Crossing Simpon Desert

Submitted: Wednesday, Jun 25, 2014 at 20:56
ThreadID: 108492 Views:1770 Replies:5 FollowUps:7
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Cheers Mates,

My name is Oliver and I'm a 25 year old backpacker from Switzerland.

I'm driving a Nissan Patrol GQ 4.2l patrol. I'm driving around Australia and do some striking tracks. I drove the Borderline Track, I was on Moreton Island, Fraser Island, drove to the Tip on the OTT and the Old Coach Road through the Palmer River Goldfields. Australia is just fantastic :)

Now I would like to cross the Simpson on the Frenchman Track from East to West. I know this is the harder line but I guess it's possible.

I have 95 litter in the fuel tank and 120-140 litter in jerry cans. Is this enough? I drove many times in sand but sand is not sand. Are there some areas which I can go on higher air pressure? On very soft sand I have 16-18 psi.

Is somebody doing the same around the end of Jun? I'm travelling with three German girls.

Cheers,
Oli

I'm sorry, if I dropped this thread on the wrong place

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Reply By: Bob Y. - Qld - Wednesday, Jun 25, 2014 at 21:04

Wednesday, Jun 25, 2014 at 21:04
Oliver,

Good luck with your Simpson crossing.

If you're travelling with 3 German girls, you're probably better off travelling by yourself. Unless you get a bit tired.........you know, from crossing all those sand hills.

Weather at moment is pretty good, and very cool at night.

Safe travelling,

Bob.

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

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Follow Up By: MUZBRY- Life member(Vic) - Wednesday, Jun 25, 2014 at 21:08

Wednesday, Jun 25, 2014 at 21:08
Gday Bob
I suppose three German girls are warmer than 3 dogs on a cold night....
Muzbry
Great place to be Mt Blue Rag 27/12/2012

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Follow Up By: Member - Terry W4 - Wednesday, Jun 25, 2014 at 21:36

Wednesday, Jun 25, 2014 at 21:36
Bob - a stupid comment in response to a serious ?
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Follow Up By: Bob Y. - Qld - Thursday, Jun 26, 2014 at 09:04

Thursday, Jun 26, 2014 at 09:04
"Stupid". Bit harsh, Terry!

What, are you on the board of the "thought police" down there.

As I haven't been across the Simpson as yet, I left it to more qualified travellers to give Oliver the "serious" answers, which Stephen has done in a precise way.

Anyway, Oliver was either bragging or baiting with his comment about his companions. The girls' race or sex has nothing to do with his general questions.

Bob

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Can't remember most of it.

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Follow Up By: mikehzz - Friday, Jun 27, 2014 at 08:28

Friday, Jun 27, 2014 at 08:28
I don't know if it was a brag...more like a sweetener? He was looking for someone to travel with and travelling with 3 German girls might spark some interest in some quarters. A bit the same as trying to hitch a ride. You send the pretty girl out to the side of the road and hide in the bushes... If I was 100 years younger I might be interested. :-)
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Follow Up By: Bob Y. - Qld - Friday, Jun 27, 2014 at 09:19

Friday, Jun 27, 2014 at 09:19
Ha ha, good point, Mike.

Maybe Oliver works in advertising..............?

Bob

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Reply By: Member - Stephen L (Clare SA) - Wednesday, Jun 25, 2014 at 22:06

Wednesday, Jun 25, 2014 at 22:06
Hi Oli

Re your fuel requirement? Either way you should have more than enough, but are you petrol or diesel?

The French Line is not hard at all, but stick with low tyre pressures and you will be fine. A good starting point would be 16 psi, but if you are having any trouble, then drop down to 14 psi.

Now for a couple of important things to remember........

Make sure that you have before you leave, a current Desert Parks Pass, which you must have. I was speaking with a chap at work today that went across only 2 weeks ago and they were stopped and checked out by 3 Ranges out in the desert, making sure everyone had permits.

Make sure you have and use a UHF Radio and monitor channel 10, the required channel for a desert crossing.

