Why do we do it???????????????

Submitted: Tuesday, Jul 27, 2010 at 21:56
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Family reasons have seen me return early from a trip with Mick O and company and am about half way through the cleaning and fixing of the Troopy and all of the gear we deem necessary to take on such a trip. It has got me pondering.

Why do we do it?? Travel the great Australian countryside that is.

Is it the planning and anticipation of the journey rather than the destination.
Permits, weather, fuel availability, supplies, track conditions etc etc…hmmm that plays a big part.

Travel to places not normally seen? Yes we certainly did that, including the Gibson Desert, areas of the Rudall River National Park devoid of any tracks plus other less used/viewed places.

Spend heaps of money getting prepared? Certainly did that too, perhaps a tad too much according to the minister of finance..lol.

Overcoming various obstacles? To date when I left the group the puncture tally was 99, yep 99 and apart from one trailer running splits it was all ‘plug and go’ and that’s not counting the 5 tyres totalled by one of our group.
We had one radiator to fix when a stake speared through the front, one coil spring to weld –and weld and weld, ‘cos it broke three times.
One trailer cost us a day’s travel because it split almost in half and needed some serious repairs. Plus a variety of smaller problems such as getting bogged on the top of a dune. Yep that could be it.

Enjoying the company of your fellow traveller? Certainly high on the list. I have been on other trips where this was not the case so apart from becoming a solo traveller your chosen companions are very important. The genuine laughter that comes from compatible friends just cannot be purchased for any amount of money.

There are no long hot showers at the turn of a tap, no take-away food shops handy, no ‘Bunnings’ to nip in to for the forgotten whatever, no radio, no TV, no newspapers, no automatic washing machines. Maybe that is what makes our travels so inviting.

For me it is a combination of all the above and would go back in a heartbeat, what about you???

Regards
Michael
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Reply By: Member - John - Tuesday, Jul 27, 2010 at 22:01

Tuesday, Jul 27, 2010 at 22:01
Ditto, all of the above...............
John

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Reply By: Member - Fred B (NT) - Tuesday, Jul 27, 2010 at 22:16

Tuesday, Jul 27, 2010 at 22:16
Double ditto... lol (: (:
regards
Fred B
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Reply By: Joe Grace Doomadgee - Tuesday, Jul 27, 2010 at 23:07

Tuesday, Jul 27, 2010 at 23:07
soooo, just out of curiosity, of the 99 tyre troubles you had you must now have some GOOD ideas as to what preforms well out there and what does not, i note you mention the "split's" ...... how did they preform compaired to the rest ??????
Dont mean to jump off the subject but seems like a good chance to get a "realistic" opinion of how to rate tyres against tyres...... (and rims)
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Follow Up By: splits - Wednesday, Jul 28, 2010 at 10:53

Wednesday, Jul 28, 2010 at 10:53
You should find a lot of useful information on the attached link. It is directed mainly at extreme desert conditions, particular cross country with no tracks.




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Follow Up By: Member - Michael J (SA) - Wednesday, Jul 28, 2010 at 17:09

Wednesday, Jul 28, 2010 at 17:09
Hi Joe,

I have used both types of tyres and rims (currently using Toyo Open Country MT tubeless) and I believe it to be a personal preference. There are pro's and con's for both, bit like fridge/vehicle/tyre/beer/food debates, one size does not fit all.

I have repaired both types and do not have a problem with either, far too many variables...vehicle/terrain/driving style/pressures etc etc to make a blanket statement of what you should use. I'm happy with my choice.

Cheers
Michael
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Reply By: jdwynn (Adelaide) - Wednesday, Jul 28, 2010 at 00:44

Wednesday, Jul 28, 2010 at 00:44
Neat question Michael

For me I love the adventure (something in us all I reckon), the stars away from the city, sitting at a fire with a port, the peace and solitude of the outback/deserts, the rugged beauty of this country of ours, the exhilaration of 'piloting' a vehicle that does the job well in the bush, sharing all of the above with family/friends.............the list goes on.

