From an old worrywart

Submitted: Monday, May 08, 2006 at 00:51
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I am always interested in people's opinions, even though I don't always agree with them. Usually we've had totally different experiences in the bush, but thats Ok, everyones entitled to my opinion :))

However; just because you got through in 2wd and were bored doing it, doesn't mean that everyone else will. Conditions change so quickly that a total doddle one week can be an absolute nightmare the next.
For example the Oodnadatta track is a doddle...unless it's summer or raining and you have something go wrong. You and I know when and how to go. But others ?
Another doddle is the Tanami Track. Ever seen it when wet ? I have. (and wished I hadn't...one guy rolled his troopy at 40k/h....he wished he hadn't also). The Simpson in summer ? No way !

Often the number of people on deck makes all the difference. A convoy or tag a long will have many more resources than a newbie by themselves. One too many punctures, too little water, no epirb or Hf or satphone and ......
When giving "advice" I always tend to assume that the poster is going to encounter a worst case scenario. Then when they don't, they can say silly old goat instead of I wish someone had mentioned it.

There are also different levels of skills and a fair dob of luck or lack thereof involved.
The great thing about this forum is that people can ask "dumb" questions at arms length. I know, I've done it a few times.
But when it comes to safety, there are no dumb questions, except those you didn't ask.

Let's all enjoy touring around far flung bush tracks but keep in mind that given the wrong circumstances, they can be lethal.

Have a great trip and come back safely.
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Reply By: Member - Blue (VIC) - Monday, May 08, 2006 at 01:56

Monday, May 08, 2006 at 01:56
Thanks for that Footy... I tend to think the worst before tackling anything, the idea being that when it doesn't happen, you're pleasantly suprised... So far though, it seems I should have expected the worst, then doubled it... Luck is not my friend... Google on the other hand... But that's another story.
AnswerID: 171458

Follow Up By: Footloose - Monday, May 08, 2006 at 08:24

Monday, May 08, 2006 at 08:24
Luck is a lady they tell me. Apart from my wife, I have never had much luck with ladies :)))))
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Reply By: Big Kidz (Andrew & Jen) - Monday, May 08, 2006 at 06:32

Monday, May 08, 2006 at 06:32
I agree with you entirely... good to find someone I agree with .....could you come over and have a chat?? Just come down the Eastern freeway out of Melbourne. By the way - it can be tough... poor visibility in fog, water sits on it after torrential rain, people crashing nearly every day.....maybe you should just email me :-))
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Follow Up By: Footloose - Monday, May 08, 2006 at 08:21

Monday, May 08, 2006 at 08:21
Chatting is my one really weak point . I am here by myself a lot so when I get to chat, I chat. :)))))))))))
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Reply By: Voxson (Adelaide) - Monday, May 08, 2006 at 07:35

Monday, May 08, 2006 at 07:35
If we are talking about the same troopy,,,bearded young guy,, last June.....???
I saw the damage of that roll over and the conditions and there was nothing he could do....
He waiting quite a while for help also and that was in peak times...
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Follow Up By: Voxson (Adelaide) - Monday, May 08, 2006 at 07:36

Monday, May 08, 2006 at 07:36
Oh,, forgot to add...... Beautiful blonde girlfriend.... Not that we noticed..
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Follow Up By: Footloose - Monday, May 08, 2006 at 08:22

Monday, May 08, 2006 at 08:22
That's the guy. Young lady was with him, from Vic I think. He told me he wasn't the only one to get into strife.
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Follow Up By: Footloose - Monday, May 08, 2006 at 08:25

Monday, May 08, 2006 at 08:25
Beautiful, blonde ? I never noticed .........*pants on fire* :))))))))
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Follow Up By: Member - Doug T (QLD) - Monday, May 08, 2006 at 08:31

Monday, May 08, 2006 at 08:31
Voxson
OK so I wasn't there but there was one he could have done that didn;t /Drive to the conditions , If the track is damp muddy and must have slippery then 40ks must have been way to fast,I would much rather get bogged than charge something and loose the plot/lot, also It's better to sleep on my bed horizontal than vertical inside the car .

