Gavin's outback camping story
Camping can be a memorable experience. If you love the outdoors, it's a way of getting off the beaten track and taking your time to enjoy the natural landscape around you.
Gavin shares his story of outback camping from Perth to Darwin and how he managed the challenges of a severe bleeding disorder - planning with his Haemophilia Treatment Centre, packing his treatment product and regular stops with stretches on the long road trip. And had a fantastic time!
Outback camping with haemophilia - video transcript
Gavin: My most memorable trip was basically camping with a mate. We drove from Perth to Darwin and we camped the whole way up. We didn't stay at any hotels or anything like that. We just stayed in national parks and caravan parks and stayed in a tent the whole way up from Perth to Darwin. And it was just an amazing experience.
Hi, I'm Gavin. I have severe haemophilia A and when I was traveling, I was travelling on a standard half-life product.
What makes a trip memorable?
Well, what was special about it was being sort of being off the grid, really just being out in the countryside. Left to your own devices, looking after yourselves, making fires and cooking over them, and just driving out in the wide outback of Australia. It's just a fantastic place. Land of contrasts.
What about the long trip in the car?
I was very fortunate. Nothing did happen the whole time, but I was treating prophylactically and everything was fine. I was surprised at how good I was. I mean, probably being active and everything like that would have helped in the whole situation too. So it was a great holiday.
Managing the trip – rest stops are a good one because when you’re normally in a car, you know, doing a car trip or something like that, and I do these quite regularly with a few of my mates. Whenever you get out of the car after a couple of hours in the car, the first thing you’ve got to do is stretch your muscles and bones and you'll be stiff because anyone's stiff after sitting in the car for a few hours. Before you start walking off in any way, stretch, loosen up a bit and then you can get moving. So you're not going to fall over. But if you get out of the car and you just choof off straight away, there is a chance of a fall or something like that, especially with us older guys. But if you take your time and then you move off, there's no issues at all.
Some extra tips to consider
- Are you fit enough for what you plan to do?
- How will your balance skills go with the terrain?
- Take any braces or aids you usually use
- Talk to your HTC/physio about any concerns
What did you need to plan ahead?
Treatment wise, keep it very simple. I mean, you downsize with the packaging and everything like that, put everything in a small toiletries bag. So you've got your bottles and your syringes and everything like that, but keep everything separate. So the stuff that needs to go into an esky or something like that, you've got in a small toiletries bag and make sure that's kept cool all the time and still safe. So what we did is we had an esky. I kept my stuff in the esky but my dry stock and everything like that I kept separate. And other than that, there were no issues at all. I had a treatment there with me, just in case we needed to go to a hospital in any of the towns or anything of that nature.
Tips for packing treatment
- Separate into dry stock and what needs to be kept cool
- Put cool materials into a small toiletries bag
- Keep it cool in a small esky
If anything happens, you've just got to have a contingency plan for whatever happens and be able to communicate with the hospitals wherever. Well, I spoke to the Treatment Centre. That was the first thing. Told them the route and the approximate time that we would be doing it. They're aware of it. So, you know, they could follow it if they needed to. So, you know, if they got a phone call out of the blue that they’d know approximately where I would be and they could contact a hospital nearby and possibly organize something.
You’ve just got to be aware, if something happens, what are you going to do and just have that in your mind and it's got to be practical and workable. And you discuss this with your Treatment Centre. They'll say, “What happens if this happens?” “Well, this is what I would think I would do”. And they'd say, “Well, this is a better way of going about that.”
So if you plan everything, it can be done.
Tips for camping travel in Australia
- Plan ahead with your HTC
- Let them know your route
- Discuss scenarios and how best to manage
For more information, visit the travel tips section.
Date last reviewed: 22 November 2022