1. Objectives Of The Club
    1. To bring together people who are interested in bushwalking as a recreational activity and to provide walks throughout the year.
    2. To liaise with, and to assist where desireable, other clubs and organizations with similar interests.
    3. To liaise with the relevant State and Federal Government departments in the maintenance of walking tracks, updating of maps and general bush conservation issues.
    4. To set an example to the community through proper conduct and responsible behaviour in our use of the bush.
  2. Organization Of The Club
    1. The Ben Cruachan Walking Club (herein referred to as the Club) is an incorporated body and is affiliated with Bush Walking Victoria (BWV), the governing body of bush walking in Victoria.
    2. The Club has a constitution that can be made available on request to members.
    3. The Management Committee of the Club consists of the following elected office bearers:  President, Vice President, Secretary, Membership Secretary, Treasurer, Publicity Officer, Newsletter Editor, Walks Coordinator, Tracks and Conservation Coordinator and up to 5 Ordinary Committee Members.
    4. An Annual General Meeting is held in June each year.  Committee meetings currently are held bi-monthly, usually on the second Wednesday of the month.
    5. A walks program is produced annually, to which additional walks can be added at any time, detailing organized walks throughout the year.  These may include mid-week walks.  Other walks include one day and two day or extended pack camp and base camp walks (camping at vehicles).  Unscheduled walks can also be arranged by mutual agreement of members.  The program may also include bicycle activities.
    6. A bi-monthly newsletter is produced for all members, giving reports of walks undertaken, previews of walks to come, and other items of interest to bushwalkers.
    7. Each year before the Annual General Meeting, the Management Committee will review the annual subscription fee and other fees and set subscriptions and other fees for the next financial year.  The fees will be published on the club's website and at the Annual General Meeting.
  3. Organization Of Scheduled Walks
      1. Walks are not strictly regimented, but a leader will be responsible for the organization of the walk and is considered the Club representative for the day.
      2. The Leader will have the authority to request any walker to not take part in the walk if there is reason to believe that the walker is physically unable to safely complete the walk or if the walker is inadequately equipped for the proposed walk.
      3. All new walkers and visitors on their first walks (up to three) with the Club will need to complete an Acknowledgement of Risks and Obligations by Non-Members form before commencing their first walk.
      4. All persons participating in walks and activities do so at their own risk, and parents and guardians who bring children on walks and activities are totally responsible for the safe custody and behaviour of those children.
      5. Children (under eighteen years of age) are welcome to participate in Club walks and activities when accompanied and supervised by their parent, or other adult authorized by their parent or legal guardian.
      6. No dogs or other animals are permitted on any Club walks / activities.
      7. Any visiting group, such as scouts or school groups, must appoint its own senior leader who will be totally responsible to the Club walk leader for their own members.
      8. No firearms or weapons of any description shall be brought to any walk / activity.
  4. Walk Requirements
    1. Club walks are not competitive in nature and their success depends on mutual support, help and encouragement.
    2. All walkers should be adequately equipped for the type of walk being undertaken.  If in doubt, it is important to consult with the Leader prior to the walk or trip, to ascertain the expected conditions and advice on clothing and equipment needed.
    3. All walking groups should keep reasonably close together, particularly in conditions of low or bad visibility, and no walker should leave the group for any reason without informing the leader.
    4. When in a National or State park, the relevant visitor code shall be observed.  This includes:
      • All native birds, animals and reptiles are protected by law;
      • Removal of plants and other materials is prohibited;
      • If you carried it in, carry it back out.  All rubbish must be removed;
      • All current fire restrictions must be observed.  Be aware of Fire Reports before starting a walk;
      • All walkers must stay on designated walking tracks;
      • Any park management restrictions must be observed.
    5. All walkers must comply with any reasonable instructions or request given by the Walk Leader.
    6. All walkers must advise the Leader beforehand if they suffer from any medical condition which may affect them adversely on the walk.  If any walker feels unwell during the walk, the leader must be informed as quickly as possible, and an assessment made as to whether the walker should be returned to the vehicle.  If there is a likelihood of the walker being unable to safely return to their vehicle alone, they should be accompanied by not less than two other walkers.  In the event that the incident is considered serious, the Leader may choose to cancel the walk totally.
    7. It is recommended that all participants should have their own ambulance and medical insurance.
    8. Road Courtesy - When driving to the start of any walk, each car should stop and wait at any intersection or corner until the following vehicle can see which way to proceed.  At the completion of any walk, wait until every vehicle is seen to be mobile before departing.
    9. All walkers are encouraged to carry their own map and compass (or GPS) and to familiarize themselves with their use.  Some Club members can help with their use.  In an unforeseen emergency, this could be a very important tool at your disposal.
    10. All walks are cancelled on a day of total fire ban.  The Leader may cancel any walk on a reported day of extreme fire danger.  Fire precautions must be observed at all times and all fires should be kept to a minimum to suit your needs and must be totally extinguished before being left.
  5. Equipment
    1. The equipment required on any walk will depend on the nature and duration of the walk, the season and the type of country, i.e. alpine, lower country, whether dry or wet.
    2. In all cases, a change of spare clothing should be carried in the vehicle for use, if required at the end of the walk.
    3. Day Walks - BASIC requirements at all times are:
      • Footwear - walking boots, good quality shoes or sneakers, in some cases, high tech sandals such as Tevas may be acceptable.
      • Clothing - shorts or long trousers, shirt suitable for sun protection, pullover or fleece and a good quality rain coat.  (It has been an original Club rule that a raincoat is carried on all Club walks.)
