Appearing late in 2016, a new website built in partnership with the National Parks Association NSW (NPANSW) and Wildwalks offers bushwalking advice to beginners.
With the domain www.bushwalking101.org, the project was lead by Matt McClelland (Activities Program coordinator) with Dr Helen Smith (Bushwalking Program Officer NPANSW) conducting much of the research and writing much of the content.
Articles are arranged under core categories such as ‘Get Started’, ‘Skill’ and ‘Thrive’.
McClelland said the initiative aims to specifically help new adventurers have safe and enjoyable experiences in NSW parks and reserves, and to expect more in the weeks and months to come.
“We did not want to produce just another field guide,” he said. “We really want to help people to thrive in the wild. Every article is easy to read, many have videos and the text is broken into short sections. We also have lots of great images and diagrams to help explain concepts.
“It was important to me that we do not just produce something based on our experience, it must be more robust than that. Before we start writing we undertake academic research, looking for what evidence exists. When we write each article we make sure it starts with simple practical advice, then we start to dig into the details to explain the rationale. The rationale and evidence are important because it allows our readers and members to not only get good advice quickly but to help them adapt as situations change.”
“We’ve been working hard to write a wide range of articles with best practice information covering everything from footwear, to navigation and etiquette,” he explained. “However there’s plenty more to come. While it’s certainly pitched at people getting started with day walks, I am getting feedback from more experienced walkers saying that they are finding it very helpful. We plan to keep building Bushwalking 101 adding more information to help better equip for overnight walks and to improve leadership skills.”Designed to be easily viewed on mobile and desktop computers, the website offers a user-friendly experience that should put it in good stead to attract a strong online following.