Planning a trip

ITEMS to be considered for all trips are: clothing, food, water, shelter, navigation, equipment, tell someone!


The aim of suitable clothing is to keep the skier warm and dry and to prevent sunburn. The choice made will depend on the actual weather and temperature being experienced and any possible change in conditions. Plan clothing on a “layer” basis so that if you are cold you add a layer and if you are too hot you open zips or vents or take off a layer. Try to avoid the need to take off one item and replace it with a warmer one as you could get cold and wet in the process. Look for wool or synthetic breathable fabrics that wick moisture away from the skin and allow the transmission of moisture to the atmosphere. Avoid cotton that will absorb sweat. Clothes suitable for bushwalking are usually fine for skiing. Pants can be knee length with long sox or a warmer choice is full length stretch synthetic. Make your list for any trip from the following items.

Sox Long johns Ski pants
Thermal singlet Shirt, (lycra, polyester or wool) Woollen jumper
Vest or polartec® (or similar) jacket Waterproof parka with hood Overpants
Gaiters Headwear, (beanie or cap) Balaclava
Gloves Waterproof overgloves Handkerchief
Spare (dry) sox, underpants, bra, gloves.    

What you decide to take depends on prevailing or expected weather and the length of the trip. On many days it is usual to take a layer off after you warm up and then later in the day there may be a need to add a layer if the wind picks up. Obviously spare clothes in a plastic bag are very welcome on an overnight trip if you get wet through but are not necessary on a day trip. In spite of initial discomfort wet sox will dry out if put back on at bedtime and worn in a sleeping bag overnight as will gloves if placed inside the bag.

Although we have stressed the need to keep warm, you will find that cross country skiing can be a strenuous exercise and you can be warm in only a thermal singlet on a good day. Be aware that much of the outer skiwear that is sold in Australia is designed overseas and is too heavy and warm for use here. Clothing made for downhill skiers is generally too bulky, restricts good cross country movement and is too hot for cross country skiing and is best avoided. A good choice is a light or medium weight polartec® outer layer plus a  windproof vest and finally a wind and waterproof parka.

More layers and a windproof outer will be needed in high winds because of wind chill and also if you are moving slowly or waiting for the slowest member of the party. A lot of body heat is lost through the head so choice of headwear can aid cooling or help keep you warm. Use a secure cord to attach to a cap to prevent its loss in a wind. A fabric neck warmer in the form of a tube also helps retain body heat.  When you stop for more than a few minutes or for lunch,  put on extra layers immediately even if hot, or you may get cold and take a long time to get warm again.  

It is false economy to buy cheap clothing or make do with clothing that is not suitable for the conditions. Buy the best clothing available and you will be rewarded with comfort.

Will you be too hot, too cold or just right in your choice of clothes?    


A fit and experienced skier will be able to ski for two or three hours without needing food. On a half day trip a snack makes a welcome break after a couple of hours and on a day trip take a packed lunch and some snack bars, scroggin or chocolate.

  For extended trips plan each day’s menu in advance. Menus for snow camping can be the same as for bushwalking but economise on cooking as without the use of fires you have to carry fuel and may have to melt snow for water. In case you are caught out carry some emergency rations such as enough rice or muesli for a meal plus some sugar, soup mix, coffee.

 Will your food be eaten cold or cooked?                 


The combination of low humidity, altitude and exertion results in a very high fluid loss from the lungs while breathing. This fluid MUST be replaced frequently through the day or you will get tired and lack energy. Carry a litre bottle of water and drink at least two litres of water while out for the day. A thermos of hot soup, herbal tea or coffee makes a welcome reviver at lunchtime. Preload with water at breakfast and top up in the evening.

  Avoid excessive tea and coffee that will increase fluid loss from the body. There is NO place for alcoholic drinks while skiing. Alcohol does as much for skiing ability as it does for driving, it slows reaction time, impairs physical performance, increases fluid loss and it causes loss of body heat. As long as you understand this you may chose to have a beer or a glass of wine at lunch or if having a picnic on a sunny day.  A nightcap when in the sleeping bag in a snow camp is very relaxing and is a good finish to the day.

  Mountain stream water is usually safe to drink and tastes marvellous. It’s worth bottling so keep your bottle filled through the day as there may be no water on higher ground. Water from streams downstream from villages must be boiled before drinking and don’t eat yellow snow. Eating snow is OK when you are hot, but if you are fatigued or cold you will lose more body heat by eating snow. Try to find some water.

