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Four Essential Products for the Big Red Bash



With great anticipation, the Big Red Bash in Birdsville, Queensland, is celebrating its 10th anniversary this year. Renowned as one of the ‘most Aussie’ music festivals in the country for its unique outback location and activities that include an all-Aussie lineup, this year’s Big Red Bash takes it up a notch.

Big Reg Bash Hema Maps

Held on 4–6 July, for the special 10-year celebration organisers have announced a new fundraising Big Blue Day world record attempt for diabetes research in partnership with JDRF (Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation). Taking place at 10am on the first day of the Bash (4 July), festivalgoers are encouraged to dress in blue and purchase a $15 fundraising blue wig for the JDFR to break the record of ‘the largest human image of a country’. Bash organisers hope to get 5000+ participants to steal the title from Romania, which holds the record with 4807 participants. This is a very exciting opportunity to join the Guinness World Record book and also help a worthy cause with a transformative donation.

With all tickets sold out now, the countdown to the Bash is in full swing, and we’ve got some essential products for you that are much-needed companions for anyone wishing to travel in the great Australian outback.


Be Prepared


Whether you’re heading north into the Simpson Desert for the Big Red Bash or travelling to the High Country in Victoria, having a stocked toolkit on board at all times is always advisable. The Australian terrain is challenging at the best of times, so you never know what sort of unexpected event awaits you. Due to the remote location of the Bash (almost smack bang in the middle of Australia), Hema advises having a navigational system on board which doesn’t need reception. The HX-2 Navigator can be used both on and offline and includes three modes tailored to the type of journey you wish to take. It also has 40,000 Hema-verified points of interest including bush camping sites, campgrounds, caravan parks, wineries, lookouts and fuel stops, all physically sighted by the Hema Map Patrol team or by users on the Hema HX-2 network.

Hema maps


Hema Product Stand


Hema is proud to have a special product stand at this year’s Bash. The stand will include a range of Hema and desert travel-specific products, including Hema GPS units, books and maps, helping you navigate the harsh outback terrain. The official program is 4–6 July but the stand will be open to early attendees from 2 July. So, if you’re heading to the Bash, make sure you say hello to Will, Ian and Rhys, who will be there to help you with all your mapping needs.


Four Essential Products


Venturing out to the remote outback can be just as challenging as it is fun, that’s why it’s important to manage your expectations and be prepared for the worst possible scenario. Being far away from major towns and telephone reception, not to mention the sandy terrain and unbearable heat, can present challenges which can become exacerbated by the remoteness. Therefore, it’s important to have the right gear on board should you unfortunately encounter an emergency.

No trip to the outback (or anywhere for that matter) is complete without a first aid kit. Intense heat, challenging terrain and a bevy of wild and unpredictable fauna makes the Australian outback a place to enter with great caution. And if you get caught in a dangerous situation, having an adequate first aid kit could end up saving your life. Hema recommends the SURVIVAL Vehicle First Aid Kit for any touring adventures. The SURVIVAL Vehicle First Aid Kit is durable, rugged and water-resistant and has been designed with weight and space in mind, without compromising any of the items on your motorist first aid checklist. The kit includes everything you could need in a medical emergency, from dressings, gauzes and bandages to saline, splinter probes and an emergency blanket. Plus, sitting in a package that is 21cm x 11cm x 19cm and weighing only 1.25kg, it’s the ideal size for neatly fitting away in the back of any vehicle.

SURVIVAL Vehicle First Aid Kit

Unfortunately, becoming bogged is a part of life when four-wheel driving or caravanning, so it’s important you have the right equipment on board to get you out of a bog, whether that includes getting help from another vehicle or doing it yourself. Hema recommends the Saber 12K Ultimate Recovery Kit as an onboard companion when embarking on any offroad touring in Australia. The kit including a 9m 12,5000kg Kinetic Recovery Rope, two 20,000kg Technora Bound Soft Shackles, 20m 9500kg Black SaberPro Winch Extension Rope, SaberPro Utility Rope, Ezy-Glide Recovery Ring and much more is the ideal 4WD recovery kit for kinetic rope and winch recoveries in large vehicles. Save yourself time stressing over a bogged back end so you can spend more time enjoying the great Aussie landscape.

Saber Recovery Kit

If you’re heading to Birdsville for the Big Red Bash, you’ll want to have an outdoor camping mat ready to go. Hema recommends the CGear Multimat, an outdoor camping mat constructed with an internationally patented multi-layered knitted technology which allows sand and dirt to simply fall through the mat but not come back up through the mat. It’s the perfect companion for any camping or camping festival occasion as spilled drinks go straight through the mat and its unique design ensures the grass underneath isn’t killed, as can happen with tarpaulins.

And no trip to the Aussie outback is complete without a satellite communicator. Satellite communicators enable us to communicate without a telephone signal or wi-fi, which could end up saving your life in an emergency. Hema recommends the ZOLEO Global Satellite Communicator which features the industry’s first progressive SOS, which means if something goes wrong, your SOS alert and GPS coordinates will be sent to the company’s 24/7 emergency response coordination partner. You’ll get confirmation that your alert was received and if it was a false alarm, you can cancel it. The ZOLEO is shock-proof, dust-proof and waterproof and compact enough to take with you when you go hiking, camping, skiing and more.

Zoleo Communicator Hema Maps


Got More Time After the Festival?


If you’re lucky enough to be retired or live the grey nomad life, the unique central location of the Bash makes it the ideal place from which to continue exploring the country. Birdsville and the surrounding area are right in the thick of the outback, so you’ll need a trusty companion to stay safe and informed. The Hema Great Desert Tracks Atlas & Guide is a comprehensive guide to the area which includes handy track profiles showing elevations and distances as well as points of interest, camping areas and supply points in one easy-to-follow graphic. There’s also plenty of essential pre-trip reading on how to prepare for your trek, safety in the outback and driving techniques.

After the Bash, the Hema Map Patrol team is heading north to Darwin into Arnhemland and then back to Brisbane. During their trip, they’ll be testing exciting new products such as the new Starlink system and new recovery gear from Saber Offroad. They’ll also be mapping several new tracks in the Top End, including tracks in and around Kakadu National Park, Garig Gunak Barlu National Park, Central Arnhem Highway, Nhulunbuy and Judbarra National Park. And if you see them out and about at the Bash or at the product stand, make sure you say hello or give them a like on social media.

Hema would like to extend its special thanks to Australian specialty retailer A247 for helping to install the camp kitchen ware and roof racks for this exciting trip.


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At Hema Maps, we strive to provide the most comprehensive and accurate maps and guides for outdoor enthusiasts looking to explore Australia's natural wonders.

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