Joining a Walk or Event and Your Safety
YHA Bushwalking Victoria walks most weekends, offering easy social strolls to challenging expeditions. Use our Quick Start Guide to choose the right walk for you. See our Fees and car-pooling guide for details of costs and what to do if you do not have a car. If you need any help navigating the website or booking into an event, use our Quick Reference Guide to get you started.
All events need to be booked by clicking on the Current Walks Program “Book” link against the particular event you are interested in, then submitting a Booking Request (at the bottom of the event page). If the event is “closed” as it is full, a “waitlist” button may be available at the bottom of the event page.
We strongly recommend you have Ambulance cover. Even an ankle injury can lead to costly air evacuation. YHA Bushwalking Victoria does not have special insurance covering injuries to participants in its activities. Some health insurance policies include ambulance cover, but you should check whether your private health insurance really provides 100% ambulance cover. According to Ambulance Victoria, many Private Health Funds have significant limitations, exclusions or caps to ambulance cover. Refer to:
See our Gear Checklist for what you need. If you are not properly equipped, the Leader can decide to not let you participate.
Skills, experience, medical conditions
Please note that we do not run ‘guided tours’. While we will lead the walks, we expect you to be physically fit, properly equipped and to have an appropriate level of self-reliance and confidence in the bush.
The Leader may refuse participation to anyone they consider to be inadequately equipped or physically unfit for the conditions of their walk. Such a decision can be made as late as at the starting point of the walk. If in doubt about your abilities please contact the leader before booking or joining.
Please advise the Leader as early as possible if you have any physical or medical conditions that could affect your participation. Any such information will be in strict confidence.
When the EPA air quality rating is ‘poor’, those in ‘sensitive’ groups (older than 65, heart and lung conditions including asthma, pregnant) are recommended to reduce prolonged or heavy physical activity, so participation in any of our walks on those days is at your own risk.
In the following circumstances a day walk will be cancelled if forecast or actual conditions are:
- Fire Danger Rating (FDR) “severe”, “extreme” or “code red”
- Air Quality Rating (AQR) “very poor” or “hazardous”
- Wind Speed Rating (WSR) “gale force”, “storm force” or “hurricane force” (ie greater than 34 knots/63 km/hour)
- Temperature above 35 degrees Celsius
- Flood warnings in area of walk
- Walk route or road access is closed
- Park Rangers, other informed locals or experienced bushwalkers advise not safe to walk
- Planned burns in or near walk route, or road access
- Excessive rain
- Heavy snowfalls
- Known incidents that make the walk or the drive there unsafe (Eg. dust storm, falling trees).
Where forecasts meet cancellation criteria on at least one day during the walk, the Leader considers whether walk can be suspended safely for those days, or whether the whole walk needs to be cancelled.
Conditions requiring Leader to exercise judgement
In the following circumstances the Leader has primary responsibility to determine whether the walk proceeds:
- FDR “very high”
- AQR “poor”
- Temperature between 30-35 degrees Celsius.
Please check the website event status and your emails the night before and the morning of the walk if you are not sure whether an event will run.
We recommend that all walk participants use the VIC emergency website or app to monitor conditions near proposed walks to inform your own risk assessment of whether to participate in any of our walks.