Table of Contents
Why go hiking?
The physical benefits include improved heart health and endurance, stronger bones and muscles, improved balance and agility, and after a long day out – a good nights sleep! Uneven ground, crossing icy creeks, ducking under branches, it is all good exercise for us. Mentally, hiking is a great way to make friends and build community, to reduce stress and anxiety, to improve your self-esteem and resilience, and to keep your mind sharp.
All types of exercise and movement are good for us, but exercise in nature offers so much more than a gym. Aside from the smell of the bush, the green of nature is an antidote against the attention overload and constant distractions of modern life. Lack of mobile coverage can be a good thing.
You may prefer to go out hiking on your own or with your partner, we sometimes do that too. But if you are looking for a local group to make new friends and take you to new places, affiliated with Bushwalking NSW and insured, then come and join Coffs Hikers.
What to wear and bring on a walk
For a short walk or a day walk please wear suitable closed walking shoes and clothes to protect you from the bush, sun and weather. Pack a small daypack with water to drink, lunch and snacks, your first aid kit, a warm layer, rain gear. Toilet paper, hand sanitiser and a ziplock bag for rubbish. And don’t forget some money for car pooling.
Walking poles, a camera, a seat pad, and a head torch are optional extras. In cold weather, beanie, gloves, thermals are essential. Gaiters and scrub gloves are helpful when off-track. If you are interested in learning navigation skills, a map, compass and GPS device or smartphone app are good to have. A towel and change of clothes in the car can be useful in wet weather. For an overnight or multi-day walk, you will need a larger pack, with a tent, sleeping bag and mat, food and stove.
You are responsible for your own safety and well being. We expect all walkers to be self-reliant. Further information on what to wear and bring with you, and what to pack in your first aid kit. Leaders may refuse to take you if you are inadequately dressed or equipped. Coffs Hikers has insurance through Bushwalking NSW, but you need to arrange your own Ambulance Cover.
How to join a walk
If you are not a member, please first sign up and pay the membership fee. Then login and browse the Calendar to choose an activity suitable for your fitness and skills. Once you have chosen your activity, you need to make a booking (or join the waitlist if it is full). Remember to cancel your booking as soon as possible if things change and you cannot go.
Children may be allowed on some walks, please contact the leader ahead of the walk to discuss if the walk is suitable for your child. Leaders may refuse to take children. If the leader agrees to accept your child, you will need to bring a signed Acknowledgement of Risk and Waiver for a Child with you to the walk.
While on a walk with Coffs Hikers
Caro explains Team Spirit when walking in a group with a club in this excellent video.
- Tell your emergency contact where you are going and when you will be back.
- Please arrive in good time at the meeting place ready to walk, we do not wait for latecomers.
- Inform the leader of any issues or concerns you have that may affect your participation in the activity.
- Keep up with the group. If the pace is challenging, please chat to the leader. Please don’t leave the group without the consent of the leader.
- If you become separated from the group, call out (Cooee!) or three blasts on your whistle. Then listen and wait.
- At the end of the activity, don’t forget to thank the volunteer leader, and pay your share of transport costs
Please follow the Bushwalkers Code for minimal impact bushwalking. Caro explains the seven ways to leave no trace in this short video.
We frequently car pool from a meeting point set by the leader, for a number of reasons:
- it is better for the environment
- parking space at the walk start may be limited
- 4WD vehicles may be needed to access a walk start
- a car shuffle may be required on a one-way walk.
You may be asked to help with car pooling or setting up a car shuffle. Car pooling costs are shared. The leader will recommend a car pooling contribution for each passenger, based on the estimate distance and a rate (currently 18c per kilometre per passenger, regardless of the number of people in the car). We ask all passengers to pay their share directly to the drivers of the vehicles they travel in. We suggest the use of electronic payments (drivers might want to set up PayID), otherwise please bring sufficient change with you to pay your share of car costs.
Privacy - photographs, routes and social media
Feel free to share your photos on our group Facebook page – access to this group is limited to members of Coffs Hikers. It is courteous to ask before taking or publishing close up photos of others. Please do not publish photos of children without parent permission.
Please do not share on public social media any route information or access details for walks that are substantially off track, on private property, or in areas that are environmentally or culturally sensitive.