean minimum temperatures are 3-7 deg C, (lightweight sleeping bag weather). Days of rain 3, mean rain 6-10 mm (you may even risk just a fly depending on the month)

Further north in the Gammons, water can also be short supply after six months with little rain. A spring/early summer trip is risky as most rain falls in December-March as the tail ends of monsoons sweep down SE from the Kimberley and most will have gone by then.

Fire Bans

All wood fires or solid fuel fires are prohibited from 1 November 2010 to 31 March 2011. Gas fires are permitted other than on days of total fire ban. For further information, please contact the Port Augusta Regional Office (08) 8648 5300, the Wilpena Visitor Centre (08) 8648 0048 or the CFS Fire Bans Hotline 1300 362 361.  Timely reminder of fire restrictions in parks (DENR 103kb pdf)

Time Required

The Vulkathuna – Gammon Ranges are a long drive of 8 – 9 hours from Adelaide, over unsealed roads from Copley, which can be badly corrugated depending on how recently they have been graded. For most people, the two days of travel encourages you to spend a minimum of  3-5 days in the Gammons, including some time at the Arkaroola Wilderness Sanctuary and the Paralana Hot Springs which are a short drive away. If you based yourself at Grindell Hut within the Park, then  it would be possible to spend a whole week in the Park and then at least another three days at Arkaroola.

Panorama of Grindell’s Hut, showing the hut and the landscape surrounding it. (Peter Neaum 2009-09-10)

Bushwalking Experience Level

The Gammons are remote with the nearest major town, Leigh Creek, a hundred and thirty kilometres away to the west, which takes about 2-4 hours, depending on the state of the road. In addition to the remoteness, water supplies are unpredictable, the temperatures much higher than Adelaide and the terrain rugged, with significant exposure at times, when climbing the waterfalls. A high level of navigation skill, using both map and compass and GPS, is required as most of the walking trails are off-track with no signage and no trail markers. This Park is designated as being unsuitable for beginning bushwalkers, with experience of multi-day hikes, the ability to carry heavy loads and self-sufficiency in terms of first aid and training a necessary requirement. The carrying of an emergency beacon (PLB), GPS, relevant maps, mobile phone and even a UHF radio in case of emergency communication with nearby stations is advised. Don’t forget to leave your trip intentions form with the Ranger at Balcanoona.


Flinders Ranges, Eyre Peninsula, Outback South Australia 4wd  Tracks and Repeaters Brochure  (5.5Mb, pdf)

Department Environment and Natural Resources

Park Passes
Park Closures
Trip Intentions Form (323kb pdf)
Vulkathunha-Gammon Ranges National Park (647kb pdf)
Wildlife of the Desert Parks (419kb pdf)
Balcanoona Shearer’s Quarters Booking Information (145kb pdf)
SA National Parks Guide – Flinders Ranges and Outback Region (816kb pdf)
Vulkathunha-Gammon Ranges National Park Weetootla Hike Network brochure (686kb pdf)

Itineraries

 John Chapman’s Gammon Ranges

Maps

Maps: 1:50,000 Topographic Illinawortina, Nepabunna, Serle, Angepena
Northern Flinders Ranges (1.4MB pdf)
South Australian Outback (1.2MB pdf)
The Map Shop 
Map index:  Arkarooola – Gammon Ranges – Yudnamutana – Farina
Map Index:  North Flinders – Wilpena – Blinman – Leigh Creek – Balcanoona
RAA Flinders Ranges & Outback Maps 

Further Reading 

Online

South Australia: Vulkathana – Gammon Ranges (ABC, Program One: 29 December 2003 )
The Grindell Murder Case (Flinders Ranges Research)
Gammon Ranges Bunyip Chasm (ExplorOz)
Grindell Hut ( ExplorOz)
Vulkathunha-Gammon Ranges National Park (Wikipedia)
Department of Environment and Natural Resources Search Results| Gammons
Biological Survey of the North West Flinders Ranges (near Leigh Creek) (4.48mb pdf)
Gammon Ranges National Park Access Guide and Newsletter 2006 Autumn Edition (SA Association of Four Wheel Drive Clubs Inc) (149kb pdf)
Arkarola Wilderness Sanctuary Activities (nearby tourist accommodation)

Photos

Bushwalk
Gammon Ranges (Flikr) 

Scientific Expeditions Group (SEG)

Vulkathunha Gammon Ranges Scientific Project (VGRaSP)
Vulkathunha Gammon Ranges Scientific Project | General Description (VGRaSP 118Kb pdf)
Analysis of Rainfall in the Gammon Ranges of South Australia 1992 – 2002  (1.7Mb pdf SEG)
The Gammon Ranges Project – Monitoring in a Remote Area D.J. Kemp1, C.J. Wright and S.A. Jewell Department for Transport, Energy and Infrastructure (pdf,338Kb)

Books

C. Warren Bonython. Walking the Flinders Ranges. Adelaide: Royal Geographical Society of South Australia, 2000.

The story of Warren Bonython’s walk from the Crystal Brook in the south to Mt Hopeless in the north.  xiii, 231 p. [32] p. of plates :bill. (some col.) ; 24 cm. 

Adrian Heard. A Walking Guide to the Northern Flinders Ranges. State Publishing South Australia, 1990.

An excellent book, describing 3 circuit walks of around one week’s length in the Gammon Ranges and briefer notes to the Arkaroola Sanctuary area. Recommended if you are planning a long walk in the Gammon Ranges. Probably out of print, price unknown.

John Chapman  Bushwalking In Australia, 4th edition 2003

320 pages, A5 in size – full colour throughout, 181 colour photographs, 56 colour topographic maps, 

Thomas, Tyrone 50 walks in South Australia Hill of Content, 1992

Paperback, 168 p., [8] p. of plates : ill. (some col.), maps, 180mm x 120mm x 11mm. The Flinders Ranges and Kangaroo Island are featured in the walks over terrain ranging from coastal scrub to mountains and arid desert. ISBN: 9780855722111

Barker, Susan and McCaskill, Murray (Eds) Explore The Flinders Ranges RGSSA Adelaide 2005

A ‘must have’ for all travellers and admirers of the Flinders Ranges.  Recommended by tourist authorities; ideal for tourism studies and school projects.

