Health and Safety

Team Work

It is important that each team stays together and supports each other. It is important to take adequate rest stops during the event, and your team’s pace should be guided by the fitness of the least fit team member.

Road crossings

There are only a few road crossings but trekkers are responsible for crossing the road safely and keeping a good lookout for vehicles.

Night Walking

Walking at night requires concentration and care. The ground is uneven and so you may find your team will need to slow down a little and be extra careful. Good reliable head torches are essential and each team member should carry spare batteries. If you don’t have a head torch, you should consider buying an LED type as these are very bright and consume much less battery than older-style head torches. It is recommended that your team practises at night to get used to the difference.

Dehydration

Dehydration can occur if your loss of fluids from perspiration and exposure during the event is not replaced by the amount you drink. The main symptoms are thirst, rapid breathing, pale and clammy skin, sunken eyes, tiredness and irritability, headache, and dry lips and mouth. If you experience any of these symptoms, rest, have an electrolyte drink, and consult the nearest first aid station.

Creek water

Trek for Timor passes over a number of creeks and past some water holes. None of the water in these is safe to drink. Make sure you fill your water containers at each checkpoint before continuing on. If training on the trail, ensure you have enough water with you to last for the entire section.

Weather

Weather in the Blue Mountains is always unpredictable. You should be prepared for sun, rain, hail and even snow so your clothes should cater to all weather possibilities.

Hypothermia (severe cold exposure)

Hypothermia can occur from prolonged exposure to the cold. Symptoms include pale cold skin, shivering, lethargy, drowsiness, poor judgement, and hallucinations. Prevent hypothermia by making sure you carry warmer clothes with you for when the temperature drops, that your support crew has warm clothes, blankets and warm drinks ready at each of your rest stops, and that you change out of damp clothes as soon as possible.

Hyperthermia (heat exhaustion)

Hyperthermia can result in heat exhaustion. Symptoms include muscle weakness, nausea, headaches, rapid breathing, clammy skin, and cramps. To avoid heat exhaustion, make sure you have adequate fluids, wear a hat and sunblock while on the trail, and rest in the shade when necessary.

Severe heat exhaustion can lead to heat stroke, which is a medical emergency.

Hyponatremia

This very dangerous condition is also known as water intoxication, and can occur when too much water is consumed, diluting the electrolyte levels in the body. Symptoms are similar to those of dehydration. Hyponatremia can be prevented by drinking electrolyte drinks instead of plain water, and only drinking enough to maintain normal urine output.

Blisters

Blisters are the most common injury in endurance events, and the main reason people pull out. The combination of moisture and pressure causes most blisters to form. To minimise the chance of blisters, make sure your shoes or boots are well worn in. Clip your toe nails, and file away any hardened skin or callouses. Socks are very important – those that wick moisture away from the skin are recommended, and some people like to wear a pair of liner socks underneath their walking socks. Consider changing socks at every checkpoint. If you feel a “hot spot” or blister beginning to develop, stop immediately and dress the area with a blister pad or similar.