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Tips for surviving the Australian Outback

Updated on March 8, 2016

The Australian outback is a vast and the most remote area in Australia which is typically characterized by its resemblance to the desert. As an Australian citizen or a tourist, it is essential to be aware of how to survive the Australian outback. This is because several people find themselves in the outback sometimes on purpose and sometimes by coincidence. The outback is not a natural place to survive. For survival to be guaranteed, there are certain precautions to be taken. They include:

1. Make sure you drive on the left side of the road and drive wisely:
It is common for drivers to drive on whatever side of the road that is most convenient for them in the outback. This is a serious mistake. It is essential to keep to the left side of the road especially when you are approaching the numerous bends in the outback. This is because, other road users are not expecting you to be there. The fact that other road users do not expect oncoming traffic in the outback greatly increases the chances of a collision and an accident. It is essential to also drive wisely. Just because there are no speed limits in the outback should not be taken as an excuse to drive recklessly. Also it is essential that you know the capacity of the vehicle that you are driving. Do not drive a car you are not used to driving to the outback.

2. Avoid driving at night in the outback:
Night time is a wrong time to drive in the outback. This is because there are several unfenced cattle stations in the outback and it is common to find cows wandering about in the middle of the road. Several of them sit on the road. Remember that black cows are difficult to see at night. Also kangaroos are a hazard in the outback. You will likely encounter them. The one reason why you should be cautious of Kangaroos is that they will freeze in position when your headlights shine in their eyes, thereby increasing the chances of a collision. If you do not have bars in front of your radiator then it is practically certain that your radiator would be destroyed. Having your radiator breaking down in the middle of the outback isn't a lovely situation.

3. If breakdown occurs, stay with your vehicle:
Vehicle breakdown may occur in the outback. Remember that under this circumstance you must stay with your vehicle. Over the years, there has been several cases of people who have died simply because they tried to walk back to the city when their vehicle broke down or became stuck. The reason why it is highly recommended that you stay with your car is that search and rescue planes would spot a car easily but may have difficulty in spotting a person. Moreso, the weather in the outback is always extreme. Extremely hot in the day and extremely cold by night. People who get lost in Victoria's Grampions outback usually die from cold. The car would provide an essential source of warmth when you stay with the car.

4. Let someone know you are going to the outback:
Although some people end up in the outback by coincidence. Most people go on purpose. If you are planning to go to the outback, then it is advisable to let someone know that you are going to the outback. It takes a person who knows you have gone somewhere to know you are missing. If nobody knows you are missing, then nobody will go looking for you. Before you set off on your journey to the outback, be sure to tell somebody.

5. Take enough food and water:
No one plans to get missing. Getting lost has always been an accident. A wise person would always prepare for the worst uncertainties. When going to the outback, make sure you take enough food and water. Pack fully processed and packaged food that can last for several days without getting spoilt.

6. Be prepared to signal distress:
If you are going to the outback, be prepared to signal distress. One of the International Distress Signs is blowing a whistle thrice in quick succession. This will signal that you are in trouble and you may get help from nearby. So if you are going to the outback, be sure to travel with a whistle. Also, it is advised that you travel with a satellite phone if you have access to one. A Satellite phone will enable you call for help. Also lighting a fire to create a massive cloud of black smoke would draw attention to your location hence, be prepared to make a fire at any point of your journey.


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