Most Aussies who bushwalk prefer to holiday outdoors

If you are an occasional or regular bushwalker, the theme of your next holiday is likely to have an outdoor adventure theme, according to Roy Morgan Research. A recent survey from the research group found that most bushwalkers prefer to holiday in the wilderness more than anything else.

“People who bushwalk either regularly or occasionally tend to behave in a certain way when they go on holidays, engaging in energetic physical activity and seeking out natural surroundings more than the average Australian,” said Angela Smith, Group Director of Roy Morgan Research.

Respondents in the survey indicated a preference for “unspoiled regions” such as Freycinet National Park, the Flinders Ranges, Cradle Mountain and Lord Howe Island.

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According to Angela Smith at Roy Morgan, the two age groups of Australians who regularly bushwalk and hike are young people aged 20-24 and the 60-64 age bracket.

But there are risks involved in outdoor adventures for all ages. The most recent Australia wide data into snake bites and poisonous plants was dated to 2005. It found that from 2002-2005, 5,977 people were hospitalised from being in contact with poisonous plants and animals. But the good news is that none of those people died. 

Another risk to bushwalkers and hikers while exploring is getting lost. For example, between 2004 and 2007, nearly 400 people were reported missing in the NSW Blue Mountains.

If you are a nature-loving bushwalker like the respondents in Roy Morgan Research’s survey, read the following tips to stay safe on your next adventure:

- Find your travel insurance match in our comparison hub here and make sure it will cover your itinerary. Keep in mind, standard travel insurance policies generally don’t cover hikes over 5,000 metres unless you pay a higher premium. 

- Stay hydrated, but don’t drink too much water or you’ll be at risk of Hyponatremia (dangerous sodium levels that can cause swelling in the brain).

- Snack on salted nuts and sultanas to keep energised.

- Let the local park rangers know where you’re going before you head out. 

- Make sure you know what to do if you get bitten by a brown snake. The Conversation has a useful how-to guide based on medical research here.

- Wear the right gear with proper technical fabrics to protect you from harsh weather.