Summer safety in the bush

Summer safety in the bush

Canberrans and visitors are reminded to stay safe over the summer holidays when swimming in local waterways or bushwalking in parks and reserves.

Summer is a great time to get out and explore the ACT’s natural environment, but with soaring temperatures it’s best to be fully prepared before heading out.

Simple safety tips to keep in mind for swimming this summer are to:

  • Check the conditions: Beware of fast flowing water, submerged objects and always check the water depth before entering.
  • Signal for help: If you get into trouble, stay calm and signal for help. Try floating on your back and let the current take you to shore.
  • Swim with a buddy: Not only is it more fun swimming with a friend, but having someone else around while swimming can provide help in sticky situations.
  • Don’t drink and swim: Stay out of the water if you have alcohol in your system – it’s not worth the risk.

Simple tips for bushwalking this summer:

  • Plan your walk: make sure you’re aware of how hard the walk is. If you’re comfortable with what to expect then it won’t throw any challenging surprises. Always check the weather forecast beforehand.
  • Tell somebody: let someone know where you’re headed and when you’re expected to return. If you get lost or hurt yourself they will be able to raise the alarm.
  • Stay on track: for your own safety, stick to the signposted tracks. This is to also protect the landscape and native animals who don’t like to be disturbed.
  • Bring the essentials: a mobile phone is handy, but if you’re headed remotely consider taking a locator beacon. The most important thing to bring though is plenty of water.
  • Dress to the conditions: always wear closed toe footwear and wear appropriate clothing. A waterproof jacket is lightweight and often comes in handy.

ACT Parks and Conservation is also encouraging Canberrans to celebrate our local waterways by taking a ‘summer snap’ of their favourite swimming spot.

Find out more about the Summer Snaps competition.