Having a well-stocked first aid kit in the Australian outback is one of the golden rules for veteran 4WDing enthusiasts. Of course, when it comes to first aid kits, you never want to have to use them, but boy are they important in a spot of bother.
There are so many incredible moments to enjoy and savour while off-road touring in the outback. However, being prepared can often prevent serious, life-threatening moments derailing your adventure. Which is why in this blog, we’re looking at the best first aid kits for the Australian outback.
Need to reinforce your safety supplies before your next outback adventure? Browse our range of highly-rated first aid kits online.
Why First Aid is Important in the Outback
Travelling one of Australia’s outback tracks is the only reminder you need of this region’s vastness and complete isolation. Hazardous terrain, unpredictable wild animals and extreme conditions all contribute to their fair share of accidents. This is also wild, no man’s land that’s often far from proper medical facilities or help. A good first aid kit is often the difference between life and death when help can be so far away.
Since the origin of humans, our brains have been wired to prepare for the worst-case scenarios. It’s an effective self-preservation technique that you should use before every outback adventure.
Before leaving, make sure you take the following steps for improving your first aid:
- Check that every vehicle in your group is carrying at least one first aid kit.
- Double check exactly what’s inside each first aid kit and restock any items that are low or missing.
- If you need help restocking your first aid kit with the right equipment, take it to a first aid kit servicing centre. Places like St John and First Aid Kits Australia offer professional first aid kit servicing during which they check and replenish your supplies and make sure your kit is compliant with Occupational Health and Safety Regulations.
- Ensure that everyone in the group knows basic first aid.
- If necessary, join a first aid course a few weeks before your trip.
Which First Aid Kit is Best?
The outback poses its fair share of risks. Fortunately, with the right first aid kit, you should be covered for almost any situation. But what items comprise the best first aid kit? After years of experience off-road touring in the Australian outback, we believe the following items should always be taken in your first aid kit.
- Burn cream – Can also be stored in your portable fridge or Esky for better effectiveness.
- Crepe bandages – These are much more effective at stopping blood than cotton bandages.
- Antibiotics – Talk to your GP about your upcoming trip to organise a course of antibiotics.
- Asthma/diabetes medication – Stock up on medication and take spares in case of emergency.
- Panadol/Nurofen – Add pain medication to your first aid kit for effective pain relief.
- Snake bite bandages – Actual snake bite bandages ensure you get the exact pressure and immobilisation for treating snake bites. These SMART Snake Bandages come in the Survival Snake Bite Kit™. You can watch a video on how to best treat snake bites with them below.
- Emergency blanket – Ideal for maintaining body heat and being spotted in the outback, thanks to its metallic surface.
- Ice pack – Store it in your portable fridge or Esky to re-use it instead of throwing it away.
5 Highly-Rated First Aid Kits for 4WDing & Camping
1. Survival Workplace First Aid Kit™
The Survival Workplace First Aid Kit™ is nationally compliant with Safe Work Australia’s Workplace Health and Safety Code of Practice. It contains all the necessary components that will cover any emergency, whether in the workplace or outback.
It has been designed by Australia’s leading first aid experts. As such, it has a colour-coded labelling system for quick identification of items. This helps you respond quicker in emergency situations, which can often be the difference between life and death.
The labelling system also includes numbers, which help you recognise whenever any items need restocking. This first aid kit has also impressed off-road drivers with its durable design and water resistance. It also offers easy-to-follow CPR and first aid instructions, along with space for you to store additional items.
2. Offroad Survival Kit
The Offroad Survival Kit is a handy first aid kit to have in the back of your 4WD. Although the packaging is of slightly weaker and less durable material, it’s packed with everything you’ll need (well, hopefully won’t need) on an outback adventure.
The items are of a high quality as well, such as the scissors and tweezers. On top of this, you’ll also find a genuine snake bite bandage, sunscreen (handy if you’re caught out without any cover) and a good-size ice pack.
3. Survival Snake Bite Kit™
Designed in Australia, the Survival Snake Bite Kit™ is one of the best first aid kits for unfortunate encounters with one of Australia’s deadliest species. It was developed with the SSSafe snake and spider safety experts and includes two SMART Snake Bandages.
On top of this, it comes with instructions on how to appropriately apply the bandages, which can save a life. It also has some essential first aid kit equipment for snake wounds, including cotton gauze swabs, an emergency blanket, nitrile gloves and a splint. Pat Callinan’s 4×4 Adventures actually gave the Survival Snake Bite Kit an almost perfect rating for size, construction, ease of use and suitability for 4WDing and camping in Australia.
4. Workplace Rescue Swag
The Workplace Rescue Swag is one of the best first aid kits when it comes to design. Along with being waterproof, it has long straps, clips and webbing. These let you attach it easily to various parts of your 4WD, trailer or caravan.
Open the first aid kit and you’ll have easy access to an array of essentials, as well as descriptions of the contents, instructions and basic first aid advice. Finding items can be a bit difficult with the limited compartments. However, its gauze bandages, scissors and adhesives are of the highest quality.
5. Family First Aid Kit
Produced by ARB, one of Australia’s leading 4WD suppliers, the Family First Aid Kit offers easy access to a myriad of first aid supplies. The hardy design means you can shove the first aid kit around and not worry about it getting damaged. It also comes with specific eye wound and snake bite kits, which as we already know are invaluable out bush.
Unfortunately, the snake bite bandages are the old style that make it a little harder to know if you’re applying the right amount of pressure. Still, this first aid kit certainly has its draws, such as the digital thermometer and a variety of compartments for easily accessing your gear fast.
Ensure You Have the Right First Aid for the Outback
You wouldn’t embark on an outback adventure without servicing your 4WD first. First aid kits are just as important as preparing your vehicle for the journey. They’re an absolute must-have while touring across Australia’s rugged outback. We highly recommend not leaving without one.
Browse our range of first aid kits and snake bite kits in the Open Sky Touring shop.