This is the accepted
Bushwalkers Code of the Ku-ring-gai Bushwalkers Activity & Social Group
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- If you enjoy the pleasures of bushwalking and related outdoor activities,
you have a big responsibility to protect and preserve the natural landscape
for the enjoyment of future generations. This code will help you enjoy the
bush without leaving your mark.
- Enjoy the natural landscape as it is, on nature's terms. Carry with
you the things you need for your comfort and safety.
- For shelter, carry a lightweight tent or flysheet. You can save damage
to the environment by using huts when available, but be prepared to share.
- Do not camp in an
overhang with Indigenous rock art, as the art can be damaged by dust,
smoke and fumes (See also ‘Respect Indigenous Heritage’)
- Do not exceed the individual park's (POMs) maximum party size limits. .
- Avoid popular areas in holiday periods when campsites are crowded.
- Use existing tracks; don't create new ones. On zigzag paths, don't cut
corners as this creates unsightly damage that leads to erosion.
- In trackless country, spread your party out; don't walk in one another's
footsteps. Avoid easily damaged places such as peat bogs, cushion moss, swamps
and fragile rock formations.
- Wade through waterlogged sections of tracks; don't create a skein of new
tracks around them.
- Except in really rough terrain, wear lightweight, soft-soled walking shoes
or joggers rather than heavy boots.
- Become proficient in bush navigation.
Try not to build cairns, blaze trees, place tags etc, as this takes away
from the natural setting of the bushland. If you need to leave markers ensure
that you remove them at the end of the day.
- Know what to do in emergencies. Rescue operations often cause serious damage
so take care to avoid the need for rescue.
- Acquire knowledge in First Aid so you know how to handle illness and injuries.
- Carry clothing and equipment to suit the. worst possible conditions you
are likely to encounter.
- Carry a mobile phone if you want to, but use it
only for summoning aid in an emergency. Keep it switched off until needed.
- Don't carry glass bottles and jars, cans, drink cartons lined with aluminium
foil and excess packaging. If you can't resist carrying such things, don't
leave them in the bush. Remember, if you carry a full container in, you
can carry the empty one out.
- Remove all your rubbish including food scraps, paper, plastic, aluminium
foil and empty containers. Don't burn or bury rubbish. Burning creates pollution
and buried rubbish may be dug up and scattered by animals. Digging also disturbs
the soil, causing erosion and encouraging weeds.
- Carry a plastic bag for your rubbish. If you find litter left by irresponsible
people along the track or around a campsite, please remove it. Show you care
for the environment, even if others don't.
- When walking in scrubby country,
do not strap closed-cell sleep mats or items in plastic bags outside your
pack. The bush will be littered with pieces of foam and plastic.
- Ensure you are at least 50 metres from campsites, streams and lakes,
when going to the toilet. Wait until you get out of sensitive areas such
as caves and canyons before defecating or urinating.
- Bury all faeces and toilet paper at least 15cm deep. In snow, dig through
the snow first, then dig a hole in the ground.
- Carry out things that won't easily decompose, such as used tampons, sanitary
pads and condoms.
- Carry a lightweight plastic trowel or a large aluminium
tent peg to make digging easier.
- Wash well back from the edge of lakes and streams so waste water falls
on soil where it will be absorbed.
- Prevent soap, detergent or toothpaste from getting into natural water systems.
Similarly, when washing cooking utensils, don't use detergent and don't let
oils and food scraps get into streams or lakes.
- Always swim downstream from
where you draw drinking water.
- Have a
fire only when you are absolutely certain you can light it with safety. A
fuel stove is preferable for cooking and thermal clothing is better for
use a fuel stove in places where even a tiny fire may cause permanent
damage. Places where fire lighting should be avoided include many
rainforest and all alpine regions.
not light fires in hot, summer conditions, in dry windy weather or in
declared "fuel stove only" areas or when there is a declared fire ban.
doesn't destroy aluminium foil, and plastics release toxic gases when
burnt. So carry foil and plastics out in your pack with all your other
rubbish, including food scraps. Don't use your campfire as a rubbish
If you must light a campfire, follow these
popular campsites, light your fire on a bare patch left by previous fires.
Don't light it on fresh ground.
your fire on bare soil or sand, well away from stumps, logs, living plants
and river stones (which may explode when heated).
- Definitely don't build a ring of stones as a fireplace. This
is unnecessary and unsightly. Dismantle stone rings wherever you find
away all leaves, grass and other flammable material for at least two
metres around your fireplace. (Major bushfires have been caused by
careless campers who didn't take this precaution.)
only dead wood that's fallen to the ground. Don't break limbs from trees
your fire small. Remember, the bigger the fool, the bigger the fire.
Before you leave-
your fire thoroughly with water, even if it appears to be already out.
Don't try to smother a fire by covering it with soil or sand as the coals
will continue to smoulder for days. Only water puts a fire out with
the ground under the coals. If it is too hot to touch, the fire is not
out. Douse it some more.
- Scatter the cold charcoal and ashes well clear of your campsite
then rake soil and leaves over the spot where your fire was. You should
aim to remove all trace of it.
- Think twice about using a popular campsite to avoid overuse. If possible,
vary your route slightly so you can find an alternative site in a less
- Find an open space to erect your tent so it is unnecessary to clear vegetation.
In difficult overgrown areas, trample undergrowth growth flat rather than
pull plants out of the ground. A tram pled spot soon recovers.
- Use a waterproof groundsheet or tent with a sewn in floor and you won't
have to worry about surface runoff in wet weather. Avoid the temptation to
dig drains around your tent. This environmentally damaging practice is no
- If you have to remove branches or rocks to create a tent site, replace
them before you leave.
- Leave your campsite pristine. After a few days it
should be impossible to see where you were camped.
- Try not to disturb wildlife. Remember, you are the trespasser.
- Give snakes a wide berth and leave them alone. They have more right to
be there than you do.
- Watch where. you put your feet. Walk around delicate plants.
- Don't feed
birds and animals around campsites or they may become pests. Unnatural food
can be harmful to many species.
places have spiritual or cultural significance for Aborigines. Treat such
places with consideration and respect.
permission from traditional landowners or the relevant land manager to
visit sensitive areas.
Aboriginal relics as you find them. Don't touch paintings or rock
- The sound of radios, CD players, mobile phones and similar devices is
out of place in the natural environment. Leave the electronics at home.
(See note under Safety concerning the acceptable use of mobile phones.)
- Ensure your behaviour and activities don't disturb or offend others. Always
keep voices to a minimum.
- Camp as far away from other groups as conditions allow. Don't use another
group's campfire without permission.
- Leave gates and slip rails as you find them. When you open a gate, make
sure the last person through knows it has to be closed.
- Respect the rights
of landholders and land managers. Don't enter private property without permission.
In national parks, abide by plans of management and encourage others to do
- Do your share of getting firewood and water. When breaking camp, help
to remove the remains of your fire (if you had one) and clean up the site.
- Don't throw rubbish on a fire where people are cooking. In fact, don't
throw rubbish on a fire at all; carry it out with you. (See section: Pack
it in Pack it Out.)
- Don't step over other people's uncovered food.
- Offer what is required
to help others in need. This could be your leader, who may be carrying
group safety items, someone in the group who has injured themselves, or
forgotten their billy, or another group who may not have communications
to summon emergency medical aid. Recognise that some individuals may need
your help but will never ask for it. Volunteer it.
Minimal Impact Bushwalking means
do nothing, leave nothing
that shows where you have been.
Revised June 2006