Before venturing into remote Australia, it’s imperative that travellers take a moment to review their load and remember to pack the essentials. Below is a checklist that no road-tripper or four-wheel driver should ignore:
- It’s a good idea to keep an extensive checklist saved on a computer that you constantly update.
- Carry lots of drinking water, as well as tinned food (can opener) and a gas cooker.
- Pack a tool set, some rubber weld tape, lubricant spray, rags and a first-aid kit (include snake bite treatment), water purification equipment, mosquito repellent and sunscreen.
- Torch, batteries, knife, cigarette lighter, compass, chargers for powered equipment, and a space blanket, which is lightweight and warm if you get stranded – these are all vital items to pack.
- Don’t leave home without a map of the area and its surrounds – HEMA maps are excellent because you can store them on a device offline.
- Ensure you’ve remembered the manual for your vehicle, backup fuel and engine oil, some grease, and a fuel siphon.
- Spare fanbelts, top and bottom radiator hoses, a can of tyre weld for punctures and stop-leak for radiators, and some spare brake line should be included in your emergency kit.
- Remember the air compressor, spare tyre and jack, jumper cables, fuses and spark plugs.
- Recovery gear is a must: including a winch (tree trunk protector); snatch block; tow straps; shovel; shackles; exhaust jack, or rails – whatever is your preference; protective gloves.
- Check the winch cable for fraying before setting off.
- Ensure that you’ve included a spare key in a magnet box under the car.
- Get your vehicle serviced before major trips.
Before setting out, call national park offices or check websites to ensure that conditions are suitable for travel. Always remember to respect the lands and habitat – there areas are sacred to residents and also homes to an array of wildlife.