Timely Safety Procedure Reminder

Submitted: Wednesday, Apr 13, 2005 at 09:04
ThreadID: 22019 Views:2864 Replies:14 FollowUps:10
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I would say that overall this camping and bush driving 4x4 thing is very much a male orientated pastime( a blokey thing). Then the family, partner and/or youngsters get talked in to being part of the scene.

But how many of you have trained your family to be fully conversant with safety issues, especially when it comes to communications, recovery or basic mechanical repairs? Both of us have 30 odd years bush and camping experience but have never done a 4x4 course. We have both done First Aid courses.

In my case I am giving the missus a short lesson today (as our trip starts on Sunday) in

How to read the GPS
How to operate the Satphone
How to operate the UHF
How to operate the HF
Where the jack and wheelbrace is stored
Where the electric winch lead is stored and a quick update on winch procedures
How to change a fan belt
Where the tools are stored.

My missus is pretty cluey about most of these things but it doesn't hurt to update her knowledge.

You never know when by a stroke of misfortune, you yourself become unconcious or incapacitated, out in a remote area.

Take care.

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Reply By: Member - iMusty (VIC) - Wednesday, Apr 13, 2005 at 09:14

Wednesday, Apr 13, 2005 at 09:14
Great post.

Sometimes someone says something here that makes me proud to be a member.

I will (today) point Heidi to this post and we will together start to re-educate ourselves about what's important.

We carry a terrific First Aid Kit and seeing as Heidi is a Nurse I wouldn't know a thing about First Aid, Silly eh?

Thanks Willem
AnswerID: 106484

Reply By: troopytrek - Wednesday, Apr 13, 2005 at 09:27

Wednesday, Apr 13, 2005 at 09:27
We are entering a 3 month trip in July with our two children 12 and 6 they have both been going through the safety procedures in case something was to happen.
As a family we all know where the communication,first aid,and even mechanical devises are located in car and camper trailer for time of need as well as knowing how to use the equipment . Understandably the 12 and 6 year old would have some difficulty in some machanical areas but they have the basics to give some assistance in an emergency.As we have had numerious camping expeditions as a family group travelling alone, I do believe this is a very essential point to be made.

Kind Regards
AnswerID: 106493

Reply By: Shaker - Wednesday, Apr 13, 2005 at 09:34

Wednesday, Apr 13, 2005 at 09:34
As we have been reminded by the recent tragic deaths, it is important to stay with the vehicle!
I carry a marine style 'Vee-Sheet', which can be tied across the roof of the vehicle, or layed out on the ground if under a treed canopy. The other item which should almost be mandatory, is an EPIRB.
AnswerID: 106496

Follow Up By: Mike Harding - Wednesday, Apr 13, 2005 at 10:15

Wednesday, Apr 13, 2005 at 10:15
>The other item which should almost be mandatory, is an EPIRB.

Never mandatory, but agreed, I never go bush without mine.

This is a link to The National Search and Rescue Manual for Oz


Appendix E, in particular, gives details of signals between search craft and those being searched for - it would be worth printing and keeping a copy or two in the vehicle.

For really remote spots consider a "grab bag" too - a vehicle fire may leave you with nothing but the clothes you stand in.

Mike Harding
FollowupID: 363523

Reply By: Nudenut - Wednesday, Apr 13, 2005 at 09:43

Wednesday, Apr 13, 2005 at 09:43
Jude will still ask you to do....and then tell you how as well
AnswerID: 106498

Follow Up By: Willem - Wednesday, Apr 13, 2005 at 19:28

Wednesday, Apr 13, 2005 at 19:28
Methinks you have a complex, Richard lol
FollowupID: 363586

Follow Up By: Nudenut - Wednesday, Apr 13, 2005 at 21:03

Wednesday, Apr 13, 2005 at 21:03
nah not me ...them!
FollowupID: 363600

Reply By: Member - Roachie (SA) - Wednesday, Apr 13, 2005 at 10:08

Wednesday, Apr 13, 2005 at 10:08
Willie, I hope you showed her how to change the oil and all those other "important" jobs too....Maybe she should practice doing some of these routine maintenance jobs from time to time as well!!! LOLOL (Oh well, it's worth a try).

Seriously though, you've raised a very valid point. I know that VKS737 encourage all their members to get the wife and kids involved in radioing in during the skeds so they will not be intimidated by the (otherwise) daunting prospect of having to fire-up the HF to make an emergency call.

In my case, I'm somewhat behind the 8 ball from the start as Annette does not want to learn how to drive. I am only hoping nothing serious happens to me in a remote location until at least my oldest lad (9) can be taught the rudiments of operating the Nissan's clutch and generally getting us going if I've broken my leg or something.

I did a first aid course last year (and now carry a fairly large first aid kit), but reckon I'd be useless at an accident scene, cos I'd have to refer to my handbook for 15 minutes to find out what to do. It's like most training I've done during my life....if you don't use it, you lose it!!!

In the case of those poor blokes in WA, what can I say??? They stayed with the truck which is what we're all told to do. But that's not worth diddly squat if no buggar knows you're missing or overdue. As said before by somebody else, an epirb could have got them out of trouble; but going on a trip like that well-prepared and with people being informed of your intended trip etc might be the best possible insurance.


