Everyone has a plan, until they get punched in the face!

Submitted: Friday, Apr 03, 2015 at 13:08
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Crikey, don’t go concerning yourself I’m not about to start throwing punches, but it I came across this quote recently.

And it is quite sobering, especially given it was from Mike Tyson.

Remember him?

I couldn’t think of anything worse than being on the receiving end of a Mike Tyson punch and I suspect he is quite correct in his assessment. But it did get me thinking of planning, given I am a bit of a planning type person, and how it might relate to travel in remote parts of Australia.

Whilst the degree of planning may vary from one person to another, I am sure that almost all of us have one in mind, whether committed to memory or in written form as we head down the driveway and out through the front gates.

Everything has risk 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.

I’ve written some more about this in a blog which you can read Everyone has a plan, until they get punched in the face!

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!

I’m interested in comments and thoughts on how others approach their own trip planning; how robust should our plans be and would yours withstand that “punch in the face”?

Cheers, Baz – The Landy
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Reply By: Member - Tony F8 - Friday, Apr 03, 2015 at 13:15

Friday, Apr 03, 2015 at 13:15
As they Baz, if you haven't got a plan, you can't change it, or better still, fail to plan, plan to fail.
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Reply By: Idler Chris - Vic - Friday, Apr 03, 2015 at 14:05

Friday, Apr 03, 2015 at 14:05
I have a very rough plan, not a lot of detail. My personnal safety is what is paramount and I assess the risks as I go and act accordingly. If I am away for 3 or 4 months as I often am I see little point in any detailed plan. At any given time I will have a plan for the day and a rough idea of the next week. To many variables when remote travelling to have a "plan" for every possibility.
I also update on a daily basis if necessary, an exit and/or rescue plan and that I am easily able to make the next fuel stop. That is I have considered what I would do in the event of things going pear shaped, either with myself or my vehicle. I carry a satellite phone, a PLB, a SPOT device, and of course a mobile phone, and also have a Ground Charlie following my track. I have 6 devices with a GPS in it. If all this fails, well I have had a good life and at least I died doing what I like doing.
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Follow Up By: pop2jocem - Friday, Apr 03, 2015 at 15:13

Friday, Apr 03, 2015 at 15:13
Well said Vic.

Personally I prefer a rough draft, a concept, flexibility.

As far, as a "punch in the face" Mike Tyson style goes, would probably be a bit hard to plan for.
What you would do would largely depend on whether the "punch" is survivable. In a literal sense, a punch from that guy delivered with any authority would in all likelihood not require much of an after plan, so to speak.

In simple terms, a personal locator device, a supply of fuel sufficient for foreseeable emergencies and the same for water and maybe a bit of tucker I guess should be minimums.

After that, well that would depend on the individuals ability to think logically, not panic and maybe think outside the square a bit.

Cheers
Pop
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Follow Up By: Michael ( Moss Vale NSW) - Saturday, Apr 04, 2015 at 21:30

Saturday, Apr 04, 2015 at 21:30
Good on you Chris, I like the mud map approach, work it out as you go. If you don't like it, change it on the run. There are plenty of people out there with the passenger holding the laptop watching every inch of the way on a map to a highly tuned plan . That doesn't seem like a lot of fun to me. Michael
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Follow Up By: Idler Chris - Vic - Saturday, Apr 04, 2015 at 21:42

Saturday, Apr 04, 2015 at 21:42
Michael here is the ultimate plan, it can be reused every year.
1. Drive out the front gate.
2. Enjoy yourself and keep safe.
3. Drive back in the front gate.
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Follow Up By: The Landy - Sunday, Apr 05, 2015 at 06:23

Sunday, Apr 05, 2015 at 06:23
Hi Michael

For sure the "mud map" approach is great, if you have the leisure of more time, and not too concerned about where you are going.

But when posting this, I was more driving at what type and level of planning people do with regard to "contingencies" - dealing with problems that may arise.

Do you have a plan?