Osterstock, Alan Time: in the Flinders Ranges. Austaprint,1970

56 pages, A5 in size, 8 colour photos. Covers the geology and history of the Flinders Ranges.

Osterstock, Alan The Flinders in Flower. Austaprint,1975

53 pages, A5 in size, 25 colour photos. Describes 27 of the most common flowers of the Flinders Ranges.

Corbett, David A Field Guide to the Flinders Ranges Rigby, 1980

A field guide to the plants, birds, mammals, insects, reptiles, fishes, frogs, rock types, landforms and a brief history.

Pedler, Rosemary Plant Identikit: Wildflowers of the Northern Flinders Ranges  Rosemary Pedler1994

This pocket size booklet describes, with accompanying colour sketches, 70 of the most common plants of the northern Flinders Ranges

M. Davies,  C.R. Twidale, M. J Tyler Natural History of the Flinders Ranges Royal Society of South Australia Inc 1996

This 208 page A5 book describes the history of settlement and exploration, the geology and minerals, fossils, landforms, climate, soils, vegetation, aquatic life,invertebrates, mammals, birds, reptile and amphibians and aboriginal people . It is well illustrated with B&W photos, graphs, tables, maps and has an extensive reference list

Thomas, Tyrone 50 walks in South Australia Hill of Content, 1992

168 p., [8] p. of plates : ill. (some col.), maps ; 18 cm.  ISBN     0855722118 (pbk.) : Includes index.
Subjects     Hiking – South Australia – Guidebooks.  |  Walking – South Australia – Guidebooks.  |  South Australia – Guidebooks.

Morrison, RGB  A Field guide to the Tracks and Traces of Australian Mammals Rigby 1981

This unique 198 page field guide contains a large number of B&W photos of tracks, diggings, droppings & scats and bones and skulls of Australian animals which helps with identification. [ISBN 0 7270 1489 7

Bonney, Neville & Annie Reid Plant Identikit Common Plants of the Flinders Ranges Neville Bonney1993 [ISBN 0 646 15406 0]

This pocket size booklet describes, with accompanying colour sketches, 51 of the most common plants of the Flinders Ranges, including the Gammon Ranges National Park

  Creative Commons License This article by Bush Walker is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.

iPhone Apps for Bushwalkers Visiting New Zealand (NZ)

Want to check the weather in NZ? Listen to streamed radio? Find Public transport in Auckland or Wellington? Book an Air New Zealand Flight? Calculate distances and times between towns? Find wifi access or budget accommodation? NZ Snow report? Navigate roads? Identify birds and their calls? View topographic maps?

 There are certainly a large number of iPhone apps available to bushwalkers/trampers and I have reviewed many of these in a series of previous posts, some in detail and others briefly.

This post looks at 15 or so iPhone apps from the perspective of someone who is planning to tramp in NZ or has arrived in New Zealand and wants to add some local flavour.  To make it easier, I’ve grouped these and provided a brief synopsis, taken directly from iTunes. Where I have actually used the app I have provided a more detailed review

Weather

  • Weather NZ

    Get the latest weather forecasts from New Zealand’s own MetService forecasters. Up to date, marine and general forecasts for all New Zealand Urban areas. WeatherNZ also lets you chart tidal data for all Primary and Secondary ports around NZ, plus lets you see latest Situation isobar image as they get released. Snow and Surf reports are updated directly from snow.co.nz.

  • New Zealand Snow Report

    Get your New Zealand snow reports on the go, for free, with SnowReports.co.nz and your iPod Touch or iPhone. Whether you are on the road or still lying in bed you can instantly check the weather, road and lift conditions at your favourite NZ ski areas. Or, if you are trying to decide which ski area to go to, simply browse conditions at ALL of them! The free SnowReports summaries include: Mountain name, Weather status, Road conditions, Number of lifts open, Snow base depth, New snow depth, Temperature, Wind, Time last updated

Transport

  • Timetable NZ

    If you’re a user of public transport in Auckland or Wellington then this App is for you. Find bus, train, ferry and even cable car schedules for public transport in greater Wellington and the City of Sails. Store frequently used routes in a favorites list and view the next three departures on those routes in a convenient initial page. View the location of your departure station within Google Maps in relation to where you are now to help you find where you should be going. Best of all, these schedules are all stored on your iPhone or iPod meaning that you don’t need to have a network connection to use the App.

  • Air New Zealand-mPass

    With mPass on your iPhone or iPod Touch you can: View up to date details of all your flight bookings. Go straight to the gate when travelling within New Zealand without bags. mPass acts as an electronic boarding pass. The mPass boarding pass is also recognised by Air New Zealand airport kiosks. Just scan your mPass boarding pass to collect baggage tags when travelling domestically with bags. If you’re a Koru member, scan your mPass boarding pass for entry to the Koru Lounge.

Tourism

  • Find NZ

    Find! NZ is a New Zealand local search engine based on location awareness. The app uses an open source database from Zenbu. (www.zenbu.co.nz) Features: Online & Offline search. Search the nearest points of interest by predefined 43 categories. Custom search by any keywords from your keyboard entry.  Phone call, Open website, Send email, Send SMS and Map. (phone call available on iPhone only) Add, Edit Entries – You can add/edit entries in App. (Online only) Option to choose location control : GPS or Manual setting. Option to choose the max number of search results to display. (200 max) Special offers provided by Arrival NZ Magazine. (Discount coupons/Free stuffs)

  • NewZealand.spot-on

    Browse activities and destinations by region and then save them for quick access upon arrival. Save and share your adventures back home by creating custom Postcards with your photos and then posting them to social networks.
    Highlights: Works offline so that you can plan your trip during your Air New Zealand flight 1500+ pre-loaded activities and destinations organized by geography/region. Postcard builder with dozens of frames, stamps, and captions to make fun vacation snaps for friends and fans across Facebook and Twitter. Travel Notes area for backing up important names, numbers and trip detail.  Recommendations from local bloggers and recent travelers. Automatic content updates of additional activities and events
    Helpful tools include: WiFi Finder – lists cafés, libraries, and other known establishments with wireless access. Distance Calculator – estimated driving/flying times between towns. BBH Hostel Network – full list of budget accommodations and amenities across the North and South Islands. iSite Kiosk Directory – New Zealand’s official travel information resources. Kiwi Translations – learn the lingo so you can order your coffee just right.  Map of New Zealand – pinch, zoom, plot, escape.  Book a flight – direct access to Air New Zealand flight bookings and deals
  • Zenbu

    Find Everything from Zenbu instantly on your iPhone, no network connection required. http://www.zenbu.co.nz is a local search engine for New Zealand (and only NZ) places, products & services with over 80,000 listings including restaurants, cafes, accommodation, hairdressers, service stations, banks, ATMs and more. With this app you have the name, address, phone, website, activity description and opening hours all at your fingertips. Zenbu is the perfect reference tool for locals and tourists.