  If you have to melt snow to get water remember that it takes more fuel to melt the snow than it does to boil the resulting water so take some reserve fuel.


Shelter used may be planned for or may be needed in an emergency when it is essential to get out of the wind. While one may perish outside in a gale one will survive in below zero temperatures if in shelter. There are several types of shelter.



Many of the backcountry huts were destroyed in the 2003 summer bushfires. visit the KHA website.

  Huts should be used for emergency shelter only. All parties going on extended trips should have alternative shelter as huts may be full. In bad weather it may be impossible to find the hut and conditions may make it impossible to reach and find a hut before dark. Whites River hut is pictured here in 1990 with snow built up over it's roof and it was invisible on a clear day until within 100 metres. If you use a hut leave it clean and free of food scraps and replace the firewood for the next group. Leave an entry in the hut log showing date of departure and intended route.

photo  Klaus Hueneke
    Mackeys Hut      

Visit the Kosciusko Huts Association website for a list of the huts in KNP. The grid reference to enter in a GPS is listed for some huts. There is detailed information on map datums as they apply to the GPS. Skiers will find that the site has many useful links to other interesting sites.   Note that KHA has retained the old spelling of Kosciusko.                 


While an igloo may be cosy inside and fun to build in a resort they take time and a lot of energy to build and are best left to the Eskimos. You may not be able to find snow that can be cut into blocks. Your igloo and you will look very bedraggled after a night of rain or a warm change.


  A snow cave gives excellent protection from the wind and cold. The main disadvantage is the time taken to dig one and the fact that you get very wet doing it. A snow cave is good for skiers who visit the same area over several weeks as a well sited and constructed cave will last for some weeks, but can you depend on finding it?

  A snow cave can be dug quicker without tunnelling if the “tunnel” is dug just high enough to crouch or stand in and when the cave is completed the doorway is filled in with snow blocks.  Remember that in a snow storm the snow will build up and fill in the doorway and you will have to dig your way out. Take your shovel inside.

  Have you made a ventilation hole from the top of the cave to the outside and do you check to keep it clear?  

Proper ventilation is essential in a snow cave so that carbon monoxide fumes from a stove can escape. Ventilation must be maintained so that the oxygen in the air is not depleted which would result in the occupants losing consciousness and dieing. The risk is greater in a small or crowded cave or when it is snowing or there is windblown snow. An alarm clock will allow regular checks to be made.


  Carrying an aluminised plastic bag is probably a good idea as it could keep you alive in an emergency while waiting for help to arrive, but if used overnight, you will be cold in the morning and soaking wet from perspiration when you do get out. An aluminised space blanket is a better item to take as it can also be used to make a shelter or windbreak for more than one person.


  Good in emergency if it is breathable and with a shovel to dig a bit of shelter would be suitable for rugged types who want to travel light and are willing to rough it overnight. Most bivvy bags are claustrophobic when they have to be closed up in bad weather and are impossible to get in and out of while keeping dry if it is raining or snowing.            


The Black Diamond Betamid is a single skin shelter for 2 people. It weighs 1.09kg and is pitched over two ski poles. An optional floor is also available. You may squeeze in more people and together with a space blanket would ensure survival if caught out on a day trip or if someone was injured. If it is pitched over a dugout area about 30 to 45 cm deep there will be more protection from the wind and more space and headroom inside. It is not convenient as a base camp unless separate stocks are taken to pitch it. The tent pictured is home made from single skin waterproof nylon with reinforced seams and will sleep two at a squeeze. It can be pitched using 4 skis and poles or complete with pegs it weighs just 1 Kg.


Tents are the ideal backcountry shelter as they can be pitched anywhere in a matter of minutes. They offer cramped accommodation so if buying one check it out with those who will be using it. If it is a two man tent can two people sleep in it with room for their clothes and food? A wide range of all season tents is available for use in the snow. They should come with integral alloy poles and  points to attach bracing stays. Look for waterproof  floor and seam sealing, ventilation and preferably two vestibules, one for entry and one for storage. Take sufficient snow pegs and a shovel to clear a level base for the tent. Spread out a space blanket on the floor to keep condensation underneath, add a sleeping mat and you will have a cosy and warm shelter. Good housekeeping is the secret of a comfortable snow tent, no snow inside and no sharp objects on the floor. Take a wettex for puddles.

Pitch your tent in a sheltered spot and preferably close to water. If you pitch your tent too close to and in the wind shadow of a high bank you may have to dig the tent out following a heavy snowfall. Will it still be sheltered when a southerly change comes through? Be prepared to dash out in the middle of the night to tighten guy ropes or replace pegs.