Cheers, Baz - The Landy
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Follow Up By: Michael ( Moss Vale NSW) - Sunday, Apr 05, 2015 at 13:23

Sunday, Apr 05, 2015 at 13:23
G'day Baz, I realised after posting that I had not responded to that aspect. I would like to think that a contingency plan would be foremost in everyone's mind, subliminal maybe and not necessarily totally planned. In reality, sadly for everyone, it may not be the case! Regards, Michael
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Reply By: Zippo - Friday, Apr 03, 2015 at 15:22

Friday, Apr 03, 2015 at 15:22
Baz, just finished reading your blog. We are planners, but like everyone our plans could always be improved. We DO have a point-of-no-return awareness.

As an aviation enthusiast (eldest lad is a commercial pilot) the message that filters through from most accident analyses in the "crash comics" is the Swiss Cheese principle. That is, the outcome is almost invariably the result of a number of separate and distinct errors or failures. It is only when these line up like the holes in sliced swiss cheese that there is a hole right through. The same is probably the case in many terrestrial accidents/disasters, and often these events/failures are in the RESPONSE of those in control to the initial "hole". That is where both training and planning come into their own. It's almost a case of the Boy Scouts' motto: be prepared.
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Follow Up By: The Landy - Friday, Apr 03, 2015 at 23:00

Friday, Apr 03, 2015 at 23:00
Hi Zippo

Both Mrs Landy and I have flown as private pilot's much of the areas we now drive. Some remote, other parts less so, mind you remote might be 50 kilometres from a major city.

And being an aviation tragic I've studied accidents with an intense interest and the common theme in many is human factors and resource management, or lack thereof.

For my working life I have traded financial risk with my employers capital. To stay in that game you need a well thought out plan on how you manage risk. Establishing criteria that points to you being "on track" and when it is going "pear shaped" and having a very clear response as to how either scenario will be dealt with even before a trade is made.

Planning remote area travel is no different. It has risks that can be clearly identified in the "living room" before heading down the driveway with a clear plan as to how you will manage these risks...

Thanks for your thoughts!

Cheers, Baz - The Landy

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Reply By: Idler Chris - Vic - Friday, Apr 03, 2015 at 19:46

Friday, Apr 03, 2015 at 19:46
Baz, one can see from your profile and other posts that your are a very experienced traveller. However I do not think I understand what the point is you are trying to make. It is because of your experiance that I would like to understand what you are saying.
This is a quote from your blog
"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."
It would help me to understand what you are saying, and presumably others, if you could tell us what you wrote during this assessment of say your last trip.
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Follow Up By: Idler Chris - Vic - Friday, Apr 03, 2015 at 20:07

Friday, Apr 03, 2015 at 20:07
Last year I was travelling south from Cundeelee to Zanthus in the Great Victorian Desert when it started to rain quite heaverly. Only 5 kilometres from the relative safety of the Indian-Pacific railway line I assessed the risk of continuing to great, so stopped on some high ground and waited nearly a week for things to dry out sufficiently for me to continue. I fail to see how any amount of "planning" in my living room at home would have assisted me in anyway to make the decision to stop when I did, and the decision to go, again, when I did.
In my case I have a very capable vehicle with double diff locks, muddies, winch etc. and I suspect that I would have got through but my experience told me to stop, not living room planning.
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Follow Up By: Idler Chris - Vic - Friday, Apr 03, 2015 at 20:09

Friday, Apr 03, 2015 at 20:09
and maxtraxs as well
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Follow Up By: The Landy - Friday, Apr 03, 2015 at 22:42

Friday, Apr 03, 2015 at 22:42
Hi Chris

The planning is about how you will respond to certain situations. It might be weather that was not anticipated, medical requirements may be another. We have travelled with our son since he was a baby and we have always had a plan as to how we would deal with a medical requirement, especially as young children's conditions can change rapidly.

Committing to a plan of action prior to leaving home has the benefit of removing having to think through a course of action in the field when faced with a situation where stress and immediacy may cloud judgement.

