essential travel equipment

Submitted: Friday, Jan 04, 2013 at 22:44
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hi there, me and my partner are gearing up for an Australia wide adventure that will last at least half a year, the majority of witch will be spent camping and we will tackle most forms of terrain. I'm just hopeing to get some advice on what equipment is essential for travelling in the australian wilderness. im aware we need to carry around 25L of both fuel and water as well as axe shovel and planks incase the jeep gets a bit bogged down or stuck but what else will i be needing? is a uhf radio really needed and should i invest in a winch or are they only for hardcore offroad antics? baring in mind my jeep will remain in factory standard condition. any help or advice would be great.
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Reply By: Lyn W3 - Friday, Jan 04, 2013 at 22:54

Friday, Jan 04, 2013 at 22:54
1st thing I would do is join a 4WD club and get some driver instruction.
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Follow Up By: matthew h - Friday, Jan 04, 2013 at 23:02

Friday, Jan 04, 2013 at 23:02
sounds like a pretty good idea, ill see what i can find round Melbourne
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Reply By: Member - Old Girl - Friday, Jan 04, 2013 at 23:06

Friday, Jan 04, 2013 at 23:06
All depends on where you want to go. 25 lt of extra fuel aint going to help in some places.
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Follow Up By: Member Andys Adventures - Friday, Jan 04, 2013 at 23:39

Friday, Jan 04, 2013 at 23:39
25lts of water isn't going to go far either.

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Reply By: KSV - Friday, Jan 04, 2013 at 23:11

Friday, Jan 04, 2013 at 23:11
You will not get proper answer on your question. Way too many variables. For example:

- Do you plan to tow trailer?
- Do you plan to travel alone or with other vehicle?
- Do you plan to do 4WD tracks or bitumen/well graded unsealed roads? If 4WD to what extend? For example Simpson desert or Oondata track? Or Licola-Jamieson road or Billy Goat Track?
- Do you plan to do much water crossing? How deep?
- Do you plan to do mud?
- Do you like to do it light or in comfort?
- How long you plan to be out of civilizations at once?
- How much you happy to spend on vehicle modifications?
I can continue, but reckon you grasp the idea. Anyway half a year is massive trip and preparation need to be well thought through.

Good Luck
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Follow Up By: Lyn W3 - Friday, Jan 04, 2013 at 23:42

Friday, Jan 04, 2013 at 23:42
Don't forget the cargo barrier!!!!
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Follow Up By: KSV - Saturday, Jan 05, 2013 at 09:54

Saturday, Jan 05, 2013 at 09:54
Lyn, there are different kind of people. One been grown in such environment that they need to be told everything, need to be guided and supervised whole life. They need to put cargo barrier, go to 4WD courses, participate in tag along trips etc. They cannot make own decisions, cannot invent and cannot learn even from own mistakes - they simply have not got capacity for all this activities. They easy can get lost even on Hume freeway without GPS. Though they may be good followers.

From other hand there are people around with enough capacity to learn by themselves and to think outside square. I would rather go bush with them and hope that OP is later, not former.

Good Luck
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Follow Up By: matthew h - Saturday, Jan 05, 2013 at 11:17

Saturday, Jan 05, 2013 at 11:17
sorry i forgot to specify in the first post. the plan so far is to stick mainly to the coast with one or two inland trips on unsealed roads, we are keen on doing at least one proper track if we can find a group that are willing to do so. the majority of offroad work will be on beaches and small trips into the bush on either unsealed roads or light 4wd tracks. we do not plan on being out of civilisation for more then 3 or 4 days at a time witch will mainly be spent camping. we will not be towing a trailer so all out gear needs to fit into the truck with the roof box. i have some 4wd experience but this was gained in NZ witch seems to be a totally different environment to what we will deal with here, higher temperature more radical weather, less traffic on longer more out of the way routes and longer between furl stops. we will be taking a gps as well as detailed maps for each state/territory. just the two of us in one vehicle.
i do plan on doing a 4wd course just to get a better idea of recovery methods witch i hope i wont need to use and also general tips on vehicle capability. i do not plan on making any modifications to the truck with the possible exception of a snorkel kit depending on how frequent water crossings will be on what will largely be a costal trip.
we are also hopeing to do it in reltive comfort, we have a large tent with a fair bit of camping gear including showers, tables, chairs, oven and
fishing gear.
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Follow Up By: KSV - Saturday, Jan 05, 2013 at 13:49