AnswerID: 106502

Follow Up By: Willem - Wednesday, Apr 13, 2005 at 19:32

Wednesday, Apr 13, 2005 at 19:32
What a naughty girl Annette is! Better teach the 9 yo fast. Dont worry about the clutch just start it in gear. Nissans can take that sort of abuse....lol
FollowupID: 363588

Reply By: Member - Willie , Epping .Syd. - Wednesday, Apr 13, 2005 at 10:46

Wednesday, Apr 13, 2005 at 10:46
Willem ,
If it's not to nosy , where are you off to on Sunday ? Somewhere exciting ?
Cheers ,
Willie .
AnswerID: 106506

Follow Up By: Willem - Wednesday, Apr 13, 2005 at 14:00

Wednesday, Apr 13, 2005 at 14:00
G'day Willie

We leave from Peterborough SA for Alice via the bitumen. Meet up with friends in one other vehicle in Alice(and the dog is boarding there with friends) and set off for the CSR by the end of next week via the Gary Junction Rd. Throw a left at Well 33 and do 10 wells and then turn west on to the Talawana Track and from there to Rudall R NP. Then on to the Pilbara, Mt Augustus, inland again to Kalgoorlie, then Perth for a week or so. Two or three weeks in the South West and then up the beach from Israelite Bay to Point Culver. Along Old Telegraph Track to Cocklebiddy. Then north to Rawlinna, Connie Sue Hwy, Warburton, Docker River, Uluru, Finke Gorge NP, Alice Springs. Pick 'mans best friend' up again and spend a week or so there. Then off to Birdsville via the Plenty Hwy to the ExplorOz meet on 9 July. Should be home by 15 July via BT, Marree and the Flinders Ranges. 12 weeks in all and looking forward to a relaxed trip seeing some parts of this vast country where we have not trodden before. Going to try and keep the speed down around the 80km/h mark to save fuel :o)
FollowupID: 363541

Reply By: Redback - Wednesday, Apr 13, 2005 at 10:51

Wednesday, Apr 13, 2005 at 10:51
Hey Willem great post, i have done this myself more through necessity than good management, as i used to race bikes i usually at times fell off and could not load the bike on the trailer or drive or do alot of things, so it was up to the missus or Venessa to do all these things so when we started going bush it was natural that the girls learned things that i would normally do, like being able to load and hook the trailer up to the car by themselves, change a tyre and or repair it too, just commen sence really, i am lucky that Kerry and Ness love to do all these anyway so no coaxing here, sometimes i feel that i'm in the way lol.

AnswerID: 106507

Follow Up By: Willem - Wednesday, Apr 13, 2005 at 20:08

Wednesday, Apr 13, 2005 at 20:08
Sounds like you have a good team there Baz!!! Good on ya.

PS The Lightning is getting lower in the bottle!
FollowupID: 363593

Reply By: Gajm (VIC) - Wednesday, Apr 13, 2005 at 11:31

Wednesday, Apr 13, 2005 at 11:31
Thanks Willem, I have to admit I haven't taught my wife everything because I don't want her leaving me in the middle of the desert some day. I try to make a couple of jobs, like changing wheels, look a bit complicated, "this wheel brace could turn in one of two directions, so I better do it" then she thinks she needs me around. We both know I am kidding myself, but It helps me sleep better at night.

But you have made me realise my first aid training is way out of date and we both need to do another course, and also the kids aren't familiar with the UHF, the Sat phone is no problem (teenage daughter). Would anyone know the minimum age to do a first aid course? may as well get the kids involved in that too if they can.
AnswerID: 106510

Follow Up By: Willem - Wednesday, Apr 13, 2005 at 19:35

Wednesday, Apr 13, 2005 at 19:35
I really would be very happy to be left out in the desert some day. Bushtucker skills would come to fore immediately and no doubt I will lose this long range tank I am carrying around my middle lol
FollowupID: 363589

Reply By: johnsy1 - Wednesday, Apr 13, 2005 at 16:31

Wednesday, Apr 13, 2005 at 16:31
Dont be frightened to show your kids how to drive even if only in low range so they would be able to get you to a main road homestead etc.

They become pretty good a it in a very short time.By using l/4 anyone can start and when conditions allow upchange the biggest problem will be staying inside 2 wheel tracks and the easiest way to help them is to use a large cable tie sticking up from the bullbar.Align the tail of the cable tie with the edge of the left wheel track so from the drivers seat it all lines up generally close to the centre post.My then 6yo used to watch a obstical disapear under the bonnet and count till the front wheels would be there (1st + 2nd lr).Teach them never to reverse unless someone is guiding them from the front of the vehicle takes longer but saves a lot of grief because the person guiding has to keep stopping the driver while they check behind the vehicle.

First aid everyone in camp should know even the kids can look after each other if you make it their ressponsibility.

My boys 6 + 10 at the time used to have a ball getting the Nissan out of a bog that Dad would do on purpose and then sit down for a quiet beer while listening to what was going on 10 mts away.

