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Outback Travel
Travelling Remote Regions of Australia
SunriseTravelling, camping or caravanning in the Australian outback can be a very pleasurable past time; it can be a bit uncomfortable at times and there are many potential hazards; when we go caravanning, we like to be comfortable and to ensure that all necessary steps have been taken to make sure we have a safe journey. Find out how we do it and discover what equipment we take and what preparations we make before we leave.
Travel Tips and Safety
DO YOUR HOMEWORK BEFORE YOU LEAVE.
Preparation for the journey is paramount to the enjoyment of the trip. Service stations with a range of spares and latest technology to carry out repairs are few and far between in Outback Australia.
When travelling into more remote areas it is prudent to let others know where you're are going and your estimated time of arrival from the proposed destination; establish some contact points.
Be aware that you are not the only travellers in the outback, besides other people many animals are on the move; it is not uncommon to see wild camels and emus etc. close to the roadways so it pays to be alert at all times.
Seek permission before entering private property and Aboriginal Lands.
Leave gates as you find them.
Adjust your driving techniques to the road conditions, slow and sure wins the day, in most cases, it also avoids unnecessary breakages remembering that the next help may be hundreds of kilometres away and even if you get there it may be two to three weeks before spare parts can be obtained.
Give way to Road Trains travelling in either direction; they will respect you for this.
Carry some spare pieces of rope, wire, Gaffa Tape, insulation tape, assorted screws nuts bolts split pins and light globes; various oils and fuel for the Chainsaw and Generator.
Carry vehicle recovery gear such as High-lift Jack and Snatchem Strap, if possible have a winch fitted to the vehicle; a Cumalong portable winch is an alternative. The best advice in this area is to seek alternative routes around the hazard before taking the risk and getting into a position where you must use the recovery gear. If you are on you own the best option maybe not to go there.
Preparation
The Motor Vehicle
Service the vehicle before setting out.
Check essential items thoroughly such as fan, air conditioner and power steering belts, if applicable.
Check radiator hoses including by-pass, heater, and L.P.G. converter if fitted; carry spares.
Clean or replace air cleaner and fuel filters.
Tyres—tyres should clearly be in very good condition; you are going to experience harsh off road surfaces, tyres will take a hammering-Carry two spare tyres if possible.
Fuel—always make sure that fuel supply will be available along your chosen route prior to leaving. If you cannot carry sufficient fuel it may be necessary to arrange a fuel dump at an Outback Station or Police Station; a long range tank may be an option worth looking into.
The Vehicle in Tow - Caravan / Trailer
Towing—the towed unit is as important as the motor vehicle with respect to maintenance and tyres. Essential items to be checked before going on your journey:-
General Body—make any body / door repairs before leaving.
Wheel Bearings—service the wheel bearings making sure that they are in good condition and are packed with grease and adjusted to makers specifications; carry at least one spare set along with correct grease and locking devices.
Lights—ensure that all lights are in working order; carry spare globes.
Tow Hitch—make sure that this is suitable for the type of terrain to be travelled. Make sure that it engages positively and is secure.
Brakes—check brake linings and system operations
Self Sefficient Camping
The Motor Vehicle
In many places good free camping spots are available but you must be self sufficient to make good use of them. In most cases other fellow campers will be in the same area, this adds a certain amount of personal security; however check the area out before deciding to stay.
Essential Items
Adequate food supplies
Adequate water both for drinking and showers
Alternative Power Supply e.g. Battery, Generator, Solar Unit or Inverter
Shower and Toilet Equipment
Bags for rubbish removal
Tools for digging holes and maybe vehicle recovery
Fossicking equipment if applicable
Chainsaw or Axe for cutting wood
Campfire Cooking Equipment
Toilet - Porta-potty or similar
Mobile phone - CDMA, Satellite or similar
First Aid Kit
Quarantine Restrictions
Look out for various State to State Quarantine Restrictions with respect to firearms, fruit and vegetables. Fruit quarantine restrictions with respect to fruit fly are the most obvious, these can be inter or intra state.
Maps
Topographical maps may not always be necessary but general area maps or a Ground Positioning Sensor (GPS) is essential to enhance your knowledge of the area and personal safety


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