Emergency Gear

Submitted: Thursday, Apr 14, 2005 at 12:20
ThreadID: 22057 Views:3820 Replies:14 FollowUps:30
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After Willems and Wolfies comments about trageries and being prepared.

I admit that Heidi and I had a good chat about many things. Truth is we don't know much at all.

We dont go 'off the beaten track' much. BUT we do go alone and prefer to be where there are no people. We stick in Victoria cause we only camp 2-5 days at a time. And I will not hesitate to go up a mederate 4by track.

We realised that we need to change the order of prortity of some purchases.

UHF, winches, Epirbs etc.

As a general rule. (assuming we have no emergency gear) Considering an emergency. (Mechanical or medical). What would you have in the Bus and in what order would you buy it.

EG 1 UHF
2 first Aid Kit.
3. Flares.
4 You get the picture.

I know I joke around a bit but this is a serious post.

iMusty

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Reply By: Member - Davoe (WA) - Thursday, Apr 14, 2005 at 12:29

Thursday, Apr 14, 2005 at 12:29
in victoria i would say water coz I dought there is anywhere you could go and not be stumbled upon in a few days. Epirbs are meant to be good but you can expect a couple of days for help. 1st aid kit should contain lenghths f bandages for snakebite, large pressure bandage for bleeding and a face mask for dr abc any other situation as these are 3 things that need immediate attention other injuries can wait. It has made me think abit as a few weeks ago I visited some breakaways that still had our tyre tracks on it from 6 months ago
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Follow Up By: Member - iMusty (VIC) - Thursday, Apr 14, 2005 at 13:39

Thursday, Apr 14, 2005 at 13:39
Thankyou for your reply
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Follow Up By: Vince NSW - Thursday, Apr 14, 2005 at 17:06

Thursday, Apr 14, 2005 at 17:06
An EPIB will be picked up within 20 min MAX and in the Vic area you could expect help in the area a LOT under a few days, more like a few hours.
When the Sydney ? Horbart fleet ran in to troubel, the signels were picked up within 60 sec and help was in the air in the form of the ABC chopper within 5 mins.
BUT epib's are not to be used for anything other than a life threatining situation, not a break down etc.
So I would always make sure that you leave a list of where you are going and when you will be back with someone who can get the troops out when you don't show up.
UHF is only any good if there is someone within range, and in the high country, that range is very short.
My 2 cents worth
Vince
PS I have UHF, EPIB, Flares and a V sheet in the truck
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Follow Up By: Member - Davoe (WA) - Thursday, Apr 14, 2005 at 17:12

Thursday, Apr 14, 2005 at 17:12
so they would have you believe. Their was an article in one of the 4by mags where a tour group operator (I think) in the high countryhad a major accident and activated his eprb All the times that signals were picked up and what action was taken was logged. The upshot was they had to stabalize their wounded and hike out to a road (I think it took a day and a half) get help then phone up to cancel the distress call - be warned. I may be hazy on details as it was at least a year ago but the gist of it stuck in my head...............................
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Follow Up By: Mike Harding - Thursday, Apr 14, 2005 at 18:01

Thursday, Apr 14, 2005 at 18:01
Maritime Search and Rescue say the average time for EPIRB location is 90 minutes but may be up to 5 hours.

http://beacons.amsa.gov.au/What_is/index.asp

With a 121/243 EPIRB that fix will only be to within 20km and in the High Country it would be one hell of a task to find someone over that sort of area - which is where your UHF CB and GPS would come in.
(And/or your black smoke fire or heliograph etc).

If you were stranded in the bottom of a valley I suspect the above times may pan out - the satellites use each overhead pass to obtain a "fix" using Doppler shift (I assume they improve the fix with each pass) and those times probably assume the sat. can see the EPIRB from horizon to horizon but if the horizon is significantly reduced by the valley it would be much harder to "pinpoint" that fix - I think :)

I always carry my EPIRB but I would hate to have to rely solely on it for rescue in the event of (say) snake bite in the High Country.

