Your Big TripRemember the saying "Fail to plan, plan to fail" Planning and preparation are critical to ensuring that you not only have a fantastic trip but you do so safely with minimal frustration. The remote parts of Australia not to be taken lightly, extreme conditions and great distances from assistance are a reality so "plan and prepare". Always consult local expertise and local authorities and take their advice, never "Assume".
1. VehiclesThe vehicles should be good condition and recently serviced, tell you automotive technician that you intend to travel remotely so they can adequately prepare you 4x4. Carry spares for the vehicle such as the correct belts, fluids, filters and radiator hoses. A comprehensive toolkit is a must as running repairs may be needed.
2. TyresCheck that you have suitable tyres with sufficient tread, all terrains or mud terrains are usually a good idea depending on where you are going. Carry a good quality tyre gauge and know what settings are suitable for the terrain you are going into. In remote areas 2 spare wheels are a good idea as well as a tyre repair kit.
3. Food and waterAlways carry sufficient food and water for you trip with extra supplies in case of an emergency. Remember you will need at least 2 litres of water per person per day to survive in harsh conditions, more if you are active. A quality fridge/freezer will help preserve your food and keep a tinnie or two cold for the end of the day. Set up a good battery management system and solar panels to keep the fridge going.
4. ShelterA good quality camper trailer, tent or swag will make sure you stay dry and creepy crawly free while you are travelling. Remember in the event of trouble stay with your vehicle as it will provide shelter and protection from the elements and it is easier to spot than an individual. Keep in the shade during the day and rest to minimise water consumption.
5. CommunicationThe ability to communicate with the outside world is critical. Let someone know where you are going and when you will be back so the alarm can be raised if you donít return. Carry communications equipment, there are many different types of equipment available these days ranging from UHF & HF radios, EPIRBís (Emergency positioning indicating radio beacon) and satellite phones. Consult an expert on what you will need and these days you are able to hire some of these products which is a more economical option if you donít travel frequently.
6. NavigationCarry at least one quality GPS and a set of maps for the areas you will be travelling and talk to local authorities to get the latest updates on the areas you will be in. Once the trip is planned leave the details with someone you trust to raise the alarm if necessary.
7. SafetySafety is paramount, nothing can ruin a trip more than injury or even a fatality. Carry a good first aid kit and take a first aid course it could save a life. Fire extinguishers are a must and must be easily accessible. Teach people how to use them before you travel. Carry insect repellent and sunscreen. Remember to "Slip, slop and slap" Spinifex grass can build up under your vehicle and cause a fire resulting in a burnt out vehicle. Check regularly under your vehicle and remove any grass build up. It is also a good idea to carry a pump garden sprayer with water to douse any spinifex fires under the vehicle.
8. Recovery gearGood quality recovery gear is essential in remote areas. Winches, snatch straps, max tracks, a high lift or an exhaust jack, a long handled shovel and an axe or chain saw are essential. There is risk in using recovery gear, read the instructions, follow manufacturers recommendations and keep people well back.
9. ConvoyThe best way to travel in remote areas is with other vehicles. This the safest way to approach remote travel and sharing the journey adds to the experience. You can also lighten the load when travelling in groups by sharing what is required such as recovery gear, generators etc.
10. FinallyÖNever underestimate the bush and the risks remote travel brings. Plan, prepare and consult the experts and locals before you travel. This information is designed to provide general information on remote travel and each trip should be looked at individually and planned accordingly.
Travel well and travel safe. Respect and help others. Take only pictures and leave only footprints and tracks. Remember itís our country and itís our job to care for it and protect it.
HERE IS A QUICK CHECKLIST OF
THE BASIC CAMPING NECESSITIES:
- A tent
- Plastic for the floor of your tent
- Air mattress
- Sleeping bag
- Extra blankets
- First aid equipment
- Seam sealer for your tent
- Toilet paper
- Something to sit on
- Personal hygiene items
- Insect repellent and/or citronella
- Towels and washcloths
- A small camp stove
- Food and water
- Paper supplies for eating
- Garbage bags
- Cooking utensils
- Cast iron pans
- Lanterns and/or flashlights
Camp Food:Preparation and planning is important when putting together a list of food and drinks for your trip.
Have a meal plan catering for the number of people travelling is a great idea to make sure you have everything covered.
Break the plan up into the 3 main meals and also snacks for in between that way you wonít be carrying any unnecessary food.
