Trip Planning - Everything has risk associated attached to it!

Submitted: Monday, May 05, 2014 at 10:01
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I often reflect on the following quote...

"Adventure is just bad Planning" Roald Amundsen (1872-1928)

Everything has risk associated attached to it!

The question is whether the risk can be managed to a level that is acceptable, firstly to you, and secondly, broadly acceptable to those who may be called upon to provide assistance if something goes wrong.

And I use the word broadly because it is subjective to make a judgement on what others might find acceptable.

To get around this, I use the “reasonable” test and ask myself the question – Would, on average, “reasonable” people find this a “reasonable” assumption to make?

Planning is the most important aspect of any trip and should be approached as a risk management exercise.

It is a time that whilst in the stress free environment of your home “living room” you can assess all aspects of the undertaking without the pressure of things crumbling around you, out in the field, and for which you have not developed a response.

A lot of focus is placed on equipment, vehicles, and communications; how much food and water needs to be taken along with the required fuel. And for sure these are all important aspects to any trip planning, falling under the heading of trip logistics.

But what about your health and fitness, and that of your travelling companions? Are you in suitable shape both mentally and physically for this specific undertaking?

What about expected weather conditions and how will you respond to changing conditions?

At what point do you call the trip off – what decision criteria have you established for this both in the time prior to departure and once it is underway?

This is an important one, as many people die, at worst, from the “press-on-regardless” mentality. We’ve planned this trip and we’ll complete it at all costs…regardless!

How can this be avoided?

Establish criteria to prevent it from happening!

No one ever wants to call off a trip, especially once underway, but it might be the best decision despite the disappointment. Having guidelines decided and agreed upon in advance takes much of the angst away from this type of decision making it easier to arrive at if faced with a particular circumstance.

And what about a point of no return decision? How many people consider this when crossing the Simpson Desert, for example, or other remote areas.

Prior to arriving at this equi-distance point consideration should be given to whether the destination can still be reached, or is it wise to return to the previous check point whilst you still have sufficient fuel and supplies to do so. There could be any number of reasons that might affect your decision, weather would be an important one for example. But there could be many others that should be assessed at this critical point before continuing on your journey. Once the point of no return is crossed the decision has been made and you are now committed to it regardless, possibly with dire consequences if not well thought out, or even considered.

Planning for a trip begins and ends at home

By the time you head down through the front-gate you should be confident in your endeavours and that you have thought out potential issues and how you will deal with them. By now you and your travelling companions should have committed to some form of template as to how you will respond to specific and non-specific situations.

Once underway, constant evaluation is required and progression of the trip should be compared to what you have planned and have anticipated in your planning – if it isn’t it needs to be evaluated against the impact it will have on your objective and you should already have a response for it…

Sure, there may be issues that crop up that you didn’t plan directly for, but you should still have a response planned for non-specific situations. In the instance of something that hasn’t been directly planned for you can still have a general response.

For example, is it critical to the successful completion of the trip and what is the implication of continuing or not continuing? Consideration should be given to the well-being of the group, or others that may be called upon for assistance, if the choice you make does not turn out as planned.

Often issues arise not because of a primary occurrence, but the impact it has as it cascades down through a number of scenarios and usually we receive plenty of opportunity to address these before they manifest into a much larger issue.

Have a plan, have a plan, and have a plan – that is my pre-trip mantra.

It is one thing to be confronted with an issue and possibly making the incorrect assessment or choice, but it is almost unforgiveable to not act and make any decision at all when something goes wrong…history is littered with the deaths of people who simply failed to act. Having a plan is a good way to avoid being in such a predicament!

As a footnote, I was encouraged to post my thoughts on this topic after noticing the thread on the Simpson Desert Motor Cycle issue.

Personally I avoided the thread it because it is highly charged and subject to much speculation and opinion. I ask that if you want to comment directly on that issue please do so in that thread, not here…

I’m interested in comments and thoughts on how people approach their own trip planning with a view to improving mine…

Cheers,
Baz – The Landy
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Reply By: Member - John G - Monday, May 05, 2014 at 10:22

Monday, May 05, 2014 at 10:22
G'day Landy

I think that you have just about covered it all! Interesting that you pulled out a quote by Amundsden. Books have been written about his South Pole planning vs Scott's.

Cheers
John
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Follow Up By: The Landy - Monday, May 05, 2014 at 10:49

Monday, May 05, 2014 at 10:49
I have a lot of respect for the early explorers and their approach to planning expeditions. For the main, much of the principles hold true today.

Cecil Madigan was another, in fact I was trying to find a quote of his in the book “Crossing the Dead Heart” - it is similar to Amundsen’s.