Mike Harding
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Reply By: Member - Wim (Qld) - Thursday, Apr 14, 2005 at 13:15

Thursday, Apr 14, 2005 at 13:15
iMusty

Number one topic at the moment I guess.
For me it depends on what you term "an emergency".
For me its, we have done all we can now we require outside help.
Some equipment MUST be taken with you given where you intend to roam.
UHF - only good if someone is close by.
Fist aid Kit - Should be in the vehicle already.
If my terminology holds true and I need outside help. The following based on cost versus result (emergency only).
1. EPIRB
2. Sat phone
3. HF radio

Obviousley this equipment has other functions other than summoning help.
If you require a back-up system then one or more of the above would be good.

safe travelling

Wim
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July 2012 - Hay River & Binns track
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Follow Up By: Member - iMusty (VIC) - Thursday, Apr 14, 2005 at 13:35

Thursday, Apr 14, 2005 at 13:35
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Reply By: signman - Thursday, Apr 14, 2005 at 13:47

Thursday, Apr 14, 2005 at 13:47
Planning...Preparation...Precaution
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Follow Up By: Member - iMusty (VIC) - Thursday, Apr 14, 2005 at 15:16

Thursday, Apr 14, 2005 at 15:16
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Reply By: Member - Landie - Thursday, Apr 14, 2005 at 13:47

Thursday, Apr 14, 2005 at 13:47
One item often overlooked is a fire extinguisher, if the vehicle burns chances are you've lost everything else, communication, food and water.
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Follow Up By: Member - bushfix - Thursday, Apr 14, 2005 at 13:54

Thursday, Apr 14, 2005 at 13:54
that's why Jack Absalom always kept a couple of tinnies on the dash.
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Follow Up By: Member - iMusty (VIC) - Thursday, Apr 14, 2005 at 15:17

Thursday, Apr 14, 2005 at 15:17
Thanks
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Reply By: Member - Beatit (QLD) - Thursday, Apr 14, 2005 at 14:07

Thursday, Apr 14, 2005 at 14:07
G'day Imusty,

I know Vic isn't the Cape but if you remember those people that had some unfortunate croc pop into their tent in the wee hours of the morning, their saviour was an EPIRB (and a glock but that is another story) followed closely by having someone nearby that was competant at first aide (park ranger in their case).

Consequently updated my EPIRB to one of those tiny jobs that you can carry around on you at all times (my intention after reading all the tragedies of late) and a comprehensive first aide kit (we're relatively lucky as one of our fellow travellers is a nurse - hope nothing happens to her).

In addition to that I have a sat phone, flares, hand held UHF and carry plenty of water and food - overkill - maybe, but at the end of the day they are relatively cheap insurance compared to the cost of a life.

Mate, I simple want to come home and share the experience rather than become another statistic.

Kind regards
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Follow Up By: Member - iMusty (VIC) - Thursday, Apr 14, 2005 at 14:12

Thursday, Apr 14, 2005 at 14:12
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Reply By: Mike Harding - Thursday, Apr 14, 2005 at 14:10

Thursday, Apr 14, 2005 at 14:10
>We realised that we need to change the order of prortity
>of some purchases. UHF, winches, Epirbs etc.

You’re going to need a damn good winch for the bus :)

>As a general rule. (assuming we have no emergency gear)
>Considering an emergency. (Mechanical or medical). What
>would you have in the Bus and in what order would you buy
>it.

Most of Victoria isn’t really a problem – parts of the high country are pretty remote but you won’t be getting into those in the bus, the north west of the state (The Mallee etc) can be tricky, especially in summer, but again you won’t be getting the bus too far off main tracks and into sand country.

Make sure you have water, simple emergency food and good bedding to keep you warm in winter (here’s where you really score with the bus because you have _loads_ of space). A decent First Aid kit (but Heidi knows all about that) a UHF CB with external antenna. A CDMA mobile is good. Maps of the area you’re in. Good shoes which you can walk 20km in (in remote regions normally stay with the vehicle) because in Vic you can usually walk out if necessary.

