4 Wheel Drive Safety.
Like everywhere else, safety comes first especially when taking your 4
wheel drive off road.
If you are new to 4x4, get to know your car well
on the bitumen before you get on to the beach or take it off road.
Before you go.
In Australia you drive on dirt tracks where you might be the only person for days or even weeks, so help could be quite a while away. In the summer time it is common for temperatures to reach around the 40 degrees Celsius in some remote areas, especially if you travel inland.
Camp in the outback.
If you car breaks down, gets bogged, you have an accident or hurt yourself, you
could be in a world of trouble. Preparation is crucial to any trip, ensuring
you have the basics on board such as food and water.
Even in a small state forest surrounded by civilization, people have gotten
lost and had to spend the night unprepared with no water, food & warm
Here are some basic tips, what to do and what to bring if you go outback, bush
or off roading.
first aid kit should be considered the most important item to bring(I carry a 4WD
first aid kit from St John’s), remember you are out in the middle of nowhere
and can’t just rush to the hospital to get professional medical help, it may
take hours by flying doctors or days by driving. So for your own and your family’s
sake make sure a first aid kit is kept in your vehicle.
remote outback travelling, the number one device will have to be a satellite distress beacon, this is a small electronic device that can be manually activated in a life-threatening situation to transmit an emergency signal to search and rescue (SAR) authorities. For more information about the satellite distress beacon see here.
- Tell friends or family where you are going and when you
expect to be back, and remember to let them know when you are back. That way
someone will know where to start looking if you go missing or have an accident.
mobile phone can come in handy, but remember that in most cases there may not be any coverage in
the area where you are going. And remember if you are using the mobile phone as
navigation, NO SIGNAL means NO GOOGLE Maps.
- Bring plenty of water, there are a few ways you can carry
water or even install a water tank inside or outside your 4 wheel drive.
Always allow more than what you think you need just in case, and try not to store all
your water in one place. It's also a good idea to bring along a hose for
topping up your water.
have a couple of blankets stored away in your car if for some reason you will
have to stay overnight in the bush. Emergency blankets when folded are so
small that they easily fit in your first aid kit.
- Bring extra food, just for emergencies, enough for a couple of days, just in
case you should get lost or your 4 wheel drive breaks down. Tin food is good as it has a
lengthy expiry date.
Even on small day trips it could come in handy, especially with kids on board.
an emergency occurs, and someone knows your whereabouts, stay near your 4 wheel drive.
Your car is more likely to be found than you. Often you will hear stories about
someone going missing and their car is found but the person is not found until
- Have a shovel in your 4 wheel drive, one day it will come in
handy getting you or your mate unstuck and if you are camping it will also come
in handy at the camp site.
- An Air Compressor is a must if you are off road, it’s not
just on sand or on the beach you need lower PSI. If
Remote or outback travelling it's very wise to be carrying more than one spare
wheel and spare parts for the vehicle. A tool box with assorted automotive nuts
and bolts, cable ties etc could be a life saver.
- If you do a lot of off road driving it may be a good idea
to invest in an off road GPS. But knowing how to read a map is more important,
as a GPS can malfunction (it does happen). HEMA & VMS do good off road
GPS's but there are some cheaper ones on Ebay.
- A UHF or CB radio really is a must especially
if several cars drive together. You can always start up with a handheld,
these are quite easy on the budget.
only rated recovery gear and have a nominated person control and direct the
recovery (best to use the most experienced person) having 4 people all with
different ideas is just not practical.
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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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
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