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Living in the Outback is by no means more dangerous than living in the "civilized" part of our world. Just the dangers you run across are different.

When planning a change of life-style it is important to realize that you might also encounter different dangers. Think about any possible threat (physical, psychological, financial) and try to analyse each individually with regards to:

  • How to deal with it.
  • How much and what kind of preparation would make sense (training, gear, parts, supplies), or if such a critical situation would require external rescue / help in any case.
  • How and who to alert for help or rescue.
  • What information the rescuers would need.
  • How to survive until help arrives.
  • Are you willing to face the fact that it might be impossible to get help in time and to accept the consequences (even death)?

The most important things in any emergency-case are:

  • Don't panic, act controlled.
  • Evaluate the danger / situation correctly. It may look worse than it actually is.

Never leave for the outback without carrying the following equipment ready to be taken immediately out of the car at any time:

  • At least 20 litre of potable water per person for emergencies. This in addition to the water carried for the planned trip.
  • A well equipped first-aid-kit.
  • A well-equipped survival kit. This kit must include an EPIRB / PLB and when ever possible a GPS and a Iiridium sat-phone. Also important are, beside many other items: water-filter, signaling-devices, blanket, matches, list of emergency-numbers, etc.

The main dangers you may encounter while travelling and some ideas on how one could deal with them.

If you get into an emergency situation it is often possible to drastically reduce the danger and stress by:

  • doing the right things in the right order
  • not missing an important step
  • act quickly.

These can be more easily accomplished by using pre-defined checklists (Pilots use the same technique for all sorts of regular checks and emergency procedures).
A set of checklists is kept easily accessible in the driver-cabin, containing all kinds of information and procedures immediately required, as well as some other less important but handy procedures and tables.

Theft and burglary:

"Feel the place" where you intend to park your car / try to camp / you want to walk through. If you don't feel comfortable, don't do it. Trust your gut feeling! The chance of theft and raid is much bigger in and near towns.
There is nothing as valuable as your life and health. If you get into trouble don't risk it.

  • Don't carry any weapons.
  • Try to minimize the damage (personal and material). Surviving the incident unharmed has absolute priority.
  • Engrave important parts of your car and equipment so it is traceable by the police.
  • Enable satellite-based car-tracking and automatic alerting (Sat-Trak24).
  • Have a spare GPS and a spare Communication-Device at a save place.
  • Keep a list of emergency-numbers, Credit-/Debit-Card-numbers, Bank-Account-Numbers, a.s.o. in a save place, so you can call for help and block your Accounts.
  • Store an encoded, up to date copy of all important docoments and all important numbers (see above) stored on the internet so you can access the information from any PC with Internet access. This enables you to identify yourselves worldwide in case you lost all your belongings.
  • Store money (in small portions), Credit-/Debit-Cards at different places. Have spare Cards at a save place.
  • Keep expired Credit-/Debit-Cards and put them together with some reasonable amount of money in your wallet. That's what you hand-but when forced to ....
  • Install Narcotic-Gas detectors and alarms inside the camper.
  • When ever possible keep the driver-seat free and quickly accessible from inside the Camper during the night.
  • Park the car in escape-direction and know the surrounding.
Medical Emergency (Accident / Disease / Animals):

Every human dies on a medical emergency. You can get into a situation beyond your capabilities at any time, even if you are perfectly trained and equipped and even if you act quickly an correctly. It's very sad to loose somebody, but worse is to realize afterwards that if you would have had / done / known ..... then the person would not have died.

  • Learn how to act in time-critical emergency situations (there will be no time to read a book then).
  • Carry an extensive set of medical equipment such as instruments, bandages, medicine a.s.o. with you (you might reach a hospital but they might not have even the simplest equipment ....).
  • Learn how to use your equipment by joining specific medical trainings.
  • Carry good medical reference literature to be able handle less time-critical situations.
  • Stay in good condition (mental and physical) with daily training.
  • Monitor your own health by regular medical check-ups and self-tests.
Natural disasters (Cyclones / Fires / Flooding / Thunderstorms):

If you are well prepared natural disasters are most of the time not immediately life threatening. There is normally enough lead-time to get you organized.

  • Check the weather forecast regularly.
  • Keep a list with important Radio-Frequencies and Emergency-Numbers.
  • Get in contact with officials and inform them about your name, position, situation and your plans.
  • Prepare detailed, personalized checklists for the most likely situations in advance. This helps to do all the steps that need to be done in the right sequence, in the shortest time possible and most important of all: it prevents panic.
Car on fire:

This is one of the most common emergencies in the outback and is mainly caused by scrub under the car catching fire. A car is on full fire within 2 minutes. If this happens you will most likely loose all your belongings within a few minutes. If you also loose all the communication-equipment and water supplies, you are now indeed in deep trouble. That's the incident where you have to be prepared to take survival-kit, first-aid-kit and emergency water-supplies immediately out of the car.

  • Keep as little explosives as possible on board and keep them in easy removable containers (Petrol, Gaz).
  • Carry all water supplies (incl. the 20 litres per person for emergencies) in ventilated steel-tanks or have the above mentioned 20 litre of potable water per person in removable canisters
  • Carry 6 kg fire extinguisher with you. 1 kg and 2 kg devices are in this case toys .
  • After the incident is under control, analyse the situation, call for help.
  • Stay with the car! A car can be spotted easier from the air than a person.
Stranded due to technical defect:

This is not really dangerous if you are well prepared, if your communication-equipment still works and if you have enough potable water.

  • Stay with the car! A car can be spotted easier from the air than a person.
  • Carry complete set of tools for all the work you are capable of doing yourself.
  • Carry the most commonly used / most often failing parts.
  • Carry additional, important parts that would stop you if they fail.
  • Carry the cars official spare-part-list and service-manual.
  • Carry a good set of handy accessories for temporary repairs.
  • Carry 1 set of all required fluids.
  • Analyse the failure and call for parts and/or other help.

This is not really dangerous if you are well prepared, if you have reliable communication-equipment and if you have enough potable water.

  • Stay with the car! A car can be spotted easier from the air than a person.
  • Carry a complete set of ordinary recovery-tools and know how to use it. The set must include a lifting device such as a Hi-Lift-Jack, a base-plate for the lifting-device, a long handled shovel, some correctly rated recovery-straps and shackles, a tire-pressure-gauge and an air compressor.
  • Additional tools could/should include: sand-anchor, bridge-elements and/or sand-boards, hand- and/or power-winch, chainsaw, snow-chains, tire-repair kit.



No liability for timeliness, integrity and correctness of this document is accepted.
Last updated: Thursday, 10.01.2019 5:32 PM

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