Remote OZ survival tips.

Discussion in 'Australia' started by rossguzzi, Nov 5, 2018.

  1. rossguzzi

    rossguzzi 990 Adv.

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    Many years ago I did a some Bob Cooper Outback Survival courses. I have been thinking about it quite a bit recently because of the 2 fatalities we have just had in WA outback.
    Many threads on what electronic devices to take with you, but I don't recall any on, if all that stuff fails, how to survive.

    Here is a few tips I have tattooed in my brain.

    1. Carry a big CLEAR plastic bag. If you run out of water, go to nearest tree, grab a bunch of leaves (still on tree) put in bag, tie up opening of bag, let hang on tree. water will appear in bag thaks to photosynthesis. Needs to be a clear bag for this to work best. Much better results than digging hole, plastic over hole with leaves in hole/small rock on top of plastic.

    2. If you are lost in station country. This can and has resulted in deaths. If you can find live stock tracks, follow them till you see other tracks join in. they should make a kind of V. Use that as an arrow as to which way to walk. Cattle/sheep will walk from a water hole/wind mill to get feed and return for water. They spread out to get feed, but all tracks gradually converge to water.

    3. If its looking like you are going to be staying the night you need warmth. Light a fire. ok if you are with your bike you probably have matches/sleeping bag etc. But if you are without gear, you could be up shit creek. If you have the know how, it is possible to rub 2 sticks together. I have done it. there is definitely a knack to it. Or if you have brought with you a little tin of survival gear, this is the time to open it and get out the little lighter. Bugger its out of gas, matches are wet too. So grab the small container of Condy`s crystals you packed. Get some small sticks/leaves, some crystals and that sugar cube. Now I got to admit I am going by memory here. Crush the crystals
    into the cube and you have fire. Or pour some of you brake fluid (your near your bike) over the crystals and stand back. It`s quite a violent reaction.
    The crystals work as a water purifying agent too. Just 1 or 2 crystals in a litre of water and mix. Should just be a shade of pink. Too many crystals and it will turn purple. Not good for drinking then, but is good for sterilizing a wound.

    There is heaps more, but these are 3 important ones I just thought about.

    Feel free to add more.

    Stay adventurously safe.
    #1
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  2. Scuba13

    Scuba13 Adventurer

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    Great idea for a thread. Cheers!
    #2
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  3. Farmer Roy

    Farmer Roy Been here awhile

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    travel with someone you trust & can rely on if the shit hits the fan, such as @Sand Goanna
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  4. 3legs

    3legs Real men ride sidecars Supporter

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    I always carry a small Molle utility pouch full of survival gear.

    I can't remember everything I've got in there but it has various forms of fire lighting equipment like matches, lighter, 9v battery and steel wool, small magnifying glass etc, space blanket (they pack up very small) torch, compass (and know how to use it), cord, pocket knife, mirror (for signalling aircraft), sawyer mini water filter and some basic first aid items (which includes a needle and thread just in case I need to stitch a wound).

    I have other stuff in there but just can't think of them at the moment.

    The pouch is only about the size of a small lunch box so takes up bugger all room but it could be the difference between life and death.

    Thankfully I've never had the need to use any of the items.

    I'm a big believer if you have it you will never need it but if you don't have it.............well.
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  5. Warin

    Warin Retired

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    Swedish FireSteel .. works after being wet, does not go flat ..

    Emergency blanket - in your first aid kit.

    Do a first aid course. Preferably one that handles 'remote area' i.e. help can be more than 30 minutes away.

    There are lots of things you have with you on the motorcycle that can be used ... rear vision mirrors can be used for signaling.
    Your spare clothing for wound dressings.
    #5
  6. Scuba13

    Scuba13 Adventurer

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    Good suggestion regarding the first aid course.

    I kind of did one a few years ago. Informal and specific, it was with a mate who is a paramedic and has worked on the rescue choppers at times.

    His opinion was he wouldn’t waste money on any old first aid course. Half the time they are run by people who’ve never had to administer first aid, according to him at least.

    I was lucky and got a very tailored course for the trip I was attempting. I had to use a few tips from him too.

    Any ideas on a businesses that delivers specific ADV courses?
    #6
  7. Warin

    Warin Retired

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    St John NSW do a 'Remote Area' course.. the entry requirements change from time to time .. last I looked they were only accepting people who had a 'seniors' course done recently.. that adds to the cost both time and $.

    The St John ones I have done are all run by someone how has been in the field with lots of first hand knowledge.

    Picking when to go is an art. If you pick weekday you can end up with a group of off shore fishermen .. the weekend ones tend to be a mix - some bushwalkers, canoeists...

    -------------------------
    The cheaper courses are driven by $ ... so you may have a textbook teacher rather than someone with field experience. Your choice.
    Perhaps do a seniors on the cheap and the remote on the expensive?

    There is a pdf book that is worth a read .. 'Where there is no doctor'
    #7
  8. rossguzzi

    rossguzzi 990 Adv.

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    Did a first aid course by a guy that was a bit over the top, but was good. He said even St John don't include burns packs. Very important for kids. Considering we camp with fires and falling with hot exhaust pipes on bikes, it a good idea to include a product like Burnsheild.
    #8
  9. Leonard Teale

    Leonard Teale Adventurer

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    number 1 on Rossguzzi's list

    #9
  10. Happy Snapper

    Happy Snapper GOMOB.

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    I have often read of this... a question I have always wanted answered is this: How much water will you lose from perspiration in digging the hole and collecting the leaves V how much return you will get from the enterprise?

    I have no idea..... always wondered though...
    #10
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  11. david61

    david61 Been here awhile

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    Hire or buy a Satphone, spread the cost over a group helps.