I think the term “Adventure” has morphed into the way it is used in expressions today vs. how it was in Amundsen’s day. They came from an era that if it was planned perfectly, and with consideration to objectives, balanced against risk, and risk mitigation, than it would not become an adventure.

Perhaps the term “misadventure” is more appropriate in our era…

Thanks for your sentiments…

Cheers, Baz – The Landy
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Follow Up By: Member - John G - Monday, May 05, 2014 at 12:12

Monday, May 05, 2014 at 12:12
G'day again Landy

Reading your post and the responses I thought of the book/film "Tracks", and the "Into the Wild" story, where lone individuals search for some sort of spiritual or emotional experience with only fundamental planning, or prehaps in the case of Into the Wild, no planning.

I appreciate that you're not really addressing such adventurers in your post, but it seems to me there is a place for such folks and their approach. As you intimate though, when others become involved in search and rescue type operations, then will follow controversy.

Cheers
John
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Follow Up By: Allan B (Member, SunCoast) - Monday, May 05, 2014 at 12:51

Monday, May 05, 2014 at 12:51
Or on a lighter note John, what about the film Charlie and Boots with Paul Hogan and Shane Jacobsen. Wasn't much planning in their 'Trip of a Lifetime' but was a great adventure for them. Sometimes you need to 'Just Do It'. LOL
Cheers
Allan

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Follow Up By: Mick O - Monday, May 05, 2014 at 13:34

Monday, May 05, 2014 at 13:34
Unfortunately Baz, we remember the explorers who were poor at planning because they either died or disappeared (heroically of course). The successful explorers, those who planned meticulously, based decisions on sound knowledge and experience, and didn’t have the “Tally-ho…for King and Country” mentality charging on when they should have retreated, go largely unremembered, their very success being the reason they fade from public memory. The Gregory brothers, Hann, Carnegie to name a few are overshadowed by the likes of Leichhardt, Bourke & Wills, and those who died or nearly expired “heroically” (and more often than not, needlessly). History remembers the spectacularly foolish over the rationally successful every time.

Planning is the key to any expedition, past, present or future. Experience is the key to planning and Common Sense is the attribute that underpins it.

My 2c worth.

Mick
''We knew from the experience of well-known travelers that the
trip would doubtless be attended with much hardship.''
Richard Maurice - 1903

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Follow Up By: The Landy - Monday, May 05, 2014 at 14:42

Monday, May 05, 2014 at 14:42
So true Mick...

Australia has had many successful explorers', both here and abroad, but as mentioned, we seem to remember some for all the wrong reasons.

I am working towards researching and exploring some of those that you have followed...

cheers, Baz
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Follow Up By: Barbera72 - Monday, May 05, 2014 at 19:39

Monday, May 05, 2014 at 19:39
Burke, Wills and King. King who? King the only men who survived the expedition.
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Follow Up By: Barbera72 - Monday, May 05, 2014 at 19:41

Monday, May 05, 2014 at 19:41
[the only man]
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Follow Up By: Member - Matt M - Tuesday, May 06, 2014 at 10:42

Tuesday, May 06, 2014 at 10:42
Good stuff Baz.

Amundsen a fairly meticulous planner, but his success in the Northwest Passage was largely down to skill (seamanship), understanding how the locals survived, and most importantly, travelling light. Unlike the overladen (lavish) Franklin expedition which ended in disaster. In other words, prepare yourself, not every single gadget may be necessary, and those who live and survive there might actually have something to teach us. I wonder of we can draw any parallels with approaches to fitting out 4WDs and ignoring hard won advice?

Mind you, Amundsen died on a rescue mission trying to find someone who wasn't prepared; maybe some more parallels with recent discussions on this forum?

Good read, thanks.

Matt.
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Reply By: Axle - Monday, May 05, 2014 at 10:46

Monday, May 05, 2014 at 10:46
G/Day Baz,..I think you have covered most things,..And are right, But .Where do you stop? ..I find as age creeps up you tend to worry about things that might never happen,..But if they do?,you have to as you say try and be prepared.....BTW,Vehicle worries should be of a different nature for you these days....or not?...LOL.


Cheers Axle.
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Follow Up By: The Landy - Monday, May 05, 2014 at 11:00

Monday, May 05, 2014 at 11:00
Hi Axle

Well, anything mechanical, especially with a computer on one end of it deserves to be worried about, in a healthy way!

You know, I tend to find that by having a plan in place I tend to worry far less, given I have gone through a process of evaluation prior to leaving home. In fact, to be honest I actually enjoy planning and thinking about trips whether it is an expedition into the mountains or a trip into the outback.