Mechanical breakdown in Vic would not normally be an emergency so it’s a case of using the CB or CDMA or the feet to get help. Medical issues – to be sure of finding help quickly you really need a HF set but that’s a big cost for a low(ish) risk if you only travel in Vic.

In your case, and in order, I would suggest:
1st Aid kit (naturally!)
Emergency water and food
Maps
Compass (get a good one – boat types are good)
Ambulance cover
GPS
CDMA mobile
UHF CB
Hand held UHF CB
EPIRB
Good tow chain
HF radio

I’m assuming you carry basic spares for the bus, a toolkit, spade etc.

I suggest the hand held CB because if the bus has broken down in the bottom of a valley the vehicle CB will probably only do 3 or 4km with a hand held you can climb to the top of the valley and reach 20, 30, 40???km

Of course what you should really do is get an Amateur Radio Licence then you’d have a _whole range_ of frequencies you could use :) And, best of all, you could chat to Mad Dog and me :)

A very good book for survival techniques in Oz is:
Australian Bush Survival Skills
By Kevin Casey
Kimberley Publications, Qld
ISBN 0 9587628 1 3

My copy lives in my map case and always travels with me.

Mike Harding
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Follow Up By: Member - iMusty (VIC) - Thursday, Apr 14, 2005 at 15:18

Thursday, Apr 14, 2005 at 15:18
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Reply By: Member - John (Vic) - Thursday, Apr 14, 2005 at 14:16

Thursday, Apr 14, 2005 at 14:16
I think you have missed the point altogether.

You say that you need to change the order of priority of your purchases.

I think you should first stop and think of the situation that you seem to imply that you place yourself in.
"And I will not hesitate to go up a moderate 4by track."

This implies to me that you are placing yourself and your vehicle in a situation that neither is built for nor prepared to handle.
You probably have no training to handle the situation that you may enter, you have a vehicle that is not built to handle that situation, "Why go there in the first place?"

The track is listed as 4wd only for a very good reason and the fact that you carry specific equipment that may assist with your rescue or recovery is beside the point.

Commonsense and more than likely the law dictates that you should not even be there.
If you do get into difficulties then you should consider that you may also be exposing someone else to potential risk in having to rescue or recover you.

So why does the level of equipment you carry make it any safer? when you have not addressed the first issues.

If you read the relevant posts about those two souls lost in WA you will note that the main point is listed as ill equipped to handle the situation they entered, EG Old poorly equipped vehicle, lack of fuel, water etc etc and sadly lack of commonsense in the first place.

Complacency kills or injures so many in our society, The "It won't happen to me" attitude or "Shill be right" is quite often the root cause of most problems.
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Follow Up By: Member - Jeff M (WA) - Thursday, Apr 14, 2005 at 14:36

Thursday, Apr 14, 2005 at 14:36
John, I understand where you are comming from but I had a friend that used to take his kingswood all sorts of places down south and up north of WA. He did'nt go out to damage tracks or anything, I reckon a 2wd vehicle driven properly will proabally cause less damage than a 4wd driven with no regard for the track or environment.
I guess it depends on what IMusty classes as a moderate 4wd track. In the southwest of WA there a plenty of tracks that our marked as 4wd tracks on the map but are easily accessable by 2wds with no problems at all at the right time of year. A gravel road with a few ruts in the dry is not neccessarily a problem if you have clearance, good tyres and some experience with your vehicle. However if it rains while you're in there you may have a problem getting out. I used to travel down south in a 2wd drive and do some exploring as well, if the track got to rough, I'd simply turn around and head out again. At least IMusty is taking the proper measures in case his judgment fails him, just like what could happen to any of us while where out there. Only takes 1 second to make a wrong decision and attempt somthing you probally shouldn't have, even in a 4wd. Every vehicle is equipt differently, has a different configuration and may be able to go less far or further than the next, it's up to the driver to decide how far he/she should take it to be safe.
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Follow Up By: rolux1983 - Thursday, Apr 14, 2005 at 14:45

Thursday, Apr 14, 2005 at 14:45
Hi
I think you hit the nail on the head John,always pack your common sense.
rolux
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Follow Up By: Member - Davoe (WA) - Thursday, Apr 14, 2005 at 14:55

