The canning Stock Route

Good evening fellow travellers, I am just chasing some current condition of the Canning stock route, as we are departing Perth on the27th of April heading to Halls creek, and coming down to Wiluna, this has been a two year planning trip and now we have the time to do it.
So fellow travellers any information on the track and anything else you may think we need to know please let us know, but I think we have the obvious covered and no we are not taking the kitchen sink but fuel water and spare yes, we are driving a ford ranger total carried weight at 750kg fully loaded, with two drivers, total allowed time twenty days.
but track condition is what we are mainly after, and the blokes from track care thank you for your input in our planning stages we thank you.
Broodie H3
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Reply By: mechpete - Tuesday, Apr 16, 2019 at 09:00

Tuesday, Apr 16, 2019 at 09:00
Majority of comments on the track
say it terribly corrigated
cheers mechpete
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Reply By: Duncan2H - Tuesday, Apr 16, 2019 at 10:22

Tuesday, Apr 16, 2019 at 10:22
As much as I hate to recommend something on the Face Book.. The CSR Group on that platform is quite good.. worth joining if you're active on Facebook

https://www.facebook.com/groups/canningstockroute/


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Follow Up By: Member - Broodie H3 - Tuesday, Apr 16, 2019 at 17:51

Tuesday, Apr 16, 2019 at 17:51
Hi Duncan,
thank you very much for the tag to facebook as I didn't know it existed I don't do face book but very interested in what I learnt.
thank you very much.
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Reply By: Member - Wildmax - Tuesday, Apr 16, 2019 at 13:13

Tuesday, Apr 16, 2019 at 13:13
Travelling this early in the year, and after a fair bit of wet season rain in the area, the spinifex will be thick and high on parts of the track.......so make sure you keep a close watch on any collecting around the exhuast system of other places where heat can generate fire. And pull up on bare snd where you can.
This is especially important if yours is a newer Ranger (or any other diesel vehicle) with a DPF regenerating at high temperatures.
We travelled in early May a couple of years ago and were one of the first groups through......our travelling companions came to grief when spinifex collected and caught fire under their Prado, which was destroyed.
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Follow Up By: Member - Broodie H3 - Tuesday, Apr 16, 2019 at 18:08

Tuesday, Apr 16, 2019 at 18:08
Hi Wild max,
I sincerely hope no one got hurt when the Prado went up. as I believe these modern cars when they catch fire they go in seconds. As a fire preventative we have manufactured a couple of wire tri hooks for clearing the spinifex also we have two fire extinguishers plus a sprayer that hold five liters of water and we are hoping like all hell we don't have to use them. I have also put in my long welding gloves, and they sit at the drivers feet next to the first fire extinquisher.
Wildmax if you can add anymore please feel free, as the time is getting nearer and last minute info is very important to us.
Thank you
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Follow Up By: Member - Wildmax - Tuesday, Apr 16, 2019 at 21:39

Tuesday, Apr 16, 2019 at 21:39
Hi Broodie,
The hook wire and water container are a great idea, also the welding gloves. Extinguishers less so....we emptied two under our friends' Prado but had no impact, and it was a burnt shell in 5 minutes, with gas cylinders adding to the excitement.
Very minor burns to hands but we managed to get everyone out safely and then backtrack 140km to Bililuna.
A tip....keep your satphone, credit cards, cash, laptop, camera etc in a bag u can grab quickly if u need to get out in a hurry.
Cheers, Wildmax
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Follow Up By: Member - Broodie H3 - Wednesday, Apr 17, 2019 at 02:10

Wednesday, Apr 17, 2019 at 02:10
Hi wildmax,
I have always travelled with a grab bag, well that is What I call it, and My mate has now got one too, that will give us enough water and food for five days plus a change of socks. My mate has the sat phone and everything else that you have mentioned, I have also put in a deck of cards some fishing line, a hunting knife and matches and a fire stick, a piece of inner tube for black smoke, compass and maps. I also have five liters of water, in a black wolf back pack and a jacket.
Both bags sit behind our seats and can be grabbed as we jump out of the vehicle.
If there is anything else you think we may need please let us know we have planned pretty well, and are still open for more ideas, I was thinking if putting a small tarp in my grab bag just for cover but I am not sure. it will fit, but am I going over board?
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Follow Up By: Bob Y. - Qld - Wednesday, Apr 17, 2019 at 05:55

Wednesday, Apr 17, 2019 at 05:55
Broodie,

When you fill your 5L spray bottle, add some detergent or garden wetting agent to the water. It helps the water “stick” to the spinifex, or whatever, you are trying to extinguish.

I’d suggest you test the spray of the nozzle too, beforehand, and remember a can of beer can be useful as a retardant.

Enjoy the trip, we’ll be over there in July/August,

Bob

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Follow Up By: Gaynor - Wednesday, Apr 17, 2019 at 22:45

Wednesday, Apr 17, 2019 at 22:45
Typically people pass every two days in June/July/August. Longest without seeing a vehicle was 4 days. If your car burns, keep under shade in heat of day and someone should be by. Especially when they see the black smoke and fire.

