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.
Disaster can strike anywhere!
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.
4 Wheel Drive Safety starts with
Here are a few points to consider when you’re
planning a 4 wheel drive trip:
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!
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
your plan! Tell friends and family where you’ll being
going, departure and arrival dates, and keep them updated along your journey
The BARE Essentials for 4-wheel drive
The safety items you need to carry for each
trip can vary, so lets start with the basics you should always have in your
First Aid. A simple first
aid kit is essential, although you may as well grab a more comprehensive
one that will serve the short trips and the long ones.
- Fire Extinguisher. Fire
means disaster in a 4-wheel drive. Keep a fire extinguisher ready to grab
at moment’s notice and you could just save yourself and your rig.
Basic Comms. Carry your
mobile phone with you and have a UHF radio fitted to your vehicle. The
phone might not always have signal, but you may get out a distress call on
UHF channel 5
- Food, Water & Blankets. Keep a small stash of non-perishable food in the vehicle such as
muesli bars. Always carry some water as well, 10 liters for a day is
pretty safe. And keep some blankets tucked away in case you must spend the
- Some basic maps. Google
maps on your phone works alright as long as you have signal. A simple 4WD
map book tucked into a seat pocket will be an excellent reference if you
- The 4WD Essentials. A 12v compressor,
recovery kit, shovel.
And what to carry when you’re going
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
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
So when you have prepared you 4 wheel drive and loaded it, gather your
family or friends and get out and have some fun.
and the persons behind 4-wheeling-in-western-australia.com take no
responsibility whatsoever for your action. And cannot be liable for damage to
loss of personal property, property or stock, fines or penalties, personal
injury or death. It is your responsibility and your responsibility alone to
keep up to date with any fire restrictions or any other restrictions that are in place in the area you are in.
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