A recent survey by outdoor app AllTrails has spotlighted a problem – Australians are lacking some key skills out on the trails.


We are a nation that loves quality time in the great outdoors – but are we equipped to do it safely?

A survey commissioned by AllTrails, and published by The Guardian, suggests we might not be living up to our outdoorsy reputation!

According to the survey, just one in three Aussies know how to deal with getting lost out on the trails – while two in three totally reconsider going on trail walks due to safety concerns.


Why I’m Proud To Hike Like a Girl, Karina Morgan, Female hiker, hiking, Budawangs, squeeze, rock

Some trails are trickier than they appear! | @karinamaree

Lacking Basic Safety Skills

The results revealed that only 38% of Aussies surveyed felt confident with basic first aid when hiking.

Plus, 43% didn’t feel confident knowing what to do if they encountered a dangerous animal – and only 6% felt confident dealing with a bite from a snake or spider.

‘Australians have that reputation of loving outdoor activities and adventure’, Pitt Grewe, Head of Public Land Partnerships at AllTrails told The Guardian. ‘It is a bit surprising to see people do not know how to deal with [these obstacles].’

Read more: How To Keep Yourself Safe Around Snakes


Cape Hauy – A Guide to Hiking This Jaw-Dropping Tassie Coastline, Remi Chauvin, hiking, Tasmania, yay, jump, happy, cliffs

The feeling when you get through a hike without seeing any snakes | @monsieurremi

How to Boost Your Trail Safety Knowledge

According to The Guardian, since 2017, Victoria SES and Parks Victoria have performed 30 separate search and rescue operations at Werribee Gorge State Park, Lerderderg State Park, and the Brisbane Ranges National Park alone.

So how do we become a nation of confident hikers?

Caro Ryan, author of How To Navigate and founder of Lotsafreshair, says it’s not just about being confident but being competent.

‘It can be tricky to judge the level of your skills accurately…If you really want to gain competence (not just confidence), invest in a solid course where you can learn the ropes and not just be taken’, Caro says. ‘If budgets are tight, go online and seek out reputable resources and helpful videos, or even buy/borrow books like my How to Navigate and then practice, practice, practice’, Caro says.


The Ultimate Explorer’s Guide to The Grampians, Ben Savage, Grampians, Visit Victoria, Sponsored, map, stove, food, snacks

‘We’re here…but we should be here’ | @ben.savage


‘Outdoor clubs, like those listed with Bushwalking Australia offer a great way to learn from more experienced leaders and develop your skills in a supportive environment. University clubs are also a good place to start’, Caro suggests.

From reading the weather conditions, to letting someone know where you’re going, preparation will always make exploring the great outdoors safer.

We Are Explorers has a heap of Skills & Safety tips thanks to our Explorers – from How Tos, to stories of misadventure and what not to do! Hit it up to build your outdoor knowledge and help regain our reputation as a nation of outdoor frothers!

What do you think of the survey results? Do you feel confident exploring walking trails in Australia? Let us know in the comments.


Feature photo from NPWS JSpencer