In May, there are fewer 4x4's. Possibly as long as a week or two depending on rain. Five days food is a good amount of rations. You can go without food for two weeks and still be alright. Some say up to three weeks. I did 9 days on the Canning just sampling bush food, no other. Lost a lot of weight but was good to keep going. The problem was, my water intake was too little for the keytone count that was building (toxins from burning fat and muscle for energy that were not getting flushed out) You need to keep hydrating.

So it is the water that you will need to think about if your vehicle burns up. (highly unlikely, but can happen) If no-one has come by whilst there was smoke - then getting to water is important. A well with drinking water you can boil is optimal. So is staying on the track. Walking the track in the cool morning or late afternoon is good. 20kms should be doable for most reasonably healthy people.

Do you have something to boil water in for coffee/tea, or to make food hot? Temperatures at night and early morning can be very cold. Sometimes - 5C.

If tarp too bulky - pack silver survival blanket or poncho. But tarp is good for cover, catching dew and rain.

Include parachord - wear a couple as bracelets. This is good for lowering billy into well to get more water and for stringing a tarp up. Fishing line is likely to cut your hands and infection is to be avoided.
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Follow Up By: Member - McLaren3030 - Thursday, Apr 18, 2019 at 11:27

Thursday, Apr 18, 2019 at 11:27
Sorry Gaynor, I have to disagree with you with regards to walking away from your vehicle. All of the experts agree on one thing, stay with your vehicle. It is far easier to spot a vehicle, than a person walking. In hot conditions, the more energy you expend, the faster you will become dehydrated.

Macca.
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Follow Up By: Gaynor - Thursday, Apr 18, 2019 at 15:28

Thursday, Apr 18, 2019 at 15:28
Two events, one as recent as 2013, resulted in the deaths of the 4x4 occupants on the Canning Stock Route. All were within walking distance of a well with drinking water. One less than 10km away.

Yes there are also stories of people who walked and died.

Know where you are at all times and where your closest drinking water is, and your capabilities to get to it, staying on the track.

I am not saying leave your vehicle in midday heat and walk to no where off track.

The decision to walk or stay with your vehicle is then an educated decision.
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Follow Up By: Allan B (Sunshine Coast) - Thursday, Apr 18, 2019 at 16:11

Thursday, Apr 18, 2019 at 16:11
.
Bob Y suggested a can of beer can be useful in fire fighting.

I suggest the need for two cans, the second being to drown your sorrows if the first failed to drown the fire. lol
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Follow Up By: The Explorer - Thursday, Apr 18, 2019 at 20:01

Thursday, Apr 18, 2019 at 20:01
I doubt if one would be enough ..:)

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Follow Up By: Allan B (Sunshine Coast) - Thursday, Apr 18, 2019 at 20:18

Thursday, Apr 18, 2019 at 20:18
.
Ah Greg, depends on what size, eh??
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Follow Up By: Member - McLaren3030 - Friday, Apr 19, 2019 at 10:27

Friday, Apr 19, 2019 at 10:27
With respect Gaynor, suggesting on a forum that people should walk away from their vehicle for up to 20 kms, or even 10 kms is foolish. Novices and people not educated in Australian outback conditions read these forums, and without having the benefit of experience take what they read literally. If they do not have enough water to remain hydrated on this walk, they can quickly be overcome and die. Even fit knowledgeable experienced outback travels have died, one tragically only recently when he walked away from his crashed motorbike. When suggesting that people should do something that is against all other advice, you need to include some sort of guideline as to when it might be acceptable. Ambient conditions/temperature, distance to be travelled, ability to carry enough water, drinking that water frequently enough. You even said that the decision to walk or not is an educated one. Most people do not have the knowledge to enable them to make that decision.

There have been a number of posts on this forum and others that have called for a greater level of training and information be made available for outback travellers. Too many inexperienced “backpackers” attempting outback travel without enough knowledge or experience find themselves in trouble. Often they do not have any sort of GPS, EPIRB or PLB, and have no real idea where they are in respect of the track they are on.

I understand where you are coming from with regard to people perishing when they were close enough to being able to help themselves, however, without some guidelines as to when it may be acceptable to disregard what every emergency service organisation says with regard to outback survival, is fraught danger. Just my humble opinion.

Macca.
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Follow Up By: cookie1 - Friday, Apr 19, 2019 at 12:01

Friday, Apr 19, 2019 at 12:01
People do strange things when they break down and try to walk, Caroline Grossmueller perished near William Creek http://monumentaustralia.org.au/themes/people/tragedy/display/111067-gabriele-caroline-grossmueller--

Another story that comes to mind is some experienced Jackaroo that perished 16km from the station

There are too many to list but I think the point is made

Once fatigue sets in, one can lose their bearings quickly and then drift off the track seeking shelter but then making it impossible to find them

Stay with the Vehicle is the general advice
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Follow Up By: Member - Wildmax - Friday, Apr 19, 2019 at 12:35

Friday, Apr 19, 2019 at 12:35
You're dead right Macca. I can't think of any circumstance in which it makes sense to leave your vehicle after a remote breakdown/accident. Unless of course there is a good coffee shop on the other side of the track......and even that may be a hallucination!!
Always makes sense to travel remote tracks with one or two other vehicles in my opinion. That is the reason we were able to safely recover our friends from 140km down the Canning a couple of years ago.
Cheers,
Wildmax
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Follow Up By: Gaynor - Friday, Apr 19, 2019 at 20:27

Friday, Apr 19, 2019 at 20:27
Macca, you are choosing NOT to read my Wednesday post with understanding.