  • Lonely Planet Auckland

    # easy to use – swipe to scroll through a full table of contents, dip into sections, and turn pages with a flick of your finger # offline maps – there’s no need to go online to access our detailed street maps, fully retooled for the iPhone with location awareness, multi-touch controls, full-colour styling and six-level zoom # tons to see and do – choose how to search through hundreds of geo-coded points-of-interest (POIs) – by proximity, category, preferences or favourites – then just tap to visit the website, or place a direct call # text search – whether you’re into ‘live music’ or ‘fine dining’, every article and POI in your guidebook is text-searchable # location-based navigation – plot your location in real time on our interactive maps, exploring back streets and hidden treasures with no danger of losing your way # worth a thousand words … – if you need some inspiration, just thumb through images taken by our award-winning photographers # personalisation – tailor your City Guide to your tastes by tagging the best POIs as ‘favourites’ # money saving – forget roaming costs, our apps are designed for offline use, and only take up the room of an average album on your iPod

Navigation

  • MapApp NZ

    MapApp NZ South Island displays full topographic maps of New Zealand’s South Island. Explore the South Island on your iPhone or iPad.  Find your current location on the map using the built-in GPS.Search for place names. MapApp includes all the map data with the app, so maps can be displayed even when you have no cellular coverage. The map data is derived from the latest LINZ 1:50000 scale Topo50 series.

  • Google Earth

    Navigate the world with a swipe of your finger. Swipe with two fingers to adjust your view to see mountainous terrain. Show the Panoramio layer and browse the millions of geo-located photos from around the world. View geo-located Wikipedia articles. Use the Location feature to fly to your current location. Search for cities, places, and business around the globe with Google Local Search. Nav4D New Zealand

News

  • New Zealand Radio Streams

    Alarm Clock Sleep Timer Search by radio name,  Graphic Equalizer, Favorites list, History of last played stations ,Regular updates over the air, Customer service support, Song title and artist name (when available), iPhone 4 Retina Display icon, Recording, Facebook & Twitter support, Advanced Alarm Manager – Multiple Alarms, Day Selection, iPod music / Radio station and more, Transfer Recordings to your computer with iTunes USB File Sharing (iOS 4.x), “Wifi only” On/Off switch (setting can be found in the main setting app under Radio)

  • New Zealand Radio Stations

    The Tunin.FM New Zealand Radio Stations application allows you to listen to New Zealands radio stations whilst travelling. You no longer need to switch frequencies when travelling across different coverage areas. You can now even listen to internet-only radio stations or local stations whilst travelling and anywhere you like. Enjoy radio in digital quality on the train, the bus, in the car and on your bicycle. The Tunin.FM-application does not require a Wi-Fi connection. With this app, even mobile internet connections which are sometimes slow (i.e. 2.5G/GPRS) allow you to listen to good quality radio. It is easy to save your favourite radio stations on the list of favourites and an automatic record is kept of the radio stations you listened to most recently the next time you start the app again.

First Aid 

  • St John NZ CPR

    St John is the leading provider of first aid training in New Zealand as well providing ambulance services to 85% of the population. This application teaches the life saving skills of cardio-pulmonary resuscitation, commonly known as CPR. Knowing how to save a life of a family member, friend or colleague is vital, so why not get this application now so you have it on your phone. You never know when you might need it and it is FREE.

Field Guides

  • What Bird NZ

    WhatBirdNZ provides a concise pocket reference guide to many of the interesting birds that can be seen around New Zealand. Not only does it allow you to hear and see them but it also provides interesting trivia in a fun “Top Trumps” style card format. Also when in this view you can rotate your iPhone/iPod to see a zoomed in photo.

Similar Posts: 

iPhone

  Creative Commons License This article by Bush Walker is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.

Some Great Uses of the iPhone for Bushwalkers

For an update see: Bushwalking Equipment | Can I Really Do Without a Smartphone?

The iPhone 4 has many features which make it suitable for bushwalking and some which don’t. The built in GPS and compass, 5 Mb camera  with geo-tagged photos, the HD video recorder, its multimedia capabilities and its voice controlled mobile phone and wi-fi communications make it ideal.

I have just bought an iPhone 4 from Telstra, as they have better coverage, especially in regional and remote areas, and have being trying to find some iPhone apps* which might be useful. It wasn’t difficult!
Here are some links to useful iPhone apps for the outdoors. The descriptions below are from the iTunes Store.
Emergencies/Survival/Rescue

Simple slider motion to contact emergency services and launch RESCUE app (all functionality requires connection and access to local cellular and 3G/Edge or Wifi networks) Automatically detects new country and inserts appropriate local emergency number Sends 4 sms/email messages to your contacts with an emergency message and location. Provides your emergency call back number in case you have a private or blocked number. Loud audio alarm to warn bystanders, predators, or yourself, that the RESCUE app has been activated. Hyperlinked messages to Google maps so your location is instantly known. 60 second countdown to automatically call emergency services, in case you cannot. Ease of operation during emergencies

 Rescue@ helps locating you when calling an emergency number. In an emergency and needs help? But unsure where you are? By using Rescue@ when calling the emergency service you will be able to provide that critical, and maybe even life-saving, information to the emergency service personnel. The application works by first locating you using the location service on your iPhone. This location will then be saved as a contact name when pressing the “Call emergency”-button within the application. You can then read your location out loud by simply looking at the contact name in the caller-ID screen. 

