If you’re traversing the outback this autumn, knowing the dos and don’ts of outback safety can help to ensure that you have the trip of a lifetime.
The outback is a complex ecosystem – as beautiful as it is brutal – and it needs to be navigated with care, for both you and the landscape. Knowing the potential dangers and preparing ahead of time is key to ensuring that a drive through the outback is smooth sailing. Here are our top tips for staying safe on your outback getaway.
Before heading off on your journey, give your car a once-over to make sure that everything is working correctly, including tyre pressure and oil levels. Better still, take your car to a mechanic to get a full service prior to your trip, as they can give your car a professional green tick of approval.
Prior to driving through long stretches of outback where there’s minimal petrol stations and rest stops, it’s vital to have a full tank. It’s also recommended that you have a spare jerry can full of fuel, just in case you run out of petrol and are left stranded. Alongside this, it’s also a good idea to make sure you have a spare tyre and a tyre jack in case you get a flat.
If you are heading out into the outback, make sure you have plenty of food (not just the icy poles and sausage rolls) to last you the length of your trip and then some. If you don’t have an ice box or fridge, it’ll be difficult to keep things cold for a long time, so avoid buying next-day perishable items. Instead, go for healthy shelf items full of energy and nutrients, like trail mix with nuts and dried fruit, or protein bars. You’ll also need plenty of water – up to five litres per person per day just to be safe – so stock up and buy in bulk to keep everyone hydrated. Alongside this, make sure you’ve got other essentials, like a first-aid kit and a snake bite kit, and ensure that your first-aid training is up to date in case any mishaps occur.
Respect the landscape
The outback can be intense, so it’s important to approach the landscape with the utmost care and respect. Before driving in more remote areas, always check whether you need permits to access certain roads and areas. A lot of farming stations will own hundreds of square kilometres of land and won’t always have signage, so it’s best to check before accidentally trespassing on private property. It’s also a good idea to make sure you aren’t driving on any sacred Indigenous land without permission from the land’s traditional custodians, as this can be incredibly disrespectful and harmful.
The Autumn 2023 edition of Caravanning Australia is out now!
Image courtesy of iStock