Helen Jensen completes the BLSA Day Walk Leader Certificate

We’ve been offering training to members of our hiking clubs to complete Bushwalking Leadership SA’s Day Walk Leader Certificate. We’ve been able to provide this with grant support from the Office for Recreation, Sport and Racing.

Heather JensenLast month one of our first group of students, Heather Jensen, graduated. Heather is a member of Adelaide Bushwalkers and the Friends of the Heysen Trail.

The Day Walk Leader Certificate equips people to lead single day bushwalking trips.

Heather found the planning elements tedious, but has been surprised to learn it to be the most critical aspect of preparing for the hike. It has allowed her to be prepared and confident when leading a hike – and indeed enjoy the experience – knowing when to proceed or pull the pin, and understand the potential hazards and how mitigate those with contingency plans.

Through the course Heather has realised that she has been overly reliant on easy and accessible smartphone and devices to work out where she is in the bush. The course has equipped her with the knowledge to navigate via the “old school compass and map” method. Having seen that sometimes technology can fail or fall short, her approach now is a mix of both methods. Technology can interfere with the walk and enjoyment of it and is not necessary to get out there.

“I found when I only had the paper map to follow, I took a lot more notice of my surroundings and although this takes longer to stop and check where I am on the map, it is much more satisfying.”

On her practical trip when she led a small group on a hike she had planned, one of the hikers had a fall.

“The course taught me how to handle a variety of emergency situations, and with my First Aid skills, gave me the confidence to be calm with the injured hiker and the rest of the group, so as to best help the person and group.”

The course is delivered over multiple sessions with a five-hour practical, which as a bonus gives students time to take in what they are learning, explore the issues more and raise questions.

“I believe the course provides a good grounding in how to be a good day hike bushwalking leader and all groups should be sending their leaders on the course to ensure the safety of those in their care.  Experience and practice will help me to continue to understand and maintain what I have learned.”

You can find out more about upcoming training dates by contacting us.