Cheers, Baz
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Follow Up By: Allan B (Member, SunCoast) - Monday, May 05, 2014 at 11:24

Monday, May 05, 2014 at 11:24
Axle, .......... "as age creeps up you tend to worry about things that might never happen".......

Dunno about that. At age 20 I had my whole life ahead of me to protect, maybe 70 years with luck. But now there is not so much left to protect... or lose. So as Kramer says.... "Giddyap!"

Cheers
Allan

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Reply By: Member - Oldbaz. NSW. - Monday, May 05, 2014 at 10:56

Monday, May 05, 2014 at 10:56
Great Post, Baz..got me thinkin.. Been fed up with EO for a time..too many whingy posts about driving skills..old caravanners..personal abuse etc..time for something with a bit more guts to it..

I'm a long term planner..when I return from a trip, the first action in planning the next one is to document all the stuff that didn't work..broke or needed repair, as well as
vehicle service needs. I also note the stuff that worked well..new gear that was an improvement & so on. Also a discard list..the unnecessary ballast we all tend to carry.

As we usually tour annually, the next trip is agreed on & a rough mudmap produced.
Then it is onto the net to research every place/town/attraction/ on that route..

This gives a timeframe that suits the overall time allotted. Then a likely camp spot
scenario is plotted & due diligence given to selecting good spots. This is where
Camps7 & Badgers come into their own.

We request tourist info packs from every place that has them, book the camps
that may be busy, plot the route on a daily basis & include the fuel stops to take
advantage of a long range tank.

After that it is a refining process..note opening times of attractions, restocking ops,
avoid school holidays, long weekends etc.

This may sound like overplanning to some, but it works for us, we remain flexible
enough for change. A bit of tucker, good red, Bundy & beer, & a sense of humour,
& away we go...bewdy..only a month to takeoff..cheers...oldbaz (& the childbride).
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Follow Up By: The Landy - Monday, May 05, 2014 at 11:04

Monday, May 05, 2014 at 11:04
Strewth Oldbaz

We share much more in common than just a name!

I have just gone through a similar process after our most recent trip and of course planning for the western deserts has been underway for months.

Cheers…Baz

ps: Married the girl next door (child bride - 30 years ago today!)
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Follow Up By: Member - Duncan W (WA) - Monday, May 05, 2014 at 14:45

Monday, May 05, 2014 at 14:45
Reading your response was like looking into a mirror with the Tassie trip I've planned for the end of the year, and other larger trips in the past.

Cheers

Dunc.

Dunc
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Follow Up By: Member - PJR (NSW) - Tuesday, May 06, 2014 at 09:54

Tuesday, May 06, 2014 at 09:54
Hey Dunc If you have another vehicle with you try the Balfour Track in NW Tasmania.

Phil

Balfour Track, North West Tasmania, Christmas 2013.
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Follow Up By: Member - Duncan W (WA) - Tuesday, May 06, 2014 at 11:32

Tuesday, May 06, 2014 at 11:32
Phil there will be 3 vehicles. But I don't think the hire car company wouldn't like us drowning their nice new Outlanders somehow. Not to mention my wife and the other 2 guys wives screaming blue murder at us. So it will be the West Coast track at best (if I can convince them that the gravel is better than the bitumen?

Cheers

Dunc
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Reply By: Echucan Bob - Monday, May 05, 2014 at 11:18

Monday, May 05, 2014 at 11:18
Interesting post Baz.

I spend a lot of time thinking and planning, and after more than 20 years of remote travel/exploration I think I am close to getting the balance right for me. What may be right for me might not be right for the next guy. On one trip my fellow travellers were not prepared to take an interesting deviation but preferred to stick to the bitumen. I let the majority rule, but certainly let them know that in future they could find a tag a long tour.

I want my trips to be an adventure. I want to get off the beaten track and into the wilderness. I don't want the security of having road side assist to help me out of tricky situations. Nor do I want $50,000 plane charters circling overhead.

Inherent in that desire is an acceptance of an increased level of risk. One of the rules on my trips is "No dead bodies in cars". If you succumb on the track thats where you stay.

Bob

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Reply By: Member - Graham N (SA) - Monday, May 05, 2014 at 12:59

Monday, May 05, 2014 at 12:59
Hi Baz,
Happy 30 th anniversary to you and Janet from Maxine and I, the planning for that one worked out well.
We tend to plan trips down to fine detail but they never seem to stay as planned, but you need to start somewhere and have a base to start at.
After every trip we work out what just went on holidays and does not need to go again and is discarded.
As far as pulling out of a trip, it is probably human nature to push on until it is impossible to pull out. The trick is to know when to do so. For example how many times do you see people press on with their fuel running low knowing they will not make it to the next fuel stop but just living in hope.
Cheers
Graham
The wind will not always blow your way, adjust your sails.
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Follow Up By: The Landy - Monday, May 05, 2014 at 14:47

Monday, May 05, 2014 at 14:47
Hi Graeme

Firstly, thanks for the compliments, the planning seem to go well thirty years ago, or is it the constant re-evaluation of the plan?

