Road-tripping is one of the top favourite pass times in Australia. With the exquisite scenery all across the country, it’s not surprising that Aussie families want to spend their weekends or vacation days exploring the sights.
That said, road-tripping isn’t as easy as jumping into your 4×4 and seeing where the road takes you. Leaving home without the right accessories may leave you in a tough spot—especially if your car breaks down. You may be surprised to learn that you need more than just ratchet tie down straps and a watering can!
Road-Tripping Gear to Never Leave Home Without
Experienced road trippers will tell you that what you need depends largely on where you’re going. Still, there are some items that should be standard additions to your vehicle whether you’re going for a weekend getaway or a two-week trip taking roads less travelled. Let’s take a look at what our experts recommend.
- Jerry Cans and Water Tanks
Many people don’t think water is really a necessity because you can just buy some if you need it, right? Not if you’re stuck in the middle of nowhere overnight! Water is crucial for any type of long-distance journey.
Taking fresh water with you ensures that you have clean drinking water. Additionally, if your vehicle starts overheating, you’ll have water to pour into the radiator. The Australian sun can be brutal to anyone stuck on the side of a deserted road.
Tip: if more than two people are going on the road trip, consider taking more than one or two cans.
- Emergency Vehicle Repair Kit
If you’re travelling more than 10 minutes away from a town, city or populated area, you need to create an emergency vehicle repair kit. Some of the must-haves in this kit include:
- Backup battery system: If your vehicle’s battery is still reasonably new, this might not be an essential item for you. However, a backup battery is great for keeping the lights running when you’re camping. Many experts recommend it if you are travelling away from towns and won’t be near other people to help you if you get stuck.
- Vehicle jack: No matter how great you think your tyres are, your vehicle should always have a jack. Ideally, you should opt for a bottle jack, airbag jack or even a high-lift jack because a standard scissor jack isn’t practical in off-road areas.
- Basic spare parts: There’s no need to stock up on everything your vehicle may need, just a few of the basics that will help you get to help. Don’t forget a tool kit as you never know when you’ll need a hammer or a screwdriver!
- Tow straps: Another handy item that you can use for multiple purposes is a tow strap. You never know when you’re going to be stuck in a ditch and may need to be pulled out.
- First Aid Kit
Even if you’re not going too far away from a populated area with hospitals, and you have your cell phone, it’s still crucial to take a well-stocked first aid kit. In the event of an injury, you’ll still need to do your best to keep the person stable until help arrives. Moreover, you never know when you’ll come across a fellow traveller who needs medical assistance.
- UHF Radio or Satellite Phone
There’s no doubt that everyone in your travelling party will take their mobile phones. However, there are still areas where it may be difficult to get 3G or even 4G reception. That’s why you should invest in a satellite phone and if possible an IHF radio.
These items will make it possible for you to notify people of your location if you have an emergency. Familiarise yourself with how these items work before you head out into the outback and check which ones need charging or additional batteries.
Depending on your age, this might not seem like a must-have—not everyone has the habit of capturing everything on camera. Also, your mobile phone may suffice. However, taking a bunch of high quality photos of your adventure will provide you with memories to treasure long after the trip is over. As with the phones, be sure to take car chargers and extra batteries.
- The Usuals
In Australia, there are several items that you can actually refer to as ‘the usuals’. We are of course talking about the following:
- Hats for everyone
- Sunscreen and lip balm
- Updated maps (preferably on paper as you won’t be able to access the one on your phone if there’s no signal)
- Light-coloured clothes that don’t attract as much heat
- Hiking boots—the outback is no place for sandals
Road-tripping around Australia is a ton of fun. It’s even more enjoyable if you do it safely and have the necessary equipment to help you out in an emergency. A few simple additions to your travel gear will ensure that you have all you need to stay safe while you’re exploring!