5 Things you need to hike in the outback
It’s pretty much guaranteed that as soon as you set eyes on the Outback, you’ll want to get out there and explore. With deep, rusty red earth, clear skies and endless horizons, the stunning beauty of the Red Centre is one of the top reasons travellers make their way out here in the first place. But hiking in the Outback means being preparing and packing the right kit. Check out our top tips of 5 things you need to hike in the outback.
This is a no-brainer, but good hiking boots are the most important thing to pack. The Outback terrain is uneven and rocky so sturdy boots with good ankle support are a must – a twisted ankle out here is no joke. You don’t have to invest in a brand new pair of $200 boots, in fact it’s better not to break in a new pair of boots during an Outback hike. Just make sure the boots you do take with you are comfortable, breathable, have good ankle support and a decent grip.
Protection from the sun
The sun in the Outback can be fierce, even in winter. Protect yourself from harmful rays with a light, wide brimmed hat that protects your face and eyes, and ideally the back of your neck too. It’s easy to get a nasty sunburn or even sunstroke in the heat of the day, and a decent hat can make all the difference. Good quality sunglasses are a must if you don’t want to be squinting the whole way, and miss out on those awesome views. If you can afford it, polarised lenses provide even more protection from the glare. Lastly, cover up in t-shirts and long trousers and always cover any bare patches of skin in high factor sunscreen, and reapply regularly.
Keep your fluid levels up by taking along a good supply of fresh water. Long hikes in the sun mean a lot of sweating and you will need to replenish any water you lose through perspiration quickly if you want to avoid headaches, dizziness and possibly sun stroke. A water bottle or Camelbak backpack is essential on any hike – long or short.
A decent camera
The Outback is stunningly beautiful and it isn’t just the vast landscapes and big skies that will catch your eye. Unexpected delights like wildflowers and amazing wildlife, big and small, means you’ll want to capture every moment. Pack a decent quality camera with a good zoom – photos taken on a camera are always much better quality than those on your phone. The dusty conditions of the desert can cause havoc to lenses and delicate cameras so remember to pack a zip lock plastic bag and keep the dust away.
Whatever you do, don’t get lost
The one thing you must never leave without is the knowledge of where you are, and how to get back home – and that means always hiking with a guide. The Outback is vast and it’s easy to lose your bearings and end up somewhere miles from home with no way to get back. Going on a guided hike means you’ll stay safe, never get lost and also learn more about your surroundings and any interesting wildlife along the way. Never venture out alone.