It also removes the risk of "let's just press on" and see how it goes when problems present. Having a clear and well thought out plan of action makes for a safer and more enjoyable from my perspective.

In your example you speak of the weather. On our trips we consider the minimum requirements needed from a weather perspective, assess the conditions forecast as we leave and compare to those we are encountering as we progress. Stopping for 5 days to sit out the weather is fine, provided you have planned for that contingency.

So what I am driving at is to have some form of operating procedures, call it a plan prior to leaving home...

Cheers, Baz - The Landy


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Follow Up By: Idler Chris - Vic - Saturday, Apr 04, 2015 at 08:19

Saturday, Apr 04, 2015 at 08:19
Well I guess we are all different. It has never occured that a situation has arisen where stress and immediacy has clouded my judgement, and I cannot envision any circumstances where it ever could happen. When I am going remote I would always have the supplies to survive for a month quite comfortably so I am never under any pressure to hurry or press on. When the brown stuff hits the fan, boil the billy, better still setup camp and worry about it tomorrow. Its worked for me on more than one occassion.
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Follow Up By: pop2jocem - Saturday, Apr 04, 2015 at 14:20

Saturday, Apr 04, 2015 at 14:20
Once again Vic, I would have to agree with your approach. If possible, sit down, boil the billy and have a little think about whatever is causing you angst. Maybe even set up camp and have a good nights rest. Even the relatively serious situations seem more easily resolvable to a rested mind.

Of course this may not work too well if you have managed to bog yourself below the high tide mark and the tide is coming in fast.(:=0)

There are so many scenarios that can present themselves "out there" that no amount of living room planning could envisage. If they were "envisagable" (is there such a word) you would have a way to avoid having them even coming up.
Getting myself well and truly bogged in Lake Disapointment when we drove the CSR many years ago comes to mind.
An idea involving filling the hessian bags we had gear stored in with sand from the lake's edge was an idea my good wife came up with. Worked a treat to pack under the wheels.

Cheers
Pop
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Follow Up By: Roachie.kadina.sa.au - Saturday, Apr 04, 2015 at 15:50

Saturday, Apr 04, 2015 at 15:50
To my way of thinking, the more remote you intend on going (and assuming you are travelling in a single vehicle "convoy"), then the more planning you need to make for contingencies.

An example might be if you are travelling alone, truly cross-country (ie: no tracks whatsoever) and your vehicle rolls onto it's side as you negotiate a sand dune etc. You might have a 12,000 winch on your vehicle and a HF radio...neither of which is now of any use to you. A satelite phone might be your best bet and/or an epirb as a last resort.

But, what happens if you are stuck in the cab of the 4x4 with your leg caught by the dashboard and your sat phone and epirb are in the glove box....out of your grasp..... Looks like good ol' Mike might have just scored a TKO with that punch to your face. No amount of planning on your living room coffee table is going to get you out of some situations.

As a result, we find that we are encouraged to let others know where we are going and when we are intending to be back in civilisation. Great!! So, say you're 3 days into a 3 week planned trip when this roll-over occurs?? What then?? Three weeks later your friends/family haven't heard from you....How soon do they hit the panic button?? Probably doesn't matter.....you're stuck in the cab of your 4x4...haven't eaten or drank anything for 18 days and likely to be dingo tucker by that point anyway.

Plan-away by all means...but please don't think that you can plan for EVERY possible eventuality.

Roachie

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Follow Up By: Idler Chris - Vic - Saturday, Apr 04, 2015 at 18:27

Saturday, Apr 04, 2015 at 18:27
Well I suppose I have pre-planned without realising it. My PLB is always in the centre console along with at least two packets of snakes, the SPOT device is always velcroed to the dash in front of me, and the Sat Phone and a big multi tool is always in the driver's door pocket. As I have a RTT I am always very aware of side angles and avoid them like the plague.
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Follow Up By: Steve - Saturday, Apr 04, 2015 at 19:45

Saturday, Apr 04, 2015 at 19:45
hey Chris, as long as the snakes are in there. LOL

I thought it was interesting that Baz mentioned his job maybe having a bearing on this, but I find it does in almost everything you do. Your life's work definitely shapes the person you are in so many ways. We are trained to take certain actions and a lot of us outside of the big corporations, govts etc have to think a bit differently. We all take our own approach.