If you’re ever in a tight spot or emergency just press “Rescue Me!” and this application will send your location to your Twitter followers, and Facebook friends, and email account you set. This alarm message will come in the form of longitude and latitude coordinates, a Google Maps link, and a help message (which you can set) to ensure you can be found. The online society and your friends can take care of you. RescueMe can be a lifesaving tool.

Rescue Light is a simple app but very functional that can help you at various times. Need a red alert light? This is the app.

Stroboscope and Torch Light – FlashLight ! iStrobo is an application that turns your iPhone or iPod touch into a stroboscope. Define its frequency and start the stroboscope !

MorseEmergency is an application that sends a light SOS Morse signal through the screen of your iPhone or iPod touch. In some circumstances, long distance, noise… a light signal is the only message that can be sent or received.  

Send SOS alerts in Morse code with the blink of your screen!

In a swiftwater rescue scenario, it is useful to determine how far a person in the water has travelled downstream so that the search area may be narrowed and more effectively conducted. Although the math for determining this distance is relatively straightforward, it requires precious time that could be better used elsewhere. Mistakes may also be made in a high-stress situation, which may also cost time.

SAS Survival Lite is the FREE version of the complete SAS Survival Guide, available now in the app store. Based on the million-copy best selling book, this fantastic free app provides you with a bare bones guide to wilderness survival. Jam-packed with basic survival tools, you’ll be equipped for any expedition to the outdoors with this entry-level guide in your arsenal.

SAS Survival Lite is the FREE version of the complete SAS Survival Guide, available now in the app store. Based on the million-copy bestselling book, this fantastic free app provides you with a bare bones guide to wilderness survival. Jam-packed with basic survival tools, you’ll be equipped for any expedition to the outdoors with this entry-level guide in your arsenal.

Don’t panic! You have a survivalist in your pocket. iSurvive marries common sense to meticulous technique. This application addresses the essential needs of wilderness survival. iSurvive instructs the user, with concise language and detailed photo illustrations to tie knots, construct shelters, set snares, start fires, and find clean drinking water. It also serves as a quick reference for First Aid, Navigation, Weather, Rescue and more.

NOW you are able to send your location via email or SMS wherever you want whenever you want…A simple application that shows the user the exact geographic location in degrees, minutes and seconds. Along with that you can get the course in degrees and the speed in 3 different units (km/h, nm/h, mi/h).

First Aid

With Sun Alert you can calculate the maximal sun exposure time from your iPad, iPhone or iPod touch. Whether you are at the beach, climbing mountains, skiing, walking, jogging or working outdoors you need to protect your skin from the UV radiation and thereby lower the risk of adverse health effects.

MediProfiles gives you peace of mind by having all of your Friends, Family and Co-worker’s emergency medical information at your finger tips. (St Johns)
Resuscitate focuses on the importance of the St John DRABCD Action Plan. The DRABCD Action Plan is used by First Responders around the world as primary assessment for every casualty. Included in the App is a powerful proximity sensor that locates your nearest St John Ambulance Public Access Defibrillator (PAD).

‘First Aid’ is Australia’s only iPhone app that presents step-by-step emergency First Aid information to the user with a large clear image for each step. (St Johns)

Know when and how much to drink before, during and after sports. 
Hydri-Assist helps ensure you are consuming enough fluid. Simply enter in your pre-workout wight, and then your post-workout weight (plus how much fluid you consumed in-between), Hydri-Assist will let you know how dehydrated you are, as well as how much fluid you should consume post-workout.
Navigation/Maps/Planning

 distcalc 

Allows users to find the distance between 2 or more points by simply tapping a path along a map. No addresses to enter or search for. No dragging pins around. 
walk-tracker-free-sprintgps 

Fully customizable activity planner with training history, calorie graphs, audio feedback and in depth workout plans with targets. As you exercise you can see your time, pace, speed, calories burned, training intervals, splits, view map in real time, take photos, listen to iPod music and receive audio feedback on your progress. When you have finished your activity you can view your activity history with stats, route map and splits. View cumulative graphs for distance and calories burned. View your personal best. View your photos and share your activity with friends on the Walk Tracker Website

The intuitive and easy-to-use interface of the app makes it easy to track how far you went, how long it took, what your pace/speed was, how many calories you burned, and the path you traveled on a map. Once your activity is completed, the data is synced to the RunKeeper website (www.runkeeper.com) where you can view a history of all of your activities, and cumulative totals of all of your vital stats. You can also share your progress with friends by posting your activities to Facebook and Twitter, and creating a profile page that allows people to view all of your public activities. (Free version available)

map-and-land-navigation 

The Map and Land Navigation app is the U.S. Army’s official training guide to map reading, determining location, and navigating and includes over 600 pages of great content.

bit-map

Bit Map is an offline map viewer for your own topographic or specialised maps in standard image formats (eg, PNG, JPEG) or .OZF2 map images. Store multiple maps on your iPhone, and switch between them. With Bit Map, you can view your own choice of maps, instead of generic maps chosen by somebody else, making it ideal for specialist maps with details not available on other mapping applications, such as highly detailed topographic maps obtained from your government mapping authority. Your topographic maps can also be viewed while offline with no cellphone or wifi network access, making it ideal for a wide range of outdoor pursuits including bushwalking, hiking, trekking, camping, cycling, touring. 

gps-tracking 

With the push of a button, let other GPS Tracking users know where you are or request their location. GPS Tracking populates your iPhone’s built-in Google Maps with the locations of people in your private “opt-in” buddy list, as soon as they approve your request. It’s an interactive friend-finder, party-starter, child-locator, social networker and much more — a must-have, “Where are you? I’m here!” visual locating app. Push notification and GPS must be on for App to work. (Free version available)

gps-compass 

For users with older iPhones without a built-in compass: this app will determine the direction you are facing based on GPS readings taken while you are moving. The app takes this reading and allows you to see the direction you are heading on a Google map. You can also choose to rotate the map so your direction is always shown straight ahead…this capability was previously only available to 3GS owners with a built in compass!

gps-footsteps-trails-trip 

Turns your iPhone into a handheld GPS with compass and complete trip tracking!

