Essential equipment for staying safe in backcountry Australia

Written by: A247 Gear


 Ensure you’ve packed the necessary safety gear before embarking on your next trip — no matter the weather conditions.


Touring the backcountry of Australia can be an indescribable and rewarding experience, however, it can also be extremely testing — think intense heat, tough and varied terrain and a bevy of wild and unpredictable fauna. And a bad situation can quickly become worse if you don’t have the right safety equipment on board. With this in mind, we’ve put together a short but informative list of products that are non-negotiable when embarking on a trip anywhere in Australia. But the most important thing for backcountry travellers is to keep your wits about you, as panicking and catastrophising will only add to the stress and will detract from your abilities to make good decisions.

All-season touring necessities

It goes without saying that the number one safety item that should always be on board your touring vehicle is a first aid kit. When you’re thousands of kilometres away from civilisation and medical help, a first aid kit can be the difference between life and death. 

The SURVIVAL Vehicle First Aid Kit is one of the most comprehensive vehicle first aid kits on the market — the kit has been designed with weight and space in mind, without compromising any of the items on your motorist first aid checklist. At only 1.25kg and housed in a compact, colour-coded bag, dealing with emergency medical situations is that much easier with this durable, rugged and water-resistant kit. Not to mention the inclusion of a snake bite kit, bringing you that much-needed peace of mind should you encounter a slippery critter.

However, we must mention that a first aid kit is virtually useless if you don’t know how to use its contents. We therefore recommend taking a first aid course of any level to familiarise yourself with the medical items and what steps need to be taken in an emergency.

The number two safety item you must always have on board your touring vehicle is a UHF radio or satellite phone/communicator. An Ultra-High Frequency (UHF) radio is ultimately a two-way radio system across the spectrum of 476.4250–477.4125MHz, which works in remote areas without needing reception and is ideal for short-distance communications, whereas a satellite communicator works without the need for a telephone signal or wi-fi, meaning you can get ‘reception’ wherever you are. 

We recommend the ZOLEO Global Satellite Communicator which features the industry’s first progressive SOS, which means if something goes wrong, your SOS alert and GPS coordinates will be sent to the company’s 24/7 emergency response coordination partner. You’ll get confirmation that your alert was received by the rescue team and if it was a false alarm, you can cancel it. The ZOLEO is shock-proof, dust-proof, waterproof and compact enough to take with you when you go hiking, camping, skiing and more.

Fire safety

With the outback reaching temperatures above 50°C, it’s no surprise that fire/UV warnings are almost always in the ‘EXTREME’ or even ‘CATESTROPHIC’ category. With an extremely arid landscape dominated by bushland and ridiculously hot temperatures, a fire can be started very quickly in Australia — and often without intention. 

We therefore recommend always having a reliable fire extinguisher on board your touring vehicle. We recommend the Fire-One “The Adventurer” Medium Nano Particle Fire Extinguishing Device which is lightweight, easy to use and requires no maintenance. The Fire-One extinguisher is safe to use on electricals and all types of household, fuel, gas and oil fires. And best of all, its non-toxic, environmentally safe potassium-based agent leaves no residue or mess to clean up.

We must mention that all fire extinguishers come with a ‘use by’ date, which means they must be replaced after this time. This date must be respected, as a malfunctioning extinguisher can be the difference between surviving and the worst-case scenario. Fire extinguishers must also be inspected at six-month intervals and may require servicing. 

Recovery gear

Unfortunately, becoming bogged is a part of life when four-wheel driving or caravanning, so it’s important you have the proper gear on board to get you out of a bog, whether that includes getting help from another vehicle or doing it yourself. 

It’s always a good idea to have slightly more gear than you could need with you, as it could help another touring party or in the case of an extenuating emergency situation.

We recommend the Saber 12K Ultimate Recovery Kit as an onboard companion when embarking on any offroad touring in Australia. The kit including a 9m 12,5000kg Kinetic Recovery Rope, two 20,000kg Technora Bound Soft Shackles, 20m 9500kg Black SaberPro Winch Extension Rope, SaberPro Utility Rope, Ezy-Glide Recovery Ring and much more is the ideal 4WD recovery kit for kinetic rope and winch recoveries in large vehicles. Save yourself time stressing over a bogged back end so you can spend more time enjoying the great Aussie landscape. 

The wrap

Having the right safety equipment on board your touring vehicle can make or break road trips. Make your life on the road easier by preparing adequately, as a few extra hours at home beforehand could save you countless hours wasted during your trip.