Grey Nomads Off Road – 5 Common Sense Ways To Stay Safe Outback with a Camper Trailer
As a Grey Nomad (or potential Grey Nomad!), after working hard all your life, raising a family and maybe even some grand kids, there’s nothing more that you deserve than a camper trailer adventure.
Maybe your kids are all grown up and have lives of their own, or maybe you want to go see Australia now that you have retired.
Whatever your reasons, heading off on a camper trailer trip will be one of the best things you’ll ever do!
Besides packing all the essentials and making sure that your camper trailer has all the things you need to be comfortable, there are some things to remember when it comes to staying safe.
The excitement of heading off can get the better of us, and it can be easy to forget that there are some technical things that need to be taken care of, as tedious as they may be the can be the difference between having a forgettable or unforgettable time traveling around Australia.
Australia has just about every sort of landscape and terrain you can think of, but with that comes the risk of running into danger. If you aren’t prepared for what’s ahead of you, it may lead to disaster and make the trip of a lifetime go sour very quickly.
Don’t worry- we aren’t talking about anything you can’t handle, and you shouldn’t be scared away from seeing our great country. After all, Aussies are tough as nails!
Whether you are a seasoned traveller or new to the camper trailer lifestyle, here are our top 5 tips for staying safe outdoor camping.
Know you & your trailers limits
Firstly- the elephant in the room. Grey Nomads, we hate to be the ones to break it to you, but you aren’t as fit and able as you once were. Knowing your limits and being realistic about what you can manage is a big step in being safe during your trip.
This can apply to so many aspects of your trip and small adjustments to the way you like to camp can go a long way. Things like traveling a little slower or investing in some easy to use equipment like automatic awnings can make the journey much smoother.
Exploring Australia is best done by foot, so we can bet that your trip will include walking, swimming and simply embracing the amazing landscapes. Remember to know when enough is enough for the day and consider breaking up the walking so that you don’t exhaust yourself.
Remember to take into account that driving makes you more tired and so will the harsh climates of some locations.
When walking, consider hiring a guide to get you through the ins and outs of your location. Not only will they make sure that you are safe and working within your limits, you’ll get the best insight and experience possible!
Make sure your car & trailer are up to scratch
Can problems are the last thing you want when you’re travelling, and in some locations like the outback both mechanics and phone reception can be scarce.
Although car problems are not the end of the world, being unprepared can cause danger.
Some things to consider before heading off:
- Check your tyres and make sure the pressure is okay. Make sure to note what kind of surfaces you will be driving on and know how to change the pressure in your tyres to match. For example, driving on sand will require a different tyre pressure level.
- Check your oil levels. Make sure you have a full bottle handy in the boot, so you can top up along the way. As we’ve mentioned already petrol stations in remote locations can be few and far between (and also costly).
- Spare tyres! Luckily, your mars camper comes with twin spare wheels, so you just need to worry about your car tyres.
If you do get stuck in the middle of nowhere (and this is a big if)- its unlikely that you’ll be going without much if you have your mars camper with you. With a place to eat and a place to sleep, what more do you need?
It’s important to remember to never leave your vehicle. Stay put, and someone will come past with help before you know it. Don’t try and walk to get help, as you’ll probably be walking for a veeeery long time. Although you may have to wait a few hours for someone to pass by, it’s the safest thing to do.
Avoid driving out of the main towns and cities after dark. Kangaroos and Emus love to jump across the roads, and you won’t see them in time. Besides, pulling up to your destination before dark gives you time to enjoy the beautiful sunsets that Australia has– best enjoyed with a beer in hand.
Slip Slop Slap – Don’t forget the sunscreen on your holiday!
Australia has some of the harshest sun in the world. If you grew up in Australia, we’re sure that you spent summers running around with no sunscreen and no hat, it’s just how things were!
But with all the education we have now on how harmful the Aussie sun can be, always make sure you have plenty of SPF 50 sunscreen, hats, light clothing and sunglasses! A nasty sunburn can be uncomfortable at the best of times, and you don’t want to spend your trip having to stay out of the sun to help heal your skin.
Oh– and stay hydrated to help protect from sun stroke or heat exhaustion. Pack the car with lots and lots of water– we’re talking litres! Drinking water can be hard to come across in some areas of the outback, and water is something you cannot be left without.
Steer clear of animals in Country Australia
We all know that Aussie animals are dangerous. Our list of nasty critters is longer than any other in the world, and it can be really exciting to see the in their natural habitat. But leaving them to their own devices is the best way to ensure that you don’t put yourself in any danger.
Life threating attacks from interactions with crocodiles and sharks can be prevented by simply not going near them, checking the signs and knowing where it’s not safe to go into the water. Most locations will have signs and swimming nets letting you know where is safe to swim and where isn’t, bit its always best to check by doing your own research or asking a local.
When driving, make sure you’re always alert for animals on the roads. Kangaroos are your main culprit, and these big heavy animals can do some serious damage to your car if you’re not careful!
Snakes are the other big one to look out for. Again, leaving them be is your best bet to avoiding trouble- but doing your own research on how to handle a snake bite could get you out of a pickle.
Another thing to note is being aware of which camping grounds are safe as far as wildlife go. For example, in locations such as Fraser Island and Uluru, you’ll find Dingoes. There are safety precautions that you need to take to make sure you stay safe such as camping within gated areas or simply not feeding the animals.
Most areas in Australia have lots of signs and warnings.
There is an endless list of other animals to look out for from spiders to jellyfish to mozzies, so packing some gels and creams to help with bites and irritations is a good way to go.
Strike a balance with your holiday plan – not too little, not too much
Having a plan of where you are travelling complete with maps and itineraries is the best way to go when you are traveling to remote places such as the outback.
A huge perk of having a camper trailer is that you can make changes to your trip as you come across something that catches your eye, doing this in the middle of nowhere isn’t the best of ideas.
Don’t make your schedule too tight, allow yourself a few extra days just in case you come across a bump in the road (see what we did there).
Things like a day of heavy rain can mean a closed road, wind may mean you have to stay put for an extra few hours or a flat tyre may mean you don’t get as far as you wished that day. Having a relaxed schedule means you don’t have to stress when your trip doesn’t go to plan.
Just pull up, enjoy the surroundings and boil yourself a cuppa in your camper.
All in all, Australia is one of the most diverse and magical places to travel, and you shouldn’t let the idea of danger stop you from going. These simple tips to keep in mind should help you be as prepared as you can be for a trip in your camper.