I find myself more aligned to your response but without wanting to get too much into this, it's what makes the world go around and we are all different.

Still chuckling at the snakes and they sure give you a lift nearing the end of a long haul.
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Follow Up By: The Landy - Sunday, Apr 05, 2015 at 06:20

Sunday, Apr 05, 2015 at 06:20
Hey Steve, Chris

And that is what this post is about, taking a look at what others do. I always find that collective thinking can bring out "bet practice".

But to be sure, I don't sit around a camp fire each night thinking about what might go wrong the next day. But prior to leaving home I have thought through a series of responses to issues or problems that may arise.

Cheers, Baz - The Landy
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Follow Up By: The Landy - Sunday, Apr 05, 2015 at 06:24

Sunday, Apr 05, 2015 at 06:24
"Best practice"!

Cheers, Baz - The Landy
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Follow Up By: The Landy - Sunday, Apr 05, 2015 at 06:28

Sunday, Apr 05, 2015 at 06:28
Thanks for your thoughts Roachie..

And for sure, you can't plan for all contingencies - mind you a possible approach to the issue of being caught upside down is to not travel alone remotely (an option).

What is key to remote area travel is to understand the risks (roll-over is one), and looks at ways to mitigate it to an acceptable level or fid ways around it.

Cheer,s Baz - The Landy

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Reply By: Sand Man (SA) - Saturday, Apr 04, 2015 at 08:39

Saturday, Apr 04, 2015 at 08:39
Hi Baz,

I usually do the planning for the group I travel with.
It starts out with a concept of where we want to go and how long we have.
I put this into a spreadsheet, then we have a meeting (over a few drinks) to see if everyone agrees and if not, we modify the details.
On occasions this may result in a second spreadsheet, a Plan B if you like, until the time arrives to depart.
Then it is up to Mother Nature as to whether we achieve our planned goals, or if we need to modify the trip "on the go" should road closures intrude, or other unplanned situations occur.
Usually, we have no problems, but when traveling through the outback, one always has to be aware of any unforeseen circumstances.

A trip later this year is planned from Adelaide, up the Birdsville Track as far as Bulia, then across to Longreach, back down to Windorah and then the Planet Arrabury Road to Haddon Corner, down to Innamincka, down the Strzelecki Track to the Gammon Ranges NP, or Chambers Gorge and finally to Blinman for the last overnighter before home.

This is a fairly ambitious trip over a four week period but we are pretty confident of the trip and our planned camping stays for varying lengths of time, from 1 to 5 nights along the way. We will adjust our stays as and if we decide. Even Plan "A" or Plan "B" is flexible.
With 3 vehicles we have the means of "Group Support" should something turn pear shaped if rain results in a road closure for a few days, we will simply stay where we are until the road or track is opened again.

We are all so looking forward to another of our Outback experiences again, the type of camping we love and the great friendship we share.


Bill


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Follow Up By: The Landy - Saturday, Apr 04, 2015 at 10:42

Saturday, Apr 04, 2015 at 10:42
Enjoy the trip Bill, that is a great part of the outback. And thanks for your thoughts.

Cheers, Baz - The Landy
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Reply By: Member - John and Val - Saturday, Apr 04, 2015 at 10:40

Saturday, Apr 04, 2015 at 10:40
Interesting post Baz, and while I agree with the broad principle, there are some other considerations that will impact on how well any plan might work in practice. I think you are primarily referring to risk in a physical sense, and while that is very important there are wider perspectives like enjoyment and sustainability(would you do another similar trip) that will determine whether the trip was a success, and not "simply" free of accidents or adverse events.

