Mugs in the outback and no radio

Submitted: Saturday, Aug 25, 2012 at 21:24
ThreadID: 97655 Views:3557 Replies:8 FollowUps:33
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Came across three so-called "off-road" largish caravans on the Oodnadatta Track all with problems. Two with broken suspension and one ran out of fuel!!!! No radio between them. But lovely gleaming new vans and cars.

The in the Simpson on the Waa line a couple of bikes pass us. About an hour later the support ute stops for a chat (as you do). The conversation leads me to ask what channel are they using. "Channel???" No radios and here he is one hour behind the bikes with the first aid kit. But he has a satellit phone. And no the bikes do not have anything to call him or help with.

We saw one car (him) in the first two days. More on the QAA and French line on the way out but none on the WAA line where the bikes were.

What the!!!!!

Phil
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Reply By: River Swaggie - Saturday, Aug 25, 2012 at 21:43

Saturday, Aug 25, 2012 at 21:43
Hiya Phil

"Stupid is as stupid does"

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Follow Up By: Member - PJR (NSW) - Sunday, Aug 26, 2012 at 07:33

Sunday, Aug 26, 2012 at 07:33
Reckon so.

Also a good movie.
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Reply By: lancie49 - Saturday, Aug 25, 2012 at 22:53

Saturday, Aug 25, 2012 at 22:53
What is it with these ppl that want to ride a bikes through a desert with no substantial back up communications ?

We came across the same thing on the Cordillo Downs Rd a month ago and they had nothing.

"Ohh, me mate's following us, we'll be right.............."


yeah...sure............
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Follow Up By: grunta1970 - Saturday, Aug 25, 2012 at 23:29

Saturday, Aug 25, 2012 at 23:29
It gets a bit boring for me how some people on here want to continually judge how people want to prepare and assess the risk involved with the a trip through the outback. Not saying you guys are doing that, but alot on here do.

I guess I would call myself an 'adventure motorcylcist' . I have travelled alot of the country on my bike, sealed and unsealed roads, alot of it remote. By nature, and by neccessity there is a higher risk factor on a bike, less food and water can be carried, less spares, more reliance on the riders ability and the bikes reliability.. For me that is part of the appeal. Would I say that not carrying communication equipment is stupid?, no. The worry for me would be if i was was riding outside of my ability, increasing my chances of crashing etc. If my well maintained bike bleep s itself out on the road somewhere and I dont have the ability to fix it, will do what I can. Im not going to pessimistically plan my trip around that outcome.

Sorry, I didnt want to rant. I guess my point is that, from what I have read on this site over a long period of time, bikers tend to have a different and slightly less conservative outlook to those in cars, and not neccessarily for the worse.
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Follow Up By: wizzer73 - Saturday, Aug 25, 2012 at 23:52

Saturday, Aug 25, 2012 at 23:52
Well said grunta. Totally agree.

wizzer
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Follow Up By: Member - PJR (NSW) - Sunday, Aug 26, 2012 at 07:59

Sunday, Aug 26, 2012 at 07:59
I get your point mate and if things are planned well and you kit up accordingly then you are right but this group did not appear so well kitted out. The riders only carried water bags on their backs. No storage etc with toolkits or anything in them. Just bare bikes. At least they looked in good nick even newish.

But you must remember this was not just any unsealed country dirt road. It was the desert with difficult dunes especially in the direction that they were going. Minimum run up chances and very very soft and deep sand. Even west to east was hard. We had difficulty with the big tyres and low tyre pressures twice. You could see their tyre marks all over the tracks at every dune. No evidence of and straight up and over. All over the place.

Nothing to get the support car to hurry up and stop the bleeding or whatever. And no traffick around either to help. We only saw them in the first two days.

I would say that you would at least be kitted out more than them.

The other groups much better organised.

Don't worry about the rant. I did not take it as such. It is sometimes hard to put it in a few words.