It is always a good idea to have emergency food in case of breakdowns etc. This can be muesli bars, dried fruit and nuts, chocolate bars which will keep you going.
Carry fruit such as apples and oranges that will not spoil quickly for a healthy snack. Root vegetables also store well without refrigeration.
Meat products will last longer and take up less space if they are cryovaced and frozen before placing them in the portable freezer.
Precooked meals such as curries and stews can be frozen prior to leaving and can simply be heated up when required.
Canned food is a great option and a simple way to have access to different types of food whilst in the bush. Canned meats, fish, vegetables, baked beans and spaghetti just to name a few.
Biscuits, packet or cup noodles are also a favourite snack with the kids.
When it comes to drinks take your pick, although cordial is good because 2 litres can make up to 10 litres of drinks.
Carry sufficient water for cooking and drinking, and top up whenever you can from a safe drinking source.
Outback roads and cans do not mix so when packing your favourite beverage a set of tinnie tubes will make sure you have a ďcoldieĒ waiting for you at the end of the day.
Remember though no matter what you take or prepare, safety comes first with food and the saying ďIf in doubt throw it outĒ should apply. The bush is no place to develop food poisoning or get sick from drinking contaminated water.
Trailer Safety Tips:
Looking to go on a trip with your off road trailer? Then you need to take the proper safety precautions so that it is towed properly and nothing goes wrong. The most important aspect off towing a trailer is to make sure you have the right equipment to tow it in the first place. Whether youíre taking the trailer on a camping trip, to carry tools, or moving equipment, you need to play it safe. You will also need to learn about the various towing equipment. You need to get a trailer hitch receiver that can support the weight off the off road trailer. There are different ratings and each rating will allow you to secure more weight so that you can safely tow the trailer without any problems.
Make sure everything is set up properly and take it out for a small test drive to see that it is attached properly. Make sure you do this in an area that is not busy with traffic or pedestrians.
One of the most important tips is making sure that your vehicle can tow the trailer in the first place. To do this, contact the company of your vehicle and ask them how much weight it can safely tow. You need to take the weight of the trailer as well as all the material inside it to figure out the final weight that you will need to tow.
Then itís time to take a look at all the regulations when it comes to towing trailers. You will probably need a registration plate, find out the safety laws, read up on restrictions on cargo and more. These regulations are put into place for safety reasons and it can result in a ticket if you donít follow them.
Make sure that the brakes and lights are working on your trailer without any problems. You have to get the wiring right to make sure that everything works. Remember that the back lights signify to other drivers that you are slowing down. If that doesnít work, it will most likely result in a bad accident.
You also need to make sure that the brakes are working. If you are going at a high speed and slowing down, it will take longer to slow down if your brakes arenít working properly. This will lead to a misjudgement as to when you should start slowing down and adjust your driving speed. You will also need the brakes to control your vehicle properly.
Cargo is one of the things that people forget about in their off road trailer. Bumps and rough roads can lead to cargo falling out of the trailer. This can cause problems for you and the people driving behind you. In addition, loose cargo can tip your trailer off balance and cause it to come off your vehicle or make your vehicle sway. This has many dangers so you need to secure your cargo before you head out on your trip.
Finally, you should get a safety device to lock your trailer so that people canít just hook it up to their vehicle and drive off with it. A safety device the requires a key will make it harder for thieves to take your off road trailer. You should also make sure that you lock the interior so that a key is required to get access to the trailer. You should probably keep your important belongings with you rather than in your trailer as an added safety measure.
In conclusion, these off road trailer safety tips will help you get the most out of your experience. It doesnít matter whether youíre using your trailer for carrying equipment, transporting, or going on a trip, you need to take the necessary precautions to protect yourself as well as other people on the road.
You may want to spend some extra money to get all the necessary tools to secure your trailer and also get some professional help if youíre confused about things such as the wiring, securing cargo, and other necessary steps. This will make it much easier on you and get you going without wasting too much time and money on equipment.
Things that you can do outside to make the most out of your camping experience:
If you love the outdoors you will not be at a loss as to what to do when you get to your destination.
Here are just some of the things that you can do outside to make the most out of your camping experience:
- Go for a hike
- Build a campfire
- Roast marshmallows over the fire
- Make Símores over the campfire
- Tell stories around the campfire
- Make up songs and sing together
- Listen to the sounds of nature and try to identify them
- Cloud watch and find the pictures
- Count the stars and find the pictures