• A GME personal locator beacon
    A GME personal locator beacon

A bushwalker who experienced kidney failure whilst on a solo hike is thankful he put his PLB in his pack at the last minute.

That decision saved his life.

The 47km Kanangra to Katoomba wilderness walk Andy Collins (59) chose, known as K2K, is one of the spectacular longer walks in the southern Blue Mountains, with trails traversing two national parks but it is a challenging hike.

Mr Collins knew it was going to be tough, but he has been tackling tricky walks for 30 years and is skilled at reading maps and navigating with a compass.

"With my background in walking I thought it's not going to be any conditions that I'm not prepared for," Mr Colllins told the ABC.

But as it turned out, the water Mr Collins was carrying was not enough for the ordeal that played out on the third day.

Mr Collins struggled through impenetrable bush with no visible trail, tripping over thick vines and drinking more water than he had estimated.

Eventually he used all his water and as it took a lot more time than he expected to reach the Coxs River and he struggled with dehydration.

Once he got there, he did everything he could to rehydrate, using a pump to add electrolytes to river water and drinking a couple of litres, but soon realised he was in serious trouble.

"My body just completely rejected the water and I started getting painful cramps in my side," he said.

"As I started preparing to walk my body completely seized up and I was in a lot of pain and then I had to make the decision to set off the PLB and call the helicopter."

Read the full story here and note that a PLB should be on the top of your list if you go on solo or group multi-day walk. As Mr Collins discovered it could save a life.

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