Cheers
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Follow Up By: dindy - Sunday, Aug 26, 2012 at 08:53

Sunday, Aug 26, 2012 at 08:53
Well grunta1970, if heaven forbid, when you are on one of your care free outer limits roamings you happen to have a serious accident and don't appear at your next point of call assuming that you have actually told someone where you are going and when you are likely to be there. Do you expect that given your care free attitude that all the search and rescue resources that we pay for should thrown your way or do you think that they should adopt the same care free attitude as you do, she'll be right, mate he'll sort it out?
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Follow Up By: Member - PJR (NSW) - Sunday, Aug 26, 2012 at 10:12

Sunday, Aug 26, 2012 at 10:12
What about making the 'adventure motorcylcist' pay. You get stuck or hurt and need a helicopter and search party to rescue you then you should pay all costs. Nah They are quite happy bludging off us and accepting the recovery and/or aid and not paying for the costs your activity caused.

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Follow Up By: KevinE - Sunday, Aug 26, 2012 at 11:00

Sunday, Aug 26, 2012 at 11:00
The image below is a photo I took of a record the outback trips an 89 year old lady I know took with her husband between the 1940's when her husband got out of the army after WW2 to the 1980's when her husband passed away. These trips were done firstly in a 2WD ford station wagon, then later in a series 2 Landrover, both converted to camping with a bed etc in the back. These were the days before too much bitumen on outback roads, so there were very few intrepid travelers out there, not like today! There were no portable car fridges, back up battery systems & you guessed it, no radios or sat phones! Ironically, they never needed them because they were well prepared & drove to the conditions. She laughs at me when I tell her about the stuff we take camping!

[img]
[/img]
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Follow Up By: Member - PJR (NSW) - Sunday, Aug 26, 2012 at 11:12

Sunday, Aug 26, 2012 at 11:12
And the Vikings sailed to England with not much more than a lump of rock and stars to show the way.

Whats your point?

Dad did plenty in an old 1930's studibaker like the old Elliot Ness ones and my elder brother did much the same in an old FJ. My wifes parents did heaps in an old Morris 1000.

I wouldn't do it now as I treasure my family's life and feel their safety is paramount. Besides the doctor said "No sat phone = no go". If I take crook he needs immediate, clear, non static affected, reliable, full duplex comms with my wife and I.
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Follow Up By: Member - PJR (NSW) - Sunday, Aug 26, 2012 at 11:16

Sunday, Aug 26, 2012 at 11:16
Apologies Kevin. I misinterpreted the aim of your post. It now looks like they were really intrepid travellers. I don't think my family did that much.

Phil
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Follow Up By: Hairy (WA) - Sunday, Aug 26, 2012 at 11:54

Sunday, Aug 26, 2012 at 11:54
What about making the 'adventure motorcylcist' pay. And not 4wds? I bet there are more searches involveing 4wds and hikers than bikes.....or is it that YOU just dont like bike travel?
And infering motorcyclists are bludgers doest even deserve a comment........
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Follow Up By: Member - PJR (NSW) - Sunday, Aug 26, 2012 at 12:06

Sunday, Aug 26, 2012 at 12:06
Who on earth let you in. Who said anything about 4wd's paying or not paying. There were two bikes and one car in the group so where on earth did anyone single out the bike riders. Not me!

I have not found anything helpful in either of your posts. All negative. Time for a cuppa I think.
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Follow Up By: Hairy (WA) - Sunday, Aug 26, 2012 at 12:21

Sunday, Aug 26, 2012 at 12:21
Maybe you should re-read your follow up 769220
The bit about makeing MOTORCYCLISTS pay, with no mention of anyone else and the other bit about "Nah They are quite happy bludging off us " you dont think that kind of suggests your comments were directed at motorcyclists??????
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Follow Up By: Member - PJR (NSW) - Sunday, Aug 26, 2012 at 12:55

Sunday, Aug 26, 2012 at 12:55
I missed that one. I was thinking more of people who get into trouble doing these "adventure" exploits and rely on the public to rescue them. Instead of doing the responsible thing and having their own rescue system set up. I did not mean to single motorcyclists out and apologise for appearing so biased.

