Four Wheel Driving
My wife and I have been four wheel drivers for almost 20 years and have explored most of Western Australia including many remote deserts and other little known corners of the State.
Since I was a child I have had a long interest in WA history and with a particular interest in exploration history and journals written by explorers. With my wife we have travelled extensively in the Western Deserts of WA and have organised trips following the routes of explorers and bush men such as Frank Hann, Charles C. Hunt, John Forrest, Alfred W. Canning, David Carnegie and Len Beadell.
There is something magical about following in the footsteps of an early explorers and locate one of his blazes on a tree or inscriptions on a rock. Our 4Wdrive allows us to relive the explorers journey, albeit it in air-conditioned comfort, with refrigerated food and comfortable beds and tents. The early explorers ate dried beef, slept on the ground and if they were lucky rode a horse otherwise they walked. They were certainly a hardy breed and did much for the progress and development of our great state.
It is advisable that inexperienced 4Wdrivers join a 4Wd club. through a club they will learn from experienced club members and get to travel remote areas of Australia in company and safety with others.
I have been a member of the Getaway 4WDrive Club WA Inc for eleven years and have been Club President since 2010.
Preparation for four wheel drive trips
I wont go into basic preparation for four wheel driving because this information is readily available on the internet. Intending four wheel drivers would be well served going to a reputable site such as ExplorOz reading through the various articles provided.
I will concentrate on remote travel planning and preparation.
- I strongly suggest you travel in company with others so you have support in event of problems.
- Plan your itinerary carefully and thoroughly, and ensure you have paper maps to back up any electronic mapping and devices you may be using.
- Ensure you have a significant quantity of cash; it’s not uncommon to arrive at a remote road house to find the credit card system down and its cash only. With prices of fuel over $3.00 a litre at some locations plan carefully.
- Emergency communications. Don't expect your mobile phone or UHF radio to be all you need. There are three main types of devices that I feel are appropriate:
- Satellite phone (they can be hired)
- HF radio,
- EPIRB (Personal Locator Beacon).
I recommend you have at least two of these devices for remote travel.
- If you have a emergency or breakdown and are stranded; remain calm. call for help and remain with your vehicle until help arrives. What ever you do, don't leave your vehicle.
There are a number of checklists available on ExplorOz. In addition I have developed an information sheet/guide and a shared equipment checklist for use by anyone travelling on any remote trip organised by me.
You may feel some of the points raised by me, such as being on time, being flexible, working in with others and/or you could be asked to leave the convoy; are a bit over the top. These are there based on experience and spoilt trips, where people leave home with differing understandings of trip arrangements and expectations.
Whilst the above information, and for that matter the whole website, suits me and my travel needs; you will need to accept responsibility for any decisions you make using this information.