Incredible wildlife, exciting hiking trails and stunning views are just a small part of the blessings that the Australian outdoors offers to us. There’s something for everyone – regardless if climbing the mountains is your way to activate your “fight or flight” hormone, or you prefer easy walks in nature with your lovely family.
When it comes to enjoying the wonderful countryside with your loved ones, a camping trip is what a lot of people choose. After all, the inviting smell of campfire and roasted marshmallows certainly makes for some lovely family memories. But what a lot of people are usually unaware of is that sometimes, unexpected dangers can appear and ruin the camping trip. Bad weather, getting lost, predatory animals, poisonous plants and insects are just a part of the risks that you face when going camping.
Regarding safety, probably the first thing that comes to your mind is to carry a first aid kit, your pocket knife and some water and food. As much as these things are essential, your camping survival kit needs to include some more advanced tools and gadgets that can be the ultimate lifesavers. According to the experienced campers, these are some of the most important survival supplies to bring along.
One of the most valuable survival supplies you should get for your next camping trip is a lightweight, compact emergency blanket. These blankets come in handy in a lot of situations, far beyond their heat loss reducing purpose.
The emergency blankets are usually made of aluminised, non-stretching fabrics or strong metallised polyester materials, which makes them wind and waterproof at the same time – perfect for a lot of emergencies. You can even lay the blanket out as a ground tarp to prevent sitting on the wet ground, or cover your improvised shelter to protect it from the rain.
Thanks to them being made from aluminium and metal-based materials, the emergency blankets are heat-reflective, which is also of great use in emergencies. For instance, you can use this blanket as your improvised survival oven. By simply placing it under direct sunlight, you can heat or cook thin pieces of food on it.
Also, the same concept of reflection can be used to redirect the heat of the fire in another direction, or as a signalising mirror in SOS situations. You just have to make sure you place the shiny side of the blanket opposite of the heating source, for this valuable trick to work.
Having a firestarter as part of your survival gear will provide you with the heat to warm yourself up and free up your emergency blanket for another of the situations we mentioned earlier. This little gadget that fits in the palm of your hand works by crossing magnesium and ferrocerium, which produce excessive temperature sparks at 2,980°C, even in the areas where the tinder is limited. The magnesium firestarters are designed to be used in all the weather conditions and altitudes, even in the most extreme ones.
Not only is a firestarter useful as a heating source for yourself, but there’re a lot of situations when it comes in handy to boil some water, cook your food, sterilise medical devices in emergencies, and even signalise for help when there’s nothing else you can use. This gadget can be the ultimate lifesaver and won’t take any valuable space of your backpack too.
Unfortunately, signalling for help with an emergency blanket or firerod won’t always work, since it’s very unlikely for someone to pass by and notice your signals in places such as the woods. On the other hand, it’s scientifically proven that people are most likely to notice sound signals over visual ones in emergency situations. Now, you’re probably wondering what else should you put into your survival gear for the moments when an unexpected danger disrupts your peaceful wandering in the woods? A safety whistle, of course!
The safety whistles are specially designed to produce tri-tone sounds louder than 100dB, and can be heard in all directions and much further away than other whistles. Some of the safety whistles are plastic, which makes them able to eject water and operate even in extremely wet conditions such as heavy rain. They are also ergonomically designed, and completely compact to fit even the smallest pocket of your clothes or to conveniently attach to your neck with a lanyard.
Use the safety whistle in any situation when you need help, regardless if you’re lost, sick, or injured. The standard signal for rescue, used worldwide is six good long blasts. Repeat this process after 1 minute of pause each time, until someone reaches you. Even if you hear a reply, keep whistling, because the rescuers may be using your blast as a direction to find you.
Personal Locator Beacon
The PLB (personal locator beacon) is the most advanced survival equipment for signalising. It’s a small, and ultimately lifesaving gadget that also fits the palm of your hand, and you can conveniently carry it everywhere in your pocket. What’s the best about this gadget, is that it’s waterproof, and works even in the most extreme conditions, such as open seas, high mountains, even flights.
The PLB is operated simply by pressing the single button on the gadget which alerts the global emergency services that you’re in danger. This personal locator works with GPS, which transmits your location and ID to the rescue services via the only officially recognised worldwide dedicated search and rescue satellite network (operated by Cospas Sarsat). Once you press the button, the nearest rescue service will be notified that you’re in danger and will promptly assist a rescue. The PLB saved a lot of lives so far, and that’s why it’s one of the essential camping survival tools worth investing in.
Finally, dangers don’t always approach in the form of heavy storms and accidents. Getting stung by an insect can also mean putting your life in danger. The Australian countryside is the homeland of many dangerous insects, such as venomous spiders, mosquitoes and ticks that transmit dangerous diseases, such as Zika, Malaria, West Nile virus, Lyme disease, Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever, etc. If you want to provide yourself with a bug-free camping experience, you might want to get an insect repellent.
How does it work? Well, the dangerous insects we mentioned are attracted to skin odours and the carbon dioxide we exhale. The thing you need to know about insect repellent is that it doesn’t kill the insects, but it keeps them away, by affecting their senses and cutting their ability to find a human host.
Most of the insect repellents provide you with at least 5 hours of protection from getting stung by the awful, disease-carrying insects. They are also water and sweat resistant, which makes them suitable for humid and steamy environments. Don’t forget to get yourself one the next time you go camping if you want to wander in the woods carefree without the annoying bugs that “stick their noses” everywhere.
Don’t leave your safety in the woods and the camping sites to chance. Make sure you’re always well-prepared for any potentially dangerous situations and get prepare an advanced survival kit that can save you and your loved ones.