Simpson in July. Need I a sand flag ???

Submitted: Monday, May 09, 2005 at 09:35
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Hello
I will do simpson desert with my Family in July. I come from Brussels and I don't know what is a sand flag. Recently I bought a hema travel quide for the tracks in Simpson and the sand flags is not included in the requirement equipment. Is it really a good idea to do this trip ? I did Kimberley with a new land cruiser without real an experience in 4WD and I found that it was not so hard. Do I need an UHF or satelite phone I have no idea. What I know is that I need to go to the bush, do a camping far from everything, and sleeping with the stars above my head.
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Reply By: Patrolman Pat - Monday, May 09, 2005 at 09:46

Monday, May 09, 2005 at 09:46
You'll need a Desert Parks pass which comes with a great booklet with all the info you need. A sand flag is a must IMO, if travelling alone, not recommended, a sat phone or HF radio and EPIRB should be carried.
AnswerID: 110397

Reply By: Member - Duncs - Monday, May 09, 2005 at 10:43

Monday, May 09, 2005 at 10:43
Glaros,

Pat is pretty right.

If you buy your Desert Parks Pass it comes with a good selection of maps and a booklet with heaps of information. I recommend you purchase one now and give it a good read before you set off.

Travelling the Simpson alone is not recommended but if you ask around you should be able to pick up travelling companions in the various campgrounds at either end of the desert. I know there will be a group of people from this forum meeting in Birdsville in July so you may be able to hook up with someone there. Wish I could get there but it looks like family commitments will prevent that.

As for a sand flag, you should carry one. It is a simple device, a small brightly coloured falg at the top of a tall usually flexible pole. Something like a long fishing rod would work fine although you can buy poles for the job.

You can hire a sat phone or HF radio quite easily to take care of communications needs. One or the other coupled with a UHF for short range stuff is all you would need. If you are in a well prepared relatively new vehicle and travelling with 1 or 2 other similar vehicles an EPIRB would not really be necessary. With a common sense careful approach teh Simpson is not that difficult a trip, but if things go wrong they go very wrong. So be well prepared. Learn as much as you can before you set off. The Desert Parks Pass is a good place to start but you can't have too much information.

If you have anymore questions put them up here and you will get a good range of answers.

Happy planning and good luck
Duncs.
AnswerID: 110405

Reply By: Tim HJ61 (WA) - Monday, May 09, 2005 at 10:54

Monday, May 09, 2005 at 10:54
Glaros,

Go to the trek notes section of this site and read several times the trek notes on crossing the Simpson desert.

As Patrolman Pat says, you will need a desert parks pass from the SA government - the links are with the trek notes. Included in that are maps and a fantastic booklet on what you need - including sand flag.

A sand flag is an orange, or whatever bright colour you choose that will stand out, flag mounted on your vehicle so as to warm oncoming traffic of your approach when there may be a sandune in between the two of you. At the top of the dune you are often driving blind at a speed where you cannot take evasive action - nor is there any width in the track to take evasive action. You must warn others of your position and the simplist way is a flag.

I will also be in the Simpson heading West to East in July, and whilst I would be very happy to meet you, I DO NOT want to meet you coming the opposite way on the top of a dune. I would not be very friendly if you have not made any attempt to warn of your approach!! especially if I have coolant running from my radiator, my children have blood pouring from their head and we are hundreds of Kms away from help.

The Kimberley is rough country. The Simpson is sandy. Different country, different risks, different preparation - the biggest word being preparation.

First thing - go to the trek notes section of this site.
Second thing - do a search of this site on the Simpson.
Third thing - love to meet up - but by planning or somewhere flat, not by accident!

Tim
Leaving Mt Dare July 9/10
Rig Road - Warburton Track - Maree

AnswerID: 110406

Reply By: Member - Beatit (QLD) - Monday, May 09, 2005 at 10:59

Monday, May 09, 2005 at 10:59
Glaros,

We'll be there late September (west to East) you're welcome to join us (4 vehicles). When are you planning to be there?

Kind regards
AnswerID: 110409

Reply By: Bob of KAOS - Monday, May 09, 2005 at 13:27

Monday, May 09, 2005 at 13:27
Glaros
"What I know is that I need to go to the bush, do a camping far from everything, and sleeping with the stars above my head. "
Mate, that just about says it all.
Have a great trip.

AnswerID: 110437

Reply By: prado-wolf - Monday, May 09, 2005 at 13:42

Monday, May 09, 2005 at 13:42
Hi Glaros,

Doing the Simpson is one of the best ideas so just make sure that your Vehicle and you are fully prepared.

We (2 Vehicles) will be in birdsville on the 05.07.05 and will leave for mt. Dare on the 06.07.05.

I that is your time you are most welcome to join us. UHF is a must.

AnswerID: 110438

Reply By: Longreach - Monday, May 09, 2005 at 16:34

Monday, May 09, 2005 at 16:34
Hi Glaros,

I agree with all the above so wont repeat it exept that I did the Simpson last year (which was great !) and took a sand flag wondering how effective it might be. It worked, allowing us to safely stop at the top of a dune a few meters from an oncoming vehicle. (even had the video running).
The other thing which I think is in all the trek notes and the Desert Parks pass notes is tyre pressure. You will need to let your tyres down which means you will need to be able to pump them up again which means you will need a compressor. Slight changes to tyres pressure makes a huge difference. If you let your tyres down enough, but not too much, you can cruise up the dunes much more easily and without the need to go so fast and bounce all over the place.

Enjoy your trip.
AnswerID: 110476

Reply By: Member - Gary W (VIC) - Tuesday, May 10, 2005 at 13:19

Tuesday, May 10, 2005 at 13:19
Hey Glaros,

Hope you have a fantastic trip - we did it last year. There is some excellent info on this site along with the invaluable resource of other's experiences.

We used a squid/wog pole for a flag - It is a must. The pole should be available from most fishing supply stores.

My website - follow the link via the rig pic below - has some info from our trip.

Cannot emphasise enough about tyre pressure. Keep your pressures low (we used 22psi but lower - say 17psi is even better). Take care and have fun.

Gaz
AnswerID: 110608

Reply By: glaros - Wednesday, May 11, 2005 at 08:10

Wednesday, May 11, 2005 at 08:10
really thanks to everybody I hope to meet you somewhere and share with you a bottle of shiraz
AnswerID: 110758

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