Essential safety gear equipment for remote travel

Editorial team — 8 July 2024
Make sure your next adventure into Australia’s remote landscapes is as safe as can be with this essential gear checklist.

Exploring Australia’s backcountry with your offroad camper trailer can be an incredible experience and you’re sure to make some memories that you will never forget. But these kinds of trips can also be very demanding and put you through your paces. Australia is renowned for being as tough as it is beautiful — think intense heat, tough and varied terrain and a multitude of wild animals that are noteworthy for their erratic and unpredictable behaviour when a vehicle approaches. It’s because of these potential bad situations that it’s important to have the right safety equipment on board. And to help you along, we’ve put together a short but instructive go-to guide for safety gear equipment you should have on board when heading off on an Aussie adventure with your camper trailer in tow. 

And while these gear items are ‘must-haves’ for your journey, the most important thing for backcountry travellers to remember is to keep your eyes and ears open and stay calm — overreacting or blowing a situation out of proportion will only increase your stress and decrease your ability to make good decisions. 

First aid kit

One of the most important safety items you should have on board — no matter where you’re going or for how long — is a well-stocked first aid kit. Many of Australia’s best off-grid campsites or destinations will take you thousands of kilometres away from civilisation and medical help, so having a first aid kit and knowing how to use it can be the difference between life and death. 

For a comprehensive kit designed for vehicle travel, check out the SURVIVAL Vehicle First Aid Kit. This kit has been designed to be both light and compact in size, meaning it won’t take up much room in your tow vehicle, but it also hasn’t compromised on any of the crucial items you should have on your motorist first aid checklist. The kit weighs only 1.25kg and all items are stored in a compact, colour-coded bag that is durable, rugged and water-resistant. It also includes a snake bite kit, which will bring much peace of mind when travelling into remote areas of Australia. 

No matter how comprehensive a first aid kit it is essentially useless if you don’t know how to use the contents inside it. Therefore, we recommend taking a first aid training course of any level to acquaint yourself with the medical items and what steps need to be taken in an emergency.

Communication device

The second must-have item 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 the need of mobile phone reception. These radios are perfect for short-distance communications, such as around camp and with other travellers on the road. Another option is a satellite phone or communicator, which works without the need for a telephone signal of wi-fi, meaning you can get reception no matter where you are. 

(Image Josh Hanger)

The ZOLEO Global Satellite Communicator is a good option, and features the industry’s first progressive SOS, meaning if something goes wrong while you are travelling your programmed SOS alert and GPS coordinates will be sent to ZOLEO’s 24/7 emergency response coordination partner. You will receive a confirmation on your device that your alert was received by the rescue team. Additionally, if it was a false alarm, you will have the ability to cancel the alert. The ZOLEO has been designed with Australia’s harsh conditions in mind and is shock-proof, dust-proof, waterproof and compact enough to take with you when you go camping, hiking, skiing and more. To find out more about the ZOLEO, check out this review Tim van Duyl did last year. 

Fire safety

Outback temperatures can get to more than 50°C so it’s no surprise that fire/UV warnings are often in the ‘EXTREME’ or even ‘CATASTROPHIC’ category. And with mush of the arid landscape dominated by bushland and hot temperatures, a fire can be started very quickly in Australia — and often unintentionally. 

Because of this, we recommend always having a reliable fire extinguisher not only on board your touring vehicle, but also a second extinguisher easily accessible in your camper trailer. For a lightweight, easy to use and low-maintenance option, check out the Fire-One “The Adventurer” Medium Nano Particle Fire Extinguishing Device. This extinguisher is safe to use on electrical fires and all types of household, fuel, gas and oil fires. And one of its best features, especially for travelling, its non-toxic, environmentally safe and potassium-based agent leaves no residue or mess to clean up. 

It’s important to note that all fire extinguishers come with a ‘use by’ date, which means they must be replaced before expiration. This date must be respected, as a malfunctioning extinguisher can be the difference between life and death, particularly in remote areas. Fire extinguishers must also be inspected at six-month intervals and may require servicing. 

Recovery gear

While many of us might wish it weren’t so — getting bogged is part of the game when going four-wheel driving. And while your offroad camper trailer affords you shade, shelter and a place to sleep, it also provides you with additional wheels to potentially get bogged. To help you get out of these sticky situations, whether that’s on your own or with the help of another vehicle, it’s essential to have the proper gear on board.  It's also a good idea to pack more recovery gear than you might need, as it could help someone else on the road who may find themselves in an emergency situation. 

For a comprehensive kit that offers all the essentials bits and pieces, have a look at the Saber 12K Ultimate Recovery Kit. Included in the kit are a 9m 12,500kg kinetic recovery rope, two 20,000kg Technora Bound soft shackles, 20m 9500kg black SaberPro winch extension rope, SaberPro utility rope, Ezy-Guide recovery ring and much more. This kit is designed for recovering large vehicles and will prove to be a handy offroad travel companion. However, much like a first-aid kit it is important to know how to use your recovery gear. There are plenty of vehicle recovery training courses available to ensure you’ll always be able to get your vehicle and camper out of tight situations quickly and safely.  

Adventure awaits

Travelling with your camper trailer in Australia’s great outdoors — whether it’s the iconic outback or mountainous terrains — requires a lot of planning and preparation, and having the right safety equipment can make all the difference to how your camping trip turns out. So, get your checklist sorted and enjoy the peace of mind knowing you’re ready for anything. 


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