Simpson Desert – Water

Water, an essential ingredient for life on earth as we know it and one of the biggest challenges that we have when venturing into the desert.

As you may or may not know, there is no drinking water available in the Simpson Desert, so we must take all of our water with us.  While the recommended amount to carry varies, most recommend carrying between 5 and 7 litres of water per person, per day, plus additional water for up to 2 days in the event that emergency assistance is required.

Based on this, a vehicle of 2 people, with a planned trip through the desert of 5 days, means carrying between 70 to 100 litres of water.  For 4 people, this is 140 to 200 litres.  This is a lot of water, which takes up a lot of space and more importantly, it weighs a lot.  It is critical to think about where this water will go, remembering to keep the weight as low as possible on the vehicle to keep the centre of gravity down which will reduce the potential for a roll over.

One option for storage is a flexible water bladder, which can sit on the floor in the back seat foot well.  These are made of food grade material and are a very space efficient way of storing large volumes of water and these guys can even custom make a drinking water bladder for you:   You can also get a myriad of ridged water tanks for different areas in your vehicle from many different vendors.


Now needing to have water is all well and good, and this is why we plan these trips so far ahead.  The one thing we can’t really plan for is “Where will this water come from?”.  Sure, we could take all this water from home, and some experts recommend this.  However this means lugging 100 to 200 kg’s of extra weight all the way to Mt Dare, well before it’s required.  This is a possibility however not overly efficient.

We have a major supply stop a Leigh Creek just before the half way mark, which also happens to be the last major town before we hit the desert. We may be able to pick water up here as well as at some of the road houses, however there is no guarantee that water will be available on the day we arrive.

Being that we are travelling in a fairly busy time for this part of the country, one could assume that their stocks of water will be high, and it would be pretty easy to call around before we leave to check on this.  We’ve read that some stores stock 10 litre casks of water, which would be a good size. We could look at possibly putting in a bulk order for these at one of our stops.

We need to keep researching, but really this post is just to get everyone thinking about storage and transportation of this all important resource.



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