As with all bushwalking, if you're planning a walk on the Heysen Trail, you need to be prepared.
Make sure you have:
Those planning to embark on a longer, or overnight walk will also need to consider taking thermal underwear, waterproof over-trousers, water, provisions, a torch, lightweight tent and sleeping equipment.
There are two first-aid kits that should be carried: a Personal Kit and a Group Kit.
All walkers should carry a Personal Kit containing the following:
Group Kit - one per group:
Plan your trip - don't overestimate how far you can walk. Consider the fitness and abilities of all members of your group when planning a walk.
When estimating the time of your walk, you'll need to consider the distance, how much climbing is involved and the abilities of your entire walking party. As a rule, allow three kilometres per hour on flat ground and an additional on hour for every three hundred metres in altitude you need to climb. Don't forget to actor in time for rest and meal breaks.
Ensure you have up-to-date information and maps. Test your equipment before you leave. Dress appropriately abd remember the weather can change quickly.
Tell someone where you are going and when you expect to return. In case of longer walks, write down you route and leave it with a responsible person.
If you get lost, try to retrace your route until you find a marker or recognise a feature. If you can hear sounds of human activity, shout to attract attention. Be on the lookout for well-travelled roads or occupied buildings.
In the event of an accident, or if someone becomes too ill to continue, provide appropriate first aid and shelter. If the sick of injured person cannot be moved, seek assistance. Determine whether the person can be helped by the group, or if extra help is needed. Make contact with Emergency Services by phoning 000 or 13 1444. If contact cannot be made and rescue is needed, a competent person with first aid skills should stay with the injured or ill person to reassure and care for them until help can arrive.
If you have to wait to be rescued, look for shelter and water on the trail. In hot weather, stay in the shade, drink water and reduce loss of body fluids by moving only during the cooler part of the day. In cold weather, keep out of the wind and try to remain warm and dry. If possible light a fire, or huddle with others.