Know your limits
Avoid taking unnecessary risks and ensure that your skills, experience and fitness are appropriate for any activities that you plan to undertake. Be prepared to develop your skills and experience on less demanding adventures before taking on greater challenges.
Consider the capabilities of yourself and your group when planning your activities and if you can:
- carry sufficient water and other resources
- navigate by map if other devices fail
- drive safely to road conditions that you might experience
- repair or do without equipment if it breaks down
- comfortably cope with expected and possible weather conditions
If you are part of a group, make sure that all participants in the group are prepared and plan your activities to be comfortable for the least able member of the group. Make sure at least one experienced person in the group can guide and help others during the activity and in an emergency. Allow plenty of time to finish your activity in daylight.
Weather and sun protection
Be prepared for weather that is forecast for the time of your park visit but also for unexpected changes. Consider visiting during mild weather conditions to avoid weather extremes and bushfire hazards. Be aware that the temperature in some areas, such as gorges, may be up to 10°C higher on hot days, or much lower in the shade of the steep gorge walls. Avoid sunburn by wearing a hat, shirt and sunscreen, even on overcast days. See 'When to go' for more information about Western Australia's climate and weather conditions.
Ensure your equipment is appropriate, in good condition and that you know how to use it. Take essential supplies such as a first aid kit, torch, matches, extra fuel, food and water in case of unexpected delays. Wear sun protection, boots or sturdy footwear and clothing that is weatherproof and scratchproof.
The availability of water in parks, especially drinking water, cannot be guaranteed. Do not expect to find water supplied or in natural watercourses, even in winter. Always carry enough for your own needs.
As a minimum carry and drink 1 litre of water per hour of walking, per person.
Most water sources in parks are untreated. Treat any available water to make it safe for consumption unless it is indicated that it is safe to drink. Water in water tanks is not suitable for drinking, food preparation or human consumption without treatment. Treatment can be vigorous boiling for at least one minute, mechanical filtration or chemical treatment.
First aid training will prepare you to manage most common injuries and conditions and specialist remote area first aid training and first aid kits are available. Always carry a first aid kit and check that items are clean, properly sealed, have not exceeded expiry dates and that used items have been replaced. St John Ambulance Australia has excellent first aid fact sheets, including for heat-induced conditions and for stings and bites.
Many parks have limited or no mobile coverage so you can not always rely on mobile phones for safety or in an emergency. Where there is coverage, expect it to be inconsistent for voice and text and slow for data. In most parks there is little or no service from most providers and for other parks there is no service available from any provider.
Information on mobile phone and internet coverage is available from your mobile service provider.
If you are travelling into more remote locations, consider carrying a personal locator beacon (PLB) or satellite phone. For more information see below and 'In an emergency'.
Satellite communications services and products are available that will provide coverage in all parks. Even so, a direct line of sight between your device and a satellite is needed, so you cannot connect from caves, deep gorges or under dense tree canopies.
A range of satellite phones, EPIRB's (Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacons), PLB's (Personal Locator Beacons) and devices that connect smartphones to satellites are available. Some suppliers offer a rental service.
You may have to carry an EPIRB in your vessel in a marine park. Check the Department of Transport for details.
There are few public telephones in parks. You can search for the locations of public telephones at Telstra.