Like anything else in life, safety should always come first when taking your 4 wheel drive off road. If you are new to 4X4, some of the safety precautions may not be obvious at first. That’s why we’ve compiled everything you need to consider right here.
People have disappeared without a trace in some of the most remote areas of Australia, but people have also perished in small state forests only an hour or two from the city! Getting bogged, a vehicle break down, having an accident or sustaining an injury are always outcomes to be prepared for.
Camp in the outback.
Here are a few points to consider when you’re planning a 4 wheel drive trip:
Is it appropriate for the time of year? A winter trip to the beach could be wet and windy, not much fun! A summer trip to the Pilbara, Kimberly or Simpson Desert would not only be downright unpleasant, but potentially deadly in temperatures pushing 50 degrees!
Who will I travel with? Unless you’re a VERY experienced traveller with excellent mechanical skills, and the means to recover yourself from a bog (most likely a winch); you should always travel in convoy. Have a second vehicle on the shorter trips, and possibly a larger convoy for more remote journeys.
Share your plan! Tell friends and family where you’ll being going, departure and arrival dates, and keep them updated along your journey wherever possible.
The BARE Essentials for 4-wheel drive safety.
The safety items you need to carry for each trip can vary, so lets start with the basics you should always have in your vehicle.
Upgraded communication. Mobile phone and UHF radio are useless in those really remote places. You’ll want a satellite phone or HF radio to communicate, or at the very least an emergency beacon (EPIRB) to be triggered if the situation is life threatening.
More food & water. You’ll need to plan emergency food and water rations on top of your calculated consumption. Try to store your water across multiple containers, so you don’t lose it all if one leaks.
Tools & Spares. Carry all the tools you’ll need to make most vehicle repairs and share this out among the convoy if needed. Also carry common spares like hoses, belts, and fluids for your vehicle along with a selection of emergency repair items
So when you have prepared you 4 wheel drive and loaded it, gather your family or friends and get out and have some fun.
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