Guidelines you say I should have included are all there. Temperature when to walk (May, cool morning and afternoon), car burnt, no one came to investigate, knowing what your position is and where the next well is, having 5 litres of water as per original posters grab bag/daypack, maps, compass and considering being fit enough to do the distance.

Original poster is not your average 4x4 driver. Average 4x4 drivers are unlikely to have a grab bag with survival kit on their drivers seat. An average 4x4 driver considers his 4x4 to be his one and only option. And should the vehicle only break down, and not burn up, then yes, staying with the vehicle until help comes along is the best option. You have weeks of supplies in the 4x4 after all and communication equipment.

Original poster was talking about a situation in May when fewer travellers, Autumn temps, burned out vehicle, having maps in his grab bag and 5 days of food and 5 litres of water. I was responding with recommendations to his specific scenario.
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Follow Up By: Member - McLaren3030 - Saturday, Apr 20, 2019 at 09:40

Saturday, Apr 20, 2019 at 09:40
Sorry Gaynor, I agree that taking your post in the same context as the questions the OP asked, your recommendations do fit his specific scenario. However, just as I did, some people, particularly those with little or no outback experience, will read this advice, and not necessarily connect it directly to the original post, but take it as a guideline to apply in any situation where the vehicle becomes disabled.

Macca.
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Follow Up By: Allan B (Sunshine Coast) - Saturday, Apr 20, 2019 at 09:52

Saturday, Apr 20, 2019 at 09:52
.
I find myself in agreement with you Macca.

And in this day-and-age, the single most important advice for remote un-accompanied travel that Gaynor omitted is, I believe, to carry a PLB and/or a Satphone. Add other stuff if you will, but today, a PLB is your best single-device lifesaver.

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Follow Up By: Ron N - Sunday, Apr 21, 2019 at 10:15

Sunday, Apr 21, 2019 at 10:15
The simple fact remains, that when in need of rescue, you need to stay with your vehicle, because a vehicle can be spotted easily from the air, when a human can't.

There are dozens and dozens of instances (even as late as last month) where huge searches have been carried out for people missing on foot - and they have never been found.

Often, their bodies are found months and even years later, accidentally, by people not even looking for them. We have had several dementia sufferers disappear from suburban areas - and they were either not found, or they were found deceased long after they went missing - by people who weren't searchers.

One elderly lady with dementia is still missing from the suburb of Bassendean in W.A., despite a large search. No-one knows where she went, or what direction she took. It's unlikely she'll be found alive.

The worst scenario for searchers is finding an abandoned vehicle - then finding that the person with the vehicle, has left on foot - and the searchers then having to try to figure out where, or which direction, the person has gone.

If you MUST leave your vehicle, leave instructions as to where you're heading, and try to return to it, if possible. It just may make the difference between being found, and not being found.

Probably 95% of people underestimate just how quickly you can become dehydrated when on foot, and moving, and burning up energy, and producing body heat.
Dehydration leads to fuzzy thinking, and fuzzy thinking leads to bad decisions. Staying with your vehicle increases your chances of being found by about 500%.

Cheers, Ron.
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Follow Up By: Gaynor - Monday, Apr 22, 2019 at 01:58

Monday, Apr 22, 2019 at 01:58
Reading with the intent to understand appears to be an issue.

Allan B. I did not need to mention PLB or Satphone .... because Satphone was already listed by the original poster.

Perhaps if we took the time to read with an open mind, with the intent to understand all the information furnished by the original poster, before commenting, predjudice might be less apparent...?
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Follow Up By: Allan B (Sunshine Coast) - Monday, Apr 22, 2019 at 09:08

Monday, Apr 22, 2019 at 09:08
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Gaynor,

Please forward any further correspondence to me C/ Post Office, Calvary, Jerusalem.

lol
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Follow Up By: Member - Broodie H3 - Wednesday, Apr 24, 2019 at 17:59

Wednesday, Apr 24, 2019 at 17:59
Good evening gentlemen,
our trip is rapidly approaching and we thank you one and all for your appreciation of our journey that we are about to undertake, I believe that out in that type of country and if we do have some sort of brake down or fire damage there is no way in this world would I walk away from my vehicle unless water was only two hundred meters away, or I could set up some sort of cover and camp, but where people could find us.
Apart from that I don't like walking unless I have to to stay fit, and that is dialy. lol.
thank you gentlemen I really do appreciate your comments, and for people that don't know me your comments are worth the earth.
Thank you
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Reply By: Member-George (WA) - Thursday, Apr 18, 2019 at 19:19

Thursday, Apr 18, 2019 at 19:19
For track conditions phone the Wiluna shire 08 99818000 or the Kunawarritji Community (well 33) 08 91769040. Cheers
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