Are you planning for a solo (ie single vehicle) or group trip? A solo traveller will need to ensure they have the skills, equipment and provisions to deal with an emergency. A plan for a group trip relies on very good communication both in the planning stage and during the trip. Multiple forms of communication - both written and verbal are required so that everyone is "on the same page", particularly if the group includes people who don't know each other, or who have not travelled together before.

In the comfort of our living room it might be possible to predict and plan for some risks - mechanical failures, availability of critical consumables (fuel, water), weather impacts and so on. But it can be very difficult to foresee the impact of travelling in challenging conditions and the emotional responses that arise. This is particularly so when group dynamics come into play. There are simple techniques to deal with these types of situations, and we have seen them used to great effect. Unfortunately most groups skirt around these issues, usually with less than satisfactory outcomes.

Which brings me to probably the most important part of any plan - the goal, aim, objective, outcome or whatever you want to call it. Even couples or good friends can have trouble here - is the aim to travel or to arrive, the journey or the destination? What speed, how long to stay in camp, departure and stopping times; the list goes on and is greatly compounded in a group situation. When travelling in a group it is critical to have group goals that are arrived at in a manner that is agreed by the members and then clearly communicated and revised as necessary.

I don't think any of this negates what you have said but maybe highlights some other significant components in trip planning and implementation.

Cheers,

Val.
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Follow Up By: The Landy - Saturday, Apr 04, 2015 at 10:52

Saturday, Apr 04, 2015 at 10:52
Thanks Val, and you raise many important considerations, which is what I am driving at. Group dynamics can be difficult to manage and something that requires planning on how you deal with it.

Key to any successful trip is planning. Some will do more than others, for me it is an enjoyable part of any trip.

Having a plan gives you a benchmark to evaluate against outcomes and possibly help identify potential issues in advance.

Thanks, as always, for your considered input.

Cheers, Baz
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Follow Up By: AlbyNSW - Sunday, Apr 05, 2015 at 08:52

Sunday, Apr 05, 2015 at 08:52
It is interesting to see how you travel well with some but not others for the reasons you said Val
There are some we travel with often and seem to be in sync with each other and we have dealt with crisis situations in a fluent manner
Others that you are constantly out of step with, still great friends and all but we don't travel well together

I have also noticed that often people who are super organized and very analytical do not roll with the punches well and struggle to make changes on the fly as it was not how they had planned it all to go and are lost when they are not operating to the script
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Reply By: Sigmund - Sunday, Apr 05, 2015 at 03:03

Sunday, Apr 05, 2015 at 03:03
As they say in the military, a plan lasts till the first engagement.
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Follow Up By: The Landy - Sunday, Apr 05, 2015 at 06:29

Sunday, Apr 05, 2015 at 06:29
Or that "first punch in the face"!

Cheers, Baz - The Landy
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Reply By: Idler Chris - Vic - Sunday, Apr 05, 2015 at 09:29

Sunday, Apr 05, 2015 at 09:29
Hi Baz, I think I have worked out why we have differing views. From your last posts it
seems to me that what you call a "plan" is what I (and maybe others) would call "risk management". With remote area travel if you get it wrong you can be dead, its that simple.
I take a lot of interest in the misfortune of others to see if there is anything to be learnt. At the end of the day experience and common sense is what counts the most. There are just to many variables with remote travel and if you cannot keep a cool head in a crisis then I suggest you do not go, or at least go with someone who can.
Complacency is your enemy. A few years ago I heard of, and saw pictures of a Troopy that had rolled over in the Vic high country. I wanted to know how it happen and is there a lesson there for me. Talking to people who were there I came to the conclusion that the driver must have been an idiot, notwithstanding that he was in a 4WD club and also an ExplorOz member. Last year I met this bloke and he is a very long way from being an idiot. He is very experienced, but being a humane being and not a machine, you do not always get it right. The lesson here is that it does not matter who you are or what your experience is, you are a humane being so are not perfect and can make the simplest of mistakes.
IT CAN HAPPEN TO YOU.
Having a timetable and having presure to keep to it is something I see as a big risk. I simply will not do it and don't. If you are still working then I would plan to be home 3 - 4 days earlier and be very aware that decisions influenced by a timetable carry with them an avoidable risk. Far better to boil the billy, set up an early camp and muse over the issue and consider all possible angles. Being late back for work is much more preferable than not getting back at all.
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Follow Up By: The Landy - Sunday, Apr 05, 2015 at 22:00

Sunday, Apr 05, 2015 at 22:00
And here is the thing...usually I would call this risk management, but
I ended up calling it a plan, and I might have confused the intended point of my discussion with that term...