    BEFORE it starts going really pear shaped, swallow your pride and make a call, "low on water" "lost" "bike broken", whatever.

    Emergency services would much rather be slightly annoyed at having to rescue you, than fetching a body from the scrub.....
    #11
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  12. Adrian V

    Adrian V Long timer

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    Great thread !
    I seems to me that a fair few dramas or breakdowns or accidents, that turn into survival situations, could have been avoided if more thought was given to planning, including considering "what if" scenarios. Also, as I get older and more decrepit, I also notice that tiredness creeps up more easily and one small mistake often leads to another mistake or silly decision etc, so knowing when to stop and set up camp, or plan an 'escape' route is vital. Conversely I also sometimes shake my head at the young guns, who have a fat time riding close to their limits, with little thought given to the "what if" and the repercussions of a serious fall in a remote area.

    This doesn't mean avoiding challenging trips, far from it, but it does include assessing the calculated risk and ways to mitigate it. Good planning and a realistic assessment of the groups skills and capabilities can do this up to a point and from there the decision has to be made whether to go ahead or not.

    I suppose what I'm saying is that the best way to survive a "survival situation", is to not let things deteriorate to that point in the first place...
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  13. Nogoodnamesleft

    Nogoodnamesleft Long timer

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    I used to have to do a first aid course every year for work.
    15 years ago it was a 2 day course, nowdays its a 3 hour course that pretty much says call 000 on your mobile.
    I complained after my last 2 of em.

    i did do a good one about 20 years ago that was for about 15 full days.
    Was part of a much bigger outdoor rec. course in bushwalking and rock climbing.
    Lots of role playing and we actually had to carry someone out of the bush.
    It was only about 3 or 4 km but hard yakka.
    Rescuers need to look after themselves as well, so if you choose to carry a mate, don't end up making the problem worse.

    For remote stuff
    Its good to have a written emergency plan prior to departure packed with your first aid kit.
    Learn to recognise shock in others and yourself especially if you need to make important decisions.
    Shock may occur after the event or once you realise you're in the $hit.
    If you don't need to move and you have supplies, let the rescue come to you.
    If you have it set up the tent, for shade and shelter and wait.
    If it's cold remember to collect condensation before the sun rises for water.
    Drink some fluids before a stressful / physical event not after if you decide to try and resue yourself.
    Decision making is the first to go in people.
    The body / brain will shut itself down to protect itself - vision and coordination go early on as well.
    Dealing with strangers is easier than mates and it can cloud your judgement and decision making.
    When a mate is injured and says i just want to sleep, you're knee deep in it and hit the plb and make the call.

    Ive probably called 000 at least 20 times in my last job.
    Just remember its no big deal to make the call.
    They follow a flow chart to assess.
    Your job is to just make the call.
    I've never had them say you shouldn't have called.
    The wait takes forever..
    If it's your first time waiting for an ambo, it's shit scarey..
    Try and relax and just wait.

    For me nowadays i simply know i'm not fit enough to do what i used to, especially for self rescue scenarios.
    #13
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  14. neilaction

    neilaction Slightly Less Adventurous

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    mmm,
    Not exactly a survival tip, but does anyone know at what alcohol percentage does the water in the beer cancel out the dehydrating effect of the alcohol? :drink
    #14
  15. 3legs

    3legs Real men ride sidecars Supporter

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    Another thing I find myself doing the deeper I go off the beaten track is keeping an eye out for windmills (also homestead signs) and mentally noting the trip meter km mark when I see one just in case I break down (also helps with boredom while riding and with keeping alert).

    A windmill doesn't mean there is water there but even if there isn't it may be monitored by the station owner with a solar powered camera.

    Always remember number one rule-don't leave the vehicle however if the windmill is not far and you are just about out of water at least it would be worth a look (that is a decision that must be made carefully).

    I have heard in the past but not sure how true this is but if you light a fire that produces lots of smoke which can be seen miles away the local station owner/manager will come out to investigate it however you would have to hope that the homestead or workers are close enough to see the smoke considering how vast most of the outback stations are.

    Thankfully I've never had to test any of these ideas out.

    One more thing, takes maps!!! The more detailed the better. Don't rely on electronics, apps etc if you get lost (helps if you know how to locate north or south without a compass).

    Common sense plays a big part in survival and going into places that look dangerous probably are but then again maybe that's just me getting old and it's my survival instinct kicking in:lol3
    Not that I've done anything stupid in the past........................yeah right:D
    #15
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  16. Leonard Teale

    Leonard Teale Adventurer

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    drink enough it doesn't matter
    #16
  17. BOOTLACE

    BOOTLACE Bikie Scum. Supporter

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    If I'm riding a little off the beaten track, apart from a epirb, I will ALWAYS have a means, on my body, to light a fire.
    Apart from giving a signal to searchers, with a shitload of greens on it for a sighting, it will keep you warm.
    Something simple, could make the difference.
    #17
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  18. david61

    david61 Been here awhile

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    Sadly, I believe you need the same amount of water to process the beer you drink, hangovers are usually worsened by the dehydration you are suffering.

    So, if you can, have a beer, have a glass of water and repeat, you might need to piss a few times during the night but you will wake up feeling a shit tonne better.
    #18
  19. isgila

    isgila Been here awhile

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    Rent Spot device from David at Oz satellite rental.
    Easy to deal with. Its comes with Spot and a return envelope. Once out of outback drop the device into post box.
    A satisfied customer. No affliction.
    #19
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  20. david61

    david61 Been here awhile

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    With a Satphone [ hire or buy ] it's EXTREMELY useful to be able to talk to Emergency Services, especially if dealing with the injured or sick, so they can give you the correct guidance on matters medical, or what track you are on, or where can the chopper land at night and so on.
    #20
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