Tips to Plan Your Walkabout

Ayers Rock, Australia

A Walkabout is defined as a “journey on foot undertaken by an Australian Aboriginal in order to live in the traditional manner.” Meaning it is a rite of passage for the Aborigines. The male teenagers would venture out on their own and may be gone as long as six months. However, the term has also come to represent a spiritual journey that one might take. It might also simply refer to a desire to wander, explore, and enjoy a trip.

If you desire such a trip, it’s important to make a few plans and preparations.

Deadline or Destination?

Because a walkabout is an expedition and it may not have a specific itinerary, it’s important to have some sort of ending point. The ending point may be a destination. For example, you may start at the tip of a national park and plan to head to the opposite end. Or you might have a date that you’ll be finished. For example, you might head to a wildlife reserve or national park in Australia and camp and hike for five days. You don’t need a schedule or itinerary, simply a desired end point.

Contacts and Communication

If you’re doing this walkabout on your own then it’s vitally important that you let others know where you’re going. You don’t need to be in constant communication with them. However, let them know your destination and/or the date to expect to hear from you. If you have a general path that you’ll be following, make sure that information is shared as well. This way, should there be an emergency; someone will know where to find you.

Gear Requirements

Depending on the type of walkabout you’re contemplating, there will be various gear requirements. For example, if you’ll be hiking through Uluru then you’ll need sun protection, water and water purification, as well as shelter. If you’re camping in a cabin in Tasmania then you’ll need different items.

The weather will also affect your gear choices and requirements. Check with the locals to learn what to expect so that you can make a good gear checklist and travel with the necessary survival supplies.

Finally, consider having an alternative plan. Sometimes things just don’t work out. For example, maybe you’d planned on traveling by river but recent rains have made the waters dangerous. Part of the walkabout adventure is going with the flow.
If you’re heading on a walkabout you’ll undoubtedly learn much about yourself. It can be an excellent experience and a necessary step on your path. At the very least you’ll have an Australian vacation to remember.

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