As Australians’ we love our adventure travel but the Australian outback can be one of the most dangerous places on earth if you’re not prepared.
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.
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?
What’s the best way to avoid being stranded in the Outback?