But then again I did applaud the other groups of bike riders that I met. So normally most people would think that I slipped up.
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Reply By: Member - Bucky - Sunday, Aug 26, 2012 at 04:04

Sunday, Aug 26, 2012 at 04:04
Phil
Maybe it's natures way of eliminating idiots

Cheers
Bucky
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Follow Up By: Member - Toyocrusa (NSW) - Sunday, Aug 26, 2012 at 07:21

Sunday, Aug 26, 2012 at 07:21
ROTFLMAO
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Follow Up By: River Swaggie - Sunday, Aug 26, 2012 at 18:19

Sunday, Aug 26, 2012 at 18:19
The Bucksta comes up with another Beauty....
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Reply By: Member - Stephen L (Clare SA) - Sunday, Aug 26, 2012 at 09:19

Sunday, Aug 26, 2012 at 09:19
Hi Phil

You mentioned in your other post that this was your first trip through the Simpson. Once you get out and about more, you will find that this is quite common and when things do go pear shape, these are the first people to seek your help and you will find out just how unprepared for such remote trips some people are. As for what channel they should be on, this tells me one thing, either they do not have a Desert Parks Pass, as it clearly states in the booklet supplied that a UHF is recommended and the designated channel is channel 10. I bet you would have also come across people that never had a sand flag on their vehicle either.

From our many remote trips, including solo trips, you can never have enough safety equipment and you must take ever trip seriously.


Cheers


Stephen
Simpson Desert Colours

Lifetime Member
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AnswerID: 493627

Follow Up By: Member - PJR (NSW) - Sunday, Aug 26, 2012 at 10:05

Sunday, Aug 26, 2012 at 10:05
I felt like saying to the bloke "If you don't care then why should I bother helping you if you call for help". But being a responsible member of society I would help.

I wondered about why I got the pass. Didn't see where it would be spent. No one seen to check so there is the temptation to many not to pay when they just want to "Go for a run to Poeppels and back". So why bother with any "stupid bureaucratic recommendations". Aahh At least we did the right thing and $150 is a drop in the ocean compared to what we spent getting the car to a standard where we are confident in doing a Simpson or even a Canning solo car drive.

In a recent thread a bloke asked if his X-trail or Pathfinder was okay. My response was basically take it if you wish but don't expect me to ruin my holiday.
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Follow Up By: olcoolone - Sunday, Aug 26, 2012 at 10:36

Sunday, Aug 26, 2012 at 10:36
"I wondered about why I got the pass. Didn't see where it would be spent. No one seen to check so there is the temptation to many not to pay when they just want to "Go for a run to Poeppels and back"".

It's called up keep and funding for other parks....... obviously you think the money is wasted and the pass not worth the money.

SA government contributes very little in the way of funding to our national parks and the national parks rely on user pays..... in Victoria nearly all their parks are free..... why.... because every Victorian contributes in taxes.

We get our 2 parks passes yearly... even if we don't use them.

Stephen re: having a pass and UHF radio..... we have come across many who have a pass and no radio..... no water.... no food..... no GPS...... no firstaid kit..... no tyre repair kit or compressor and no common sense.
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Follow Up By: mikehzz - Sunday, Aug 26, 2012 at 10:46

Sunday, Aug 26, 2012 at 10:46
You only need the pass if you go into SA. It is only valid there. A run to Poeppels from Birdsville is free (unless you step into SA that is) :-)
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Follow Up By: Member - PJR (NSW) - Sunday, Aug 26, 2012 at 11:04

Sunday, Aug 26, 2012 at 11:04
Ooops but how about I change my post to read Purni Bore or anywhere in the SA part of the Simpson. That do you. Meta cpouple from Geelong at Mt Dare who were going to leave their van (a type of T-van thingumy) at Dalhousie and stick their nose into the park near Purni Bore. Is that good enough?
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Follow Up By: olcoolone - Sunday, Aug 26, 2012 at 11:17

Sunday, Aug 26, 2012 at 11:17
mikehzz.... suppose you right as long as you don't walk around the market and stay on the Queensland side...... LOL
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Reply By: Member - Boobook - Sunday, Aug 26, 2012 at 10:18

Sunday, Aug 26, 2012 at 10:18
Not all mugs in the outback are bad. I have one of these and love it.



:-)
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Follow Up By: Member - PJR (NSW) - Sunday, Aug 26, 2012 at 10:24

Sunday, Aug 26, 2012 at 10:24
There has to be one. 10 points.
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Reply By: olcoolone - Sunday, Aug 26, 2012 at 10:22

Sunday, Aug 26, 2012 at 10:22
I would sooner travel with a satellite phone then a UHF radio...... does that mean every one travelling in remote locations who hasn't got a satellite phone is stupid?

