Always Be Prepared

Submitted: Wednesday, Mar 21, 2012 at 08:20
ThreadID: 92676 Views:2738 Replies:6 FollowUps:6
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Hi All

How often do we hear it that someone has gotten into trouble from not being prepared.

We were told of a story when in Birdsville a number of years ago about a solo vehicle with no communication becoming bogged in sand in the Muncoonie area of the Simpson Desert.

The bogged vehicle was only found by chance when they were doing cattle mustering and the spotter plane noticed a vehicle where no one should be. When the ground crew arrived at the site, the found the remain of the sole occupant under the vehicle - a very terrible way to die alone like that in the desert, and believe that the vehicle had been there for at least 6 months.

One the news this morning, a helicopter doing air survey work on the far west coast of our state, found a vehicle in scrubland 70 kilometres north of Penong. When Police arrived at the site, they found human remains - link to SAPOL News site -

If you ever travel solo into remote areas, take nothing for granted and always have reliable emergency communications. Even if you can not afford expensive HF Radio or a Satellite Phone, you can buy Modern Reliable PLB's for under $500, which can be the difference between becoming another satistic out in the bush, or living to tell your story.



Stay Safe out in the Bush.



Cheers



Stephen



ps there must be a bug in the system, as I am not able to add the link to the SAPOL News stite, here is the link in full.

http://www.sapolicenews.com.au/more-news/7019-remains-found-in-remote-scrubland.html
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Reply By: Robin Miller - Wednesday, Mar 21, 2012 at 09:51

Wednesday, Mar 21, 2012 at 09:51
Hi Stephen

Our latest BCF cat has the club member price of the GPS equipped GME MT410G at $389
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Follow Up By: Member - Stephen L (Clare SA) - Wednesday, Mar 21, 2012 at 13:58

Wednesday, Mar 21, 2012 at 13:58
Hi Robin

That is exactly the type of thing I am talking about. For piece of mind, it is a very cheap piece of survival equipment that everyone who travels remote areas should consider buying.



Cheers



Stephen
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Reply By: get outmore - Wednesday, Mar 21, 2012 at 10:28

Wednesday, Mar 21, 2012 at 10:28
Unfortunatly alot of the people found dead out in the bush have done so intentianlly.
Its usually not reported though unless there was a publicised search and in that case the report gos something like

"the body of missing man xxxx was found yesterday in bushland police say there are no suspicous circumstances"
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Follow Up By: Member - Stephen L (Clare SA) - Wednesday, Mar 21, 2012 at 14:05

Wednesday, Mar 21, 2012 at 14:05
Hi get outmore

Yes how very true indeed. That was the case of the young Victorian man that was driving back from Darwin last year and they found his burnt out boat at Pimba. There were great fear that he was murdered and then they found his dog.

The initial report were foul play, but in the end it was the exact opposite. I know the person who's station he was found on and after that, it all went very quiet on the medial scene.



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Reply By: GT Campers - Wednesday, Mar 21, 2012 at 10:32

Wednesday, Mar 21, 2012 at 10:32
That is tragic news. Communications is important but you MUST let someone responsible know of your route and return date. This gets around the possibility of catastrophic equipment failure (ie vehicle fire, flooding etc) destroying your communications ability.
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Follow Up By: Member - Stephen L (Clare SA) - Wednesday, Mar 21, 2012 at 14:13

Wednesday, Mar 21, 2012 at 14:13
Hi GT Campers

Yes you are spot on. Even though we have most bases covered, HF Radio that I always log onto the VKS Network every night when out in the bush and give them our location and a GPS enabled PLB, I always know how long our trips should take.

I never deviate from the route that I have told family members and add into the safety factor, 2 days. They then know that if I have not phoned them, that we are in trouble and to contact the Police.

We always travel in such a way that if the car was to burn down and we loose everything, we have the PLB and water right by our side to grab immediately. We can live without food for well over 2 weeks, but with no water, it can only be days at the time of the year that we travel.



Cheers



Stephen
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Reply By: TerraFirma - Wednesday, Mar 21, 2012 at 13:36

Wednesday, Mar 21, 2012 at 13:36
Yeah preparation is everything Stephen, spot on. You have to play every What IF out when you are heading out into the middle of nowhere.
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Follow Up By: Member - Stephen L (Clare SA) - Wednesday, Mar 21, 2012 at 14:28

Wednesday, Mar 21, 2012 at 14:28
Hi TerraFirma

I always work on the fact that if something does happen, it will happen to me, so I plan accordingly.