If you cook in your tent take heed of the warning attached to the tent. Tent material is very flammable and if a zipped up tent catches alight it will quickly become an inferno and you will be badly burnt and homeless. Cooking will be safer in an open but sheltered vestibule. A small square of plywood covered with heat deflecting mesh will protect grass from heat damage and will help provide a stable base for the cooker on snow.

If you depend on your tent for snow camping consider whether to use it for bushwalking as repeated exposure to UV light will eventually weaken the outer fabric and cause leaks or tears while some bush camp sites will cause holes in the floor.

Never been snow camping before? It’s fun. First time, go with someone who has been before. If not, don’t worry, in spring there are many grassy patches available to pitch a tent. You can pitch in the snow and if anything goes wrong you can always move to the hard ground. Before you go, practice pitching your tent on the lawn at home and in the dark, so that you can do it quickly if necessary in a snowstorm or rain. There is nothing worse than having to pack up and carry a wet tent as it will weigh at least another kilogram but a planned approach to packing up will keep all your other equipment dry. Check your tent after each use and repair any fraying or tears to prevent further damage. Take care while pitching or breaking a tent that it does not blow away in a strong wind.

If you go backcountry and use your tent as a base camp to do day trips from, there are some additional points to consider. Leave your gear spread out over the tent floor otherwise the wind may get under the floor and rearrange the tent. During a sunny day the tent pegs will conduct heat that melts the snow and loosens the pegs. Pile heaps of snow on them in the morning.

Most important: if a white out occurs will you be able to find your way back to your tent?  See the information on GPS in the navigation section below.

Backcountry camps need a toilet and it's a case of build your own. Consider others when you leave your message in the snow as it presents a disgusting sight and health risk when the snow thaws. Make your visit near a rock or tree to make it less obvious and your message paper can be burnt with a little bit of metho or poked out of sight into a crevice. Above the tree line avoid hollows that could be watercourses or near creeks. Some huts have a pit dunny nearby. A word of caution when making a toilet visit in a white out or at night. Will you be able to find your way back to the hut or the tent? There have been many reports of people becoming lost, endangering not only themselves but also their companions who have to search for them. 

When you break camp pause and reflect that within one or two days there will be no sign that you ever stayed on this site. We are just passing by.


Information updated 24 Jan 2002

The essentials for navigation are a topographic map (or maps) of the area and a compass and being able to use them confidently. Carry your map in a waterproof plastic cover. A basic Silva® or similar compass is sufficient, as long as it can also be used as a protractor to measure bearings on the map.  

The latest map of the area is the "new series" 1:25,000 map; Perisher Valley, 8525-2S First Edition printed in 2001 and adjoining areas to the north, Geehi Dam and Jagungal maps. The 1:50,000 series map originally printed in 1982 are still available and are titled Mount Kosciusko 8525-11 & 111 and Khancoban to the north. Old bushwalkers and skiers may still have copies of the 1:100,000 Kosciusko map with data accurate at 1974 or earlier but it is recommended that these are not relied on. The "new series" maps are easier to read and have clearer detail. When travelling from one map area to another it may be useful for taking bearings, to trim the margin off one map and paste it on the adjoining map. One disadvantage of the new series is that it is a very large map and when it needed in rain or foggy conditions it will soon get damaged and torn. A waterproof map case will only show an area of about 5 x 6 km, necessitating frequent refolding of the map. The map is printed on poor quality paper and soon develops tears at the folds. One solution may be to carry the new series map but use the 1:50,000 series where possible, or to cut out useable sections of the map. [back to gps]

Grid references from the new series map are based on the GDA datum and are not transferable to the old series. Before giving a grid reference users should state the number and name of the map e.g. 8525-2S Perisher Valley 258677

Navigation during a whiteout should only be attempted by someone who has good knowledge of the area and is best left until conditions clear if possible. If navigating in a whiteout all the party MUST stay together at all times. It is hard to estimate the distance travelled in a whiteout as the correlation of time and distance is upset and 200 metres may seem like a kilometre. When traversing a steep slope in a whiteout there is a loss of visual input on gradient with the result that one may lean into the hill or reduce edging with a resulting slide down the slope. Do not rely on stepping carefully and prodding with a stock to find the edge of a cornice, because by the time you prod it you will probably have fallen through. One popular area where it is possible to get lost is the top of Mt Kosciuszko. If a whiteout comes in a compass course is needed to avoid the cornices and get to Rawsons Pass. Do not follow ski tracks in a whiteout unless you can be sure that they are yours as they could lead anywhere. Your ski tracks can become covered in a few minutes in high winds or when snow is falling.