Then there's the unbridled joy of maintaining the batteries above 12.5v during an extended stay in the bush. The technology (solar, 12v, gps, hf etc) all interesting and gives confidence whilst remote.

Not to mention the satisfaction a Patrol 3l owner feels at regularly having to snatch a yota to safety.............think I better leave it at that LOL.

Cheers
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Follow Up By: Member - Graham H (QLD) - Wednesday, Jul 28, 2010 at 13:37

Wednesday, Jul 28, 2010 at 13:37
That should read Patrol 3L owners waiting for the Bang shouldnt it Well!!!!!!

Rofl




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Follow Up By: Member - Michael J (SA) - Wednesday, Jul 28, 2010 at 17:15

Wednesday, Jul 28, 2010 at 17:15
Well put jdwynn,

I was really at ease with your comments, that is until the last sentence...lol lol

Oh, yes I did have occasion (or two) to 'help' a friend maintain forward motion........
would love to add that he had a Nissan.........................he didn't:)))

Cheers
Michael
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Reply By: ExplorOz - David & Michelle - Wednesday, Jul 28, 2010 at 02:37

Wednesday, Jul 28, 2010 at 02:37
Funny you should raise this - as we were in the same area asking ourselves the same questions!! For us, we share the same attraction to the "journey". We think that this type of "living" provides the few precious moments you'll remember for life - as parents taking young girls on these journeys we think they are very fortunate and hope this will help them view with the world with a little more "balance". It's important for all of us now and then to be jolted out of our comfort zones - to experience day to day living without the hot tap (always the thing I most relish when I am home), the constant need to provide the basics of warmth, shelter, food, water, the need to be prepared to deal with all scenarios and the thrill of knowing that you can deal with incidents when they crop up because you are so well prepared! This is why we have chosen to travel with swags for so long - yet we know at camp it would be much more comfortable with a camper, but in some weird way I guess we still enjoy the hardships - that's what we're out here to experience. It's a part of living that is removed from modern life - but its probably important to taste a bit of it to refocus on what is living - what are our basic human needs, what is luxury after all?

Michelle
David (DM) & Michelle (MM)
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Follow Up By: Member - Michael J (SA) - Wednesday, Jul 28, 2010 at 17:25

Wednesday, Jul 28, 2010 at 17:25
So true Michelle,

When I contemplated this post it started a bit TIC but on reflection I guess we all have differing views on why, and as important where, we go.
I can think of one member who wanders off into places si remote that few of your readers would even contemplate...and he usually does it alone! -and I know he is a very happy chappy.

I too use a swag, as apposed to a camper, and it suits my needs as in basic.
But I still enjoy the satisfaction that a well stocked fridge can provide at the end of each day. Don't like to be too basic;))
-and the old Dove chocolate still eludes me..lol

Rgds
Michael
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Reply By: Member - Wayne D (NSW) - Wednesday, Jul 28, 2010 at 09:49

Wednesday, Jul 28, 2010 at 09:49
Some holiday makers would call that a disasterous holiday, we call it an adventure. 4WDers know that if you are stranded somewhere fellow 4WDer will stop to lend a hand.
I pity those anti 4wd people (Hi Sis) who have never experienced sleeping under a million stars with only the sound of nature, or sitting around a campfire with friends recounting the days travel.
My 4wd has introduced me to a whoile new and very friendly community from all walks of life and accept you because you are a 4wder
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Reply By: The Landy - Wednesday, Jul 28, 2010 at 10:34

Wednesday, Jul 28, 2010 at 10:34
Well put Michael, yep all of the above. Life is about experiences, and we've enjoyed all our trips, warts and all!