Accidents can be prevented a lot of the time, but there are still many people that do head off unprepared.

We met such a classic situation a good few years ago when crossing the Simpson. We were down near the Knolls when we heard a very loud signal come over the UHF, meaning someone was very close by.

We answered his call and went to his aid. It was also another solo traveller (Young Dutch chap out on holidays) that was travelling across the desert with no spare petrol. When he asked if I had any spare fuel, I said yes, but the biggest problem was we were diesel. I told him to sit tight, as I knew that there was a group of vehicles down at the Knolls.

When we met the group there, there was only one Petrol vehicle there and he was able to sell him 20 litres of spare petrol. I told him the easiest was to cross the desert and would be the easiest on fuel, and not to leave that track. I know he followed my advise, as we found 2 notes at 2 locations to say he was safely crossing the desert. How he made it to Mt Dare we do not know, but there was a message when we arrived that he had made it safely through the desert.



Cheers



Stephen
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Reply By: cookie1 - Wednesday, Mar 21, 2012 at 16:06

Wednesday, Mar 21, 2012 at 16:06
I do get a little disappointed when people post on forums "not to worry too much as there is always traffic" or "don't worry about spares or whatnot" or "not to check in with rangers" etc etc...

We always try to be as well prepared as possible taking plenty of fuel, water, canned food as a back up and have HF with HF Tel, UHF and Epirb/PLB as well as a full intinerary left with our wives.

As I see it you are out there for enjoyment not to pull others out that are ill prepared or indeed to ensure your own parties survival.

We came across a chap last year that "borrowed" my compressor as he didn't have one - in the Simpson Desert, to make matters worse he put my tyre gauge on his side step and I picked it up as it was about to fall into the dirt!. He was pumping for so long, we set up camp, cooked tea and were eating (and trying to enjoy a peaceful glass of red with the compressor buzzing away in the background), the compressor went thermal and his tyres must have been running at 60 psi as he nearly crashed into me as he had no steering control, me thinks that some people do need to crawl, walk & then run in the metaphorical sense.

Keep safe

Cheers

Colin

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Follow Up By: Member - Stephen L (Clare SA) - Wednesday, Mar 21, 2012 at 19:55

Wednesday, Mar 21, 2012 at 19:55
Hi Colin

Unfortunately the situation will never change, as there are some people that you can not tell, no matter how hard you try.

I could tell you countless stories of similar situations and the part that makes my blood boil the most, are the people that take money from people as "So called Paying Trip Leaders" on desert trips, and in fact have no idea themselves. These people give other prosfessional tour guides a bad name and should be stopped before they put their paying guests at risk.

I will say any more on that, but these are the type of people that give well organized and prepared four wheel drivers a very bad name.

All we can all do is try to drum as much as possible the "Safety" factor of any trip to any new travellers that wish to see our great remote outback areas.




Cheers




Stephen
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Reply By: lancie49 - Wednesday, Mar 21, 2012 at 20:45

Wednesday, Mar 21, 2012 at 20:45
Thanks for bringing up this topic Stephen.
It's obviously one that concerns you greatly, and it should be s greater concern to those of us with much less travelling experience that you.

On the topic of PLBs, could you give us your thoughts on a suitable unit for the occasional 'off the track' traveller ?

Once again, thanks for taking the time to pass on your thoughts and concerns.

Lance
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Follow Up By: Member - Stephen L (Clare SA) - Wednesday, Mar 21, 2012 at 21:33

Wednesday, Mar 21, 2012 at 21:33
Hi Lancie

I like to treat safety in a big way. There are many times that we are not in our vehicles and in situations like this, my HF Radio is not worth a cent if I can not use it. So if we head out on the water in the Kayak or leave the car to hike to a confluence or similar, we always carry the lightweight MT410G PLB.

Robin has mentioned it above that they are on special and the above price is a good price indeed. In the event that I need serious help (which I hope will never happens) I know the authorities will know who has set off the PLB, will know my co-ordinance or location down to metres and not kilometres, who my emergency contact family details are and then who can confirm my details.

Anyone who wants serious, reliable, cheap and affordable help, then the GME MT410G is great value.

There is such a true saying that can be applied to many situations, including travellers that are in need of genuine help, " it is too late to shut the gate once the horse has bolted"

Anything that you have that makes your travels safer is cheap life insurance.



Cheers



Stephen
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