Practice navigation and taking and using bearings in clear weather. Practice during a white out by setting yourself direct tracks to follow within the perimeter of the 10k trail at Perisher. To keep an accurate track in a whiteout while skiing up or down a slope ( eg a traverse from Lake Albina to Seaman’s Hut) send one of the party ahead to the limit of visibility and position them on the correct bearing, then ski up to them and repeat the process.

Some fundamentals:

The sun when visible can be a useful guide to maintain the direction being skied. Beware of using wind direction as a guide because a steady wind over the top of the range may result in wind directions in the valleys that may vary 180 degrees within a kilometre.

To navigate successfully with a compass you MUST know your starting position exactly. Double check that you have identified this position accurately on the map. If you see a whiteout approaching determine your position and commence to use the compass BEFORE visibility goes. Update your position as often as possible by reference to the map and bends in a river, tributaries, saddles, peaks etc.

You MUST understand and apply magnetic variation correctly. By not applying it you will be 12 degrees off course and by applying it the wrong way you will be 24 degrees off course with either case getting you hopelessly and possibly dangerously misplaced. Magnetic variation in KNP is 12  degrees EAST . Look at the map below.  

NOTE: Magnetic variation was taken as 12º for simplicity when these notes were written. Variation in 2001 is 13.3º. True North is slightly different from Grid North on the map but in practice regard the north south grid lines on the map as being True North.

Line A to N represents True North.

Line A to B is at an angle of 90 degrees to true north and is referred to as a bearing of 90 degrees True

or 090ºT . 

When we get on the ground with a compass the picture looks like fig.2





Line AM is the direction that the compass needle will point to. 

The line AB is at an angle of 78 degrees to line AM and the COMPASS bearing is referred to

as 78 degrees Compass or 078º This can also be referred to as 78 degrees Magnetic or 078ºM but by referring to it as "compass" it reinforces the fact that the compass bearing is different.

The whole picture when you look at your map is in fig.3   




The grid lines on the map run up and down the map in the direction AN.

Use the protractor with your compass as instructed  to measure the angle NAB (90), take off 12 and set

the result (78) on the compass as the compass bearing to follow.




Remember the sailor’s mnemonic, “Variation EAST, Compass LEAST.” so the compass bearing is always less than the true bearing from the map. The bearing is always measured clockwise from True North and Magnetic North. Thus the direction of Hut A FROM Hut B  and is 270 degrees True or 270ºT, (True west) and the compass bearing is 258 degrees C or 258ºC.

Fig.4 shows where you will finish up if you do not allow for variation or if you add it instead of subtracting it. After travelling for 5 km you will be either 1 km or 2 km away from Hut B: well and truly lost. 


Test yourself

As a check that you understand the use of a compass measure the true bearing on the Ski Association Perisher map of the direction both ways of the Kosciuszko Road at the Rock Creek bridge and convert to a compass bearing. Do the same with the bearing of Mt Perisher from the bridge. Next time you are at Perisher check your calculated compass bearing. Are you heading in the right direction?  You can do this test with a map in any other area.

GPS (Global Positioning System)  

A GPS unit works by simultaneously receiving signals from a number of satellites circling the earth and calculating the position and the altitude of the unit. The notes here refer to the Garmin Etrex® model that weighs just 150G, is snow and waterproof and sells for under $400. Two AA batteries give up to 22 hours operation in a battery saver mode. The unit will work anywhere in the world and can be graduated for use with nautical or land maps and any distance scale. Other more expensive units offer other functions that are not essential. Cheaper units do not have as many useful features. more info at 

You must fully understand the use of a map and compass before attempting to use a GPS unit. They are very useful to give a  position accurate to within 6 metres at best. It is uncanny how it will get you back to the same spot time after time and close enough to throw your hat on the spot. However it must be used correctly, it may not work at all under the cover of trees and its usefulness may be limited by battery life. Remember that batteries have a shorter life in cold temperatures so always carry a spare set. A GPS can be used in two ways.  The map coordinates of a location can be programmed into the unit and it will then indicate a course to follow to get to that point. Alternatively it will record your track during a journey and at any time that track can be saved and followed back to the starting point. While it would be relatively easy to “follow the pointer” to get from Seaman’s Hut to Thredbo it would take a lot more skill and experience to get from the end of Watson’s Crags to Seaman’s Hut. It is important to be thoroughly conversant with the operation and features of the GPS and to have done some trial skiing navigation in a safe area. It takes a couple of days practice to become familiar with the operation but once learnt it is possible to come back to it months later and use it without reference to the instructions.