Cheers, The Landy
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Follow Up By: Member - Michael J (SA) - Wednesday, Jul 28, 2010 at 17:28

Wednesday, Jul 28, 2010 at 17:28
G'day Landy,

No warts on this trip, maybe the odd 'pimple' ...lol

Cheers
Michael
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Reply By: Member - Jo Q (NSW) - Wednesday, Jul 28, 2010 at 11:13

Wednesday, Jul 28, 2010 at 11:13
Hi Michael,

All of the above, but my real reason is quality time with my daughter! Nothing beats just the two of us travelling around & sharing adventures & memories that will last a long time. Travelling is a great bonding experience.

Cheers,

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Follow Up By: ExplorOz - David & Michelle - Wednesday, Jul 28, 2010 at 13:26

Wednesday, Jul 28, 2010 at 13:26
Yes, it's reclaiming quality time with our loved ones that tends to get overlooked in our modern lives. I notice that often I spend time with my kids and husband sitting side by side (working on computers, eating, watching tv) but not actualy sitting face to face and talking - really engaging. This is what we do when we site around the campfire - strengthening relationships - priceless!
David (DM) & Michelle (MM)
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Follow Up By: Member - Michael J (SA) - Wednesday, Jul 28, 2010 at 17:36

Wednesday, Jul 28, 2010 at 17:36
Hi Jo,

Could not agree more however circumstances meant I travelled solo, as on my own in the Troopy, but still with friends.
I am hopeful though that in the years to come members of my family will be able to enjoy these trips too.

"This is what we do when we site around the campfire - strengthening relationships - priceless!"

You are so right D & M, some things you just cannot buy.

Cheers
Michael

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Reply By: On the Run - Wednesday, Jul 28, 2010 at 11:21

Wednesday, Jul 28, 2010 at 11:21
Michael

Isn't the main reason why we do it is "Cause we can"

We have the country and the freedom to get away and go bush for days or weeks on end.

My wife and I have been travelling this country for over 25yrs and for the last 15 months on a working holiday and we don't want to go home.

Everyday(if we choose to move) brings new places and people and If we are way-way out it dawns peace and quiet and it is pure bliss..........

None of this rush like mad to a caravan park somewhere around the country, much much better to free camp as we have been doing and enjoy with no boundries......

We have worked with some amazing people out here and love the lifestyle..

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Follow Up By: Member - Michael J (SA) - Wednesday, Jul 28, 2010 at 17:43

Wednesday, Jul 28, 2010 at 17:43
Hi OTR,

You are right, to a point, but I don't thing it is that simplistic.

Of course we have to be able to travel, and you guys are living proof of how you must enjoy it.

'Coz we can' does not explain the reasons why we want to spend hours and hours and hours planning, heaps of dollars getting 'stuff', reading piles of books to find somewhere that is 'interesting' and then getting off our comfortable backsides to do so.

But I love it anyway:)))


Cheers
Michael
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Follow Up By: On the Run - Thursday, Jul 29, 2010 at 11:34

Thursday, Jul 29, 2010 at 11:34
What I ment to say more clearly is we dont have many rules in this country to stop us doing it
we have planned this little adventure for 4yrs before we took off and most weeks the plan goes out the window and we just go for a wonder and see breathtaking places and meet great honest people..
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Reply By: Crackles - Wednesday, Jul 28, 2010 at 14:43

Wednesday, Jul 28, 2010 at 14:43
"Why do we do travel the great Australian countryside"
Because I love the challenge of driving, the remote destinations, the history, the freinds we meet & importanly the phone doesn't work out there nor are watch's required to be worn.
Cheers Craig.................
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Follow Up By: Member - Michael J (SA) - Wednesday, Jul 28, 2010 at 17:47

Wednesday, Jul 28, 2010 at 17:47
Yep, all good valid reasons Craig but the sat phone is a mighty tool when used as intended.

