ImageAustralia has two main types of CB or Citizen Band radio.  This articles lists the channels and frequencies used by the AM or 27MHz type.  This is the cheapest type of CB available and used for long distance communications.

The 27Mhz frequency table is below.  Don’t forget that on the AM band same radio have the choice of use of single side band technology.  Generally speaking most people use the both side bands in normal AM mode.
Channel Freq (MHz) Use
1 26.965
2 26.975
3 26.985
4 27.005
5 27.015
6 27.025
7 27.035
8 27.055 Road contact
9 27.065 Emergency Calling only
10 27.075
11 27.085 General Call (IE contact then find another channel)
12 27.105
13 27.115
14 27.125
15 27.135
16 27.155 General call for Side Band (LSB)
17 27.165
18 27.175
19 27.185
20 27.205
21 27.215
22 27.225
23 27.245
24 27.235
25 27.255
26 27.265
27 27.275
28 27.285
29 27.295
30 27.305
31 27.315
32 27.325
33 27.335
34 27.345
35 27.355
36 27.365
37 27.375
38 27.385
39 27.395
40 27.405

Image Not much use in day to day life, but some people are curious.  The Phonetic alphabet does have a real use when using a two way radio and the signal is not very clear.  In an emergency just one number or letter out may make a big difference, so this is worth knowing.




Letters Morse Phonetic How to pronounce
A · – Alpha AL FAH
B – · · · Bravo BRAH VOE
C – · – · Charlie CHAR LEE
D – · · Delta DELL TAH
E · Echo ECK OH
F · · – · Foxtrot FOKS TROT
G – – · Golf GOLF
H · · · · Hotel HO TELL
I · · India IN DEE AH
J · – – – Juliet JEW LEE ETT
K – · – Kilo KEY LOH
L · – · · Lima LEE MAH
M – – Mike MIKE
N – · November NO VEM BER
O – – – Oscar OSS CAH
P · – – · Papa PAH PAH
Q – – · – Quebec KEH BECK
R · – · Romeo ROW ME OH
S · · · Sierra SEE AIR RAH
U · · – Uniform YOU NEE FORM
V · · · – Victor VIK TAH
W · – – Whiskey WISS KEY
X – · · – X-ray ECKS RAY
Y – · – – Yankee YANG KEY
Z – – · · Zulu ZOO LOO
0 – – – – – Zero ZE RO
1 · – – – – One WUN
2 · · – – – Two TOO
3 · · · – – Three TREE
4 · · · · – Four FOWER
5 · · · · · Five FIFE
6 – · · · · Six SIX
7 – – · · · Seven SEV EN
8 – – – · · Eight AIT
9 – – – – · Nine NIN ER
Period · – · – · –    
Comma – – · · – –    

Image This article lists the channel, use and frequency table for the 470 MHz FM CB radio for Australia.  These radios are becoming very common in the outdoors.  Cheap handed held radios that operate over 1-2km are available for less than $100 at many electronic shops.  These types of CB radios give access to a large network of freely accessible repeaters throughout Australia.  The use of these repeaters can extend the range of communications up 50km. Includes links to lists of all UHF CB repeaters in Australia

