All runners (that includes those doing the 22 km—so please do not ask again), must carry with them as a minimum the following safety equipment. The reason for this is if someone were to injure themselves out on the trail, they may need to either walk out or wait a couple of hours for medical assistance.

Given the area is subject to sudden changes in weather and the possibility of an injured person rapidly loosing core body temperature or going into shock, these items are considered the minimum safety requirements:

  • Waterproof and windproof jacket with hood
  • Waterproof and windproof pants
  • Spare long sleeved thermal top and long johns (not “skins” or equivalent)
  • Beanie and/or hat, gloves
  • Waterproof map of the area, compass or GPS (knowledge of how to use them in both day and night conditions). Recommended is Vic map 1:25,000 Buller Stirling or Spatial Vision 1:50,000 Buller – Howitt Alpine Area. You may download and use the maps on the website
  • Lighter or waterproof matches
  • Whistle
  • Emergency space blanket/bag
  • Personal First aid requirements: bandaids, antiseptic, painkillers etc.
  • Broad bandage for snake bites and sprains (8-10 restrictive bandage—white crepe bandages are NOT acceptable) - see below
  • Mobile phone (Telstra has best coverage) and/or Personal Location Beacon
  • Torch and spare batteries (plus spare batteries for GPS)
  • Food for the run and emergency food if lost
  • Camera—highly recommended—scenery is fantastic

Snake Bite - Mandatory Safety Equipment

Please watch this video prepared by trail runner Dr Cheryl Martin.

The crepe bandage on the right is not acceptable. Ensure that, as a minimum you bring an elastic compression bandage 10 cm in width. You can obtain these from most chemist stores. A crepe bandage may assist in covering the bite wound.

Recent research shows that the effectiveness of traditional crepe bandages is significantly lower than modern elastic bandages in treating a snake bite, and even elastic bandages will be compromised if they are not applied at the correct pressure. In most cases it has been found that not enough pressure is applied when using these bandages, decreasing their efficacy.

In terms of bandaging technique, firm pressure bandaging is required to restrict the lymphatic flow of toxins after snake bite. Strict limb immobilisation is necessary to minimise lymphatic flow, since walking after snake bite will inevitably result in the spread of toxins throughout the body, and render any pressure bandaging useless. More detailed insight can be gained from Australian Venom Research Unit – First aid for snakebite.

Gaiters are likely to be effective against snake bite as Australian snakes generally have small fangs. If the snake were to bite through a closely woven, thick gaiter, the venom will either be absorbed by the gaiter itself, or, due to its position away from the calf, will lead to the venom running down the inside rather than making contact with skin. Source: Wild Magazine, Dec 2014

NB: All runners in the 36/45 km distances MUST have sufficient experience/equipment to allow them to either find an alternate route back to run headquarters or wait out the night and complete the run the following day if required.

A gear check will be conducted on the Saturday night/Sunday morning as well as random gear checks on the Sunday during the run. Failure to carry ALL the mandatory gear listed above will mean you will NOT be permitted to run. Please pay special attention to the requirements regarding bandage.

Any runner in the 36/45 km events who withdraws or is unable to complete the run back to Mt Buller Village by 5:00 P.M. on the Sunday MUST attempt to contact the event director by mobile phone (0418 136 070) and advise their status. If you have only one bar showing on your phone for signal strength—send an SMS message.