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Essential Gear for Travel in the Outback

by Sylwia Komorowska

If you're looking for unforgettable scenery and spectacular adventures, it's hard to beat the Australian Outback. From Uluru to the Gawler Ranges there's no shortage of sights to enjoy and wilderness areas to explore. Yet at the same time it's wise to do your homework and stock up on the proper gear before heading out into this wild, remote region of the world. Whether you're taking a solo road trip into the desert or travelling on a guided tour, you'll want to remain safe on your journey.

Choosing the Right Season
For a successful foray into the Outback, you'll want to plan ahead and avoid travelling during the hottest time of year. Central Australia is dry throughout the year, but daytime temperatures can easily surpass 40 degrees during the summer. Northern Australia has a wet and dry season. The rainy season lasts from December to March and can be a difficult time to travel due to heavy rains, excessive humidity, and flooded roads.

Packing the Right Gear
Travellers will need to stock up on clothing that is suitable for all possible weather conditions. This includes light-coloured clothing that will protect you from the harsh sun, clothing for wet weather, and jumpers for after dark when the temperature suddenly drops. Camping gear, insect repellent, sunscreen, and a first aid kit are also must-haves. If you're travelling without a guide, be sure to pack disaster recovery items like shackles, a shovel, an airbag jack, and a full tool kit. A fire extinguisher can also come in handy during the dry season when the long grasses can burst into flame. Mobile phones and CB radios won't work in the more remote areas, so you will also want an HF radio to communicate in case of emergency. Finally, motorists will want to come prepared with radiator coolant, an air compressor to inflate tyres, spanners, and other basic tools.

All of this can add up. You can get great deals on travel basics by looking at online marketplaces and shopping around. You may have seen the ads with Pat Cash for Quicksales, which is an online marketplace specific to Australia. This could be a good source of camping and survival gear at low prices. Look for end-of-season discounts at local retailers and scour price comparison sites. You can then also resell these items on eBay or as the advertisements claim for quick cash after you adventure has ended. For those who are travelling to the Outback from overseas, this is one way to offset the cost of travel gear.

Further Travel Tips
As you get closer to your departure date, you'll need high quality maps. Plan to bring along enough food for each traveller for two days, and carry your water in multiple small containers. In summer conditions, allow 10 litres of water per person per day. If you plan on travelling through traditional Aboriginal land, you will need to obtain a permit. Sacred aboriginal sites are also open to visitors, but extra care and respect must be shown in these areas.
With a bit of foresight and planning a trip to the Outback can be the adventure of a lifetime. It's best to stock up on the right gear to stay comfortable for the duration of the holiday.


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