I must say, I have always been interested in the “art” of planning and risk management. I honed my interest during my flying days, especially fuel management as fuel exhaustion in aircraft never ends well…

Thanks for the sentiments and regards to both you and Maxine from the crew…

Cheers, Baz
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Reply By: cookie1 - Monday, May 05, 2014 at 13:07

Monday, May 05, 2014 at 13:07
Yep, now that's what I'm talking about

I spend quite a bit of time planning our trips and go through our itinerary many times as a group taking in any "places of interest" and then shuffling things around until we have a general concensus.

We weigh up the associated risks and plan our "B, C & D" and to date this seems to have worked for us throughout our many trips, self supported.

We even plan our meals and have a spare plus the dry pantry items just so that we know that we have food taken care of and water availability. I bought a hand held water purifier when we did the Canning due to the unknown quality of water, doesn't take up much space at all - size of a small handbag.

We called off a trip to the Cape in 2009 about 4 weeks out due to the wet running later than usual and as we hadn't been there before we wanted to savour the experience rather than have it soured by trying to either get through at what cost or miss places we wanted to see.

We make use of modern technology and carry HF mainly to know what the weather is doing and our fellow travellers, Sat Phone (it's so small so why not) & finally as a "Get out of Jail" Epirb which we submit our itinerary to AMSA.

Great thread and I am a lot happier now knowing that I am not alone by the amount of planning I do - was beginning to wonder.

cheers
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Follow Up By: The Landy - Monday, May 05, 2014 at 14:54

Monday, May 05, 2014 at 14:54
Cookie

It was a post you made in another thread that prompted me to put my thoughts together on the topic…

Good planning doesn’t mean that it takes away spontaneity or being “in the moment” – but equally there is no substitute for good and sensible planning. No, you are not alone my friend!

Cheers, Baz – The Landy
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Reply By: Grumblebum and the Dragon - Monday, May 05, 2014 at 13:11

Monday, May 05, 2014 at 13:11
Planning?.... mmmm.

Nine years ago we hitched up the Bushtracker, drove 15k down to the main highway and parked. Had a glass of champagne and then tossed a coin to see whether we should turn left or right. Being wandering the outback ever since.

However we do ensure that the vehicle and the van are in tip top order have excellent comms - HF, UHF and Sat and mobile phones and very good maps and we have never had a problem. About the only planning as such we do is to find routes less travelled, often but not always on station tracks.

We have done most of the rugged routes, The GRR out to the coast and Mitchell Falls camp ground, the Gunbarrel and many others chasing gold and great remote country.

We have friends who spent three months in Europe. They had it planned to a "T" even down to where they would have afternoon tea...... before they left! In a word boring.

We are continually surprised by great new country.

John and Jean
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Follow Up By: mikehzz - Monday, May 05, 2014 at 18:54

Monday, May 05, 2014 at 18:54
That's all fine if you don't have a limited timeframe. If you have a list of things that you want to see and do in a set time limit, then you really need a plan of attack to make it happen. Anyone can go without a plan if their normal week has 6 saturdays followed by a sunday... :-)
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Follow Up By: eighty matey - Tuesday, May 06, 2014 at 22:16

Tuesday, May 06, 2014 at 22:16
G'day Mikehzz,

our travelling and planning is somewhere between the two.

We usually only have a max of 5 to 6 weeks.
I plan a route and draw up a timetable but build in time to take it easy. My plans are generally what we aim to stick to but then I write them in pencil. The start and finish dates are solid and we usually achieve our objective to get to check out the place we are aiming for, but we are planning on travelling to almost everywhere we've been before. These are our reccies.

Our Kimberley trip was 13,500 kms in 6 weeks and we saw and experienced heaps. There are a couple of regrets that we didn't spend as much time as we'd like in a places but travelling with others means we have to work in with the group.

This year's trip is a bout 10,000 kms in 5 weeks to Birdsville, Davenport Range NP, Lorella Springs, across to Burketown and head home.
Planning helps us to know where we transit, where we slow down, where we restock. By the time we head off I'm pretty familiar with what to expect.

This thread has brought out an amazing group of contributors, all in the one thread. It's a classic.

