Well, your Cross Country policy covers you, your family and your vehicle across our borders and includes repatriation and evacuation if necessary, however, a cool head and some survival concepts will keep you safe until help arrives.
Firstly remember your first aid kit and basic training as well as the necessary fire extinguishers. We are not advocating that you learn military style survival, rather that you familiarise yourself with basic concepts in the event of an emergency.
Carry a personal survival kit with backups, a GPS or Google maps are great tools but have a paper map and a compass as well in the event of a failure or loss of signal – revisit basic navigation concepts to stay familiar.
Always carry duct tape and self-annealing tape- enough said!
Take two warning triangles, a requirement in many countries as well as a reflective vest. Torches, pocket knives and even a larger fixed blade knife are essential and can even be used for food preparation.
Take a spare cell phone in case of an accident and be sure that the sim card works with either phone.
Water and shade are essential if you break down, you should have at least two litres of water per person- it’s also a good idea to take a water purifier in the event of an emergency – now the military man would be able to make a solar water still that produces a supply of potable water- Google it, it’s interesting and could help if stuck in a remote spot in the Richtersveld. Whilst on the subject of Google also look at the ground to air signals – if stuck you could alert a plane flying over or even assist a rescue aircraft. And keep empty containers and pots at hand in case you need to collect rainwater. Little things happen that is why I always advocate travelling in a group with adequate equipment spread amongst the vehicles. Your shaving mirror is also great for signalling for help- even if you do not shave take one. With regards navigation ( once again Google) learn how to use an analogue watch to find North and at night look to the Southern Cross to help, many of these tips are fun things that you can even teach the children when you are out in the bush. In today’s digital age they may even enjoy the new skills. Then always follow best practice when it comes to safety – here are a few tips, the rest you should pick up from friends whilst travelling.
- Keep all inflammable items away from fires and electrical plug points.
- Never use a naked light source or heat source inside a tent.
- Keep a no thirteen spanner close at hand in case you have to disconnect a battery in a hurry.
- Be careful when refuelling from a jerry can, do not smoke and keep a fire extinguisher close at hand.
- Keep a small waterproof container of matches, a lighter and firestick for lighting fires.
And most of all enjoy yourself off-road, have a great time.