Oh, and yes most of us had no idea what day it was most of the time... lol


Cheers
Michael
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Follow Up By: Crackles - Wednesday, Jul 28, 2010 at 21:38

Wednesday, Jul 28, 2010 at 21:38
My intended use for a sat phone is to never turn it on :-)
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Reply By: Outa Bounds - Wednesday, Jul 28, 2010 at 20:51

Wednesday, Jul 28, 2010 at 20:51
I reckon if we didn't do it we'd find ourselves moving house a lot more often instead?

I spent a year and a half living in a shed, cooking on a camping stove and using one of those Primus camp shower set ups. That was me, Hubby and two kids. Since our block is pretty much in the bush (heaps of trees a dam and a watertank is it) I was thinking that it was the first time I didn't actually find the need to travel...to go somewhere and go camping. Well I pretty much felt like I was camping albeit with a few creature comforts, lol as well as sharing the shed with all the tools etc!
Now that we're in our newly built house (well been in here a year), still on the rural block in the bush of course, I find myself asking...well why do I want to go camping, in the cold or in the heat and put up with the flies when I have it all ourside the back door, I can light a campfire or go for a swim in the dam etc?

But here I am getting itchy feet, wishing the time would come sooner when we can buy a 4x4 that will fit all four of us in. I want to go camping, travelling, see new places. I reckon I just want to do it for the adventure, and the experience and for the benefit of the kids to widen their horizons. And having had camper trailers in the past I want to try it more basic style, we have recently purchased a new (new 2nd hand) swag. I'm looking forward to going anywhere really even if it's 100km down the road and only overnight.
Maybe because the thought of saving up to go overseas instead is a lot more frightening and not to mention quite pricey.

I read somewhere once that you should spend money on experience rather than things, I guess in regards to camping you spend money on things to enable you to fo and find the experiences you're after. Material things come and go, memories last until we get dementia at least.
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Reply By: Mick O - Thursday, Aug 05, 2010 at 00:18

Thursday, Aug 05, 2010 at 00:18
Quite simply the privilege of being in pristine country, to enjoy a sunset and dawn that only a western desert can provide, the silence and the solitude. It's cathartic and allows one to "reset".

We're in Kununurra sport enjoying our last night together as the GDEC team. Add the right rear wheel sheering and departing the mothership on the Mitchell Plateau Road to the list as well. Took an hour and a half to fix! Told you my un-natural fixation with carrying spare wheel studs would pay off in the long run!)

Happy birthday sport. We're all on our way south now so expect visitors.

Mick (and Vik and John and Suze, Scott & Gaby)

Viva GDEC.
''We knew from the experience of well-known travelers that the
trip would doubtless be attended with much hardship.''
Richard Maurice - 1903

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Follow Up By: Member - Michael J (SA) - Friday, Aug 06, 2010 at 15:47

Friday, Aug 06, 2010 at 15:47
Alrite for some, this getting up before de sparrows and scraping ice off
the wagon before doing a 12-14 hour day has got 'hairs on it'

Oh for the warm (ish) days in the desert)))

-and a big tku for the well lubed birfday song...LOL LOL

btw, Kymbo is out of hospital and should be home sometime next week.


Michael GDEC J
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Reply By: LesleyW - Friday, Aug 06, 2010 at 20:17

Friday, Aug 06, 2010 at 20:17
My husband Jeff and I had a year-long Big Trip in 2008/9. We bought a converted Toyota Coaster bus and set off from Sydney in an anti-clockwise direction. All I can say is that is was the most memorable year of our lives and if our Visa had allowed it, we would have just carried on. We met so many lovely people, many of whom have become good friends. Hopefully we'll be able to do it again in the not too distant future, although I don't know if it will be for quite such a long time, mebbe two or three months every couple of years. There is so much to see in your vast country and we want to see as much of it as we can.

If anyone is interested, there's a full account on our website www.wydon.co.uk

In fact we enjoyed it so much, a few months after our return to the UK we bought a motorhome so that we can tour around here. A slightly different kettle of fish, but we have certainly been bitten buy the bug.

Lesley (UK)
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