Cheers, Baz
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Reply By: Mitchelll - Sunday, Apr 05, 2015 at 11:49

Sunday, Apr 05, 2015 at 11:49
An enjoyable read. “If you fail to plan, you plan to fail” springs to mind.

Many posters on here seem well prepared with communications equipment, mechanical spares, food and water etc.
(Personally, by the sounds of it, some would seem to be carrying too much, over duplicating, having unnecessary multiple redundancies etc. To me this suggests that you are potentially solving the wrong problem.)

Anyway, my main point if first aid.
For remote area travel, I would hope that you all carry an appropriate first aid kit, and understand the uses of each component.

But what level of first aid training do you have? Have you considered a Wilderness First Aid course?
These provide you with further skills for when you are more than 1 hour from definitive medical care.

Before and after you have set off your PLB/SPOT/EPIRB or called for help on the sat phone/hf radio/uhf/mobile, what do you do? How can you best manage the patient(s)?
The courses will help you to decide when to rapidly evacuate, evacuate or manage in the field.

So in your planning, who in your group has first aid training, and of what level? And having just one highly trained person isn't ideal either, as chances are they may end up being the one incapacitated!
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Follow Up By: The Landy - Sunday, Apr 05, 2015 at 21:57

Sunday, Apr 05, 2015 at 21:57
Hi Mitchelll

Very good point and something that has come up a few times in these types of discussions...

It would be interesting if you could expand more on this topic.

Cheers, Baz - The Landy
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Reply By: ExplorOz Team - Michelle - Wednesday, Apr 08, 2015 at 16:05

Wednesday, Apr 08, 2015 at 16:05
I believe that some people are better adapted to certain "risk" activities than others. And if you are one of those people you will have known it from when you were a child and all your life experiences have brought you to the point you are at now. As part of my approach to life I love to constantly LEARN how to do things better, or to master a new skill. I never see obstacles and am very optimistic (maybe a little less so now that I age, but certainly not a procrastinator or pessimist). So within my life's plan - I have sought to learn new skills to equip myself to have coping mechanisms that allow me the freedom to partake and enjoy the activities I choose to do.

Not only have I travelled Australia extensively, worked in a wide variety of workplaces and careers, but I have tried my hand at many many different sporting pursuits. Each of these activities has taught me different things, and I've adapted to the rigors of learning the correct techniques and marveled in how wonderfully the human brain and body work together.

I think the key to PLANNING how to avoid, or cope with mishaps, is firstly having had many challenging life experiences that have enabled you to know your limits, know your strengths and have faith in yourself when things don't go to plan. When travelling with others, you also need to have had experiences with those people to know their limits, their strengths, and to have built trust.

Many people I've met throughout my entire life have been thoroughly confused and shocked at the things I've done. Many would view my life as full of danger and risk but I've yet to be in a serious situation I couldn't get out of ;)! I do feel its a matter of attitude, skills, resilience, and adaptability.

My view on planning a trip is therefore that my whole life has been one great plan to enable me to take the adventures I seek as a mature adult. I know my limits and I know when I start to feel I'm getting out of my comfort zone and that is when all my senses kick in to use the skills and theory of safety and survival techniques. I've made some mistakes that could have ended in disaster had I not acted in the way I did. I never view that as Plan A failing, and going to Plan B and I certainly don't have a conscious or written scenario for these. It comes from within, from commonsense.

