Mt Barney Blog

Surviving An Unexpected Night Out In The Bush

Wednesday, March 28, 2018

The vast beauty of the Australian bush makes it a second-to-none destination for many eager bushwalkers. But in all its glory, the bush can be a dangerous and even deadly place for the unprepared hiker.

One wrong turn is this rugged landscape can lead to dire circumstances so it pays to be prepared and it is always smart to plan for the worst before venturing out on a hike.

Below are our top five tips for surviving an unexpected night out in the bush, but it is also highly important to learn the skill set needed to really be prepared for unexpected circumstances.

Mt Barney Lodge’s Bushcraft and Survival Introductory Camps and the Navigation Workshops give participants all the skills they need in order to survive if ever lost or alone in the bush.

For more information about the camp head to:

Mt Barney Lodge’s Outdoor Leaders’ first five steps to take if you ever find yourself lost in the bush:

1. Shelter: If there is a chance you might have to spend the night in the bush, building shelter is the most important thing to do. It will protect you from extreme weather conditions. Find a tree or a rock tall enough for you to use as the base of your shelter and use larger pieces of wood to build a skeletal structure. It is important to windproof your shelter with fully-leaved branches.

2. Water: After constructing shelter, the next step is to find water. The human body can survive for weeks without food, but can only survive a maximum of three days without water. Once you have found water, it is a good idea to purify it by heating it over a fire if you have the means to do so. There are other options like capturing rainfall, or moisture from leaves.

3. Warmth/fire: start gathering kindling, dried sticks and wood as soon as you realise you are lost and could potentially be stuck out overnight. Clear a circular area and surround it by rocks for good insulation. Lighting the fire is the hardest part. Our Bushcraft and Survival Introductory Camp teaches kids how to light their own fire without matches.

4. Signal: It is important to stay calm in this situation. If you are carrying a whistle, three blasts are generally interpreted as a distress call. Alternatively, tie whatever brightly coloured garment you may have to a stick in the change someone else is using the trail and spots it.

5. Food: Foraging for food is the last step to take. There are plenty of native bush food that are edible but it can be difficult to know which ones are safe to eat. Here at Mt Barney Lodge, we offer bushtucker tours to teach guests about Australia’s edible flora so they can use this information while hiking or if they ever find themselves stuck in the bush.

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