If you want to find a UHF CB repeater in Australia, follow one of these links
Otherwise here is the frequency and use table of UHF CB radios in Australia
Channel Freq (MHz) Use
1 476.425 Repeater access (In Duplex mode)
2 476.450 Repeater access (In Duplex mode)
3 476.475 Repeater access (In Duplex mode)
4 476.500 Repeater access (In Duplex mode)
5 476.525 Emergency Call channel (simplex or duplex)
6 476.550 Repeater access (In Duplex mode)
7 476.575 Repeater access (In Duplex mode)
8 476.600 Repeater access (In Duplex mode)
9 476.625
10 476.650
11 476.675 Call channel
12 476.700
13 476.725
14 476.750
15 476.775
16 476.800
17 476.825
18 476.850
19 476.875
20 476.900
21 476.925
22 476.950 Telemetry and Remote control (ie no talking)
23 476.975 Telemetry and Remote control (ie no talking)
24 477.000
25 477.025
26 477.050
27 477.075
28 477.100
29 477.125
30 477.150
31 477.175 (Outgoing channel for duplex repeater access)
32 477.200 (Outgoing channel for duplex repeater access)
33 477.225 (Outgoing channel for duplex repeater access)
34 477.250 (Outgoing channel for duplex repeater access)
35 477.275 (Outgoing channel for duplex repeater access -Emergency)
36 477.300 (Outgoing channel for duplex repeater access)
37 477.325 (Outgoing channel for duplex repeater access)
38 477.350 (Outgoing channel for duplex repeater access)
39 477.375
40 477.400 Road channel

ImageThe Beaufort scale is a standard scale to communicate wind force.  The scale starts at traditionally ranges from 0 to 12, with zero been no wind and 12 been a hurricane force wind of over 120km/h.  The scale has since grown to 17, to describe more severe hurricane winds.  For the sake of this article I have just included the 0-12.  The scale include descriptions of the what to expect to see from such a force. Rear-Admiral, Sir Francis Beaufort, was born in Ireland in 1774. He entered the Royal Navy at the age of 13 and was a midshipman aboard the Aquilon. By 1800 he had risen to the rank of Commander. In the summer of 1805 Beaufort was appointed to the command of the Woolwich, a 44 gun man-of-war.

In 1806 he wrote in his log book a wind force scale. The scale was simple and very similar to one that Alexander Dalrymple had written in a book in 1789. A year later he added some criteria to the 0-12 scale that indicated how much of a ship’s sails would be employed by a British man-of-war under each condition. It was not relate to the speed of the wind.

Over the following years he continued to use his scale in his logs. It was finally adopted in December 1838 by the British Admiralty for use in all Royal Navy logbooks. However, as ship design and the introduction of steam power became widespread even that scale had to be modified.

In 1912 the International Commission for Weather Telegraphy sought some agreement on velocity equivalents for the Beaufort scale. A uniform set of equivalents was accepted in 1926 and revised slightly in 1946, extending the scale to 17 values (the added five values further refining the hurricane-force winds). By 1955, wind velocities in knots replaced Beaufort numbers on weather maps.

Today’s Beaufort Scale including the observed land conditions…

Beaufort Wind speed Description Land conditions

kt km/h

0 0 0 Calm Calm. Smoke rises vertically.
1 1-3 1-6 Light air Wind motion visible in smoke.
2 4-6 7-11 Light breeze Wind felt on exposed skin. Leaves rustle.
3 1-10 12-19 Gentle breeze Leaves and smaller twigs in constant motion.
4 11-15 20-29 Moderate breeze Dust and loose paper raised. Small branches begin to move.
5 16-21 30-39 Fresh breeze Smaller trees sway.
6 22-27 40-50 Strong breeze Large branches in motion. Whistling heard in overhead wires. Umbrella use becomes difficult.
7 28-33 51-62 Near gale Whole trees in motion. Effort needed to walk against the wind.
8 34-40 63-75 Gale Twigs broken from trees. Cars veer on road.
9 41-47 76-87 Strong gale Light structure damage.
10 48-55 88-102 Storm Trees uprooted. Considerable structural damage.
11 56-63 103-119 Violent storm Widespread structural damage.
12 64-80 >120 Hurricane Considerable and widespread damage to structures.

ImageThere are 4 basic directional indicators used; North South East and West.  I assume this is not news to you.  A compass uses the same principles and breaks directions down even further to allow more accurate descriptions.  When needing to be very accurate you will talk in degrees when general is ok then you will talk in cardinal directions (eg when describing wind direction or the general direction of a track.)







Below you will find two diagrams and a table. 

