If you have lived In Australia long enough, you will know how tempestuous its weather can be. Whilst the country’s climate seems easy to predict, with most areas getting sweltering hot during summer and mild temperature during winters. Yet, Aussies still get surprised with sudden rain and thunderstorms any day of the year. This is especially troublesome when you’re caught in torrential rain with just a camping tent over your head.
It is not just the rain that can put a damper on your adventurous mood, while you are camping. It is quite common to hear veteran campers experiencing dust storms and freezing cold when they are in the wild. Whilst such incidents would make interestingly funny stories in the future, living through it with just a few camping supplies to help you survive can be a harrowing experience.
When this happens to you, what are you supposed to do?
As cliché as it may sound, preparedness is the key to survive whatever Mother Nature might throw at you. After all, you will never know when the forces of nature will strike. A few days before your camping trip, you need to get yourself informed with the latest local weather events. The Bureau of Meteorology’s website can come in handy, as it is constantly updated every 10 minutes. If connecting to the Internet is not possible, you can always tune in to your radio to get the weather reports.
Aside from listening to the news, you and each of your camping companion should pack a survival kit that can be used in case of emergencies. A survival kit must contain some non-perishable food, clothing, torches and batteries, blankets, and a first-aid kit.
Before embarking on the trip, you need to familiarise yourself with possible evacuation routes around your campsite, as well as the location and number of the nearest hospital for safety reasons.
General Tips for Surviving Camping during Bad Weather
What exactly is ‘bad weather’? The general definition of the phrase is a weather that is highly unsuitable for outdoor activities such as camping and hiking. Thus, bad weather can either be scorching hot, blistering cold, or sopping wet. Here’s a general guide on how to survive camping during these times.
Trying to camp under the direct glare of an Aussie sun can be extremely uncomfortable. However, for campers with young kids, summer might be the only season that they can go camping together without ruining the kids’ school schedule. Wearing light long-sleeved clothes and long pants can help diffuse your body heat without making you prey to bloodsucking insects or thorny bushes around the campsite. You might also want to schedule your camp cooking early morning or late in the afternoon, as spending your day in front of a searing fire during daytime can be detrimental to your health.
Camping tents are generally made to anticipate either hot or cold temperature, but it might be wise to bring a tarp which can give you adequate shelter without obstructing the wind flow.
What to do in case of a bushfire
The worst-case scenario when camping during summer is finding yourself camping near a bushfire. A dry bushland on a hot day can exponentially increase the threat of bushfire. Keeping track of where all the current bushfires are is the best way to avoid them. You need to pay attention to your surroundings during your camping trip. If ever you find yourself caught in a bushfire, try to leave immediately. This means leaving some of your precious gear behind. Just bring whatever is necessary (like your survival kit) and escape away from the fire quickly.
Rainy/ Stormy Weather
You might have set off to your camping trip on a sunny day, but you will never know when exactly rain will fall. The first thing you need to do is set up camp on a higher ground. This way, you won’t have to worry about sudden downpour or torrential rains flooding your tent.
This also means not choosing a campground near a river or stream. But don’t set up a camp so high that you’ll worry about lightning storms instead. The trick is to find a campground where your tent doesn’t get to the highest object in there. You might also want to protect your tent by setting up a tarp over the places that you use to eat and sleep to keep them dry.
Another tip is to bring a lot of plastic bags (preferably those big, durable garbage bags) with you on the trip so that even when you get surprised by the rain, you can still protect your camping gear and equipment from getting wet.
What to do in case of flash flood
As with bushfires, immediately abandon your gear and take only what is necessary with you in case of flash flood. Try to climb to a place that’s as high as possible to get away from danger. Find a safe spot and wait patiently until the flood subsides.
What to do in case of landslide/ avalanche.
Almost anything can trigger a landslide or avalanche regardless of the weather. The best way to avoid being buried alive with your gear is to avoid camping near the base or at the edge of a steep incline. However, if you do find yourself trapped in a landslide, grab something sturdy (like a tree branch) and try to keep your head above the surface as much as you can.
With the right amount of planning and the right camping gear, you can keep yourself safe regardless of how violent the forces of nature get. For the best camping gear and supplies that could withstand all weathers, visit OutbaxCamping.