UHF is good for short range communication yet so many 4x4ers rely on it as their life line to the outside world when remote travelling.

UHF RADIO SHOULD ONLY BE USED FOR NON LIFE THREATENING SHORT RANGE COMMUNICATIONS and NOT BE RELIED ON......

A UHF in most situations will only give you about 3-7 kilometres in the Simpson (not talking about range on top of dunes) and seeing most you can use on a bike is a 5w handheld with it's own small antenna I would expect the range to be less again...... if the support vehicle was 1 hour behind even if one of them came of their bike they still would not be able to communicate to the support vehicle until it was nearly on top of them.

How do you know one of the bikes didn't have a satellite phone as well?

So it seems if a 4wd doesn't have a UHF it's OK but for motor bike rides it's not..... did you stop and ask every 4wd if they had a UHF turned on and were they on the right channel......

The same go for the..... and I'll use the word "stupid" people who have UHF radio's and use CTCSS whilst travelling because they don't want to hear other people talking..... they only want to hear those invited.

Maybe we should also have a dig at people who buy those cheap $49 0.5w UHF handhelds thinking they are as good as a 5w version with an external antenna....... and what about those with little zero gain antennas......

We have done trips where we have turned our UHF off.... constant "watch this bump... the sand is soft here" useless chatter.


AnswerID: 493635

Follow Up By: Member - PJR (NSW) - Sunday, Aug 26, 2012 at 10:43

Sunday, Aug 26, 2012 at 10:43
They only had the one phone and not one UHF between them. Yes we did talk about it. The point that I am making here is that if one of the riders had been cut badly by the time the support vehicle got to them he could have bled to death. The support vehicle was over an hour behind on a track that at best, 20KPH was the top speed. No sand flags nor UHF warning about a possible crest meeting. No consideration for others.

We have UHF and a satellite phone. The UHF for close comms and the satellite phone for long distance. Thought about HF but elected not to install it.

Boy oh boy do I agree about the CTCSS tones. I find them damned annoying.

I agree that spending a measly $50 on an important safety device instead of something a bit more reliable is a joke.

But this thread is not about these last two points. It is about people going into areas where they are not fully and safely prepared for. So let's not drift off too far mate. The caravans were not made for the deep corrugations (2 x broken suspension) and amount of loose rocks (hole in fuel line) on the Oodnadatta Track and the bike trio were nothing more than a couple of mates going for a ride without enough thought for their own (insufficient comms between team members) and possibly others safety (no sand flag or advance warning at crests) and well being.

You only have to read the material that comes with the desert pass to see where the bikers were not really properly prepared.
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Follow Up By: olcoolone - Sunday, Aug 26, 2012 at 11:12

Sunday, Aug 26, 2012 at 11:12
Everyone has a different idea of remote and safety..... The areas you mentioned I don't class as remote, the Northern Simpson yes but when we do the Simpson we are just as prepared as if we were doing a full on remote trip.

Accidents can happen anywhere and I can take you to areas 40 minutes from Adelaide that would be just as remote.

As for no prior warning with sandflags and radio's..... it highlites the need to drive proactively and think every crest there could be someone coming the other way and apply caution and not rely on the flag or radio call..... maybe flashing beacon lights might be the next "thing to have".

As for not being prepared..... all you have to do is read some of the posts on this forum to understand some don't value their live or lives of others very much and what priorities they have....."couldn't take the firstaid kit because the fridge with the beer wouldn't fit".

CTCSS is not the tone you hear over the UHF, CTCSS is "Continuous Tone Coded Squelch System" whereby the radios transmit a unaudible constant tone that the other radio that is set to the same tone receives and opens up the squelch.... anyone not using the same tone is blocked out from being heard...... but anyone can hear them.

CTCSS is used where there are many users on one channel and you only want to hear on person, this is very common on shared commercial radio repeater sites.

I think your thinking of selcall that transmits a 5 digit audible tone.

I'm a big believer in being self prepared, being self sufficient and not having to rely on others for help... the group we travel with are the same..... some times we may be separated from the main party for one reason or other..... every one in the group know each other can defend for them selves.