The cardinal points diagram shows a basic compass bevel and the cardinal points

The compass bevel diagram show the mix of cardinal points and degrees that are common on a compass

The Bearing and cardinal points table relates the angle in degrees to a cardinal point and the text descriptor.




Degrees   Cardinal Point   Spoken (lazy)
0.00   N   North
11.25   N by E   North by east
22.50   NNE   North north east (Nor nor east)
33.75   NE by N   North east by north
45.00   NE   North east (nor east)
56.25   NE by E   North east by east
67.50   ENE   East north east
78.75   E by N   East by north
90.00   E   East
101.25   E by S   East by south
112.50   ESE   East south east
123.75   SE by E   South east by east
135.00   SE   South east
146.25   SE by S   South east by south
157.50   SSE   South south east (sou sou east)
168.75   S by E   South by east
180.00   S   South
191.25   S by W   South by west
202.50   SSW   South south west (sou sou west)
213.75   SW by S   South west by south
225.00   SW   South west
236.25   SW by W   South west by west
247.50   WSW   West south west
258.75   W by S   West by south
270.00   W   West
281.25   W by N   West by north
292.50   WNW   West north west
303.75   NW by W   North west by west
315.00   NW   North west (nor west)
326.25   NW by N   North west by north
337.50   NNW   North north west (nor nor west)
348.75   N by W   North by west
360.00   N   North

Image Image An Australian standard for bush track was developed in 2001 in consultation with a number of out door bodies and organisations.  These Standards are used to describe the condition of the track and the terrain and give a feel for the level of experience required by people using them.


The following tables gives a bit of a feel for the tack classification standards.  I have modified them a bit from the AS 2156.1-2001 to suit the need of the website.  As well as these elements for classifying a track the standard does also outline guides for management, these include facilities to provide, publicity and intervention levels.


The pictures in this table act a a bit of a guide, but only refer to the specific element been studied (IE just the sign or gradient)


 General Image

A well maintained path suitable for wheelchairs


A popular and well maintained nature trail


A well used and obvious bush track


An established bush track with limited signage


A marked trail that can become unclear in places


A known route with n signs and a very indistinct track if any

Track Conditions

Hard surfaced track suitable for wheelchairs. 1.2m wide. Minimal intrusions.

Modified or hardened surface. At least 0.9m wide. Minimal intrusions.

Modified surface, sections may be hard. <1.2m wide. Mostly clear of intrusions.

Generally distinct without major modification. Debris and obstacles are likely.

Limited modification,  indistinct in places. Debris and obstacles are likely

No modification of the natural environment.


Steps allowed only with alternate ramp access.

Generally no steeper than 1:10. Minimal use of steps.

May exceed 1:10 for short sections generally not > 1:10. Steps may be common.

Limited to environmental and maintenance considerations.

May include steep sections of unmodified surfaces.

Signs for interpretation used frequently. Arrow markers used at intersections.

Signs and track markers used for direction. Limited signage for interpretation.

Minimal signage for management and directional purposes.

Signage is limited and only for management purposes.

Signage is generally not provided. But may still be track markers.


 Generally includes facilities such as seats, lookout platforms, safety and hand railing.

 Generally facilities are not provided expect to deal with particular safety and environmental issues.

 Generally facilities are not provided expect to deal with particular safety and environmental issues.

 Generally facilities are not provided.
Terrain No previous experience required, exercise normal care. Need no bushwalking experience and a minimum level of specialized skills. May encounter steep slopes, unstable surfaces and minor water crossings. Require a moderate level of specialized skills such as navigation. Require maps and navigation equipment. Need to be self-reliant, in particular for 1st aid and adverse weather. Require a high level of specialized skills such as navigation. Require maps and navigation equipment. Need to be self-reliant, in particular for 1st aid and adverse weather. Users require previous experience in the outdoors and a high level of specialized skills such as navigation. Require maps and navigation equipment. Need to be self-reliant, in particular for 1st aid and adverse weather.

