Camping is a favourite activity of Australian families, and with what our landscapes have to offer, that’s no surprise. But Australian climates and summer sun can be brutal.
Lots of sun and little rain makes Australian summertime a perfect recipe for bush-fires.
That being said, there is no reason you can’t still enjoy all the pleasures of camping if you plan ahead.
In this post, we are going to give you a few tips and tricks to make the most of your summertime holiday and stay safe during bushfire season.
When you go camping during bushfire season, you need to be prepared.
Having an Emergency Survival Kit is essential to staying ahead of the curve.
A Survival Kit as laid out by the NSW RFS contains:
- Candles, and waterproof matches
- Bottled water (at least 3 litres pp, per day)
- Protective clothing
- Waterproof bag for valuables
- Spare Batteries
- Portable battery operated radio
- First-Aid Kit complete with manual.
- Waterproof torches, and
- Woollen blankets
In addition to these things, making sure you have a supply of any necessary medications, a small collection of cash, a combination pocket knife and a spare mobile charger stashed in your survival kit can make all the difference when making a safe escape.
Keep the kit in a water-tight storage container in a location that is easily accessible for the whole family.
Be aware of entry points and access roads to your campsite. In the event of a bushfire, knowing where any park or site exits are can dramatically reduce the time you need to leave safely.
Keep a map handy with your site location and exit points highlighted for quick access.
Additionally, if you’re not camping at a regulated site, you should let somebody know where you are so that SES and emergency crews can be made aware of your location as well as having a safe location to move to as a backup.
If you do happen to get caught in a bushfire on the road, call 000 and park off the road in a clear area away from trees, grass and shrubs. Have your vehicle turned to face the fire and shut off the engine, turning on your headlights, hazard lights and any fog lights you might have. Stay below window level and cover yourself with woollen blankets, covering your mouth with damp cloth to breathe through, drink plenty of water and keep the radio handy to stay informed. It is most important that you stay in the car until the sound of the fire has passed, once the fire has moved on, take care when exiting the vehicle as the car and the ground will be very hot.