Thursday, Apr 14, 2005 at 14:55
asalutly I drove all the way out to the mt meharry turnoff in my 1978 nissan camper. only to find it marked 4wd. but after some carefull driving I got to within 3k where a creek crossing stopped me and walked the rest of the way. Otherwise I would have missed out on a real highlight
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Follow Up By: Member - iMusty (VIC) - Thursday, Apr 14, 2005 at 15:02

Thursday, Apr 14, 2005 at 15:02
Thankyou John, Jeff and rolux for your reply.

And thankyou especially to John for your directness.

I will continue to drive and push myself further, bit by bit. Inch by Inch.

It might be a godsend one-day for someone to see a dodgy old coaster bus coming along a track chocablock with the right spares and equiptment to assist in an emergency. And a nurse to boot?

There are 2 sides to a story.

If we are not out there. We cannot help.

Maybe one day we'll get a 4by, but at the moment, We are content to be.

iMusty
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Follow Up By: Member - John (Vic) - Thursday, Apr 14, 2005 at 15:12

Thursday, Apr 14, 2005 at 15:12
Jeff I hear you and I understand what your saying.

But the end does not justify the means, Just because it can be done or has been done does not mean it is right to do so.

If the track is listed as 4wd it has been done so for a very good reason. Probably in conjunction with a management plan operating within the guidelines set down within some Act.
Maybe as you say a track is able to be accessed by 2wd until the conditions change then it's a whole new ball game.
In Victoria conditions can and do change very quickly.

Another point I failed to make was that we are supposed to be responsible 4 wheel drivers, and as such I feel that we should take the Tread Lightly guidelines seriously and respect the law and the environment as it applies to us.

Yes I agree that it only takes one second to make a wrong decision, even in a 4wd, But in this case we are not talking about a 4wd are we ?
And the decision to enter a "Moderate 4wd track" or any other 4wd track for that matter was more than likely not a one second decision.

"It's up to the driver to decide how far he/she should take it to be safe"

I guess that the poor bloke driving that old Land Rover in WA could not decide where that safe point was, he obviously thought it was much further than where he and his nephew got to.

Cheers
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Follow Up By: Member - Jeff M (WA) - Thursday, Apr 14, 2005 at 15:21

Thursday, Apr 14, 2005 at 15:21
Fair enough mate (john) points were well made and I understand where you are comming from. And I tend to agree with you to a certain degree and yes some people just are'nt very good at the whole decision making process (like the formentioned people in the Land Rover).
And you are right if it's sign posted 4wd then yeah probally a good idea not to go there in a 2wd if it can be avoided. The tracks I was talking about are sparsley dashed lines on the map meaning "4wd" according to the legend, no signs etc at the actual site. Alot of maps our out dated or just generalise the track as 4wd because they only have three different symbols to use for roads, sealed, unsleaed and 4wd.

Personally I would much rather see IMusty taking it easy tootling along in his Ol' Coaster with correct tyre pressures and self sufficiant with emergency gear etc and using his brains than some dimwit in his brand new stock lancruiser a 6 pack in the back and tearing up the joint.
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Follow Up By: Member - iMusty (VIC) - Thursday, Apr 14, 2005 at 15:26

Thursday, Apr 14, 2005 at 15:26
Thanks davoe too. You wernt there when i started to respond. TOOOO slow a typer i am eh?
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Follow Up By: Member - John (Vic) - Thursday, Apr 14, 2005 at 15:31

Thursday, Apr 14, 2005 at 15:31
One other small point Jeff is you have the ability to look at maps and tracks with experienced eyes, you have the ability to make pretty damn rational decisions based on your real hands on experiences with your past work and recreational 4wd situations.

Like so many other forum users on here, we need to consider that many others are not so endowed with such.