Have fun,
Steve
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Reply By: Rick (S.A.) - Monday, May 05, 2014 at 14:51

Monday, May 05, 2014 at 14:51
G'day Landy,

A few snippets for you re exploration quotes, including perhaps the one someone was seeking from Madigan:

The best explorer is the man who can both ‘conceive and dare’, who carries his organizing committee with him on his own feet, and knows that there is no one to blame for his failure but himself. To such an explorer is due on his return the undivided praise for plan and execution.
H.R. Mill - Ernest Shackleton’s biographer

Why explore? It is as well as for those who ask such a question that there are others who feel the answer and never need to ask.
Sir Wally Herbert


All things considered there are only two kinds of men in the world – those who stay at home and those who do not.
Rudyard Kipling


The wild charm and exciting desire that induce an individual to undertake arduous tasks that lie before an explorer, and the pleasure and delight of visiting new and totally unknown places, are only whetted by his first attempt.
Ernest Giles


He who does not travel does not know the value of men.
Moorish proverb


The desert is not just a place where greedy men may find precious metals. It has something more to offer in making us aware of the ultimate questions in life.
Manning Clark

It is better to travel hopefully than arrive.
C.T. Madigan

The success of an expedition depends primarily on the preliminary organization.
C.T. Madigan

Adventures are a sign of incompetence.
Stefansson, member of the Explorers Club

Nothing will ever be attempted if all possible objections must first be overcome.
Samuel Johnson

Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry and narrowmindedness.
Mark Twain

Cheers

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Follow Up By: The Landy - Monday, May 05, 2014 at 15:01

Monday, May 05, 2014 at 15:01
All good quotes, but I must look up the Cecil Madigan one, it was simply a remark he made and is quoted in the book "The Dead Heart" and was along the lines of good planning...

Cheers, Baz
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Follow Up By: The Landy - Monday, May 05, 2014 at 15:02

Monday, May 05, 2014 at 15:02
Whoops, my apologies, I re-read your post and that is the one...

"The success of an expedition depends primarily on the preliminary organization."
C.T. Madigan

Cheers...
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Follow Up By: Bob Y. - Qld - Tuesday, May 06, 2014 at 09:37

Tuesday, May 06, 2014 at 09:37
A quote by the late Bruce McLaren is one I like: "Life is sweetened by risk"

One would assume he was talking about calculated risk?

Bob.

Seen it all, Done it all.
Can't remember most of it.

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Reply By: Gaynor - Monday, May 05, 2014 at 20:00

Monday, May 05, 2014 at 20:00
Top post.

I am sometimes seen as negative and unsupportive when discussing various scenarios and logistics, wanting to prep in advance for Plan B, C and D should they be required.

As a solo out-of-the-way-traveller, it was always acutely obvious to me that there was no alternative to detailed planning if I wanted to stay alive - and succeed in achieving what I set out to do.

A friend posted on my Facebook recently where I lamented the latest death on the Canning and my own habit of putting multiple safety nets in place when I desert walk; like it was a whoose thing to do. Somewhere along the line I got the idea that I was pathetic for anal attention to detail.

He remarked: Anyone can suffer... it takes something more to be prepared and plan...

That put it back into perspective for me.
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Reply By: equinox - Monday, May 05, 2014 at 20:00

Monday, May 05, 2014 at 20:00
Hi Baz,

Having pushed the end of the risk stick a few times, I can generally agree with what you say Baz.

I can reiterate your points about “Would, on average, “reasonable” people find this a “reasonable” assumption to make?” in regards to acceptability of those who may be called on to rescue you. However, I do contrast slightly on this point (and as a consequence other points) with you at this stage of my life being single with no dependants except my dog. I think it is Ok to extend this boundary of acceptability somewhat, if you think you are mentally and physically able to accept the risk yourself (with preparedness). This relates also with your “press on at all costs” point, as well as your “point of no return point”. Exceeding this point enables one to have “adventure” which is very important to one who seeks it. Having said that I do not aimlessly takes inappropriate risks and have “backed down” on my own ambitions on more than one occasion.

That brings me to your point about being mentally and physically in shape. If you are physically healthy and in normal circumstances can live day by day with the expectation that you will not have a heart attack, or be struck down by some life changing health problem then there is no reason to expect that you are not physically able to travel for an extended period of time and to me this is a “reasonable” expectation.

To be mentally in shape is another ball game altogether. It is a hard to predict, and I’m not talking about whether you are of sound mind here. If you are approaching a risky situation (or leg of trip) and you do not feel right about it then you must stop immediately and reassess. This has nothing to do with preparedness, weather, political beliefs or anything else except your absolute confidence in your ability to perform the task required. If you have doubts and you push on then it will elevate the risk to a perhaps higher than intended level, as doubt plus a lack of confidence in yourself creates tension in your mind, and reduces your ability to make sound and rational decisions. This is very objective to others, but to myself I consider this exceeding this point “unreasonable”.

