Trekking, hiking, bush-walking, or bushwhacking...Whatever you call it, exploring nature isn’t always a walk in the park.
Keep reading to find out what travel insurance can help you with if you're planning to go hiking or trekking.
If you find yourself in trouble while you're exploring the wilderness, we might be able to help:
You won’t be covered for anything arising from your hiking or trekking if:
There are plenty of truly special things about the Camino de Santiago, the famous pilgrims’ trail that ends at a shrine to the apostle St James in Santiago de Compostela, in north-western Spain. The most special, however, is this: it’s not one track. There is no single pilgrims’ trail. The Camino de Santiago is a series of spectacular walks, a huge network of options for those who would like to take part in this historic wander, some of which begin from as far away as England, or Germany or Italy.
The most popular of the walks is known as the “Camino Frances”, or the “French Way”, a 769-kilometre path that leads from Saint-Jean-Pied-de-Port on the French side of the Pyrenees across the central north of Spain to Santiago de Compostela. Many hikers choose just to do a part of this journey – whether it’s the 300km from the town of Leon, or the 107km from Sarria.
Regardless of the distance chosen, the experience is roughly the same: a trek through stunningly beautiful Spanish terrain, a chance to slow your world down to a literal walking pace, to take in the small towns and the big skies and just enjoy and appreciate. There’s a spiritual nature to this hike even for those who aren’t true pilgrims, as the time and the peace on the camino allow walkers to get lost in their thoughts, to drift into a meditative state as their world becomes little more than one footfall after the other.
There are, of course, other great, bucket-list hikes around the world for serious walkers. There’s the 223km Larapinta Trail, a spectacular trek through the West MacDonnell Ranges in Australia’s Northern Territory. There’s also the famed Appalachian Trail, a 3500km monster through the east of the United States. And there’s New Zealand’s Milford Track, with its 54km of scenic pathways. Nowhere, however, mixes culture with nature, spirituality with physicality, quite like the Camino de Santiago.
If you’re just starting out, it’s generally not advisable take on longer, challenging hikes. While hiking and trekking can seem like fancy words for ‘walking', navigating uneven landscapes and unsteady rocks can be more challenging than people think. Shorter, local hikes allow you to gradually build up to more challenging and well-known trails.
If you’re going on a longer hike or trek, then you might want to partner up with someone who knows the trail or area well. And remember to tell people where you’re going.
The latest active wear and fashionable running shoes might seem an appealing choice at first, but on hours or days-long hike or trek, the most comfortable, practical attire is what you’ll want to be wearing to avoid blisters, sprains, and various other aches and pains. The type of gear that hikers and trekkers invest in is waterproof clothing, beanies for cold weather, moisture-wicking synthetic fabrics, hiking shoes/boots, and breathable socks.
Taking your phone is a good idea, but you’re likely to hit areas with no reception or your phone might inconveniently run out of battery. When technology isn’t available, do what hikers and trekkers have always done, and use a physical map to help you navigate nature.
You might encounter some beautiful creatures on your hike or trek. But keeping your distance is always a good idea. Wild animals are unpredictable and it’s better to admire from a safe distance than to risk provoking them.
Under the standard Luggage and Personal Effects benefit we provide cover for sporting equipment up to $750, but not while you’re using it. See the Policy Wording for more details.
You would have a provision to claim for unused travel arrangements if you have to cancel your trip, or your trip is shortened due to claimable events such as your injury or illness, and the fees cannot be recouped from the provider. We do not provide cover for simply forgetting to turn up or misreading times, etc.
We would not be able to provide medical cover for you if you are going against medical advice.
In an emergency, get yourself to hospital. As soon as it is possible, we advise that you or a member of your travelling party call our medical assistance team who will be able to liaise with you or the hospital.
Our Luggage and Personal Effects benefit only provides cover for items that are owned by you. For rental equipment, you may need to check with the rental company if they have any additional protection options for you.