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How to survive the outback...with only an iPhone!

11:00 AEST Fri Nov 4 2011
Jules loves a challenge, and the recent one Getaway set for him really tested him. He was flown to a location on the edge of Mundi Mundi Plains near the New South Wales-South Australian border and had 24 hours to survive in the wild and find his way back to civilisation.

*Scroll down to see our picks for the top apps and other survival must-haves!

He had to find his own food, water and shelter with nothing but a sleeping bag, the clothes on his back and a diary cam to record his survival instincts. One extra detail: he sneaked in his iPhone, so with access to 350,000 apps he had great technological assistance (and an unfair advantage!).

A GPS Lite App turned his phone into a powerful device, and being in an area as fierce as the Australian outback, it was a very handy thing to have!

Hundreds of diagrams for different scenarios are there with a simple tap. Highly unlikely Jules was going to need to fend off a mountain lion, but purifying water and scavenging for food were very useful. If a spider happens to creep into your sleeping bag and has a bite, you can identify it and learn how to treat the nip.

Indigenous people eat bush tucker, but they know just what to eat and what to avoid.

Temperatures can fall to way below zero degrees so finding somewhere to sleep was a necessity. In pouring rain, Jules found a camping site and settled in under the stars.

He learnt how to built a campfire and even found a high-frequency app to deter pesky mosquitoes. To take his mind off the comforts of home, Jules watched the 83rd Academy Awards live from Los Angeles!

Sunrise was a welcome sight, particularly when Jules spotted a camel. He found an app showing how to blindfold and wrangle a camel, and lo and behold the one he found was already saddled.

It was one of Barrier Ranges Camel Safaris' animals. The gentle ships of the desert have been offering a wonderful way to explore the outback for decades. For the adventurous, they can explore the area, spend a night by the river and head back the next morning.

We are relieved to say that Jules survived the ordeal and was more than happy to make his way to the Silverton Hotel for an icy cold beer with some of the locals.


Mundi Mundi Plains, 5 kilometres west of Silverton in western New South Wales.


Barrier Ranges Camel Safaris cost $15 for half an hour.

Prices correct at November 5, 2011.

For further information

Barrier Ranges Camel Safaris
Silverton Road
Silverton NSW 2880
Ph: (08) 8088 5316
Fax: (08) 08 8088 5316

Silverton Hotel
Layard Street
Silverton 2880
Ph: (08) 8088 5313
Fax: (08) 8088 6030

Apps for survival

Mirror Mirror

IFirstaid lite — you tap the country you are in and you are just two taps away from CPR, bleeding, burn, choking or poisons tips — you simply tap on it and you get the pointers.

Bear Grylls: The Bear Essentials — food, water, SOS, torch, weather, first aid, compass and clock.

Mosquito repellent

Yellow Pages — to call pizza

Around Me — to find out local info

100 Awesome Survival tips — which include how to avoid animal attacks and how to jump from rooftop to rooftop — all the way down to how to deal with a UFO abduction. Funny and serious. It costs $1.19 to download.


Top 8 essential survival needs

1. iTunes and iPod — already available on phone.

2.Compass and maps — already available on phone.

3.Aussie Slang Dictionary (iPhone) —

4.Knot Guide —




8. PersonalTrainer/Nike

User comments
This is all great, but what carrier does he use? To get the reception that he is getting, I notice he is only 5kms out of Silverton, maybe if he was at Innaminka or Mungo National Park he would not have the same reception? Would they still all work?
How did Jules go with an iPhone that only operates for a maximum of 14 hours using iOS5?? Did he take a solar-battery charger?? Or was he able to use the production crew's phones too?

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