Walk Safe

Nature: Safety
10-12 years, 12-14 years
Anticipate Time
1 hour min
2-5, 5-15, 15-30
Responsibility, Consideration


Pathfinders learn 14 Rules for Hiking Safely

Through participation in this Pursuit, the Pathfinder will:

  1. Practice the 14 rules for Hiking safely
  2. Use their creativity to demonstrate a safety rule
  3. Role play a number of hiking rules

Scripture Focus

Memory Verse

Proverbs 1:32-33
For the waywardness of the simple will kill them, and the complacency of fools will destroy them; but whoever listens to me will live in safety and be at ease, without fear of harm.

As Christians, we have a responsibility to care for each other and for the environment we live in. God calls us to enjoy creation, and He has given us information and intelligence to learn to care for ourselves when we are out enjoying the wilderness He created for us.


  1. Photocopy the 14 rules found in appendix A.
  2. Assemble materials
  • Prizes (optional)
  • Poster card
  • Textas, paint, pens etc


The purpose of this Pursuit is to help Pathfinders remember the rules for safe hiking at any time and in any climate. Encourage creative ways of expressing and learning the rules – emphasizing that these rules apply any time you go into the ‘bush’. Knowing the rules will do no good at all if they are not followed. Make sure that a variety of applications for the rules are considered as Pathfinders have some fun with this Pursuit. (The more fun you can have with creative ways of learning, the safer you are going to make your Pathfinders. Having fun with this Pursuit could save a life!)

1. Introduce or review the 14 rules for safe hiking. Give each Pathfinder a sheet with the rules written. (See Appendix list)

2. Divide the Pathfinders into small groups of at least three and give each group a different ‘real life’ hiking scenario. You may choose from the following list or make your own:
a. A day hike in a Queensland rain forest
b. A few friends exploring the bush outside of Adelaide
c. A walk in the mountains of North Island, NZ
d. A day walk to the top of a mountain in Tasmania
e. An overnight Pathfinder bushwalk outside of Perth
f. Climbing a ski slope in summer on the South Island of NZ
g. A Sabbath afternoon hike in the snow in Victoria
h. Exploring a NSW river in the summer rain
i. A walk around Uluru
j. A hike up the beach in West Australia
k. An afternoon shoreline exploration in Northern Territory

3. Ask each group to come up with a skit, story, poem, song or some other creative way of presenting the 14 rules as they each apply to their specific situation (above).

4. Ask each group to also present some visual reminder of the 14 rules in the form of a poster, flash cards, symbols, etc… (encourage them to work out a way to remember them on their own).

5. Ask each group to present their skit to another group of Pathfinders (who aren’t studying the same thing) or to parents, church members, school friends, etc… If nothing else, present them to each other!

6. Finish by giving prizes to any Pathfinders who can remember all 14 rules on their own without help.


Leaders, be sure to follow up on discussing when and how the Pathfinders saw the memory text in action throughout this Pursuit. 
Select from the questions below:

  • Did you learn all 14 rules?
  • What was something fun you did to learn the rules?
  • Which of the rules have you done before when you went hiking in the bush?


  • Which of the rules do you think is the MOST important to safety? Why?
  • Name a way that one of the rules could save your life.


  • Which one of the rules have you broken in the past?
  • Which rule do you think you might be able to keep when you go hiking?


  • By keeping these rules you could save the life of a friend. How can you help teach these rules to other Pathfinders?



14 Rules for Hiking Safely

Safety is important whether you are day hiking or overnight backpacking. Proper planning, preparation, and appropriate gear along are essential to a safe excursion in any climate.

Before You Leave 

1. Plan ahead. Learn about the area ahead of time. Study the latest guidebooks and maps that give information on trails, streams and other physical features. Plan your trip carefully according to routes and the time you have available. Check weather reports before you set out.

2. Prepare yourself physically. If your planned recreation calls for considerable physical exertion, get in shape beforehand. Do not attempt a trip that is beyond your physical capabilities.
3. Leave word of your destination and schedule. In order to locate you in an emergency or send assistance should you need it, leave word at home or with a friend as to where you are going and when you intend to return. Never go alone.
4. Know the rules and guidelines for appropriate behavior for the area you are visiting. Get a permit if required. Learn where you can go, what equipment is required, where and how you can camp or cook.
5. Wear strong hiking shoes or boots. Layered clothing is best to meet changing weather conditions. If cool or wet conditions, take a sweater, raincoat and avoid cotton clothing. Should the weather get worse, turn back in time.
6. Take along emergency equipment. Pack a day pack containing high energy food, first aid kit, pocket knife, whistle and matches in a waterproof container.

On The Trail 

7. Keep to marked trails. Don’t move into unknown terrain, especially during descent. Don’t throw stones, and don’t take shortcuts through serpentines.
8. Carry a compass and a topographic map of the area and know how to use both.
9. Carry water. Don’t drink from ponds or streams unless you have treated it first by boiling, filtering or using purification tablets.
10. Sign in at any trail register you may pass. This will assist in finding you should the need arise.

If Lost or Injured 

11. If you become lost, keep calm, stay dry, keep warm and stay put.
12. If it appears that you will need to spend the night out, try to build a campfire and a shelter. A campfire will be invaluable in locating you if you have been reported missing. Find ways to make yourself noticeable from the air.
13. In case of accident, at least one person should remain with the injured person. Know and use basic first aid techniques. Make notes of all treatment and plans and leave notes with victim and at trail junctions. Put time, location and action taken on any notes.
14. When confused, remember that following streams downhill will nearly always lead you back to signs of habitation.