DESTINATIONS – OUTDOORS – YOUR HEALTH & SAFETY IN THE OUTBACK
When touring in remote areas it’s unrealistic to expect that there will be signposts to warn of dangers or fences to stop you from getting to close to the edge of a cliff. You must accept responsibility for your own safety and the safety of your children, take extra care and avoid risky behaviour.
Medical help can be hours away, even if HF radio or satellite telephone communications is available to summon assistance. We’ve had first hand experience of medical emergencies on a couple of Outback trips; it was no fun waiting for help with our mate who’d broken ribs and punctured a lung in a fall.
We love exploring the Outback and camping in remote areas; our advice to minimise the risks of getting injured, dying from dehydration, being eaten by a crocodile, bitten by a snake or stung by insects is to be aware, be very, very careful and be properly prepared.
More advice on how to stay safe can be found in articles in the following Outdoors Health and Safety pages.
At OTA we have a simple rule: north of the Tropic of Capricorn, we never swim in creeks, rivers, billabongs or … the sea. We’re also very careful how close we camp to any stretch of water.
There are several brands of compact, non-pressurised fire extinguishers available and all seem to offer a much more convenient means of protection than traditional extinguishers.
The Leatherman Raptor is a professional tool intended for use by first responders to auto accidents. Being a Leatherman device, it folds easily to fit inside a supplied plastic sheath, that can be fixed in a vehicle, or worn on a belt or harness. It also has a lanyard eyelet on one of the shear handles and a pocket clip.
In the event of illness in a remote area it may be important to relay information to the Flying Doctor. A blood pressure reading is a significant piece of medical information and it’s not difficult to monitor it.
We’re continually lecturing travellers on the importance of being prepared should there be an accident in the bush. On a trip into the heart of the Simpson Desert we found our own preparedness being put to the test.
The Royal Flying Doctor Service has printed a pocket-sized quick guide to first aid. The single-sheet, fold-out guide packs into a cardboard holder and can easily be deployed for instant reading.
You never know when things can go horribly wrong in the Outback. Here’s an account of a six-day stranding in the remote Northern Simpson Desert.
Outback Travel Australia relies on the VKS737 network on all bush trips. Contrary to the belief of many, HF isn’t ‘dinosaur’ system, but thanks to recent developments is the communications network of choice for remote area travel and disaster relief.
Native bees are important pollinators of Australia’s unique wildflowers and are a vital part of our Australian bushland.
We’ve been using a Bite Away Insect Bite Healer for years and we wouldn’t leave home without it.
We’ve come across several Apps for android and Apple portable devices that could be the ideal way of carrying first aid and bite and sting information when you go bush.
Camping in rain or strong wind isn’t any fun at all. Knowing a bit about weather patterns can help in successful trip planning.
There’s no such place as paradise. No matter how idyllic the location, there’s always something around to stuff it up. Here’s what you can do to protect yourself and remedies if you do get bitten.
In the accompanying videos you’ll see some of Australia’s best-known snakes in action. Being able to distinguish dangerous from harmless from lethal is important. In the unlikely event of a snakebite here’s the St Johns Ambulance advice on what to do.
Carrying a first aid kit is a great idea, and even better with some first aider skills in the event of an emergency in the Outback – you could be a life saver!
Every 4WD on every trip needs to carry safety equipment. Here’s a list of basic necessities.