I’ve just come back from a road trip, to a little place called Mungo Station. It’s so remote there were no more than a handful of people there, and most of us traveled in together.
There are some truly stunning landscapes out there in some truly remote and difficult locations. Not just in Australia, but all over our wonderful globe, there are still remote areas to discover. You need to pack everything you need to take with you, and I mean everything. So, what to pack when traveling to remote locations?
What to pack when traveling to remote locations
Other than your tripod and camera gear, and I’m really not even going to get into that here, there are other things to consider. Some locations are so remote that if you get stuck or injured, you may never be found until it’s too late. So being prepared is the safest way to go.
UHF Radio or P.E.B.
A 2-way UHF radio is a great way to keep in contact with people in your group, or on the road. As we have found in some areas, there is no cell service at all. We have a 5-watt system and we could communicate between ourselves, get head checks from our group and let people know when we’re in trouble (we managed to slash a tire on this last trip).
A Personal Emergency Broadcaster (PEB) is also a good idea if you are traveling alone or in smaller groups.
First aid kit
You just never know what can happen, from snakes and spiders to cuts and bruises (I managed to get a nasty cut on my hand from my tripod and it just wouldn’t stop bleeding; thankfully no stitches required). Sprained ankles and even broken bones are a possibility. Having a brief knowledge of first aid is helpful too. If something was to happen you could be waiting a while for help, depending on just how remote you are.
Energy drinks and snacks
Being in dry desolate locations as well as physical exertion used to hike in and out can sap you of your energy. Water is OK, but I have found that sugarless energy drinks can quickly rehydrate you. Same with dried nuts and berries and such.
What you take depends on how long you’re planning to be out. Ration packs can be handy in case you get stuck. But make sure you have enough water.
Sunscreen and lip balm
Again it depends on the area, UV levels and such. It doesn’t have to be hot to get sunburned. Out in high UV, I frequently get chapped lips, but lip balm is optional. Sunscreen is a necessity. Being sunburned is no fun and quite the health risk. Not to mention it can dehydrate you as well.
Hat or beanie, gloves and jackets (with pockets)
If your in sun a decent wide-brim hat, if in the subzero temps a good beanie and warm gloves. A good warm jacket is a must, if in warmer climbs a lightweight jacket or vest is a good idea and a must is one with pocket! Filters, spare batteries, snacks and more can be carried in those pockets for easy access.
Consider your backpack. Does it carry everything you need, as well as your camera equipment? Do you actually NEED everything that’s in it?
A good backpack is one that is comfortable to carry, it holds your camera gear and everything else you may need. Make sure you include lens cleaners etc. Can you comfortably carry it for long periods of walking?
It still amazes me what I see people wearing in remote locations. Good sturdy boots are a must. There could be snakes, spiders and other objects. We have bindi prickles here which can get so big and nasty they can puncture a bicycle tire or go through your runners. Ask my hubby — they are painful to pull out too. Sand is another obstacle (no fun in your shoes); rocks can get slippery so good sturdy hiking boots are a must.
Small shovel and biodegradable toilet paper
Let’s face it, when in nature … well sometimes ‘nature calls.’ If you are traveling for an extended period of time, a small shovel and biodegradable toilet paper can come in useful. Please be respectful of other travelers. I hate coming across unexpected ‘surprises’ in my travels. Just because you’re remote doesn’t mean you should forget your manners!
Remember to be respectful and leave nothing but footprints
This sign says it all — take nothing and leave nothing behind. Remember you are there to enjoy the beauty, the serenity and the remoteness. Don’t spoil it for others who would like to enjoy the same. Take ALL rubbish out with you.
So what do you pack when traveling to remote locations? Is there anything you think should be added to this list?