Doug
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Follow Up By: Member No 1- Monday, May 08, 2006 at 16:19

Monday, May 08, 2006 at 16:19
keep your minds above your navel you two
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Follow Up By: Voxson (Adelaide) - Monday, May 08, 2006 at 16:55

Monday, May 08, 2006 at 16:55
G'day Doug,

He was just trying to stay on top of the camber and he told me he was only idling along when it happened...
He kept sliding towards the embankment and unfortunately one time he hit the embankment perfectly side-on and over he went...He had quite a bit on his roof rack which wouldnt have helped much...
It was just bad luck
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Follow Up By: Footloose - Monday, May 08, 2006 at 16:58

Monday, May 08, 2006 at 16:58
How do you know where they are no 1 ? Eh ?????? Being beautiful and blonde doesn't automatically make a post sus. But minds and navels does !!
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Follow Up By: Footloose - Monday, May 08, 2006 at 17:00

Monday, May 08, 2006 at 17:00
Voxon, I got the same story. He rekkoned about 40k/h. Fair bit of damage, he was lucky to be able to continue travelling.
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Follow Up By: Footloose - Monday, May 08, 2006 at 17:05

Monday, May 08, 2006 at 17:05
I have just realized that my "pants on fire" comment could have been misconstrued by someone with tendencies to see ....less than polite...things.
"Pants on fire" comes from the childrens expression , "liar, liar, pants on fire." i.e. I did indeed notice the attributes of his passenger but said otherwise.
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Follow Up By: Member - Doug T (QLD) - Monday, May 08, 2006 at 17:07

Monday, May 08, 2006 at 17:07
Scratch head, bang head on wall , scratch Ba##s , bang head again , How does one get a car to idle at 40kph lol, truth is Voxson I reackon he had no idea how fast he was doing but I bet ya me undies he wasn't driving at conditions OR if he had a blonde in the car .....Poor bugger then it's no wonder , he was DISTRACTED

He was just trying to stay on top of the camber and he told me he was only idling along when it happened...
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Reply By: Member - Beatit (QLD) - Monday, May 08, 2006 at 10:34

Monday, May 08, 2006 at 10:34
Hi Footie,

Interesting post. I consider myself a thinker and that gets me the job of planning our group trips. It truely amazes me when people leave their travel to "luck" alone but I can remember doing this myself when I was young so mybe it is something to do with age? It is a lot easier to plan these days as the resources (like EO) are just so good. It is also a lot easier to be prepared as well with the equipment available but this is limited to one's financial capacity.

There have been posts of people doing the CSR on bike and succeeding - he didn't succeed just on luck, a lot of planning is required. Some people would like the adventure that some uncertainty of a journey might provide, I just like that uncertainty to be limited as much as possible to things that bring pleasure.

It is sometimes also difficult to convince people that they need to be a little better prepared, going through this at the moment. A new traveller wants to come along on our next trip, his gear is OK but he needs to try some of it out. He is taking a camper trailer, one he has not towed before, and the trip involves some sand driving so I've suggested a trial weekend or 2 on Fraser to see how he goes but he is not concerned. There is just so much to learn but we have a couple of months to sort this out.

Kind regards
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Follow Up By: Shawsie (Member - Bris) - Monday, May 08, 2006 at 12:57

Monday, May 08, 2006 at 12:57
Couldn't agree with you more. My first sand experience was on Moreton Island and got bogged 100m off the barge (DOH!). A hard lesson to learn in the field.
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Follow Up By: Member - Beatit (QLD) - Monday, May 08, 2006 at 13:11

Monday, May 08, 2006 at 13:11
G'day Shawsie,

We have all done that at some stage, part of the learning process! It is just so much easier in a controlled environment where there's a bunch of guys all ready to take the pi$$ out of him and then have him out in a flash - a lesson not soon forgotten. We are at the very beginning with this fellow and he even needs to learn to let his tyres down etc.