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Follow Up By: Member - PJR (NSW) - Sunday, Aug 26, 2012 at 11:24

Sunday, Aug 26, 2012 at 11:24
Who cares where the tones come from. I find them irritating.
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Follow Up By: Member - PJR (NSW) - Sunday, Aug 26, 2012 at 11:32

Sunday, Aug 26, 2012 at 11:32
You said "The areas you mentioned I don't class as remote".

Well I disagree. I would certainly call the WAA line on the Simpson Desert remote. As far as seeing other people then I would still call it remore because the only people we saw in the first two days were the two bike riders and their support car driver. A whole three in over 48 hours. And not a mobile phone or TV in cooee of us.

The Oodnadatta track was like a highway. Lots of traffic, so I agree there. But not in the Simpson.
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Reply By: Hairy (WA) - Sunday, Aug 26, 2012 at 11:26

Sunday, Aug 26, 2012 at 11:26
Gday,
Why do people continously bag others for not doing what THEY do on this site?
Ive got a Sat phone so everyone has to.......
I drive a car so bike riders are stupid.........
I dont take a trailer so trailers should be banned........
Im scared shitless of not haveing phone contact not being surrounded by other people and being more than an hour away from the services of a capital city, so everyone else must be too.
I think 40 degrees is hot so you a mug going out bush then!!!

Bloody hell........people have lived, worked and travelled these deserts for years without all this modern technology and safety in numbers approach and the 3 ton of safety gear you have to take to stopped being labled a fool. They relied on common sense, not someone else to come and get them!

There is probably a higher chance of these bike riders dying going to work in the city as there is in the desert without all the NECESSARY safety crap.

And the caravaners who run out of fuel?......so what.......a miss calculation?........lost some fuel?.........gave some to another traveller who was low?
And no radio!!!!!!! Shock horor!
Maybe they should just close the roads through the deserts to save everyone form putting themselves at risk.

Just curious.......how nany people here wear full face helmets and 4 point harness when driving there 4wd's? Wouldnt you fall into the mug class if you didnt.......because it would have to be safer?





AnswerID: 493641

Follow Up By: Member - PJR (NSW) - Sunday, Aug 26, 2012 at 12:00

Sunday, Aug 26, 2012 at 12:00
Thats one hell of an exageration. I heard at Oodnadatta that the one that ran out of fuel had a rock go through the fuel line on the towing car.

And for your info the only comms we take on our trips is the satellite phone with my doctors private number stored in it and the UHF. No HF, ipod, ipad or even a mobile phone either. Don't even take a computer. I wonder if you take any of this stuff.

If you do not like these threads then why join in. It is a free world and we can bring up these topics if we wish. Maybe someone one day will read that a satellite phone or HF would be a good idea for them. And then as luck will have it, they help someone get an emergency rescue. Or even that a set of max tracks would have helped and they get their own and actually get to use them.

Maybe even learn how to use a snatch strap properly instead of doing what some "mug did". We don't all know these things from birth like you apparently did. I have learnt plenty by reading and then thinking beyond the post "what about me?".

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Follow Up By: Hairy (WA) - Sunday, Aug 26, 2012 at 12:29

Sunday, Aug 26, 2012 at 12:29
Like you said....its a free world and if I wish to comment I will, but thanks for the lecture anyway.
And if you started a thread titled outback travel advice or something people might take it as advice but you didnt.....you lablled them as MUGS if I remember rightly.
And then contined on bagging "adventure motorcyclists"
Hardly an educational speil. More like a sermon on outback travel by by someone who knows everything. LOL
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Follow Up By: Bravo Man - Sunday, Aug 26, 2012 at 17:41

Sunday, Aug 26, 2012 at 17:41
To PJR

You seemed to have a sat phone because your worried about your health.
Maybe you should just stay home in case you get sick and you can call an ambulance,you could just use your. mob phone then and save money on the call.

Also pretty hard to put a sand flag on a motorbike and listen to a radio while you ride.

I think you need a cuppa and not worry about other people so much.

Regards Peter
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Follow Up By: Member - PJR (NSW) - Sunday, Aug 26, 2012 at 18:11

Sunday, Aug 26, 2012 at 18:11
You clown. Thanks a lot. I have an incurrable cancer which means I can have a relapse at any time and need ready access to the specialist for him to arrange my immediate treatment. It was his idea to get the phone and he also helped get a subsidy. Otherwise he would not clear me to go on ANY trips. I thought biased people like you were a dead bredd. Would you say the same to youe father if he had the same cancer.