Topos2Go

Topos2Go Free allows you to view topographic maps. You can download freely available maps and store them on your device for use without WiFi or cell access. The full version of Topos2Go adds the ability to locate your position on maps and import/export waypoints.

Exact Altimeter for Australia

Uses different ways to determine your altitude. It has built in elevation database, and it can get your altitude from online altitude service. Furthermore, it shows you the altitude given by the built in gps. Additionally it provides information about the nearest settlement.

Safety
thunderstorm-calculator 

Calculates the distance of a thunder storm by measuring the time between a lightning and the corresponding thunder.

gone-trekking-safety-outdoors 

Gone Trekking is a location aware safety notification application for outdoor adventurers. The application utilizes the GPS, Google maps, calendar and camera features of the iPhone. Gone Trekking enables the user to record their departure, destination and waypoint information. The application also enables the user to email or post a Twitter message containing their trip details and maps. Video (Free version available)

firesau

FiresAU is about bringing bushfire awareness close to you if you live in Australia (NSW, Tasmania, SA). Where is the nearest fire to me? Is it where I need to go? Will I need to deal with one on the way?

adventure-tracker 

Designed for adventure runners, ultra marathon runners or just about anyone who wants to track their location whilst out and about. Adventure Tracker is designed to run in the background and update your location to the server every 10 minutes. Adventure Tracker can update your position for up to 20 hours with a single battery charge. Data is automatically uploaded to the Adventure Tracker website where you can view your tracks or send tracking links to friends. If you are in an area where there is no mobile reception such as out in the woods or in a foreign country Adventure tracker caches all the data it is unable to send to the server so you can upload it over WIFI or 3G when available.

track-trip

Track Trip uses the GPS receiver in your iPhone to record your location as you walk, run, bike or drive. This can be done in the background and uploaded every 10 minutes saving the battery. 

Food
classic-camping-cookbook-meal

Users can search for a recipe based on the type of food and ingredients necessary to make the perfect meal. This is the first application that allows users to plan meals for an entire camping trip. Pick the number of days and campers and let the application do the rest. Generate shopping and equipment lists so you never forget an essential ingredient at home. 

Equipment
backpacking-check-list-must 

Nothing is worse than driving 80 miles down the road for a glorious few days of backpacking, hiking, fishing and relaxing to find that you have left at home a few really essential items. You’ll be disappointed, and your entire trek could be ruined. Even Fido will feel the frustration. You can edit the extensive lists.

the-backpacker-checklist 

Huge list of items to consider
– Super easy to mark
– – what you’re going to bring
– – what you might bring
– – what’s already packed
– Add anything you find missing (or change or delete items)
– Group items by function
– Plan where to get your items (e.g., supermarket, sporting goods store, attic, garage cabinet)
– Indicate the weight of items (that we haven’t already weighed)
– Provide an estimate of what you’ll be hauling along the trail
– Store and switch between your gear lists for multiple trips
– See the weights of items according to the “status” you assign to them and by how you use it
– You control the order of categories in the main checklist
– Use metric or English units 

Utilities
animated-knots-by-grog

Animated Knots by Grog is simply the best and most comprehensive teaching and reference tool for boaters, climbers, fishermen, scouts and hobbyists. Watch as knots tie themselves in simple step-by-step photo animations. Use the manual controls to step through the animations frame by frame as you learn each knot. Tap the info button to get detailed descriptions about each knot’s correct use, advantages and disadvantages, and other information.

knots-guide 

A SIMPLE quick reference collection of different knots. Currently the application contains 92 knots divided into 10 categories. (Free)

learning-the-ropes-navy-knots 

Tying knots is a vital skill to have in the Royal Australian Navy. With this handy tool, learn to tie different Navy knots with 3D animated tutorials and facts. (Free)

knots-splices-and-rope-work 

Knots, Splices and Rope Work’ is the complete original 1917 classic treatise by A. Hyatt Verrill, the renowned American inventor, author, illustrator, archaeologist, explorer, zoologist and friend of former President Theodore Roosevelt.

google-mobile-app 

Search Google quickly using your voice, pictures, and location. Google Mobile App includes the following features:
* New! Google Goggles – use pictures to search the web. Goggles recognizes things such as landmarks, books, wine, artwork, and logos.
* Search by voice – speak your queries in natural language. Simply hold your iPhone to your ear and say your query.
(Supports American, British, Indian or Australian English accents, Mandarin Chinese, Japanese, French, German, Italian, Spanish, Russian, Czech, Polish and Korean.)
* My Location – avoid typing your current location when searching for nearby businesses (e.g. “pizza” or “starbucks”)
* Google Suggest – tap suggested web search queries and local businesses that appear as you type
* Search history – quickly search again for queries you recently performed
* Contact search – search your phone’s contacts.
* Vertical search – search Google Maps, Images, News, and Shopping
 (Free)

Fitness
iexercise 

Weekly goals for calories, time, or distance
– Workout tracking and history
– Body weight tracking system and charts
– Achievement system
– Twitter integration
– Personal weight tracking
– System designed by Personal Trainer

itrail 

iTrail is an all-in-one, in-your-pocket, sports performance tracking tool, and GPS recording application. Whether you are running, cycling, walking, skiing, or drive, use iTrail to record your performance and location as you move. iTrail will work in the background whilst you listen to music, talk a call or anything else. iTrail uses iPhone’s GPS receiver. 

logyourhike-gps-pedometer 

The LogYourHike iPhone App uses the built-in GPS of the iPhone as well as the built-in accelerometer of the iPhone and iPod Touch to measure the distance of your exercise activities. By working both as a pedometer and a GPS device you do not have to wait to get good satellite reception to start your run – the pedometer will measure your distance when the GPS signal is poor.