A very good post though and I wish you well in your planned travels in the western deserts.

Cheers
Alan

Looking for adventure.
In whatever comes our way.
"Outback Yonder"


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Follow Up By: The Landy - Monday, May 05, 2014 at 22:13

Monday, May 05, 2014 at 22:13
Alan

Thanks very much for your thoughts, and it is worth noting for the benefit of others that you are well qualified due to your level of experience to make them. Clearly, you have been able to integrate sound knowledge with experience.

Having spent time mountaineering, honing my skills over the past few years, your last point resonates loudly with me. If people were to take something away from this thread I hope this is one of them. It requires ego to be put away and causes one to look very hard at themselves and their ability - it isn't easily done.

Overconfidence and a can-do-attitude can be dangerous if not combined, or tempered with a good appraisal of circumstances and environment.

And yes, looking forward to the western desert trip, and thanks for your considered opinion here!

Cheers, Baz
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Reply By: Member - Ups and Downs - Monday, May 05, 2014 at 21:12

Monday, May 05, 2014 at 21:12
Holy smoke, I'm now too scared to walk out to the car. Might get hit by a meteorite, or an out of control plane. Could fall over a crack in the path too, Scary world out there.
Each to his own, and I plan things but not to the degree that you do!
You are probably right but how do you find the time to go? I'm not trying to be smart but I couldn't control myself to that degree.

Paul


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Follow Up By: The Landy - Monday, May 05, 2014 at 22:32

Monday, May 05, 2014 at 22:32
Hi Paul...

And to keep some context to this, the level of planning is dictated by the undertaking under consideration...

Rest assured, I'm not working an equip-point for my daily commute!

For me, it is all part of the enjoyment...

And hey, just watch out for those falling stars when you're out and about, they are landing somewhere ;)

Cheers, Baz
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Follow Up By: Gaynor - Monday, May 05, 2014 at 23:08

Monday, May 05, 2014 at 23:08
When I plan a high risk traverse - I plan as much as I can - and then let it go. By that I mean I am not so much stuck on the itinerary, but rather I am equipped to move from A to B with variables in between that I have hopefully considered and prepared for properly. And that preparation allows me to step off the beaten track, which I love, with a reasonable (99.9%) chance of stepping back on.

My day to day travels are more like a jellyfish - I go with the flow - which almost cost me my 4x2 vehicle recently when I encountered a flash flood. Had I planned my approach to the Richterseveld in northern South Africa recently, I may have read up on that possibility in this drought stricken rocky mountainous territory - and also that the approach road in the riverbed valley was better suited to a 4x4 - not a city panelvan. I made it to high ground, but when the water dropped the next day 7-8km of dirt road was washed away and replaced with boulders - impassable for my vehicle, even if I took two weeks trying to manually rebuild it myself. The other direction had a high steep pass I could not get over and was lucky a 4x4 came by and offered to tow me over it.

I made it, with my car reasonably intact, but not because I planned intelligently. Just dumb ass luck.

I now think a little more about my off road adventures considering the limitations of my vehicle. Part of risk assessment.
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FollowupID: 815124

Reply By: Member - Beatit (QLD) - Monday, May 05, 2014 at 21:38

Monday, May 05, 2014 at 21:38
G'day Baz,

I too am a planner and this has caused me strife in the past with my fellow travellers. In a previous life I did risk analysis and it fitted my personality perfectly I felt. So my planning has been more with this in mind. There has been a subtle shift in my mindset from detailed planning to "helicopter" planning, I mean looking more generally and less specifically.

There has been less focus on the itinerary and more on the mechanics. It always starts with determining distances for such things as fuel and servicing. The nature of the trip will determine what toys we take and these need to be in good working order. There is a lot of effort in the "what can go wrong" part of the plan and solutions have to be found for identified problems. Quite often there is more than one solution and there has to be some redundancy to make everyone feel comfortable.

we end up with very few surprises and it helps to have travelling companions that have cool heads and a sense of humour.

Kind regards
AnswerID: 531943

Follow Up By: The Landy - Monday, May 05, 2014 at 22:24

Monday, May 05, 2014 at 22:24
Seemingly, we share a number of things in common...

Like you, it is less about itinerary and more on the "nuts and bolts".

I'm always reminded about an old flying joke that we all laughed at, but which had a good message attached to it on a number of levels. It was about a bloke that crashed his plane landing into the trees at the end of a country airstrip...

When he complained to the property owner, the Cockie replied "but you only asked could you land it here, you didn't ask me if the runway would be long enough..."

