The Katherine region Parks and Reserves have wonderful walking trails ranging from paved footpaths to the Jatbula Trail.
They meander through paperbark forest, over escarpment and along riverbanks, down from the car park or deep into the bush.
Each is an individual and very special experience that helps us to understand our natural environment and appreciate its subtlety and often stark beauty.
All tracks are different depending on where they are and what purpose they serve, however there is one thing they have in common and that is the need for people to be prepared when setting out, no matter how short the adventure.
We are well into the build-up and the weather is definitely hot. Temperatures are reaching into the forties at times.
The sun has superheated the rocks up on the escarpment meaning that it can be up to ten degrees hotter up there than down by the riverside. A hike through a sandstone landscape at fifty degrees is definitely not for the faint hearted.
A well-prepared explorer would leave as early in the day as possible and should prepare for a long stop at midday. Walking in the cooler hours can mean the difference between enjoying your day out and ending up with cramps and exhaustion or worse by the end of your hike.
Hiking in the heat will also mean that you need a significantly larger amount of water than normal simply to keep going.
Your body will use at least a litre of water an hour hiking during the day, make sure that you are well hydrated before heading out and take at least three to five litres of water with you, and drink it!.
A shady hat, sun safe clothing, closed in, sturdy and well-fitting shoes, a comfortable back pack, something to eat and a first aid kit, sunscreen and a map complete the most basic of hiking kits.
A satellite phone and a personal locator beacon can be lifesavers. A quick web search will bring up many companies that are able to hire you these expensive but very useful items if you don’t plan on needing them regularly.
Make sure that someone knows where you are going, when you are expected back, hike with a friend and come home safe.