While Sydney and Melbourne are beautiful cities, for many people who find themselves down under, the real destination is the great Australian Outback. This untamed baron desert accounts for more than 80 percent of the land of the country, but less than 1 percent of its population. It is a place claimed solely by nature, and for that reason, it can be a dangerous place. The Outback claims about 40 lives every year, but not for the reasons most people think.
Many believe the high mortality rate is due to the many animals that inhabit these arid plains —poisonous snakes, spiders, scorpions and saltwater crocodiles. However, statistics tell us that most deaths come from human error. It is imperative visitors of the Outback learn these essential tips before venturing out into the unfamiliar territory.
Although most of the roads in the Outback are not heavily traveled, it is important to keep to a reasonable speed. Many deaths occur because motorists drive too fast on the unpatrolled open roads. They often will hit a rut, or swerve to avoid wildlife crossing the road, and lose control of their vehicle.
Bring Extra Water
This might seem obvious — but bringing extra water is critically important if you wish to spend any large amount of time in the Outback. Heat sickness and dehydration are two of the most common causes of death, and many people overlook this fact. What most do not realize is our bodies use up more water in the sweltering heat — often three or four times as much. For this reason, bring no less than a gallon of water (about four liters) for a day trip. In an emergency, following animal tracks may lead to a watering hole.
Tell People Where You Are Going — And Know Where You’re Going Yourself
Before you leave for your trek, inform a friend or roommate where you intend to go. If you are not back by an agreed-upon time, they can call the authorities to send a search party for you.
If your car breaks down, do not wander away from it. Another vehicle is bound to show up if you remain patient. Finally, you may want to consider bringing a satellite phone in case of emergencies like this.
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