Kind regards
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Reply By: Pajman Pete (SA) - Monday, May 08, 2006 at 13:48

Monday, May 08, 2006 at 13:48
Even basic preparations get ignored by some.

I met a guy with his young family in a brand new twin cab hilux in the Vic high country in January. He had driven off the edge of his photocopied tourist map and was wondering how to get back to civilisation. 45º day, getting on to late afternoon, no visible gear in the truck, no spare water or fuel and they were looking pretty worried, but they were *still* driving! (away from the way out as well)

We stopped and helped them out, but where is the common sense? Rule 1 in navigation in the Navy was when in doubt, stop and think it out. If you are unsure of your location, keeping on driving is not likely to help the situation.

Hoping others can help is risky as well. We were well stocked up for a week away, but the Paj is petrol - so we couldn't lend diesel. We had UHF and a GSM Mobile, but no HF or Satphone if he was really desperate for assistance. We were OK for comms because we were sticking to well used tracks, had good paper and electronic maps, a compass and two GPSr's and the knowledge to use it all. (plus supplies to stay put for one week in comfort and 3 weeks at a pinch.)

I still remember meeting this yacht 400 nautical miles out into the Indian Ocean heading for the Cocos Islands. They were out of petrol and water because they had been becalmed for three days and had banked on the wind to get them there. One days motoring had used up their fule and they had only loaded water for 6 days. No HF or Epirb and not nearly worried as they should have been given that they were still at least 4 days sailing from anywhere IF the wind came up. We filled up their water but couldn't help with fuel (even our outboards were diesel). Coastwatch were flying in the area and we asked them to keep an eye on them until they reached Cocos - which they did eventually.

We always look at worst case for where we are going and do our risk analysis from there.
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Follow Up By: Pajman Pete (SA) - Monday, May 08, 2006 at 13:50

Monday, May 08, 2006 at 13:50
fule = fuel
Any mug can be uncomfortable out bush

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Follow Up By: Mike Harding - Monday, May 08, 2006 at 14:04

Monday, May 08, 2006 at 14:04
Or the solo motorcyclist I met in the High Country about 3 years ago who had no map, no compass, no GPS etc and when I showed him where "this track went" on a topographic map asked; "So where do you get these then?" [Topographic maps].

I suppose Darwin will deal with him in due course.

Mike Harding
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Follow Up By: Footloose - Monday, May 08, 2006 at 15:02

Monday, May 08, 2006 at 15:02
Almost into the wet season (far fewer travellers) I met a bloke, 2 young kids and pregnant wife broken down on Cape York. 38C and he had done a radiator. Total fluid supplies =1 softdrink bottle of water. Fixed him up and he told me that he had to be in Melbourne 3 days later !
He was probably Ok, but it could have been a different story.
Years ago I picked up a party of man, wife and kids in a short wheelbase that had come to Alice from WA. They'd got bushed on the way to Dalhousie and been wandering around for a couple of days. I was pleased for the company, but ......
When even the locals can die on a summer track because of a lack of preparation you know it's not always that easy.
Being a solo traveller I have to minimize the risks. I have to be prepared to turn back, to say not this time. I'd rather be a whimp, than a statistic.
You don't get to my age without a bit of caution :))
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Reply By: Old Scalyback & denny - Monday, May 08, 2006 at 17:46

Monday, May 08, 2006 at 17:46
goodfday all
personally whether a day out or our 4 weeks holiday we always prepre for the worst ie all recovery gear (not nessacarally on top but murphy gaurantiees you need it if you havent got it) a day out normally enough food for 3 1spare jerry of fuel (can always break a fuel line )and uhf, hf and mobile phone and these days even a little portable uhf cause you just never ever know
try to leave nothing to luck but if something happens you have still left something you need at home
we travel a few solo Ks but it is nice to have company in case of problems
steve
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