Fun fact: 70% of Australia is semi-arid to arid desert and when it comes to winter, this means the temperature, especially at night, can be chilly. In fact, in the outback, nighttime winter temperatures can fall to as low as -7C. While many people associate the desert with the extreme heat, few are prepared for the extreme cold. Many people don’t actually believe that the outback can be frosty.
So, if you’re planning a trip to the Australian outback over winter, or if you live here and you haven’t gotten the hang of preparing for winter, it’s vital that you’re equipped for the cold. Here are some things to consider.
Some tips and tricks
1. Wear the right clothing
Well obviously, we hear you say. But for some, it doesn’t seem that obvious. You’re going to a desert after all. For Australian winters, it’s all about layering. This way, as you get warmer during the day or enter premises where the heating is on, you can peel off a couple of layers. It also means as night falls along with the temperature, you can pop those layers back on and feel nice and warm. At night time, it may also be worth popping on some thermal underwear to help regulate your body temperature. Remember to have a beanie, gloves and a scarf on stand by too.
2. Sort out your house
It may very well be the way your house is designed or decorated that is contributing to the chill. Make sure your insulation is done correctly, you have blinds or curtains on all the windows and that wherever you can, you have either carpet or rugs down. It’s a known fact that up to 35% of a home’s warmth can be lost through an uninsulated roof, so if you don’t have insulation already, install it. It’s also important to seal off any draughts, particularly around doors and windows. Whether it’s a simple door snake, PVC door strips or silicon sealant or caulk, making sure there are no gaps where cold air can come in (and warm air can escape) is key to keeping warm.
3. Embrace vitamin C and zinc
While this isn’t necessarily about keeping warm it’s important to ensure you immune system is in tip-top shape. It’s well known that winter brings with it illnesses like coughs and colds so having a strong immune system to help combat anything that comes your way can be a huge help. Vitamin C and zinc help strengthen the body’s defense and there are plenty of foods you can eat that are rich in both.
4. Get moving
As we said before, while nights can get cold, during the day, winter can actually be quite pleasant, especially as it’s unlikely to rain. So one way to beat the winter chill is to get moving. There are more than 15 national parks in Outback Queensland and they’re ripe for exploration. With walking tacks covering everything from the Cernarvon Gorge trails through to the Indarri Falls track the scenery is truly breathtaking. Just remember to layer up so you can peel things off as you get hot, and to stay hydrated. Just because it’s cold doesn’t mean you don’t need to keep your fluid intake up.
Camping in the great outdoors
Camping is all part of the Australian adventure. But to camp properly in winter, there are some important things to keep in mind.
1. Ensure you have good gear
It’s surprising how many people head out to go camping with gear that has holes in it. Whether it’s your tent, your sleeping bag, your backpack or your clothes, make sure they’re up for the challenge of winter. Give everything a quick check before you leave home and replace or mend anything that needs fixing.
2. Get a sleeping bag liner
Having a thermal sleeping bag liner means you can keep your sleeping bag and use it during both summer and winter, rather than having different ones for each season. Thermal sleeping bag liners are small enough to fit inside your bag without taking up too much room and add another layer for you when you go to sleep.
3. Warm up before bed
Whether you’ve got some super warm pajamas or your sleeping in your layered clothes, it’s always nice to go to bed with your insides nice and toasty. Ensure you have a nice hot meal for dinner and then eat something like a high-energy snack just before bed. Both of these will keep you warm. While many people may say don’t drink anything before bed (who actually wants to get up in the middle of the night in the freezing cold to go to the bathroom), a nice cup of tea or some warm hot chocolate won’t go astray.
You may think it’s a warm and sunny place, and it is. But not in the winter months. Keep these tips in mind to ensure you stay toasty and snug during the coldest part of the year.
Need a place to stay warm during the colder months and are in the Mount Isa region? Head over to the Isa Hotel for all your needs! We have amazing steaks, exciting live music, and accommodation for you to roost up after a wonderful night. Book in today!