Travel Editor Stephen Scourfield takes a look around the more remote corners of Australia.
Bob Cooper has been teaching travellers survival skills for more than 25 years. And the WA-based expert has poured a lifetime of bush knowledge into his book, Outback Survival.
In survival situations, he writes, the first thing to do is assess your circumstances and what needs to be done.
"There are five priorities to consider - I call these the Big Five:
• Water: make, clarify, purify and transport.
• Warmth: fire and windproofing.
• Shelter: rain, cold, windproofing and sun protection.
• Signals: day and night - audible, visual and directional.
• Food: available, foraged, trapped and fished."
In the book, he describes not only how to tackle these, but gives a readable insight into his life.
Outback Survival is published by Hachette Australia ($24.99).
FOCUS ON BIRDS
One-third of Australia's bird species are represented in the Northern Territory.
And many birdwatching hotspots, including Kakadu National Park, are the focus of a long birdwatching trip with local and experienced safari guide, Mike Jarvis.
The eight-day journey with Territory Discoveries starts on September 10. The fully escorted tour is from $3386 each, twin-share, and includes accommodation in Darwin, the recently opened Wildman Wilderness Lodge in the Mary River region and in Katherine, and most meals. territorydiscoveries.com/product-page/ package/2407 and 1800 642 343
MAPS WITHOUT APPS
You don't need an app if you have a map, and HEMA maps are the benchmark. A favourite of mine is The Great Desert Tracks, which has just been republished with some important changes.
The north and south maps of the west, central and east regions have been combined, each map displaying the north region on one side and the south region on the other. A nice addition to that is relief shading and elevation tinting, giving each map a fuller, more realistic and accurate overview of the landscape than ever before in Hema's landmark map series.
A new addition to The Great Desert Tracks series is the Simpson Desert map, with a 1:1.1 million scale on one side and 1:500,000 on the other. HEMA's 4WD Adventures is a guide to 100 trips within Australia, from desert treks to forest expeditions. The 100 tracks are colour-coded, making it easy to find trips suited to the capabilities of your vehicle. There are tracks suitable for caravans and camper trailers. There are detailed inset maps, GPS locations and points of interest. 4WD Adventures will be out mid-September.
Map and outdoors stores, and hemamaps.com.
ART ON THE ISLAND
It has been pointed out by a reader that while we regularly cover writing and photography workshops, artist trips seem thinner on the ground.
Well, artist and art teacher Belinda Biggs is leading a painting trip on Norfolk Island in October which is suitable for both those who love to paint and those wanting to learn. "Each day will be a different subject and beginners are very welcome," she said.
The Norfolk Island workshop is from October 5-12 and The Norfolk Island Travel Centre has packages from Brisbane from $1729 per person and from Sydney from $1789 per person for a seven-night stay.
It includes economy return airfare to Norfolk Island, the fee for classes, twin-share accommodation at Hibiscus Aloha, hire car and other extras. travelcentre.nf and 1800 1400 66
Conditions apply and deals are subject to change without notice. Prices are subject to change and availability.