Teach them every thing take them every where they leave soon enough.
AnswerID: 106541

Follow Up By: Mike Harding - Wednesday, Apr 13, 2005 at 18:14

Wednesday, Apr 13, 2005 at 18:14
>Teach them every thing take them every where they leave soon enough.

Spot on Johnsy1.

Mike Harding
FollowupID: 363565

Reply By: kesh - Wednesday, Apr 13, 2005 at 17:18

Wednesday, Apr 13, 2005 at 17:18
One of the best post/response sequences this year Willem. Bloody Terrific!!
I always reckoned I could wriggle out of most small mishaps, get to the truck, get to the hospital?? or whatever. Well, not so... 18months ago took a tumble in the scrub which ended with left leg bust in 4 places. About 200m. from the truck. My mate (bloody lucky for me!) was "somewhere about" so I reckoned on crawling back to the truck. Now with the bones completely snapped off, that just dont work. I soon discovered the true meaning of pain.
It took the mate about an hour to locate me, then use the sat. phone to call Ambo's. He didn't know how to operate it, its fixed mounted in the vehicle.
We eventually got it sorted, but not before the bloody ants took a feed off me!
The trip to hospital was also interesting, a Troopy Ambulance, 3hrs. of unsteady bucking!! I was interested to find out what the digital monitors on a panel were indicating. The Ambo said, oh, your doing ok, that 95 is your oxygen conversion. Good I said, and whats that one showing around 127. Only your pulse, he repliied.
Now I have to go through it all again, they managed to put my foot back on 18deg. out of alignment. (srubbing tyres like mad!)
I learnt quite a lot from that experience, and as I said, the responses to this post tremendous value.
the kesh

AnswerID: 106547

Follow Up By: Willem - Wednesday, Apr 13, 2005 at 19:27

Wednesday, Apr 13, 2005 at 19:27
Plurry horrible experience you had, Kesh. I certainly will complain less about me ole crook knees after reading about your mishap.

I have done a lot of bushwalking in the past while on camping trips and favoured going off on my own to look for sites of significance. I was always very aware of my surroundings and very careful where I placed my feet. However, on three occasions in the NT I came up against animal encounters which could have had an adverse affect on my wellbeing but luckily the safety gods were with me at all times and I escaped unharmed.
FollowupID: 363585

Reply By: Glenn (VIC) - Wednesday, Apr 13, 2005 at 18:34

Wednesday, Apr 13, 2005 at 18:34
Great post Willem, and great idea. I have been showing James a lot of things as we go along, but in most he is too young to do a lot. He does know some important things, like how to use the GPS, how to use the UHF and how to use a mobile phone. He has also been instructed on how and when to use an EPIRB. When I have the sat phone he will be taught how to use that too. Once I do a refresher First Aid course, I will be showing him some critical things in that too. Unfortunately he is too young (at 7) to be able to change tyres, belts, hoses, oil etc, but he will be shown how to drive a vehicle soon.

AnswerID: 106564

Follow Up By: Willem - Wednesday, Apr 13, 2005 at 19:20

Wednesday, Apr 13, 2005 at 19:20
Thanks Glenn.......I started driving my dad's 49 Chrysler when I was 8. It was a three speed column shift manual. Feet could hardly reach the pedals but I went on from there. Had tp wait another 10 years before I got my licence :o)
FollowupID: 363582

Reply By: Des Lexic - Wednesday, Apr 13, 2005 at 21:26

Wednesday, Apr 13, 2005 at 21:26
The wise old sage has done it again. Well put young fella!!
Have a great and safe trip. Look forward to hearing all about your trip when we get back.
Might overload your inbox while your away. LOL
Happy travels
AnswerID: 106597

Reply By: Member - Jeff M (WA) - Wednesday, Apr 13, 2005 at 21:47

Wednesday, Apr 13, 2005 at 21:47
Yup, we all know what to do (at least we think we do!!) but alot of our partners (not all of them, but alot) really don't give a crap. They like the scenery they don't mind camping (as long as we organise it) but if anything were to go wrong they would look at you. If you are stuffed, then they are stuffed. Normally we go away with at least one other vehicle so there are other people with knowledge but at easter when we went out by ourselves around Kalgoorlie I gave Bec a quick GPS course and UHF course and little Mike has instructions on where to find the First Aid kit and how to use the phone. But there is always more they could know, it's hard sometimes to spark the interest.
We have both done St John as well but it was a while back, we are both planning a refresher later this year when we have some time off. You can never know too much first aid!!
I'm sure those little crash courses we've given them will hopefully come flooding back if an emergency ever arises! At least they've got somewhere to start anyway.
AnswerID: 106602

Reply By: Rocky M QLD - Wednesday, Apr 13, 2005 at 22:13

Wednesday, Apr 13, 2005 at 22:13
Hi to all
sometimes we underestimate exactly how much the young ones do actually absorb.It is crucial that they are shown what to do but also given the chance to try and experience the things that they have been shown in non life threatening situation.Im late forties and even now on occassion have to do things in everyday situations,that my father had shown me when I was a kid.Power to the kids and hopefully they will be able to use their well learnt skills,All the best Dave
AnswerID: 106607

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