Good planning tends to eliminate those types of issues and takes some of the guess work out of it... and of course implies, never assume anything!

Cheers, Baz
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Follow Up By: Bob Y. - Qld - Tuesday, May 06, 2014 at 01:49

Tuesday, May 06, 2014 at 01:49
Gents,

Think it's called the 6P's.....Prior Planning Prevents Piss Poor Performance, or words to that effect.

Good thread, Baz.

Bob

Seen it all, Done it all.
Can't remember most of it.

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Follow Up By: Gaynor - Tuesday, May 06, 2014 at 23:09

Tuesday, May 06, 2014 at 23:09
About that piss poor performance - I have a challenge coming up.

Arid land / desert hikes are my passion. Recently I realised how much more fun they were doing them with other people. Sometimes they are more experienced and I learn a lot. Others, like my next hike, is with a virgin hiker. I will be learning a lot, but in a different way. And I welcome that.

These past months I tried my best to prepare her offering tips on equipment and training, but she did none of it, despite repeat entreaties.

The lady is in her late 60's early 70's so it is not going to be easy to start with. She is also over weight and physically not in the best of shape, what with one leg being shorter than the other. With that in mind we have allowed for additional time, almost double - a week to do a sometimes strenuous 88km. Time is not an issue. Neither of us is in a rush.

I did, however suggest a number of things that would make the walk more enjoyable i.e. max 12kg backpack weight and at least 2 x 16km training hikes with the weight to know that she can do this. I also suggested she drop about 50% of the things she wanted to take with her - including a light weight stool and laptop. All has been ignored. She feels that she has walked about 5 km with a 20kg weight and she will be able to manage the 88km hike without too much of a problem.
Nothing I said could make her understand how much weight will be a factor for over accumulative distance.

Today I received an sms to say she has only just realised that she has to drive 1200km to our meeting point which will take her 2 days driving. Our hike is on a set date, meeting the others at the departure point on the eve of the 8th. This cannot be easily changed due to heavy bookings on this trail. She also cannot find her car registration papers for the border crossing from South Africa into Namibia and she has not yet bought essential equipment like sleeping bag and socks amongst other things, let alone test and train with all her equipment.

Piss poor performance looms ahead.

I really tried to help this lady with her preparations. I am not that great usually with groups as I get frustrated by a lack of attention to the obvious. If you don't give yourself the best shot at achieving what you want to do by planning and training for something like this, the result is self inflicted .... but in a group, everyone feels it.

How do you deal with this when setting out with more than one person?
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FollowupID: 815193

Follow Up By: Gaynor - Wednesday, May 07, 2014 at 05:04

Wednesday, May 07, 2014 at 05:04
My virgin hiker is already teaching me :-)

Phoned her this evening to find out if she found her car rego papers. The answer was no, not yet, but she was so excited about all the new equipment she bought today - sleeping bag, socks, tent, etc.

Leaving it a bit late - but the excitement in her voice .... I could not help but smile, all the tension flowing out of me.

This is what it is all about. This is what they teach me. To enjoy the experience of discovery ... and don't sweat perfection.
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Follow Up By: Allan B (Member, SunCoast) - Wednesday, May 07, 2014 at 08:13

Wednesday, May 07, 2014 at 08:13
Gaynor, I'll give you another six 'p's............

Personal Prudence Precludes Post Peregrinate Problems.

I suggest you apply it to your virgin hiker.


Cheers
Allan

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Follow Up By: Gaynor - Wednesday, May 07, 2014 at 15:48

Wednesday, May 07, 2014 at 15:48
Personal = belonging to or affecting a particular person rather than anyone else

Prudence - cautiousness

Precludes - prevent from happening

Post - later

Peregrinate - travel from one place to another, especially on foot

Problems - a matter or situation regarded as unwelcome or harmful and needing to be dealt with and overcome

Alan, I had to look up these words - particularly Peregrinate - gosh, beautiful word, thank you.

Not 100% sure what you mean, but guessing that in means:

= 'I need to be cautious in avoiding issues after the walk.'

Please correct me if wrong track.

Wise words.
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FollowupID: 815233

Follow Up By: Allan B (Member, SunCoast) - Wednesday, May 07, 2014 at 17:32

Wednesday, May 07, 2014 at 17:32
Pretty much Gaynor.

Or, 'Your care before the walk avoids later problems'.

Somewhat like "A stitch in time saves nine".

Have a great peregrination.
Cheers
Allan

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Reply By: Member - David & Kerry W - Tuesday, May 06, 2014 at 08:48

Tuesday, May 06, 2014 at 08:48
Excellent post, need more like this.