Cheers

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Follow Up By: Member - Jeff M (WA) - Thursday, Apr 14, 2005 at 15:36

Thursday, Apr 14, 2005 at 15:36
Yeah good point John, I spose we should be careful about sticking our noses up at other people's indescretions to quickly. A lot of it is Naivaty. There was a time when I went bush with nothing too... There was a time when I ya hooed (still do a little) :-) But nowdays saftey and the environment are always in the back of my mind. Doesn't stop me having a laugh every now and then, just helps in that ol' decision making proccess!
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Follow Up By: Member - Davoe (WA) - Thursday, Apr 14, 2005 at 15:56

Thursday, Apr 14, 2005 at 15:56
How on Earth could peple have possibly got by without sighns everywhere telling them what vehicles are appropriate for what tracks? Having said that I sold my 2wd camper and bought the 4wd coz I was sick of getting bogged when going fishing and not bing able to reach the best spots. I then bought my 80 coz I still couldnt reach the spots I wanted. I wont to too harsh on Imusty until I hear of him planning his Connie Sue,CSR, to Mitchell falls trip in the middle of january - otherwise I have no problems with someone having a go as long as they are prepared to wear the consequences (eg hire a tractor for a day to pull you out)
BTW good to see the ric pic
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Follow Up By: Wombat - Thursday, Apr 14, 2005 at 16:09

Thursday, Apr 14, 2005 at 16:09
In your words John - "It's up to the driver to decide how far he/she should take it to be safe". Therefore, as long as iMusty and Heidi are not damaging the environment the decision on the capabilities of their bus is theirs, and theirs alone.
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Follow Up By: Member - Jeff M (WA) - Thursday, Apr 14, 2005 at 16:13

Thursday, Apr 14, 2005 at 16:13
Sorry Wombat,t hey were my words, John just quoted them out of my reply! ;-) But I still agree with you! LOL
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Follow Up By: Member - John (Vic) - Thursday, Apr 14, 2005 at 18:17

Thursday, Apr 14, 2005 at 18:17
Yeah thanks Jeff, It's easy to see that Wombat is as switched on as usual.
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Follow Up By: Wombat - Thursday, Apr 14, 2005 at 19:48

Thursday, Apr 14, 2005 at 19:48
It doesn't matter to whom the original statement is attributed, the fact is that iMusty's choice of vehicle and the intended use for such is totally his prerogative, as long as it is lawful. To sanctimoniously denegrate his choice on the assumption that he does not have the common sense to realise its limitations is tantamount to the anti-4WD lobby group's generalisation that all 4WD owners are redneck bush bashers and puts the authors of such insular diatribe on a similar social plane.
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Reply By: Member -Peter (York 4x4) - Thursday, Apr 14, 2005 at 14:34

Thursday, Apr 14, 2005 at 14:34
Hi other emergancys can arrise when you are not in or near the 4x4 ,a small bum pack with a few esentuals may save your life , as said before it can get cold over your way , you can buy compact survival blankets that can double as many things ,these fold up and would fit inside your top pocket ,there are many more "mini" items you can fit in a small pack tha can go with you each time you leave the 4x4 ,have a look at the SAS / army emergency kits that fit in a smokes tin .I have a small kit that goes with me if I know I will be away from the 4x4 including a bandage for snake bit .
AnswerID: 106725

Follow Up By: Member - iMusty (VIC) - Thursday, Apr 14, 2005 at 15:22

Thursday, Apr 14, 2005 at 15:22
Yeah a bum pack is something we alway have when we are hiking. Thanks.
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Reply By: ROTORD - Thursday, Apr 14, 2005 at 15:23

Thursday, Apr 14, 2005 at 15:23
Hello iMusty

As a helicopter pilot I have been involved in Search And Rescue and Medical Evacuations for about 38 years . All the advice given so far is good , but for when you are in real trouble , Wim has the most pertinent . In Victoria your EPIRB has good satelite coverage and good helicopter rescue and medical rescources .BIAS BOATING WAREHOUSE , www.biasboating .com au , will sell a personal EPIRB for $238.90 .There are some limitations to EPIRBs including reduced performance due terrain shielding but in most situations they enable rapid life saving response .Your helicopter rescue and medical service is provided free . Lastly , do not concern yourself about risk to your rescuers . They are trained and equipped to handle EPIRB response .What really concerns helicopter crews is when they are called out in dangerous conditions to search large areas on a cold trail.

