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Vital Steps to Stay Alive – Emergency Supplies & Tips For the Outback

From venomous snakes to creepy spiders and frightful crocodiles, the Australian outback comes with a great deal of threats. Even without these factors, the sun alone is a big concern and coupled with the desert, renders the outback a boiling hell. On top of all that is the Uluru climb which comes with a bag of risks of its own. Yes, the Aussie outback can be really dangerous, but people still decide to go on an adventure there, of course, not without the proper supplies and helpful tips.


Bivvy Sack

Similarly to a sleeping bag, a bivvy sack can provide you with protection from the elements and allow you to sleep comfortably since it also prevents insects from coming to contact with you. With these emergency supplies you can travel the outback even without a tent. They are usually lighter and can be carried in a backpack and there are others that come with poles and provide more protection. In addition, look for one that is made with breathability in mind. Breathable bivvy sacks have a GORE-TEX membrane or the equivalent of that.


Glow Stick

A glow stick works by mixing two solutions, penyl oxalate and hydrogen peroxide with a fluorescent dye. When you crack the plastic casing, these mix together which makes the stick glow. The main benefit of glow sticks is that you can use one in confined spaces without worrying about setting things on fire or consuming oxygen. They still work even if you throw them in water and they are not prone to corrosion or leakage since there are no batteries.

Colour is an important factor when it comes to application as yellow and green are best for emergency situations, red is best when you want to warn people of danger and white coloured glow sticks are excellent when reading and for other close quarter activities. The shelf life and glow time need to be considered too if you want emergency survival products that will illuminate longer and last longer too. Glow sticks usually come with a 2 year shelf life, but the glow time will vary depending on the colour. A good rule of thumb is to have a glow stick that can last between 8 and 12 hours.


First Aid Kit

Your first aid kit should include gauze pads in various sizes, non stick sterile pads, medical (surgical) gloves, adhesive bandages, breathing barrier with a one-way valve, safety pins, fine point tweezers. Pain relief medication, antibacterial ointment, antiseptic towelettes and waterproof medical adhesive tape are also must-haves.


Fire Starter

A fire starter is made to make the painstaking process of lighting a fire easier, and you should look for one that can furthermore speed up this process. Look for fire starters that can burn from 10 to 30 minutes so you get a good blaze going. But you should also get one that is easy to use – usually a magnesium starter is going to be ideal in situations when you don’t have tinder.

To avoid the delicate flakes from magnesium starters, you should go with a ferrocerium rod. This fire starter has its own disadvantages though, one of which is that it doesn’t work that well in damp conditions. Waterproof fire starters are emergency supplies made of rock or metal. Due to these hard surfaces, the dampness left on the starter will be burned away immediately since they generate a lot of heat.


Portable Water Filter

In order to make clean water quickly and easily accessible you should look for portable water filters that have a quick flow rate and don’t require removing difficult screw caps. But having a water filter with big enough capacity is a big plus convenience-wise. The weight and size of the water filter are going to play a big role in making it portable. Obviously a bigger water filter means a heavier one but that won’t always be the case.


Fire Blanket

Fire blankets are emergency survival products used to extinguish a fire in its early stage or you can use one as bushfire protection. There are fire blankets made of wool, with no synthetics and others that have fibreglass which is considered to be the most suitable material. A good rule of thumb is to get a fire blanket capable of keeping you safe from fires that can reach around 1000°C.


Travel at night and sleep under a shade during the day. Why? Well, because at night your body uses half the amount of water you use during the day. Yeah, it can be scary but once your eyes accommodate to the dark, there will be nothing more consoling than hearing your own footsteps on the ground and looking up at the bright shining stars.

If you only want to be on the move during the day, start using your shadow to help you navigate. Try to keep your shadow in the same position as every twenty minutes the sun moves and so will the angle of your shadow. You can also use the shadows of sticks to find north or other directions – this is done using three small sticks and one long stick.

Avoid getting bitten by a snake. Snakes in Australia have small fangs because they kill small animals. Keep your legs covered with appropriate gaiters, footwear and loose long trousers and you’ll be able to protect yourself. Even if a venomous snake bites you, you’ll just need to apply three compression bandages. It takes 45 minutes for the venom to get into the blood steam but with the compression bandages you’ll be able to delay that up to 20 hours.