 Not applicable

Forecasted and unforecasted storms may impact on navigation and safety

Forecasted and unforecasted storms and severe weather may impact on navigation and safety

Forecasted and unforecasted storms and severe weather may impact on navigation and safety




A walk is then classified based on the higest class number found.


In this table below you will see the range of assessments made for a particular track ranged the full gamut but generally sat around class 3.  But because the one element of weather ranged from 1 to 4 then this walk will be ranked a 4. However if in the summer months the weather class never extends beyond 3, then you could class this was as a 3 in summer and 4 in other seasons.


  Standard Class
Elements  1   2  3  4  5  6
Track Conditions          



Please see the AS 2156.1-2001 standard for more information.

ImageFuel stoves have become and essential piece of equipment for your pack on any over night expedition.  The stoves generally safer and much lower impact on the environment than the traditional campfire.  The debate rages as to which is the best kind of stove on the market.  The answer is easy – mine!  But since you don’t believe me, I have put together a chart that compares different aspects of different stoves so that you can pick one for you.











Now these figures are pretty general and will vary greatly depending on a bunch of things like model of stove, fuel quality, weather conditions.  But it should give you a feel for the main differences


Follow this link for test done by real people on real stoves 


The stove types compared are
Wood Gas (or gypsy stove)
Compress kerosene (Esbit or Hexamine)
Compressed gas (LPG or Butane)
Methylated spirits (pepsi can or Trangia
Multi-fuels (separate fuel tank) (MSR)
Multi-fuels (built in fuel tank) (Colman)

The elements compared are;
Weight (grams)
Standard Fuel container
Running time
Purchase Cost
Running Cost / per hr
Time to boil 1L of water (mins)
Energy Output (BTU’s)
Ease of lighting
Temperature control
Noise level
Availability of Fuel Supply
Ease to refill
Ease to judge fuel remaining
Use in Fuel stove only areas
Use in Snow


ImageA topographical map can just look like a bunch of squiggly lines at first, but once you get used to the key or legend it becomes a simple way to find out an enormous amount of information.  This article has the key for the main components of the new NSW topographical map series.


ImageNaismith’s rule was developed by a William Naismith in 1892 as a basic rule of thumb that can be used to calculate the time it will take to walk from point a to b.  The formula has been adapted a little since then and considers the distance to walk, the altitude changed and the speed that you will walk at.


This rule assumes a reasonable level of fitness, but Tranter’s corrections can but used to change the time to suit a particular level of fitness.


Naismith’s Rule first makes a calculation based on distance over time.  eg if your walking a 4km/h for 4 km it will take you one hour.  Not rocket science.  But it adds a bit over an hour and a half for every 1000m you climb and about three quarters of a hour for every 500 meters you descend.


I have include two methods to help you in your trip planning.  Firstly a calculator and secondly a Nomogram that you can use with a ruler in the field.  Have a play with both

This Nomogram below can be used to calculate the estimated walking time.



Naismith’s Rule Nomogram



At first this Nomogram can be a bit overwhelming to look at.  But don’t stress I think you will pick it up quickly.


First you need to pick an altitude shift line. 

Move from right to left to find the line that represents the number of meters you will climb in total, next

Move down the number of meters you will descend in total.


Follow this new line up and to the left (this is your altitude shift line)


see here we plan to climb 700m and descend 1000m



Next we keep going up the altitude shift line until we get to your estimated walking speed. 

This is our pivot point.


In this example it is 4km/h



Now just draw a straight line from the number of Kilometers you plan to walk, through the pivot point till you hit the Hours axis.  And voila you can read the estimated time.


In this example we will walk 10km and the answer is 4 and a half hours



If you wish to apply Tranter’s Corrections I have include a table below to help.

