LEADING survival expert Bob Cooper is warning travellers not to put themselves in danger by underestimating the risks of outback travel in winter.
The Chidlow bushcraft trainer said many people explore the ‘top end’ from June onwards to avoid the searing heat of summer, but failed to realise winter temperatures could still pose a threat.
“Northern Australia can still produce 30-plus degree days, which is warm enough to cause potentially-deadly dehydration,” he said.
“It’s not just international tourists who can get caught out either, even Australian residents who haven’t been up to those parts at that time of year can easily underestimate how hot it might be.”
His latest survival product is a ‘help’ survival blanket, also offering warmth and strong enough to be used as a stretcher.
The idea for the survival tool came about after being asked repeatedly how people lost in the bush could have best signalled for help.
“When you’re lost in the outback with little water and food in searing heat, you have to get your message out that you need to be rescued ASAP,” he said.
The blanket comes with information about water consumption, direction finding using the sun, stars and moon, first aid instructions and emergency contacts.
“If you don’t think it’s going to be that hot, you won’t tend to take enough water and when people are low on water, thinking often sip it to make it last longer but that’s a big mistake,” he said.
“Sipping can spark dehydration dementia, a condition which makes you less capable of rationalising using common sense, increasing your chances of making critical errors that can cost your life.
“Your body requires a minimum of 250ml of water each time you drink to avoid other organs in the body robbing your brain of its necessary supply.”
He said safety equipment preparation was paramount before embarking on trips into the outback at any time of year.
“The advice is to plan both physically and emotionally for ‘what ifs’ and if you don’t know how to fix or manage any of those possible misfortunes then get educated because relying on the ‘she’ll be right’ attitude has turned many mishaps into tragedies.”
Fore more on Mr Cooper’s survival survival kits, visit bobcoopersurvival.com.