A first step is to be safe. . .
An introduction to O-mapping for the novice
The cartographic process for orienteering maps
and always let someone know where you are going
Yes, it always is.
Weather conditions are important considerations. State Forests and National Parks are usually formally closed if it is too hot.
Check the National Parks alerts list
Always a good idea to have a basic first-aid kit handy.
No! You need to find out how to treat a snake bite.
When a Nelson NZ doctor was checking an orienteering course she had a problem. She was tagging control sites.
One of the sites was mapped as a small depression. It proved to be 10m deep and on approaching it she slipped and injured her knee.
Dr Clendon was carrying a personal locator beacon in her backpack and set it off, put on extra clothing and, while she waited for help, she bandaged her knee. [From a report in the NZ Herald.]
Are you prepared?
The ONSW Manual Section 4.3 lists event safety as the first step to consider when planning an event. These notes do not just apply to the day of the event. They apply to all stages leading up to an event. This includes the mapping field work.
A brief summary of the safety requirements:
Before, during and after the competition time, the mapper, course planner, controller and other officials need to be cognisant of their own safety. This should include the following:
Other important safety information can be found on the NSW State Emergency Service's website: https://www.bsar.org.au/
Free apps are available for your mobile that give emergency services your GPS co-ordinates.
A check with the area's administering authority is always a good idea. Always make certain that your access is legal and authourised.
This NSW Government website has useful information on hunting in State Forests:
National Parks also have information on closures for pest control in their parks:
National Parks Pest Control
Unauthorised hunters are probably a greater risk.
Always wear a high visibility top.
Again, the administering authority may have some information.
If someone else is drawing up your fieldwork ensure they understand your fieldwork.
This section is based on a presentation by Andrew Lumsden, Technical Director, ONSW, with updates and emendations.
NB Don't take it for granted that your mobile phone will work. Remote areas may be poorly served. Check if your fieldwork area is covered.