Jon Bell

Jon at Pindari Top, Kanangra-Boyd NP

Why do you bush walk?

Big mountains, big canyons and big views...and bushwalking is one of the best ways I've found to enjoy all those things. Also love some nervous energy preparing for a harder walk than I've ever done before and then the buzz from making it. Being able to visit & learn about new places with a bunch of other people who love all these things just as much as I do.

I was fortunate enough to be encouraged to bushwalk and cross country ski when I was in my teens and went along on some inappropriately hard (but character-building!) walks in the Blue Mountains, Kanangra, Kosciuszko Main Range and other places. After a break I got back to it again in my mid-30s and it all came back to me how good for the soul (and sanity!) it is to be out in big mountains, the bush and the fresh air. 

When did you join SBW?


What's your favourite piece of gear in your pack and why?

My abseiling gear...not because it is anything special, but because of the beautiful and unique places it has allowed me to go.

What is the average weight of your overnight pack, without water?

About 9-10kg but used to be around 13-14kg (see advice below).

What's one piece of advice you can offer new walkers that you wish you knew when you started?

Sorry - have two: 

(1) Try to invest in lighter, good quality gear if/when you can afford to. I found it's not long before you end up replacing cheap stuff with more expensive stuff because it's either broken or you realise it weighs a tonne.

(2) When I first started with the club I felt a little uneasy about the interrogation by leaders who didn't know me yet, but now appreciate how important this process was to helping ensure everyone has a safe and enjoyable time.  (Also worked out quickly that you can head it off by giving them all the info about your recent walking experiences upfront!)

A memorable walk?

A recent 3-day walk with some friends on the Kosciuszko Main Range as we attempted to summit Australia's ten highest peaks with six kids aged 3-13. Beautiful sunsets above the treeline.

What kind of walks do you like?

Any canyon + anything new. And anything above the tree-line.

Do you have a walks philosophy or motto?

No. But as my mate Pete always says when someone starts to grumble on a hill: "The hill's only hard if you look up. So don't look up!!".

What's on your walking wish list?

All the places I should have been walking in my 20s both in Australia and o/s.

Any other passions/interests?

Canyoning, skiing (both types), cycling, mountain bike riding, camping, and taking photos of my outdoor adventures incl drone photography.


New Members Information Night
New Members Information Nights are held every month except January, at 16 Fitzroy Street Kirribilli, 7:30pm - 8:30 pm on the second Wednesday the month.


February 2017 - Autumn Program released!

The Autumn Program for 2017 is now out and has been emailed to members. Check it out for lots of great walks around Sydney and beyond. If you haven't got your copy, it can be downloaded from the Member's Area of the website. You'll need to login to access it.


Prospective Members, watch your Qs

Are you a Prospective Member and have completed your Qualifying (Q) day walks and overnight trip as well as the first aid and navigation training requirements? If yes, then you're eligible to become a Full Member!


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