      • Food and liquid - for a day's walk (recommend at least 1 litre).
      • A personal first aid kit and a whistle.
    4. Day Walks In Winter - EXTRA requirements:
      • Footwear - good quality water resistant boots.
      • Clothing - most hi-tech thermal type garments, thermal under garments (where appropriate), beanie, balaclava and gloves.
    5. Day Walks In Summer - EXTRA requirements:
      • Footwear - same as for general day walks.
      • Clothing - Light weight garments (exceptions may be made if heading to alpine areas), long sleeved shirt for sun protection, broad brimmed hat, sunhat, sunglasses, sun screen and insect repellant.
      • Extra liquids
    6. Overnight Or Extended Pack Camps - EXTRA to day walk requirements:
      • Tent (may be shared), sleeping bag, sleeping mat or mattress.
      • Extra change of clothing.
      • Cooking equipment (check for fuel stove only requirements).
      • Food - enough for each walk day and include some emergency rations.
      • Additional water for drinking and cooking.
      • Toiletries and a reliable torch or headlamp.
    7. Overnight Or Extended Camp At Cars (Base Camp)
      • In addition to overnight pack camp requirements, any luxury your car can carry may be brought. E.g. large tents, folding tables and chairs, stretchers, air beds, gas or electric lamps, gas stoves and a much broader range of foods.
  6. Walk Leaders
    1. All members are encouraged to lead walks in order to increase the variety of walks provided and to improve their own bush walking skills.  Most Leaders need to be proficient in the use of maps, compass and also GPS in some cases.
    2. Leaders should walk and check the proposed walk beforehand, to be familiar with the walk conditions and to estimate the grading of the walk (keep in mind it is only an estimate), as a guide for intending walkers.  The Leader should issue a short summary of the walk to the Newsletter Editor and Publicity Officer prior to the walk.
    3. Leaders should carry a reliable map of the walk area and carry a compass.  The Leader will carry the Club's First Aid Kit on every walk.
    4. On meeting at the start of each walk, the Leader should welcome and introduce any new walkers, and give a short description of the walk, indicating any interesting features.  A volunteer should be selected to write a walk report for inclusion in the next newsletter.
    5. The Leader should ensure that all walkers have the basic equipment necessary for the proposed walk i.e. adequate clothing, food and water.  The Leader will have the right to deny any person participation in, or during, any walk if they feel that the person is poorly equipped or behaving inappropriately.
    6. The Leader will make themselves aware of any applicable fire restrictions and whether the area is a designated No Fires or fuel stoves only zone.
    7. The Walk Attendance Sheet needs to be completed.  The Acknowledgement of Risks and Obligation by Non-Members book need to be filled in by all visitors (top copy to be retained by the visitor) and the appropriate visitor donation collected and receipt issued.
    8. In the event that any first aid equipment from the Club's First Aid Kit is used on any walk, the Leader shall inform the Walks Coordinator so that any replacements can be made.
  7. Safe And Enjoyable Bushwalking
    1. Bushwalking is a very enjoyable activity but it is essential that certain precautions are taken to ensure safety in the bush.  Hazards are always present, but can be minimized with careful preparations.
    2. GETTING LOST - This is often due to:
      • Poor planning and preparation;
      • Splitting up the party;
      • Over confidence and overlooking likely hazards;
      • Neglecting to observe recognizable features along your route e.g. prominent objects or features such as gullies, trees or outcrops of rock.
    3. IF LOST - you should:
      • Stop and calm down;
      • Consult your map and attempt to establish your location;
      • If you have lost contact with the main party, do not move away - call out or whistle at frequent intervals - the main party will be attempting to locate you;
      • If in a group, keep together - a larger group is easier to locate than a small party or individual.
      • If caught in the dark, fog or blizzard, do not move away - seek some shelter if absolutely necessary.
      • If it becomes necessary to move on, mark your route with some obvious markers for others to trace you.  Attempt to stay in open country.
    4. GETTING HURT - Some main causes can be:
      • Carelessness or skylarking,
      • Inattention when given a direction,
      • Unsuitable equipment, clothing e.g. inappropriate footwear,
      • Not enough care on rough or uneven country.
    5. HYPOTHERMIA (exposure to cold) or HYPERTHERMIA (exposure to heat) - Both of these conditions can tend to be treated lightly, but can be far more serious than first considered.  In our normal walking areas, weather conditions are unpredictable and can change rapidly.  It is important to recognize the symptoms of these conditions and the precautions you may be able to take to avoid exposure.  Correct clothing and equipment will help in minimizing these hazards.
      • Appropriate clothing, footwear and accessories.
      • A change of clothing e.g. either carried on pack walk or left at vehicle on a day trip.
      • Water or liquid container and adequate fluids for your trip.
      • Sun protection, wind and waterproof coat (such as Gore-tex), thermal, fleece clothing and sun glasses.
      • Fire starters, matches in waterproof container, whistle, pocket knife and personal first aid kit.
      • Compass and map (or GPS)
      • Emergency food supply.
      • Leave details of your planned trip with a reliable contact person.
      • Have a good meal before starting out.
      • Have frequent snacks and liquid during the walk.  Allow extra in extreme weather conditions.
      • Plan to reach your destination with time to spare.
      • Be prepared for the possibility of having to spend the night in the open in remote conditions.
      • For safety, four should be the minimum number in a walking party, particularly in remote areas.

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