When entering a grid reference into the GPS it is essential that the datum set in the GPS unit is the same as the map datum.  Datums used for Australian maps are to be changed progressively as new editions are printed. The Etrex uses the UTM/UPS grid format and the WGS84 as the map datum and coordinates from old maps will have to be converted to this datum. If not converted the location will be from 100 to 150 metres out in both latitude and longitude. This is probably as close as you might get with a compass in a white out and it may be possible to get to the correct spot by observation but you may not find a hut in an emergency. When entering a grid reference from another GPS unit double check that the datum set in the other unit is the same as your unit and was the correct reference entered in the other unit anyway?

The best way to get an accurate conversion from the old map datums is to measure and write down the coordinates of a known point on the map and then go to that spot and mark the spot in the GPS and read the coordinates. The difference in the two figures is the amount of correction that you have to apply to coordinates for that map for any other location. Do a check on another location to confirm your first result. A particular location in Perisher Valley is shown as 55H 062800 (latitude) and UTM 5970950 (longitude). On the map this is measured as a point between grid 62 and grid 63 (62.8)  and as a point between 70 and 71 ( 70.95). Better still buy a "new series" map.

The "new series" maps are now available for KNP (details above) and coordinates taken from the map can be entered directly into the GPS set to WGS84. An adjustment is given for heights, but the height accuracy of a GPS is less than the grid accuracy. It is recommended that only the "new series" maps are used with a GPS.

The accuracy of your coordinates depends on the scale of the map and the accuracy of your measurement and it is useful to have an easy to read ruler and a pencil for calculations and it would be easier to prepare coordinates at home than in the field. Entering your grid references would be useful on a trip from Kiandra to Perisher or to find a location like Tin Hut in a whiteout. Refer to the KHA website for a list of hut coordinates. Double check the accuracy of the coordinates that you enter into the GPS - if you enter the incorrect information you will travel to the wrong place. If travelling in a whiteout you must be aware of the nature of the terrain as there is little margin for error if hazards are present. Please read the last two sentences again!

The backtrack function is useful when doing a day trip from a base and the weather closes in. Such an event can occur on a trip from Charlotte Pass to Watsons Crags. It is possible to navigate back within a few metres of the outbound track; just take care not to ski too close to cornices on the way out or you may fall over them on the way back. It is a good idea to mark the starting point and significant turning points on the way out, eg saddles, river junctions, peaks etc including safe turning points near a hazard as the unit can get confused where a short but rapid change of direction is made e.g. following a river and crossing a snow bridge and then resuming the heading. The GPS should NOT be used in "battery saver" mode in any situation where accuracy is needed. If the unit is turned off to conserve the batteries always wait until the unit is recording at maximum accuracy before marking the start or inserting a waypoint.

When used to navigate to a saved or inserted waypoint the GPS will indicate the track as a straight line but there could be obstacles such as trees, cliffs, creeks etc in the way. In practice you will have to go off track but the unit will show you the way to get back on track. If you are travelling from west to east in a whiteout remember that the prevailing winds during snowfalls form lines of cornices and steep drops on ridges (eg the Kosciuszko ridge), steep drops in creek beds in a wind shadow (eg Soil Con Creek), one metre drops in flat areas (eg near Illawong lodge) and melt holes and open creeks in bog areas (eg Johnnies Plain).  

Athletic types and competitive skiers will find a GPS useful for recording total training times and distances and differences in altitude. The unit can be hung around the neck, put in a shirt pocket or in a carrying pouch attached to the arm or to a pack. It will work under a layer of clothing. 

In unfamiliar areas the map must be referred to frequently to confirm progress. A compass must be carried in case the unit fails or for plotting a course on the map. If you are starting off from a campsite in a whiteout the GPS unit can not tell you where north is until you have moved several metres so a compass is needed to indicate your initial track until the unit starts plotting your track. The pointer page on the GPS unit tells you the bearing and distance to your selected waypoint, your heading, speed, maximum speed, time to the point at your current speed, altitude, total time spent travelling, date and local time and time of sunset and sunrise as well as your current location. All this information is updated continually and the unit can be used as a compass while moving. The map page shows you the direct track to a selected waypoint and different distance scales allow you to see other waypoints in the area. It also shows your location in relation to the direct track and the waypoint. As the unit will tell you your distance and bearing from a known point so it is a simple matter to plot that position on the map. In some situations it may be advisable to divert from a known track and position to intercept a nearby road or pole-line that provides an easier or safer route.