You are now required to use ( you would be crazy not to use one anyway) a sand flag.

Make sure that you are prepared for very cold nights out in the desert, with below zero the norm for that time of the year.

Burn you toilet paper before you bury in, as the dingos will dig it up, and nothing looks worse that toilet paper scattered across the desert.

A long handled shovel is a must.

Enjoy you hot swim at Dalhousie at the end of your desert crossing.


Have fun and enjoy the Simpson.



Cheers



Stephen
Simpson Desert Colours

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Follow Up By: Freshstart - Thursday, Jun 26, 2014 at 09:21

Thursday, Jun 26, 2014 at 09:21
I agree with Stephen, Oliver.

You would also do well by camping a day or two in Birdsville and see if you can find some "not so rough" company to tag along with. Travelling couples are a good start. Company is always a good in the desert. Both the social side and if you get into trouble.

A wonderful drive. We had it full of flowers a couple of years back.
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Reply By: Les PK Ranger - Thursday, Jun 26, 2014 at 12:59

Thursday, Jun 26, 2014 at 12:59
You have more than enough fuel capacity with safety margin.
I would watch weight of everything taken, though as backpackers you should be travelling pretty light anyway . . .

With fuel, take say 170lt should be ample, maybe leave BV with a full tank and 80lt in jerries, no point taking more and overloading.
Work it out on past sand driving consumption, then add enough to go another 200km.

Water just as important, especially for 4 adults.
Think it out carefully, and allow extra for safety.

This is where the number of days for the crossing will be important, as you don't want to rush it, but then taking too long, and you need more water / food, etc, and load gets more of a problem.

I feel 4 days is good for FL, so water should be around the 100lt mark inc safety margin.
Take a few 20lt jerries, and maybe 3 or 4 of the 10lt boxes cask water to tuck in around the place.
This might seem a lot, but it is only 6lt per day per person, some might say too little.
Just be frugal with bathing (for sake of each others proximity, nad only with a damp cloth) and wash up water etc.

Yes, get Desert Parks Pass make up a suitable sand flag, and ensure you use a UHF radio to call out at dune tops on Ch 10 (solo vehicle heading west on FL, approx position *km from BV / * junction, etc).
A fitted higher power UHF is best, but a hand held will suffice if you have nothing else.
AnswerID: 535031

Reply By: cookie1 - Thursday, Jun 26, 2014 at 14:09

Thursday, Jun 26, 2014 at 14:09
Some good advice above from Stephen & Les, it may sound silly but make sure you engage 4wd - there are a lot I have seen that don't and it chops the dune approaches, don't go too fast as some of the crests divert to the left / right at the top.

If you do go alone, please go & hire a Sat phone from the Birdsville visitors centre, you can drop it off at Mt Dare, rescue is very very expensive if you should have an incident.

We are going across about the 6th July and doing a double crossing supporting a motorbike starting at Birdsville.

Oh and it's the French Line - Frenchman Track is in the Cape :)

Good Luck & Safe Travels

cheers
AnswerID: 535038

Reply By: Oliver G2 - Thursday, Jun 26, 2014 at 21:57

Thursday, Jun 26, 2014 at 21:57
Tanks a lot for all the advice :)

We will hire a Sat phone at Birdsville.

I will write you how many litter fuel and water we used.
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Follow Up By: Member - allvintage - Friday, Jun 27, 2014 at 22:47

Friday, Jun 27, 2014 at 22:47
Did the Simpson a few weeks ago and travelled from east to west along the WAA line, Rig road and French Line for a total of 560kms. I used 95 litres of fuel in a 1999 4.2 Diesel Toyota. Tyres were at 20psi and the only time we got stuck was when another vehicle stopped at the top of a dune and chewed up the sand. It only took another run up and we were over easy. A sand flag is now mandatory. The roads into Dalhousie springs and on to Mt Dare were some of the most corrugated we travelled on for our entire trip. Took us 2 nights - 2 1/2 days to complete the trip. There are usually plenty of vehicles doing this trip and help is not far away. Good luck.
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