I would trade anything to be healthy and even just to be able to climb Ayers Rock.

Your name suits you. Pull of it.
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Follow Up By: Bravo Man - Sunday, Aug 26, 2012 at 18:48

Sunday, Aug 26, 2012 at 18:48
Your right,I opened my mouth (so to speak) without knowing all the details and I apologise. Good on you for getting out there and doing these things.

But you should be out there enjoying yourself and not whinging about what other people do.

I travelled around OZ 20 years ago on a trail bike with no backup and had no problems except a few flat tyres which I fixed myself. If people didn't take chances at times the world would be a boring place.

Peter
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Follow Up By: Member - PJR (NSW) - Sunday, Aug 26, 2012 at 19:32

Sunday, Aug 26, 2012 at 19:32
Apology accepted knowing that I have also been guilty of the same thing.

We are out there. . . . Half way through the bucket list already.
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Reply By: Member - PJR (NSW) - Sunday, Aug 26, 2012 at 13:14

Sunday, Aug 26, 2012 at 13:14
All jokes and innuendos aside guys. This is how we felt.

As recommended by the SA Government we would often say on ch 10 (see parks pass documentation) that we are a single vehicle eastbound on the WAA line x Kms east of Lynne Junction or whatever was appropriate. No answer! So we would like to relax a little because odds are that no one is coming west. Ha! No chance. After one bumped the mudguard as he zipped over the crest we could not relax at all and enjoy the drive as we should be able to. We did not see him coming as he was just over the crest and below the bonnet line way out of view. Then we get to the support car way down the track and find out that not one of them had a UHF radio nor had any inkling that we were coming. Yet the cars we passed on days three and four were appreciative of the progress reports on the UHF. But not this mob. And I am NOT singling out the two on the bikes. The bloke in the car was exactly the same. He seemed to think the satellite phone was god reincarnated and that it would solve all issues. All he wanted to do after the radio subject was raised was complain about all the others asking him the same. We were not the only ones having trouble with this trio. Everyone else was communicative and helpful and only too happy to chat for a bit.

With that said I will leave you all to whatever the knockers come up with.

Have a lovely day and hope to see you down the track.
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Follow Up By: pop2jocem - Monday, Aug 27, 2012 at 14:18

Monday, Aug 27, 2012 at 14:18
Phil,
Firstly may I express my genuine best wishes to you and hope you get to enjoy your travels for a long long time yet.
I guess issues such as desert passes, banning travel at certain times of the year and the various recommendations/requirements are based unfortunately on who is going to be sued and for how much rather than any altruistic motives. The fact that grandpa and grandma set out across unexplored country however many years ago in a T model Ford or pushing a wheelbarrow and relying on finding sustenance along the way is of little relevance today. If they did a perish the family would mourn their passing and move on. Today the period of mourning would be followed by a call to a solicitors office. Well hell...it's gotta be someones fault, preferable someone with some money. Many years ago the only requirement to go and work on a mine site was a pair of safety boots. Today at least 5 or more induction courses and protection from every thing from the sun to ones own stupidity must be provided by the mine operator. We now apply for passes to travel into areas covered by various restrictions, some in my opinion, for good reasons but many simply because it's a good cash cow. I wonder how long it will be before ourselves and our vehicles will need to be presented to some inspection authority before leaving the bitumen.
Do I have a somewhat cynical outlook???.. probably.
I guess I can take some comfort in the fact that at my age and state of disillusionment most of my remote area travelling has been done without having someone looking over my shoulder.

Cheers
Pop
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Follow Up By: Member - PJR (NSW) - Monday, Aug 27, 2012 at 16:01

Monday, Aug 27, 2012 at 16:01
Pop We did enjoy the cynicism and humour. But this has been the same for many generations. An inspection post at Dalhousie at the gate to the Simpson? Well who knows but I get your point.

Once upon a time all motorised horseless carriages had to be proceeded by a man carrying a red flag. I wonder how long it will be until history really does repeat itself. Hmmm Well the speed limits are decreasing!!!

Catchya and I hope we meet to share a dram or two one day.
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