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How to protect yourself in the Australian Outback

November 10, 2023 — BarryK

This applies to anywhere in the world, where you are in a remote region on your own. In the USA, you can carry a gun, which is an equaliser as the other guy is likely to have a gun. A gun will also protect from wolves. Here in Australia though, the citizens are disempowered; we are not allowed to effectively protect ourselves.

I recall a TV ad. from 2006, an Australian TV tourism advertising campaign; a bikini-clad Lara Bingle saying "So where the bl**** he** are you?". The swear words were allowed in Australia as the goverment took the position that they are part of the Australian vernacular; however, the ad. got banned in the UK and Canada. It's on YouTube:

There have been some sendups of that advert., including this one:

...yeah, human predators, the worst kind.

In Australia, getting a license to carry a gun is very difficult. For a long time there was a racket in Western Australia; a landowner could give permission for someone to shoot feral animals on their land and the person could then buy a gun. It was a racket because some enterprising landowners had a nice little income selling these permissions to people who never ever did any actual shooting of feral animals on their land.

Recently there has been a crackdown, all of these permissions have been revoked. Gun owners must reapply and each application will be considered on its merits.

Another way to get a gun license is to join a rifle or pistol club. However, the gun must be kept locked in an approved safe at home and only taken out when going to a club event.

This report shows the benefit of owning a gun in a remote region. Chris, a prospector in the inland-north of Western Australia was attacked by dingoes earlier in 2023:


Chris was fortunate to have a small pistol, but what about most other people?

You could have a knife. The dingo would chew on you a bit before you manage to get the knife into him.

Then there's pepper spray. As I mentioned above, Australians are completely dis-empowered by our governments, Federal and States. WA is the only State that allows ownership of pepper spray; in the rest of the country there is an enormous fine, even prison, if caught with it. Even so, here in WA there are strict guidelines on who can own pepper spray, as explained here:

So, I have that option in WA.

But there is another self-protection option, that probably hardly anyone considers; an ultra-bright flashlight. Most useful at night; it will temporarily blind a dingo or human. But possibly some of them are so bright they would also be an effective deterent in the daytime. I'm thinking of these:

...they are not usually advertised as a security deterent, which I can understand. Up to 150,000 lumens, that is so incredibly bright; needs a heatpipe and dual fans. But look at the prices!!!

There are many cheaper ones on Aliexpress, but beware lots of false advertising. I found one that looks like genuine 45,000 lumens, at AU$150, but it doesn't have active cooling and can only run at full power for a maximum of 20 seconds; when reaches 50 degrees C will automatically drop down to 5,000 lumens.

Another possibility is a prospector pick, which I do own. If have other prospectors equipment and a Miners Right permit, can quite legitimately carry the pick.

There are other options. Awhile back I was reading a forum thread discussing these. There are other spray cans, that are legal to own, and effective if sprayed into an animals eyes. Don't recall any details.        

Tags: ethos