Outdoors - Your Health and 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.
AN OUTBACK EMERGENCY
When things go wrong you need to be properly prepared
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.
ARE YOU REALLY PREPARED FOR AN OUTBACK ADVENTURE
Here's an OTA website visitor's report on a bush stranding
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.
AUSTRALIAN NATIVE BEES - March 2015
You may come across these industrious little blokes.
Native bees are important pollinators of Australia's unique wildflowers and are a vital part of our Australian bushland.
BITE AWAY - INSECT BITE HEALER
Neutralises insect bites
We've been using a Bite Away Insect Bite Healer for over a year and now we wouldn't leave home without it.
BITING MIDGES - CERATOPOGONIDAE
And what you can do about them
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.
SAFETY - FIRST AID AND BITE AND STING APPS - January 2014
Check out these bush-compatible medical Apps.
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.
HF - 'FLYING DOCTOR' - RADIO NETWORK
The VKS737 HF radio network is a very useful bush communication tool - updated December 2016
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.
ROYAL FLYING DOCTOR SERVICE - FIRST AID GUIDE
A handy quick-reference guide to bush first aid - March 2017
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.
SAFETY - FIRST AID TRAINING
Because you never know when you might need to use it
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!
SAFETY - ITEMS YOU SHOULDN'T LEAVE HOME WITHOUT
Safety should never be sacrificed for any reason.
Every 4WD on every trip needs to carry safety equipment. Here's a list of basic necessities.
SAFETY - DROWSINESS MEASURING GLASSES
Fatigue monitoring can save lives
Optalert drowsiness monitoring glasses work by measuring a driver’s eyelid movements 500 times a second using a small LED built into the frame of the glasses.
SAFETY - BE SNAKE AWARE - VIDEOS
Understanding something about snakes is the best defence against snakebite.
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.
SAFETY - WEATHERWATCH
Keep an eye on the sky
Camping in rain or strong wind isn’t any fun at all. Knowing a bit about weather patterns can help in successful trip planning.