Weather
pocket-weather-au

Forecast & observation data for hundreds of areas around Australia. Select it via GPS, Map or list.
– Push current temp, text forecasts and state,regional and local warnings to your iPhone (NEW in 2.1)
– Custom interface for browsing BOM warnings, all nicely formatted for your iPhone
– Tide graphs for hundreds of locations around Australia
– National Rain, Satellite and Synoptic Chart
– Animated weather icons
– Sunrise/sunset times
– All of the BOM rain and wind doppler radars with Find/Track me function as well as the ability to have it auto update (see ‘Live Radar’ in settings)
– National rain & cloud radars & Synoptic chart
– Extended forecasts for regional areas
– Give your locations custom names
– Shake to refresh, simply shake your phone to refresh the data
– Realtime UV support for some locations
– Last update is always cached, so you don’t need a network connection to check the weather for the week, once you’ve got it once.
– Updates are tiny (less than 10kb) so you don’t have to worry about your iPhone data cap.
– Supports landscape and portrait view, and in landscape you get all the information on a single page. 

oz-weather

– 7 day forecasts for more than 250 official forecast locations
– Detailed local observations, typically updated every 10 mins
– Each forecast location includes up to 6 nearest official observation locations, accessible by side-scrolling action.
– 50 rain radar locations around Australia
– The radar view also has a “Locate Me” feature which queries the iPhone’s GPS and then centres the radar map on your current location along with an animated crosshair cursor.
– Radar data delivery has been carefully optimised to arrive quickly on your iPhone
  (Free version available)

oz-radar-weather

1) It uses GPS to show your location on the radar.
2) Oz Radar supports full screen landscape view.
3) National cloud and synoptic charts.

Time and Australian Weather, a match made in heaven. Weather sourced directly from the Australian Bureau of Meteorology (BOM) displayed elegantly alongside the current time. 

a-barometer-for-iphone-itouch 

iBarometer is an application pretty, simple, accurate, and efficient. It lets you easily know what is the pressure near you. Contrary to standard applications (with predefined cities), this version of the barometer will give you precisely the pressure of where you are. It integrates its own conversion system.

world-tides-2010

World Tides uses the Simply Harmonic Formula and harmonic constants provided by the UKHO to give 7 day tide predictions without the need for an internet connection. Features: Moon/Sun Rise/Set times, large slidable tide graph, recent locations, built in zoomable map, gps sensor, search, and details page.

moonlight 

Moonlight features a photorealistic display using OpenGL rendering technique that paints the moon’s current appearance including all variations in distance, equatorial ecliptic angle and moon libration. The program takes the observer’s (that is you) current position and time into account for exact rendering of images. Alternatively, you can enter your own coordinates and view the moon from anywhere in the world. Go into time warp mode and accelerate time: Fast forward or rewind to see how the moon changes over time.Moonlight not only displays a pretty 3D image but also shows various essential data points: moon phase, distance between earth and moon, julian date or local sideral time.

Wooly Wind Chill plus ground Speed 

Calculate wind chill temperature by simply selecting the air temperature and wind speed. The calculated wind chill temperature is displayed “on the fly”.For those who travel by bike, motorcycle, boat, or other means where you find yourself exposed to the elements while in motion, Wooly Wind Chill now has the option to calculate the approximate effective wind chill based your current moving speed (not factoring for actual wind speeds).

Field Guides
gemstones-by-varietal 

Pictoral database of common gemstones, with high-resolution images. Over 2000 gems are included. The images in this app are categorized by Varietal (Agate, Amethyst, etc.) This app includes some information about the gemstone, such as location found, habit, shape, hue, tone, etc. This app is mainly aimed at students, professors, scientists, hobbyists, and those in the field who wish for help identifying gemstones, or learn a bit about what they’re seeing in the field. 

clouds-and-weather

This app brings back the ancient knowledge of former generations: Here you will find out how to identify conclusively a thundercloud and what kind of weather can be expected in what time frame when you see fleecy clouds. Here you will find out if it is going to rain when the spider stops spinning its web and much, much more. With detailed descriptions of all cloud types and the weather they bring
– Complete cloud atlas with all cloud families, species and types according to the International Cloud Atlas of the WMO (World Meteorological Organization)
– Large photo gallery with over 70 examples of all cloud types

the-michael-morcombe-eguide 

Michael Morcombe’s Field Guide to Australian Birds has been called the most comprehensive field guide to Australian birds in the market today and now it is perfectly complimented by the eGuide which features:
-iPhone optimised controls   swipe to next or previous species, one-tap enlargement of an image and rotate the device (landscape) to enlarge an image completely (and fit the width of the screen).
-Over 3000 hi-res bird images covering over 790 bird species.
-Most bird species have a detailed distribution map showing any subspecies that occur.
-Detailed text descriptions of almost all bird species including songs and calls, measurements and breeding behaviour.
-Over 1800 carefully-selected and edited sound recordings for over 600 species. Many species are represented with multiple call examples showing the full range of vocalizations.
-The ability to compare any two images, maps, or sounds, side by side on the screen. The ability to filter by geographic location, so that you see only the species likely to occur in your location, and to further reduce the possibilities to usual or vagrant species in the selected area.
-A  Smart Search  that gives the ability to search by distinguishing features such as size, colour, physical features, habitat and exclude certain types of birds (eg. Passerines).
-A basic personal species list that stores your sightings saved to the device* (ability to upload list coming soon)
-A comprehensive help and introduction section to help you if you get stuck or don t understand how a certain feature works.

birdsight-australia 

Need a quick and easy way to keep track of bird sightings? This app makes adding sightings in the field quick and easy with these features:
– Quickly search through a complete list of over 800 Australian bird species using common name, scientific name, or “alpha code” abbreviations.
– Automatically connect to web resources to help verify your sightings, including Flickr images, Google images, and Wikipedia articles. Access a wealth of birding info without huge downloads hogging space on your device.
– Save and manage your frequently used birding locations with gps tracking and map view.
– Annotate your observations with notes and protocol information.
– Export your data as a .csv file that can be opened with spreadsheet applications or submitted to birding websites.

goskywatch-planetarium-astronomy

Displays the sky view at the correct orientation when held at any angle not just landscape or portrait. Simple operation, no buttons to press or modes to select, just point to the sky to start exploring. Unique rotation scheme enables touchless navigation even for the iPod touch without a compass.
Many features specifically for efficient outdoor use. Red light mode to preserve night vision, magnitude adjustment for viewing conditions, planets shown with relative brightness for easy identification, touchless navigation, heads up information display, full 180 degree display to see at a glance what is in the sky and where. Looking for a planet or star? Just use the finder and let the arrow guide the way.

bird-in-hand 

The App covers 23 of Tasmania’s common and endemic birds and includes bird calls, high quality pictures and information on their habitat, breeding, diet etc. Use the App while out bush to work out which call is which.

