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How Long Can You Survive In The Australian Outback & How To Avoid Being Stranded

Australia is known for its rugged and harsh remote areas, and we are also known for our adventure travel and desire to see and explore our great land. While as fun as exploring the Outback is, if you’re not entirely prepared for the elements and with the correct knowledge of your surroundings, it can be a deadly experience. The chances of surviving if lost in the Outback can be slim if you’re not prepared.

Here’s what you need to know.

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australian outback survival

How long can you survive without water?

Generally, a person can survive without water for three days, but that’s only if they are not exposed to too much heat or direct exposure to the sun.

There have been many tragic stories of people being found dehydrated, lost or not surviving the harsh climate of the Outback.

In the Outback or desert, you can lose one litre of water every 30 to 60 minutes through perspiration and respiration, and the biggest mistake people make when they are stranded is trying to conserve too much water. The body needs at least one cup of water (250 ml) at a time so it can properly hydrate the brain and other organs. By just sipping, the brain doesn’t hydrate, and people don’t think properly, leading to decisions that could end up costing their life. People have been found dead of dehydration with a water bottle that’s three-quarters full.

How long can I survive without food?

Most outback survival enthusiasts will tell you food is one of the last things you need to worry about if you become lost in the Outback as you can survive for about three weeks without food. Long before food becomes a crucial factor, heat and dehydration will be the main issue.

How dangerous is the heat?

Our body temperature is normally at a healthy range of between 37 and 38 degrees, but once it rises above 40C, it gets dangerous for our health. If someone is exposed to direct heat without shelter for three hours or more, the body will be dangerously exposed to dehydration and heat exhaustion. Once the body can’t find ways to cool down properly, brain functions will become impaired and internal organs will begin to fail.

Is it better to wait for rescue or search for help?

According to Life Flight, the best thing to do if you’ve broken down on a road trip through the Outback is to stay with your vehicle. A car can be spotted with a rescue helicopter from the air much more accessible than a person, and most rescue missions are conducted in the air. A car can provide much-needed shelter from the sun and wind and, in some cases, can be a last resort source of water.  If you need to leave your vehicle and you’re in the Outback, it’s best to find a property fence and stick to it. Farmers regularly check their fence boundaries, and it’s more likely someone will be found that way.

What's the best way to avoid being stranded in the Outback?

Most of the time, tragedies in the Outback could be very preventable with the right precautions and equipment. The single best thing you can have to avoid an emergency is to have communication with emergency services. The basic fundamental is letting someone know exactly where you’re travelling and when you expect to be back and not relying on a mobile phone signal to do this. Normal mobile phone coverage won’t have reception in most Outback and remote areas in Australia, so people should invest in an Emergency Satellite communication device.

ZOLEO™, is the world’s first truly seamless global messaging and personal safety solution for smartphone users who venture beyond mobile coverage.

Aimed at anyone who lives on the fringe of mobile coverage or who travels out of mobile coverage for work or recreation, ZOLEO extends the user’s smartphone coverage to even the remotest area and seamlessly routes messages over the lowest cost network available. The device includes an SOS button with 24/7 monitoring for those emergency situations that nobody wants to end up in but should be prepared for at all times.

When users travel beyond mobile coverage, the ZOLEO device connects with the free app on their phone/tablet, allowing the user to send and receive messages anywhere on earth via the Iridium satellite network, which provides complete coverage of the globe through 66 cross-linked Low Earth Orbit (LEO) satellites.

Uniquely, when users are within mobile coverage, the ZOLEO app seamlessly delivers messages over cellular or Wi-Fi.

Getting stranded in the Outback can happen to even the most organised and prepared adventurer but having the right knowledge and a suitable communications device like ZOLEO Satellite Communicator when in trouble could make all the difference between an inconvenient camping experience and a life or death situation.

ZOLEO satellite communicator device
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