Advice for the novice (FM).

Submitted: Tuesday, Apr 29, 2003 at 13:15
ThreadID: 4635 Views:2320 Replies:9 FollowUps:2
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My wife and I are about to take our softroader (RAV4) down the Strzlecki and up the Oodndatta. We expect to hit the tracks around the 2nd week of June. I've got some 4WD experience, though mainly in snow, with the CJ5 & Toyota 4x4 I used to own. Read: I have respect for changing road conditions and appreciate the limitations of my current vehicle. I imagine I'll learn a few things about sand and bulldust.

We're bringing what I thing is heaps of water (50ltrs) and fuel (60ltrs) in jerry cans, and enough food for a week or more. Hand winch, rope, shovel, two spare tires, tire plugs, air pump and a few other spares & tools.

I'm getting conflicting opinions about the need to bring some form of communication - be it an FM radio or satellite phone.

Is the radio or phone necessary for these tracks in June? Am I being naive about anything else?

All opinions gratefully received.
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Reply By: Member - Peter (WA) - Tuesday, Apr 29, 2003 at 14:23

Tuesday, Apr 29, 2003 at 14:23
HI ,I would reconsider the amount of water I feel that this not enough see Vehicle requiements at top of page ,consider if you blow a hose and have to refill the radiator how much does it hold ,you need water for washing #people,washing dishes , drinking what if you got stuck for 5 days would you have enough??
The radio you mean is HF you can hire one for the trip beter safe than sorryBorn to drive a 4x4 , not a keyboard
Peter York 4x4
AnswerID: 18678

Follow Up By: Member - Peter (WA) - Tuesday, Apr 29, 2003 at 14:25

Tuesday, Apr 29, 2003 at 14:25
PS also see above TRIP PLANNING -what to takeBorn to drive a 4x4 , not a keyboard
Peter York 4x4
FollowupID: 11666

Reply By: Member -BJ (Sydney) - Tuesday, Apr 29, 2003 at 17:01

Tuesday, Apr 29, 2003 at 17:01
The Strezleki & Oodnatta tracks are like pitt st at lunchtime in june/ july
so if you have trouble shouldn't have long wait for help. For radio hire a UHF so you can hear of trouble ahead or call for help . Longest distance without fuel Inaminka to Lyndhurst. (Great pies there ) Water should be fine But keep topped up where posible.
Have a good trip!!!
bobWish i was still here / Gulf in July
AnswerID: 18686

Reply By: ThePublican - Tuesday, Apr 29, 2003 at 17:13

Tuesday, Apr 29, 2003 at 17:13
Having seen a brand spanking new Holden comodore loaded to the gills with 5 adults and all camping gear drive from Adelaide to Marree ,up the Odnadatta track to the pink roadhouse and return to Marree then onto Birdsville for the races,,,,saw same vehicle in Quilpie 3days after the races,,,,if a stock Holden can do it so can you..
AnswerID: 18687

Reply By: Art - Tuesday, Apr 29, 2003 at 17:25

Tuesday, Apr 29, 2003 at 17:25
HF! Oops! Of course, I already have an FM radio, don't I?

I'll look into renting the radio, and I'll double the water supply.

Thanks Peter.
AnswerID: 18689

Reply By: Member - Willem- Tuesday, Apr 29, 2003 at 19:18

Tuesday, Apr 29, 2003 at 19:18
I carry 40 litres of water with me on all trips except when we did a cross country Simpson Desert trip where I carried 60 litres. Carrying 100 litres of water is not necessary. We manage on 5 litres of water per day per person. 2 litres for drinking and 3 litres for shower and washing dishes. There is water in this country in some of the most remotest and driest places. I top up my containers whenever an opportunity arises.

There is water available between Lyndhurst and the turn off to the Old Strzelecki Track at Monte Collina Bore and at a place near the Old Strzelecki Crossing on the Strzelecki Creek. If you make sure that your vehicle is in excellent condition before venturing off into the unknown then you should not have to worry about 'What Might Happen' along the way. Along the Old Strzelecki Track there are various Oil Drilling operations. As mentioned in a previous post it will be like Pitt or Bourke Street in mid June. Enjoy your adventure.
AnswerID: 18694

Reply By: colin - Tuesday, Apr 29, 2003 at 19:48

Tuesday, Apr 29, 2003 at 19:48
did the birdsville races 2002 a xr6 with 5 people and a trailer did the birdsville and oonadatta track no probs they where slow but they did the trip, we where in a convoy of 7 4wds and where amazed how these people travelled but when you look at these tracks you dont need 4wds, only good tyres. we stpped at clayton springs on the birdsville track most amasing place, middle of the desert sitting in a spar bath looking at the stars unbeleivable!!!!!!!!!!!!! if you have done this trip you will know where iam at .Col
AnswerID: 18698

Follow Up By: ThePublican - Tuesday, Apr 29, 2003 at 20:16

Tuesday, Apr 29, 2003 at 20:16
We stopped at Clayton springs on the Sunday prior to the races,,definitly the ultimate "spa" and nothing we have ever come across in our travels can realy compare to the stars at midnight in a "spa" with two good reds [wife is a redhead and glass ofclare valley]
FollowupID: 11691

Reply By: bruce.h - Tuesday, Apr 29, 2003 at 20:12

Tuesday, Apr 29, 2003 at 20:12
over loading your vehicle can be just as dangerous as being under prepared i would try a couple of dry run packings of the rav before hand to just see how much will fit & what effect it has on the handling you could also do adry run with your water suppliy by filling the containers you will take & try using that over a week end rather than using the tap will give you a better idea of the amount you need then when you think you have the rigth amount add anouther 25% as safety margen use the amounts you told here as a sarting point becauce everybody goes thruogh water at diferant rates as some drink more water or wash more as to the radio if your travelling on your own it would be advisable as even the bisyest road can be a lonly place if your in trouble & waiting for help & not knowing if anybody is coming why add stress when a simple radio message can re-asure you that help is on its way
hope this is of help
Regards Bruce
AnswerID: 18706

Reply By: Member - Darian - Tuesday, Apr 29, 2003 at 21:02

Tuesday, Apr 29, 2003 at 21:02
Art - a few thoughts - you might be provisioning "too high" - if roads have recently been graded (I think they have) and there is no serious rain in the meantime, you will find the roads quite good, to excellent (gravel, that is). Re other comment, seems you are in danger of excess loading. 50 of water and 60 extra of fuel is knocking on a 110 k plus the jerries, and you have all the other gear mentioned, plus what you didn't mention. Wouldn't 30 spare of fuel be plenty on top of the vehicle tank ? Your tyres will feel the strain on that gravel and the stony sections.
I would seriously explore a second spare wheel (not just tyre) something skinny that might get you from A to B - that could be really valuable.... the stony sections can be a real disappointment, but mainly for folks who don't slow down and drive to the conditions prevailing. Your water should be for consumption and emergency in the main - the washing type is accessed at well chosen stops - 40 should be enough. Consider the HF hire or a satphone for reliable comms, with a UHF for reliable local area comms if you have the cash. Have a good 'un - we love it up there, and the flies might be gone by then :o)Love the bush - stuck in the city - help.
AnswerID: 18728

Reply By: flappan - Wednesday, Apr 30, 2003 at 14:15

Wednesday, Apr 30, 2003 at 14:15
I would look at having 2 water containers. One filled with your good water for drinking etc, and the 2nd for everything else. That way you can fill it anytime, from anywhere, and it doesn't mater greatly and still have good water for drinking.
AnswerID: 18820

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