Outdoor equipment is supplied through many shops and online stores in Australia. However if you are researching brands, here is a selection of websites from across the world. All popular brands are shown without fear or favour - you decide!
(In alphabetical order - updated 15 March 2013)
The magnificence of the Australian outdoors on a sunny summer's day, can blind us to the reality, if bad weather hits.
This photograph was taken in April 1985 at Blue Lake, a time when snow is not normally expected. When the tent was pitched the evening before, the weather was fine and warm and there was no snow at all.
WARNING: the 121.5MHz EPRIB System ceased to operate from 1 February 2009. Walkers should replace their old EPIRBs with the new PLB (Personal Locator Beacons) on 406 MHz.
Hypothermia is the reduction in the core temperature, by a few degrees, of a human being. It can result in death in an hour.
It is agravated by the combination of cold, wind and wet.A person suffering from hypothermia is likely to walk aimlessly, talk non-sense and feel unconcerned about their fate - ie sit and "wait untill it all gets better".
The condition is very hard to judge without lots of experience. A person who is wet, in ANY wind is likely to suffer to some degree. Get them out of the wind, in a hut, a tent, behind a boulder or off the ridge. Get them into a sleeping bag, or wrapped in a foil groundsheet. Feed warm liquid, but not alcohol. Nor put them too near a fire, as their heat will be drawn to their outer skin. Warm against other bodies.
To avoid getting hypothermia, wear multi-layered clothing, that keeps the wind out.
The NPWS has the view (given in writing) that EPIRBs will save a person in this state. This is unlikely, as a helicopter would rarely arrive in time. However, they are better than nothing. Huts, tents and correctly built snow caves provide immediate shelter.
Are you ready? Any time of the year?
EPIRB stands for Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacon. An EPIRB (or PLB Personal Locator Beacon) is a small radio device that sends a signal to a satellite or airplane, indicating that you are lost or in trouble.
There are many brands and models available, varying by cost, features, wieght and size.
An epirb or satellite phone is desirable for many Park activities, such as remote hut maintenance. It is likely that if you make an emergency call with a satellite phone for assistance, you will be asked if you have an EPIRB. Activiating these devices removes any possibility of getting the location coordinates wrong by either party.
KHA owns a few satellite phones, that are available for use by members. Contact the HMO for the area you intend to visit (see bottom of home page).
A standard mobile phone cannot be relied on, as the coverage is very restricted away from the resorts. And a GPS has no way of contacting anyone else. Still, with GPS, mobile phone and an EPIRB, a lot of the risks of bushwalking and skiing are very much reduced.
Renting or buying an EPIRB
EPIRBS can be rented from the Kosciusko National Parks Visitors Centre (Ph 02-6450 5600) for about $10 per day or from a number of companies. Search the web for one that suits you.
Marine retailers and outdoor shops such as Paddy Pallins sell them for about $300 - $400.
Updated 20 March 2013.