Hiking Tips: Do’s and Dont's when hiking through a Rainforest

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Hiking Tips: Do’s and Dont's when hiking through a Rainforest

Rainforests are one of Earth’s most spectacular natural wonders – so it’s important that we treat them with the care and respect they deserve. We take a look at some of the do’s and don’ts when visiting a rainforest – as well as tips on how to stay safe.

Tips for Staying Safe

Rainforests are areas of wilderness and you will face potential dangers when you visit them. Keep a few of the following tips in mind to ensure you stay safe while you explore.

  • Sprinkle salt on leaches to remove them from the skin;
  • Research poisonous plants and animals in the rainforest before setting off – never eat fruit from any unknown tree species;
  • Always carry plenty of water – you can quickly become dehydrated particularly in the warmer months, and there aren’t always places to buy water;
  • Take paw paw ointment with you to protect against prickly heat;
  • Insect repellent is essential in the rainforest;
  • Always wear high-protection sunscreen and keep reapplying throughout the day – Australian sun is notoriously strong;
  • While the days can be very hot in the Australian rainforest, it can quickly turn cold in the evenings. Always take warm clothing in case you end up having to stay the night;
  • Be careful when swimming in water in and around the rainforest. Dangerous stinging jellyfish are present in many rainforest areas throughout the year.

Mobile phones won’t always work in the remote areas of rainforest – so you need to have a safety plan in place. Always let someone know where you are going, give them a map of your proposed trail and approximately what time you plan on arriving back.

Do’s and Don’ts of the Rainforest

  • Do stay on the track. By wandering off the path you will be contributing to soil erosion and causing damage to the rainforest;
  • Do take only photos, leave only footprints. Never take any rock, flora or fauna ‘souvenirs’ from the forest home with you;
  • Do observe all fire bans and never light a fire except in fireplaces or bbq’s provided;
  • Don’t bring along your pets – they are banned in all Australian National Parks;
  • Don’t touch stinging trees. These trees can cause serious injuries and even death;
  • Do take your rubbish with you when you leave – rubbish is both unattractive and dangerous to wildlife;
  • Do drive carefully to avoid injuring wildlife.

Crocodile Safety in Rainforests

One of the main dangers you face when visiting tropical rainforests, such as Daintree, are estuarine crocodiles. Crocodiles are very dangerous so it’s important you know how to keep yourself safe.

  • Never swim in areas where crocodiles may live – even if there are no warning signs;
  • Never approach or provoke crocodiles, regardless of their size;
  • Look out for crocodile slide marks as this may mean they are still close by;
  • Never feed crocodiles – it is both illegal and dangerous;
  • Never prepare food or take part in activities near the water’s edge or banks;
  • Always report large crocodile sightings to the ranger.