outback survival

I've been reading about whiteangel's trip as she and her husband drive across Australia and remembered a survival tip I saw on TV a long, long time ago. 

If you've been following whiteangel on her journey, you'll have seen that most of Australia outside of the cities and away from the coastline is very empty, very isolated and very dry.
We don't have a lot of water here.

Many years ago, sometime in the eighties I believe, I saw a TV show hosted by Jack somebody about surviving in the outback, which is what we call the great empty interior of our continent.
We watched the show for several weeks and I don't remember anything except this one tip.

Carry with you a few large clear plastic bags. 
Heavy duty plastic that doesn't tear easily,  a couple of balls of strong string and some tin cups, or enamel, anything that won't break.
And something to cut the string with.
 If you should find yourself stranded for any reason, perhaps your car has broken down, look for leafy green growth that can be easily reached on nearby trees. Or shrubs. Give the branch a shake to dislodge any unwanted bugs etc, then tie the neck of the open bag to the branch. Over 24 hours, moisture from those leaves will collect in the bag.
Condensation, similar to the way dew forms.  

The moisture collected is drinkable water. 
The longer you leave it, the more moisture will collect. Can't leave it there too long of course, eventually those leaves will dry up, (don't let that happen), so switch bags and branches as time goes on. You won't collect a large amount of water, but possibly enough to at least swallow, a couple of mouthfuls, half a cup. 

These days most people carry extra cans, bottles etc of drinking water with them, but if you are truly stranded, waiting for help with little or no water, this could help you.


  1. I don't think I could survive that. The only Outback I'm going to is on the corner of Perrine Rd. and Rt. 9 in New Jersey where they throw some shrimp on the barby, pour a tall glass of Fosters and the waiters call you "Mate."

  2. If you're not fussy, drink the water from the bag before you tie it up again. And keep calling home.

  3. And if there are too many people to split the water with, you can also use the plastic to suffocate them when they go to sleep.

  4. And if there are too many people to split the water with, you can also use the plastic to suffocate them when they go to sleep.

  5. I have seen that tip. And the dig a hole in the ground tip, which is useful when there are no trees. Dig a hole in the ground, put your cup in it and cover the hole with the plastic you have used to suffocate your fellow travellers. Particularly the one who got you stranded.

  6. I think I'll just read about such trips and watch the documentaries of same on TV...and keep drinking my crystal, clear mountain water of which I have an ample supply, seeing I've suffocated all my would-be travelling companions.

  7. The things that stick in your head for years can be quite odd. Lol at Joy.

  8. It reminds me of being stranded in the desert of Arizona! My grandfather always warned us never leave home without bringing plenty of water, for yourself and for the car just in case!

  9. No, I didn't know that!! I didn't think there was ANY moisture about in the Outback!

  10. joeh; that would be outback enough for me too, now. Years ago I lived in the outback for a while, working on a sheep station.

    Joanne; that's the idea. a cup would be good if there was more than one person, for equal shares, or possibly a bag each.

    lotta joy; no no no! anybody with me would be family and I like them all.

    fishducky; (*~*)

    Elephant's Child; I'd forgotten about that one. Don't forget the pebble in the middle of the plastic to create a hollow; condensation under that will drip straight into the cup.

    Lee; seems everybody wants to suffocate everybody else....I'll sit with you and drink the crystal clear spring water.

    Andrew; I often wonder just what the heck else is stuck in my subconscious.

    Karen S; a good tip for sure. Hopefully anyone stranded would get rescued before all the water is drank.

    Happy Christine; there's moisture everywhere, the trick is knowing how to get it. like this, from trees; leaves breathe just as we do. Sort of.

  11. Huh, I remember something about the plastic bag moisture survival trick from long ago too.
    A handy hint.

  12. I remember a couple of shows similar to the one you mention with these tips about collecting water in the outback. I think there was also one about making a hole in the ground using probably a plastic bag but not sure what you did then. Just as well I'm not stranded out there now without water. (*:*)

  13. Thank you...
    I remember seeing that done on a TV show but totally forgot about it. Very handy to know.
    We carry extra water always, and diesel...

  14. "Bush Tucker Man", I remember because my son never missed a show and I've never forgotten the plastic trick.
    Not to say that I wouldn't die of fright the first time a dingo howled nearby or saw a large snake.
    I am a city girl through and through.

  15. Haha, loved reading the comments on this post - some interesting survival techniques!!! Maybe there's an alternative use for that spare fan belt?!?!


Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

the new kick-start diet

a lizard in your home is lucky, right?

Sunday Selections