Birds of Australia

This application includes up-to-date Wikipedia entries and pictures of over 700 birds native to Australia. Prepare for your birdwatching activity by downloading (caching) all articles and images on your iPhone/iPod Touch/iPad (approx. 600 MB). Reference the guide when outdoors without an Internet connection. Over 700 birds grouped into 93 species families!!!
Key Features
* Wikipedia articles cached complete with full large images. Simply click on any image in a cached article to view the large image.
* Image Picker
* search capabilities
* landscape & portrait modes
* Wikipedia pages formatted for iPhone display
* Cache update from server resumes where last stopped
* Server will be updated periodically with new entries and updated data from wikipedia.
 

Trip Records
outdoor-adventure-blogs (Free)

Stay up to date with the latest Outdoor activity and lifestyle blogs, ideas and adventure writings with heaps of news and posts preloaded into this app and being constantly updated by some of the most engaging bloggers in the world. You can also use the Outdoor Blog Reader as your main news/blog reader because you can easily add your favorite rss feeds on any topic via the “Add Blog via URL” or “Search Blog via Keyword” features.

Blog Reader features include:

* Heaps of pre-loaded blogs
* Search Blogs via Keyword
* Add Blog via URL
* Read blogs offline
* Checks for new Blog posts when you launch
* Delete, move or add blogs
* Categories
* Email blog posts to your friends
* View in posts in Safari
* Unread posts indicated by number
* Help for Blog Reader functions

Trip Journal allows you to document vacation experiences and share them with your friends and family. Impress everybody with real time updates from the visited destinations and let people see proof of your latest adventures, as your journey unfolds.
* software applications downloaded  from the iTunes store.

The iPhone for Bushwalkers?

Thanks to Extreme Tolerance

The iPhone 4.0  has many apps* which could be useful for bushwalkers, but will it ever replace the GPS for navigation? Will it replace your field guides, bird watching logbook and first aid book? Will the iPad with its large screen replace the iPhone in the field?

The iPhone is very versatile and has enormous potential, especially as a multimedia viewer of locality aware information, as an audio player of podcasts, as an eBook reader, or as a research tool, using its medium quality camera in combination with the GPS to produce geo-tagged photos and to record routes taken and locations.

Can you imagine a field guide which gives you the options based on your locality or listens to a bird call and brings up the image automatically? Perhaps a field guide that analyses a cropped photo you have just taken and recognises the the plant or animal from the field guide. Every wanted to be able to name a distant mountain range, based on its silhouette, the direction you are looking and your location?  Ever wished you could get instructions for CPR  and monitor your rate and number of compressions given? The iPhone would make an ideal bird watchers log book, with the recording of bird call, zoomed photo, and location all integrated with a bird identification database

Problems to be overcome before it becomes a versatile can’t-do-without tool for bushwalkers include:

  •     short battery life (chargers?)
  •     not waterproof (waterproof pouches?)
  •     can’t operate wearing gloves
  •     fragile: screen easily breakable (protection?)  

Apps for the iPhone for outdoors fall into several main categories:

  • weather: tides, surf, snow, avalanche
  • astronomy
  • photography
  • first aid/survival
  • field guides: geology, birds, plants, scats and tracks
  • navigation/geocaching
  • fitness/training
  • utilities: knots, flashlight

Some examples of useful “apps” for Australians

See also Some Great Uses of the iPhone for Bushwalkers

St John Ambulance iPhone apps:

  •    MediProfiles: keeps emergency medical information at your fingertips
  •    Resuscitate:  outlines St John DRABCD plan  and helps you locate a public access defibrillator
  •    First Aid: presents easy-to-read and step-by-step emergency first aid information

Bit Map By NIXANZ 

Bit Map is an offline map viewer for your own topographic or specialised maps. Store multiple maps on your iPhone, and switch between them. With Bit Map, you can view your own choice of maps, instead of generic maps chosen by somebody else, making it ideal for specialist maps with details not available on other mapping applications, such as highly detailed topographic maps obtained from your government mapping authority. Your topographic maps can also be viewed while offline with no cellphone or wifi network access, making it ideal for a wide range of outdoor pursuits including bushwalking, hiking, trekking, camping, cycling, touring. more…

Podcasts and Web Apps (Parks and Wildlife Service,  Tasmania 

Useful Links

Camping and Hiking Apps for iPhone
Top 5 iPhone Hiking Applications I Wouldn’t Mind Seeing (or Using)
Outdoor iPhone Apps: Guidebooks Go Mobile
YouTube
The 25 Best Outdoor iPhone Apps 
12 iPhone Apps For Exploring the Great Outdoors 
iPhone Bird Guide Comparison

* apps = applications: small low cost or free programs which can run on the iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch and can be purchased online 

View other related iPhone posts
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This article by Bush Walker is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.

Preventing Cramps: electrolyte balance, dehyration, stretching, exhaustion or all 4?

Disclaimer
There is considerable medical controversy over the use of “sports drinks”,  the need to replace lost electrolyte, the dangers of over/under hydration, and treatment of cramps (see the last reference given below). The following article is only a personal opinion as the author has no medical training.

I’ve realised over the past few years that maintaining my electrolyte levels on long days is extremely important to prevent tiredness and cramps.

I use either of 2 ways to do this;

1) Eat salted nuts during the day (usually mixed salted nuts or cashews), or
2) add Gatorade to my water.