Adventure is why I travel, misadventure is why I plan. Experience has made me aware of possible risks, however, and fortunately, the unknown excites me and adds to the adventure. No risk, no challenge, no excitement - why do it!

There has been some good advice, even wisdom, shown in many of the posts by some very experienced outback, or bush, travellers. Never loose sight of your aspirations.

And for the record......

ad·ven·ture [ad-ven-cher]
noun
1.
an exciting or very unusual experience.
2.
participation in exciting undertakings or enterprises: the spirit of adventure.
3.
a bold, usually risky undertaking; hazardous action of uncertain outcome.
4.
a commercial or financial speculation of any kind; venture.
5.
Obsolete .
a.
peril; danger; risk.
b.
chance; fortune; luck.

Thanks for a great read, David
AnswerID: 531957

Reply By: olcoolone - Tuesday, May 06, 2014 at 09:59

Tuesday, May 06, 2014 at 09:59
When you start talking risk everyone has a different view on what the level of risk is, some cover all bases logically and others cover only what they think might be important...... like have we go enough DVD's for the kids.

In the remote travelling world and especially 4 wheel driving there are a hell of a lot of He-Man bulging with testosterone who think they are built proof and nothing will every happen to them...... and they can provide for their family in an emergency.

Many a times on here you see people respond with "I don't need that, the early explores and travelers had no problems". Unfortunately we are not living in that world anymore and why would one want to take the risk of not travelling in modern times with modern gear..... and ideas.

Sure you can go overboard with trip preparation and risk assessments but a logical approach is the best and always think "if it did happen to me" and not "it won't happen to me".

One human trait is people always think they are right, everyone else is wrong and I know best, this I think is something that came around in the prehistoric age where by showing ones weakness of lack of knowledge would of meant you'll get thrown out of your pack and have to try and survive by your self in a hostile world..... it meant life or death and it's still around today.

If you can lower or manage the risk associated with a given activity chances are it will never happen to you...... everything you do everyday involves risk management, just that some don't know.

AnswerID: 531960

Reply By: The Bantam - Tuesday, May 06, 2014 at 10:05

Tuesday, May 06, 2014 at 10:05
"Adventure is just bad Planning" Roald Amundsen (1872-1928)

I don't think so.

I never heard of a coroner bring down a finding of "death by adventure"......the term is "death by mis-adventure"

The difference between adventure and mis-adventure is, inadequate knoweledge, poor planning, poor preparation or taking of inappropriate risks.

Just like.."freak accidents".....I cant remember the last real " freak accident" I heard of.
Most of these so called " freak accidents" are entirely to be expected by those with their eyes open.

It is possible to have "most excelent adventures" at little or no risk.

cheers
AnswerID: 531961

Follow Up By: The Landy - Tuesday, May 06, 2014 at 10:29

Tuesday, May 06, 2014 at 10:29
For sure, and I think many of us tend to the same view as yourself. Seemingly, it was the way many of our early explorers’ described what we more commonly call “misadventure” these days.

Unfortunately, you are almost 100 years too late to debate it with Admundsen…

Anything you can share on how you plan your trips?

Cheers, Baz – The Landy
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FollowupID: 815145

Follow Up By: The Bantam - Tuesday, May 06, 2014 at 10:59

Tuesday, May 06, 2014 at 10:59
Select you vehicle bassed on what you expect to do with it.....not buy a vehicle then tray to make it do something it was not designed for.

For example
We have frequent enquiries from people looking for GVM, towing capacity and load carrying upgrades.

Plainly they did not consider how much they wanted to carry, before they baught the vehicle......THEN....we have plenty of stories of people breaking vehicles, because they are loaded close to or beyond the "smooth improved surface" rating and driven over rough county......THEN ..have the ordasity to claim that the product was some how inferiour.

Travel light.....or buy a truck.

cheers

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FollowupID: 815148

Follow Up By: Gaynor - Tuesday, May 06, 2014 at 14:04

Tuesday, May 06, 2014 at 14:04
Bantam, do you sell second hand vehicles, particularly Toyota Landcruisers?

My CSR trip this year was cancelled due to difficulties locating a suitable vehicle for 6-10 000 AUD. Nothing flash, but something obviously reliable.

I am still out of the country, but I need someone with more knowledge than I to assist me in buying one.

Sorry for public posting. I don't see away around this.

I will be travelling light.
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FollowupID: 815157

Follow Up By: The Bantam - Wednesday, May 07, 2014 at 21:18

Wednesday, May 07, 2014 at 21:18
No I do not sell used cars...sorry.

And 6 to 10 gorrillas, ceratanly wont be buying you anything flash.

cheers
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FollowupID: 815276

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