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WHAT DO YOU DO IF YOU’RE IN AN ACCIDENT
Accidents, no matter how minor, can be stressful.
Here is a simple list of what to do if you have an accident, however, these can vary slightly state to state and also depends on the severity of the accident.
Note: if anyone is injured or has passed away as a result of the crash, you must immediately call the police and ambulance.
If you’re not injured, when safe to do so, go and check the other driver/drivers and bystanders at the scene to see if they are okay – if not, call 000 immediately.
Do not admit fault.
Let insurance agencies and the people paid to attribute fault decide who is responsible for the accident, as admitting fault at the scene can void your insurance.
If the vehicles involved in the crash are mobile, move them out of the flow of traffic.
If they are not mobile, turn off the ignition to reduce risk of fire and switch on the hazard warning lights if functioning.
Police won’t always attend to accidents, however make sure you report the accident to police if the other party does not exchange details when asked, or if there are hazards in the way of traffic flow.
Collect as many details as possible about the other driver/drivers, including: full name, address, contact details (phone numbers and email addresses), vehicle registration numbers, make and model of vehicles involved, and the other party’s vehicle insurer.
Provide your details to the other drivers.
If possible, note down any evidence about the accident and take photos to keep a true record of what occurred.
Only drive your car away if you are certain there is no damage that would make it un-roadworthy or dangerous to drive.
If you are in any doubt, don’t take the risk – call a tow truck instead.
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Water from natural resources
The attraction of going off the black surface when camping or caravaning is too much of an attraction for many of us.
It is not hard to understand why … access to beautiful areas where many of the time you have it all to yourself with scenery to die for.
With this comes the need for you to take drinking water with you. If you run out of water, or cannot carry enough water with you for your entire trip, you may decide to source drinking water from natural water sources.
Drinking untreated water such as bore water, river water or spring water (including mineral springs) can lead to illnesses such as gastroenteritis and diarrhoea. Gastrointestinal illnesses can be particularly severe for the very young, the elderly and people with weakened immune systems. The following is some simple advice from Better Health Victoria on how to ensure that if you need to use natural water sources for drinking that you minimise the risk of getting sick.
Avoid the danger zones
When selecting natural waters to use as a drinking water source there are a few common-sense rules you should follow:
- Just because the water source looks good is not a guarantee that it is safe to drink, but water that is clear, free of surface scum or debris, and has no odour is more likely be to free of contaminants than cloudy, smelly water that has visible surface scum.
- Choose water that is free flowing rather than water that is stagnant or still.
- Avoid collecting water from sources that are downstream of:
- camping areas
- areas where mining has occurred
- agricultural areas
- unsewered dwellings and towns.
Treat natural water before you drink it
Water from untreated sources is variable in quality and its safety can never be guaranteed. You should use natural water sources for drinking and food preparation with caution and, where possible, treat the water to make it safe to drink.
The most straightforward treatment method is to boil the water before you drink it. Bring the water to a rolling boil, cool it and then use it for drinking.
Boiling is effective against most microbial contaminants such as bacteria, viruses and protozoa.
If boiling the water is not practical other treatment methods can be used. These include chlorine and iodine tablets, handheld ultraviolet (UV) light units, portable micro-filters and purifiers. These treatment options can be purchased from camping and outdoor stores. In all cases, follow the manufacturer’s recommended instructions for use.
Boiling or disinfecting the water may not make the water safe if it is contaminated with harmful chemicals, including natural metals such as arsenic or lead. The only way to reduce the health risk associated with harmful elements and chemicals is to limit your consumption to smaller quantities or occasional use only.
Don’t use natural, untreated water sources, such as bores, rivers and springs (including mineral springs) as regular drinking water supplies.
Collecting rain water is a good option provided it does rain when you need it. Unfortunately this is not a guarantee.
Think before you drink, and treat the water if you are unsure.