Both seem to work fine, although on really long days (12+ hrs) I often use both. Then on arrival back at camp I am usually dehydrated and I find the best way to rehydrate is to make bouillon or broth, using a stock cube. I add 1 cube to 1L hot water and drink this. Sometimes I’ll have 2 servings of this if I’m really dehydrated, and I also add a tablespoon of butter if I have any to make it taste better and help start to recharge my energy. eg. for the Becky-Chouinard route in the Bugaboos, Canada (17hr round trip) I had about 1-1.5L water/tea before I left camp, then 1L of water and 1L Gatorade on route + salted nuts, then 2-3L bouillon cubes with hot water when I got back to camp. I find bouillon cubes are better than soup because they contain more salt and are way smaller and lighter. (Contributed by AJG)

More information

Heat Induced Conditions in Australian First Aid: St John Ambulance Australia 2006  pp371-379
Exposure to Heat and Cold (2010 St John  Senior First Aid online refresher course)
Heat Related Illnesses : The Backpacker’s Field Manual by Rick Curtis (first edition published by Random House March, 1998)
Water, Salt, Cramps, Electrolytes and Sports Drinks:  (Roger Caffin, The Australian Bushwalking  FAQ)
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This article by Bush Walker is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.

Senior First Aid Update

Just completed a St John Senior First Aid refresher course and thought you might be interested in some of the changes that have occurred since I last did one 3 years ago.
  • CPR: changes to rate 2 breaths to every 30 compressions repeated, and the adoption of the same for children; no longer check pulse
  • Snake Bite: new bandages and bandaging techniques
UPDATE (December 2010): from Bushwalk Australia Forum
Disclaimer: the advice below should be checked with a medical authority before use. I have no medical training.
  •       don’t wash (or cut) the wound
  •       apply a firm heavy crepe bandage over a broad pressure bandage (crepe)   applied to the site of the puncture wound as quickly as possible
  •       bandage from the extremities (distal to proximal) towards the trunk
  •       apply a splint to the limb
  •       don’t remove the pressure bandage to check for the location of the puncture wound
  •       ask the patient, if conscious, where they were bitten
  •       venom is identified by taking a swab either from the fabric above the wound, or by cutting a window in the bandage above the pressure pad, not by removing the bandage
  •       make sure expert assistance is at hand with the correct anti-venom, which has been identified with a venom test kit, before allowing the pressure bandage to be removed.
  •       venom is absorbed and transport through the lymphatic system not blood system
  •       bandaging towards the extremities may cause patient discomfort
Should be obvious, but don’t run for help or chase the snake! Lay still.

One other piece of advice I was given at the course, was that if you have mobile phone reception and are in the metro area and are alone, it may be better to wait for the ambulance to attend rather than try to bandage and splint yourself. The activity involved in doing this may circulate the venom. Better to lay perfectly still and wait for help! Any comment

  • Splints and Slings: less emphasis on use in metropolitan areas
St John have provided an excellent Senior First Aid online refresher course
  • MediProfiles: keeps emergency medical information at your fingertips
  • Resuscitate: focuses on the importance of the St John DRABCD plan  and helps you locate a public access defibrillator
  • First Aid: presents easy-to-read and step-by-step emergency first aid information
I have more first aid and emergency information in my companion bushwalking skills library  but please read the disclaimer first

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My "Personal Survival Kit" (PSK)

Survival Kit in a Sardine Can
Its amazing how many different “personal” or “minimum”,”emergency” or “survival” kits (PSK) lists there are in existence. Every bushwalking book seems to have a different one. Try A Google search…. I found hundreds of thousands of references. Try searching YouTube and you get 68 videos showing how to put one together.

Why are there so many when they all aim to provide water, fire, food, shelter in an emergency?

Of course, many of these references are not entirely relevant to bushwalkers, who have to carry whatever is in their kit and therefore must make savings in both weight and volume. 

So why is there no universal list for bushwalkers?

Well some items do seem to appear in all lists, in one form or another, but the inclusion of others depends on the priority you give to provision of water, shelter and food or whether your focus is upon thermal regulation, hydration, and signaling.

Perusing an equipment list from the 1965 edition of ‘Equipment for Mountaineering’ published by the Melbourne University Mountaineering Club we find a whole lot of items that the modern  lightweight and minimal impact walker would never carry or which have been replaced by better alternatives.

tomahawk, machete, handkerchieves, tin opener, cigarettes, Dubbin, song book, sharpening stone, boots with nails  …..

Another list from the mid eighties

  • water 1L 
  • whistle on a string around neck  
  • pencil and paper 
  • waterproof matches or cigarette lighter  
  • woollen jumper 
  • hat 
  • first aid (personal) (FAK)
  • waterproof jacket 
  • cord 
What changes are needed after all these years?
Well I think I would add at least four items which have become readily available since then: 

 I would then add some of the following or replace items in the list above with

  • micro-compass (if your not confident to use the sun or don’t have an iPhone or a GPS with an digital compass in built or if you don’t trust the batteries)
  • magnesium flint lighter as an alternative to a cigarette lighter
  • emergency blanket 
  • water purification tablets or water purifying straw
  • signaling mirror
  • flexible wire saw (to make tent pegs and poles)
  • fire lighters or solid fuel tablets
  • candle
  • collapsible water containers eg condoms hold 1L and can be protected by a spare sock
  • needles and thread
  • safety pins
  • scalpel blade(s)
  • length of plastic tubing for siphoning or to reach inside rock cavities or “yabbie” holes
  • cable ties
Often it is possible to combine some of the items eg a whistle, compass, thermometer, magnifying lens, signalling mirror, torch (Coghlan 6 in 1)

Now you have the kit, what sort of container should you keep it in?

A lightweight waterproof bag or perhaps a light weight metal container that can also serve to heat water in? Perhaps you could combine your PSK with your personal first aid kit.

Where will you keep it? 

On your person at all times! Ever fallen down into a creek going for water or got lost going to the loo…. some people do? This kit is designed to be carried on you at all times and to supplement things that you would normally carry in your clothing or on your belt.

The PSK should supplement what is being carried in you pack ( see later blog) and this in turn will be determined by
  • weather (storms, season, heavy rain, cold, sun)
  • terrain (river crossings, snow, mud)
  • vegetation (prickly)
Some additional reading:

Want a “real” wilderness survival kit? 

The quest for perfect PSK is never ending




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This article by Bush Walker is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.