AnswerID: 106731

Follow Up By: Member - iMusty (VIC) - Thursday, Apr 14, 2005 at 15:36

Thursday, Apr 14, 2005 at 15:36
Thanks for your response.

And thanks for the job you do. I know many peole here appreciate the work you do.

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Follow Up By: Mike Harding - Thursday, Apr 14, 2005 at 18:05

Thursday, Apr 14, 2005 at 18:05
Hi Rotord

Can you tell me please; do the SAR crews, chopper and ground, carry and listen on UHF CBs?

Mike Harding
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Reply By: Member - Crazie (VIC) - Thursday, Apr 14, 2005 at 15:26

Thursday, Apr 14, 2005 at 15:26
Hi Musty

I think everyone has put forward ideas on the items you should carry, these are some items you dont carry but need;
- Plan your trip.
- Tell some one where you are planning on going and when you think you should be back
- Ambluance cover is a must, its something like an $8000 helicopter ride from the hgh country

Not sure if anyone else has said maps, but add that to the list of things to carry.

with what everyone has listed, you will need that bus hahaha

Crazie
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Follow Up By: Member - iMusty (VIC) - Friday, Apr 15, 2005 at 09:11

Friday, Apr 15, 2005 at 09:11
Thanks for your reply
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Reply By: Wombat - Thursday, Apr 14, 2005 at 16:45

Thursday, Apr 14, 2005 at 16:45
James,

The order which I would purchase the initial five necessary appurtenances for your Coaster would be as follows;
a) First aid kit and the appropriate training for BOTH of you. This is number one on my list for the simple reason that damage to the body can be really, really bad for your health and therefore the quickest way to get into a life threatening situation
b) An EPIRB for when the best laid plans of mice and men simply do not work
c) UHF communications fixed in the vehicle as well as a decent handheld to alert someone to the fact that situation a) has occured and that help is required
d) Food, water and clothing with the ability to keep your body temperature at its usual level for an extended period wherever you may be
e) Basic spare parts for the bus and recovery gear to facilitate self-sufficiency in the event of a minor breakdown or if you over estimate the capabilities of your vehicle

Enjoy your travels in your own inimatable way and disregard any inimical four wheel drive owners.
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Follow Up By: Wombat - Thursday, Apr 14, 2005 at 16:48

Thursday, Apr 14, 2005 at 16:48
Of course the above list assumes that you have comprehensive maps of the area in which you are travelling.
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Reply By: Willem - Thursday, Apr 14, 2005 at 21:44

Thursday, Apr 14, 2005 at 21:44
Hi James

Click on my Rig Pic and read the stuff I carry.

It takes a while to collect everything and I still do not have an EPIRB.
It is next on the must purchase list.

The most important aspect of travel in Australia is WATER. Without that you could expire in a very short time!

In which order you acquire your stuff is up to you but Vehicle recovery equipment and Communciations equipment is a must to start off with(that is I am assuming you carry necessary vehicle spares and tools).

Have fun getting it all together whilst going Out There !
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Follow Up By: Member - iMusty (VIC) - Friday, Apr 15, 2005 at 09:12

Friday, Apr 15, 2005 at 09:12
Thanks for your reply.
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Reply By: Mad Dog (Australia) - Friday, Apr 15, 2005 at 12:31

Friday, Apr 15, 2005 at 12:31
James, for a safety fanatic how about one of these
AnswerID: 106873

Reply By: ROTORD - Friday, Apr 15, 2005 at 12:46

Friday, Apr 15, 2005 at 12:46
Hello Mike

I have been in the Pilbara for 9 years so I am out of touch with the VIC scene.In the past rescue helicopters didnt carry CB . Most rescues were for walkers and no vehicles in the area.Now ,with the increased numbers of CB equipped vehicles in remote areas there is probably a case for CB in the helicopter.In the Pilbara we carry SES crew with hand held CB .
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