Members are expected to be fully self-sufficient for three days even though the attendance requirement is for two days. The full list of bushwalking equipment shown below and three days food should be brought for all call-outs.
The following lists assume the member is an experienced overnight walker capable of operating in all conditions, including snow. Each member must bring the normal gear for a three-day walk. Excess equipment may be left at search base in a labelled bag showing name, club, home address and telephone numbet Likewise, all major items should be labelled with your name and club.
Do not leave items out assuming somebody else will have them. Your equipment must be kept in a good state of repair.
A break for lunch, Baw Baw National Park practice 1999
In addition to normal bushwalking or ski-touring gear, the following is required. All items mandatory unless stated otherwise.
|Tent||Do not plan to share a tent with a friend. You may be split into separate groups.|
|Sleeping mat, closed cell foam||Self-inflating mats may puncture during casualty management, evacualion or emergency bivvy. Take both if desired.|
|Towel & soap||Optional. Useful where base accommodation is provided.|
|Stove, billy, fuel & matches||Ensure adequate fuel for three days cooking.|
|Water||Minimum two lifres in sturdy container(s). Fill at home.|
|Food for three days||Easily prepared, nutritious and durable. Refer to separate list of suggestions later in this chapter.|
|First aid kit & medication||Refer to Chapter 11.|
|Sunscreen, sunglasses, hat|
|Weatherproof clothing||Goretex® or equivalent material hooded jacket and over trousers.|
|Torch, powerful||Powerful head torch recommended with spare batteries and globe.|
|Long trousers, heavy duty||Required for prolonged periods of thick scrub bashing. Shorts are NOT suitable for searching.|
|Gloves, leather||Leather garden gloves or leather riggers gloves. Required for scrub bashing.|
|Cordage, 10- 12 metres||Venetian blind cord or 5mm sisal recommended. Required for bush stretchers.|
|Cutting implement (garden saw or machete)||For fabricating bush stretcher, clearing evacuation path or preparing an emergency shelter. Ensure the culling edge is suitably guarded.|
|Coloured toilet paper, one roll||For marking boundaries of areas searched, clues and finds.|
|Large plasfic bags (2)||Wheelie bin liners ideal. Used for hypothermia treatment, bivvy bag.|
|Storage bag or large sports bag||For storage of personal items at base. Ensure name and club is clearly visible. Must be waterproof, as shefter at base is not guaranteed.|
|Compass, whistle & map case|
|Note pad and pen||Store in waterproof plaslic bag.|
|Map of area (if known)||Optional. In most cases, photocopies of areas to be searched will be issued at base. Personal maps, in cdour, can aid navigation.|
|GPS||Optional. Confirm grid datum in use before leaving base (AGD for maps printed pre 2000, GDA for maps printed post 2000).|
|Large felt lipped pen (waterproof)||Optional. Marking the group number on search boundary markers (toilet paper).|
|Rope, 30 mattes 8 mm kernmantle (scrambling rope)||Optional. Personal support on steep terrain or negoflaling small cliffs. Assisting with stretcher escort in steep terrain.|
|Karabiner, screw gate||Optional. Stretcher escort personal support, pack hauling.|
|Large day pack||Optional. Minimum 40 litres, as most day packs are too small for searching. An alternative is to use your weekend size pack for day searching.|
|Cross country skis and ski poles||
Applies only to members listed as Skiers according to the membership requirements. Only bring a type suitable for back country skiing with heavy loads. Metal edges are essential.
Skins or rope climbers could be useful. Bundle your skis and stocks together for transport.
BSAR skis may be issued at base. These skis are fitted with Nordic 75mm three-pin XCD bindings only. Do not rely upon these being available.
Table 7.1 Personal equipment to take on a search
A large day pack of sufficient capacity to carry the items listed for day searching, including a sleeping bag, is essential as well as the normal pack. As an alternative, the normal pack may be used in place of the day pack, provided a sturdy bag which can be easily carried is brought for the balance of your equipment, e.g. sturdy sports bag.
Clothing should be brightly coloured, if possible, to aid recognition in the bush, or a bright panel or pack cover could be used with day pack or weekend size pack. BSAR usually issues a bright pack cover for the duration of the search. These have proved to be very effective for visibility in scrub, poor light and snow.
Remember that searching is often done in much rougher terrain and scrub than would normally be experienced on bushwalking trips, hence the need for such items as scrub gloves, tough long pants and gaiters.
In addition, a BSAR vest may be issued and should be worn to distinguish BSAR volunteers from others.
Maps are usually supplied by the Police. However, members should bring their own maps if possible.
Packing group and personal gear
Snow conditions require cross-country skis or snow—shoes. Skis must be fitted with reliable safety straps.
A few searches require more specialised equipment such as ropes, ice axes or crampons. If you have completed BSAR alpine training, bring this equipment on winter searches as it may be used. For more information see Alpine Search and Rescue.
Bringing extra equipment “just in case” may seem like heresy to the weight-conscious walker or ski tourer. However, unlike on a normal trip, surplus gear can be left at the search base when the search terrain and conditions are known. Time is always allowed for this purpose. A policy of “when in doubt, bring it” is appropriate for search packing.
Updated 16 Feb 2011