Sorry if that sounds a bit egotistical, but I'm trying to describe that within each person is the key to whether a plan will succeed or fail. It's not something you write on paper - it's how you assess every little turn in the road. Whether you are out in the bush without modern tools and conveniences, or back at home - we make life changing decisions every moment of our lives.
Michelle Martin
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Follow Up By: Idler Chris - Wednesday, Apr 08, 2015 at 17:20

Wednesday, Apr 08, 2015 at 17:20
Michelle another word that you can add to your CV, if it is not already there, - philospher.
If I was to show these words to friends of mine with my name at the bottom I am sure they would say that I am describing myself. Also sorry if that sounds a bit egotistical also, but read read how I sign my name.

Many of us, and particularly those who are retired, have friends who do not understand why we do what we do and cope with what they see as the many dangers. I try my best to explain the reasons why but always end up thinking I am not getting through to ever I am talking too. I am going to paste this description into my phone so that next time I am asked why and how I cope with outback travel I will show them these words.

I dare say there are many many more others that can be described this way, Michelle has just written it so well.
What other people think of me is none of my business.
Do unto others what you would have them do unto you.

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Follow Up By: ExplorOz Team - Michelle - Wednesday, Apr 08, 2015 at 17:48

Wednesday, Apr 08, 2015 at 17:48
Thanks Chris, glad it resonated with you :)
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Follow Up By: The Landy - Thursday, Apr 09, 2015 at 07:28

Thursday, Apr 09, 2015 at 07:28
Thanks Michelle for your insights. And for sure personal life experiences build our confidence to deal with certain situations.

What prompted me in this post was to highlight that having a plan prior to leaving home means that you have hopefully thought through some of the risks and thought about how you might deal with them should they arise.

I often see questions or comments in EO, or receive directly from people being concerned about remote area travel, they want to go, but have doubts on their ability to deal with issues that may arise.

I say, sit down in the living room, think through some of the risks and make a plan of action for some of these risks should they arise. This exercise may highlight the risks are not as great, or perhaps greater than you thought. But in the least you have thought them through.

And to Chris's point about having friends who don't understand why we do what we do and cope with the risks, I have friends like that, but when I have discussed how we approach our trips from a planning perspective, many have seen it through a different lens and joined us!

For some, dealing with risk comes easier than it does for others, but hopefully with the collective knowledge that exists in places like EO we can make that pathway easier for them and enable others to experience the Australian Outback, safely.

Cheers, Baz
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Follow Up By: The Landy - Monday, Apr 27, 2015 at 12:36

Monday, Apr 27, 2015 at 12:36
Following up on this with a real live example of what I was driving at when it comes to “living room planning”.

I was due to arrive in Kathmandu last Wednesday and preparing to climb Mera Peak on the Saturday, the day of the earthquake in Nepal. I didn’t go for a good reason, but my climbing partners are currently safe in Lukla having managed to depart Kathmandu prior to the disaster.

I wrote about why I didn't go here as it is quite fateful I didn't go Fate, are you a believer?

Now one could never have planned for an earthquake to occur, but you could plan a response to something out of left field such as this.

In this case the thinking was along the lines – if there was an event that made the provision of rescue facilities at question then should we proceed or not proceed?

The discussion revolved around to what extent rescue services might or might not be available and this would govern whether we proceeded or abandoned the climb.

Our risks hadn’t changed, there is always the possibility of a mishap that would require a rescue – but under the current circumstances rescue facilities would most likely not be available due to the focus elsewhere and this would place the expedition members at greater risk.

Living room planning takes some of the heat out of the moment by having at least thought it through beforehand. Time may not be a luxury when confronted with a problem and immediate action may be required.

So whilst we can't plan for an off-the-wall occurrence in the Outback it is still possible to think about a response for it.

Food for thought, Baz

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Follow Up By: The Landy - Monday, Apr 27, 2015 at 14:01

Monday, Apr 27, 2015 at 14:01
Whoops second last para. "time may be a luxury"

Baz
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