When doing a  trip from a hut, tent, or snow cave mark the location in the GPS to be sure of finding it on the way back. The unit can be used to mark the location of drinking water. If someone is injured and a rescue party has to leave them to get assistance, mark their location in the GPS before leaving and you can be sure of finding them quickly even if returning after dark.

The GPS will give an accurate position in most tree covered areas where it is possible to ski. In other areas with heavy tree cover or in deep gullies the reception may be broken and accuracy of tracks recorded may only be within one or two hundred metres, even if the GPS indicates a greater accuracy. In these conditions the position given by the GPS  together with a map and compass and a feeling for the lie of the land should enable good navigation.

Practice with the GPS frequently as familiarity with it will show that it will on occasions give a false reading that is due to the nature of the computer program or to operator error. GPS units are now so common that there may be several in a party and it is not unusual for them to give different information. Remember that the accuracy and usefulness of a GPS depends on the accuracy of the information recorded or entered in it and the experience of the operator. More advanced GPS units  need more study to become familiar with them. 

  Do you think that the time spent studying a GPS  might be better spent looking at the terrain and the map?

  What will you say when you discover that your GPS batteries are dead and you left your compass at home?

  What will you say when you ski over a cornice while following a GPS?  sh





                                                                                                                       t !! x ! x ! X     

    However a GPS properly used is a useful aid to navigation.                                      [  back to index ]       



Skis, stocks and boots Day pack Water bottle
Thermos Climbing skins Food
Clothing Space blanket Sleeping bag
Bivouac Bag Sleeping bag liner Sleeping mat
Map Compass GPS
Whistle Camera, film, tripod Binoculars
Walkman Torch Candles
Spare batteries Plate, spoon, mug Sunglasses, spectacles, spare contact lenses & solution, mirror
Sunscreen Lipscreen Prescribed medication
Towel  Old sandshoes or wet suit boots Toilet paper, soap, toothbrush & paste, comb.
Playing cards Aerogard (in spring)  

First aid

7.5 cm crepe bandage

Triangular bandage. (Every member of a party should carry one as it takes 3 to immobilise an arm and 5 to immobilise a leg.)

Blister prevention tape or treatment.


Tent & frame & pegs Shovel Stove & fuel  
Billy(s) Bulk water container Pot scrub & wettex
GPS  EPIRB Mobile Phone
Spare ski tip Screwdriver for binding screws Leatherman ® tool
Split electrical conduit (to splint a broken stock) 5 minute araldite Boot lace
Gaffa tape 10m of strong cord (tent guy and repairs) Fire starters, dry matches, cigarette lighter.
Plastic bags, rubber bands    

Group first aid

A person who leads a group should have a first aid certificate and it is advisable to have also completed the St John Ambulance Remote Area First Aid course.

Sufficient wound dressings, bandaids, sticking plaster, Panadol, eye drops, tweezers, scissors.

These lists for clothing, food and equipment are extensive but you won’t need a porter to help you carry your gear. With careful selection a party of three should get away for a three day trip with about 15kg packs. You should choose equipment that is light weight, multi featured, functional, easy to use and most important, necessary. Avoid gimmicks but be prepared to spend money on good quality gear.  Above all be methodical and keep track of your gear and make sure that when you move off after a stop that you have all your gear with you. Over the years the writer has found many items in the snow and at campsites, such as, ice axes, 2-way radio, compass, epirb, pocket knife and tent pegs.                    


Short training runs on the Perisher loops.

Tell a friend where you are going and when you will be back.

Day trips

Enter details of participants, route & return time in a lodge touring register, or tell the NPWS or a friend.

Extended Backcountry Trips

Leave written details with a family member or a friend and advise them when you return. Advise the NPWS if you are taking an EPIRB into the backcountry.


Leader of party :  Name





Telephone no:

Emergency  contact  


Telephone no:

Names of participants.




Car make & model & Color


Registration number & state


Car parked at


Intended route



Intended campsites




Intended day trips



Equipment taken




Shelter used


snow cave


Colour of tent





Maps  : compass  :  first aid

    shovel bivouac bag

Mobile phone

Yes       No

Phone number


Date of departure


Date of return to car:

Time of return


Expected date & time of arrival at home


        back to index