Fitness in the left column is the number of minutes that it would take you to climb 1000ft over 800m


  Time taken in hours using Naismith’s Rule
  2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 12 14 16 18 20 22 24
15 (fit) 1 2 10 12½ 14½ 17 19½ 22 24
20 10 12½ 15 17½ 20 23  
25 3 7 10 11½ 13¼ 15 17½  
30 2 5 10½ 12½ 14½  
40 11½    
50 (unfit)                  

Heat Index

And Walk

Image You have heard it said that “It’s not the heat, it’s the humidity” Well, actually it’s both. Our bodies dissipate heat by varying the rate and depth of blood circulation, by losing water through the skin and sweat glands, and, as the last extremity is reached, by panting. As the body heats up, the heart begins to pump more blood, blood vessels to accommodate the increased flow, and the tiny capillaries in the upper layers of skin are put into operation.


The body’s blood is circulated closer to the skin’s surface, and excess heat drains off into the cooler atmosphere by one or a combination of three ways…

  • radiation,
  • convection, and
  • evaporation.

At lower temperatures, radiation and convection are efficient methods of removing heat. However, once the air temperature reaches 35°C, heat loss by radiation and convection ceases. It is at this point that heat loss by sweating becomes all-important. But sweating, by itself, does nothing to cool the body, unless the water is removed by evaporation (sweat changing to water vapor). The downside of this method of cooling is that high relative humidity retards evaporation.


Relative humidity is a measure of the amount of water vapor contained in the air, divided by the maximum amount the air can hold, expressed as a percent. A relative humidity of 50% means the air contains ½ of the water vapor it can actually hold. The maximum amount of water vapor the air can hold is dependent upon the temperature (the “relative” in relative humidity). The higher the temperature, the more water (actually water vapor) the air can hold. For example, air with a temperature of 0°C can hold about 4.5ml of water. Air with a temperature of 26°C can hold about an 30ml of water.


So, what does this all mean? Sweat is evaporated (changes from a liquid to a gas, i.e. water vapor) when heat is added. The heat is supplied by your body. The results are summed up in the table below…




Capacity for air

to hold water

Amount of


HEAT removed

from the body










We, at the National Weather Service, as part of our mission for protecting life and property, have a measure of how the hot weather “feels” to the body. The Heat Index is based on work by R.G. Steadman and published in 1979 under the title “The Assessment of Sultriness, Parts 1 and 2.” In this work, Steadman constructed a table which uses relative humidity and dry bulb temperature to produce the “apparent temperature” or the temperature the body “feels”.


We use this table to provide you with Heat Index values. These values are for shady locations only. Exposure to full sunshine can increase heat index values by up to 10°C. Also, strong winds, particularly with very hot, dry air, can be extremely hazardous as the wind adds heat to the body. The Heat Index Table is below.


            Relative Humidity %        
      0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 90 100


60 54 60 65 70 75 80 85 90 96 101 106
  50 44 49 53 58 62 67 71 75 80 84 89
  40 34 38 42 45 49 53 56 60 64 67 71
  30 24 27 30 33 36 39 42 44 47 50 53
  20 14 16 18 20 22 24 26 28 30 32 34
  10 4 5 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15



Remember, these values are in the SHADE. You can add up to 10°C to these values if you are in direct sunlight.


The chart below tells you the risk to the body from continued exposure to the excessive heat.




Heat Index/Apparent Temp (°C)

General Affect on People in High Risk Groups


Extremely Hot

54°C or Higher

Heat/Sunstroke HIGHLY LIKELY with continued exposure


Very Hot

40°C – 54°C

Sunstroke, heat cramps, or heat exhaustion LIKELY, and heatstroke POSSIBLE with prolonged exposure and/or physical activity



32°C – 40°C

Sunstroke, heat cramps, or heat exhaustion POSSIBLE with prolonged exposure and/or physical activity


Very Warm

26°C – 32°C

Fatigue POSSIBLE with prolonged exposure and/or physical activity