Whenever you are taking a long distance journey through the wilderness, it never hurts to be well prepared just in case you break down and need some roadside assistance. With Australia's large expanses of open desert and dangerous terrain, there are a few essentials that should always be stocked up in the boot of your car to ensure the safety of your party should you find yourself facing difficult situations. This simple guide will give you an overview of a selection of potentially life-saving items that can help you signal for help and make it home in one piece.
Food and Water
Taking enough food and water is imperative if you're going to find yourself far away from any towns or cities. In the outback, the high temperatures will force you to consume more water than usual. Therefore, take more water than you think will be necessary, equating to around 10 litres per person, per day stored in clean Jerry cans. Just to put that into perspective, that's like 17 pints of beer for each member of your party. As for food, take what you can; dried stuff like crackers, nut bars and other things that won't spoil but provide plenty of energy from fat and carbs are the way to go.
A basic medical kit should always be stored in the glove box or boot. It should contain a variety of plasters, anti-septic cream, eyewash, bandages, scissors and ointments for burns, which can occur especially if you have to work on the car engine. To complement your water consumption, taking some salt tablets would also be advised along with sun cream as heat stroke, sunburn and dehydration all lead to fatigue, mental fog and irrational decision making. If you're heading to areas known for bushfires, check the weather report before you set out and pack a fire blanket just to be sure, notifying anyone of changes to your route before leaving.
Solar Phone Charger and Retro Phone
Always tell multiple people where you are going and provide them with your proposed route. If you don't reach your destination on time, then they will be able to contact the emergency services on you behalf. However, to give you the best possible chance of reaching help when you're out in the bush, take a hardwearing old mobile phone and a good quality map. The batteries on the phones last for days, and even if they run out you can use a solar phone charger to power them up, saving fuel from your car.
Whenever you run into trouble on the road, make sure you contact roadside assistance like United Tilt Tray Service as soon as possible.