Saturday, Jan 05, 2013 at 13:49
@matthew h

Ok, main emphasize is beach driving not far away from civilization. So my list will be:
1. Tyres. Best you can afford.
2. Air pump. Do not be tempted with cheap cnazone crap - you need good one. Do not forget tyre repair kit.
3. Bead lockers - not entirely essential, but very useful on soft sand
4. Suspension, though it may be stretch to your budget
5. Recovery will include proper long handle shovel. And spade. Nice things is high-lift jack, but you have to have proper jack points. On sand shovel can do almost anything. You do not really need winch and if extra paranoid you can include winch kit for your high-lift. Snatch strap is useless when you travel alone, but people appreciate when you ask just for tug and not for everything. Do not forget proper bottle jack and jack plate. Some swear by plastic sand-tracks - I never use them, but seems like on sand they are winners. Forget about exhaust jack.
6. You do not need much extra fuel because you not that far away from civilization - I would say absolute max two 20l cans - you have to watch weight. Only plastic and of course only approved.
7. Water is really depends. 5l per person per day proven to be sufficient, but you need to save it continuously. I would say 40-50l. Do not buy dedicated cans - they way too expensive and bigger ones way too cumbersome. 15l spring water cans from Safeway proven to be indestructible and versatile. And even if you manage wreck one it is not disaster.
8. Good topographic maps a must. And of course compass - do not relay on GPS gizmos, compass is incredibly cheap. Get touring atlas as well. Apart of "true" topographic maps there is very good publisher "Roof Top" (or other way around). I like their publications - not only topographical features, but also plenty of info about camps and attractions. If you like to have GPS (useful, no doubt), get proper one that as least water-proof - they do not expensive anymore and CashConverter flooded with them.
9. Considering you not far away from civilization, I would not put much emphasize on spares - just belts and hoses. Ditto to tools - just small set of essential sockets, plies and screwdrivers. I have Leatherman tool (not cnonize crap!) and it saved my bacon uncountable times.
10. For reason mentioned above I would not worry much about long-distance communication. If you extra paranoid then rent satphone. If you alone UHF semi-useless, but some sand-places encourage people to have UHF on and on specific channel - it is very good idea to know that no-one on other side of dune. Though you cannot be guaranteed because you depends on that party from other side. I personally found high flag completely useless, but some places require them, so do comply.
11. Keep your center of gravity as low and as close to center of your car as you only can - rollover on sand is real possibility. You may rethink about putting stuff on roof.

I think it is main things. Ask if I forget something.

DISCLAIMER. Some (or all) may partially (or fully) disagree with my list or some items either included or missed. You welcome compile yours. Cheers
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Reply By: KSV - Friday, Jan 04, 2013 at 23:26

Friday, Jan 04, 2013 at 23:26
BTW where are you located?
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Reply By: Member - John and Val - Saturday, Jan 05, 2013 at 08:44

Saturday, Jan 05, 2013 at 08:44
Hi Matthew,

This site holds a massive amount of info so if you are willing to spend some time ferreting around you will get the answers to your questions. Try to red search button in the top RH corner for starters. Some members on here have quite long lists of the gear that they carry in their profile, so have a look there too for ideas.

What gear you require will depend on a lot of factors including where you want to go, so if you can give us a bit more info on that then we can give you better answers. But from our experience a winch would be one of the last things on your list - unless you are going seriously off road. But proper recovery gear (shovel yes, planks no) and knowledge of how to use it safely is essential. A 4wd course would be a good step in that regard - look for one that meets national accreditation standards.

If you are going away from the major highways you will probably need to carry more than 25l of fuel especially if you dont have LR tanks. You will also need more than 25l of water - double that amount as a minimum, and more for some places especially in summer.

Reliable communications are essential but again what you need depends on where you go. There is a good article (under the Articles button in the blue bar across the top) on communications to get you started. Away from populated areas mobile coverage is patchy to non-existant.

Good paper maps are essential, and a navigator of some sort is nearly essential these days.

Plenty of spares for your vehicle, including tyre repair gear.

Reliable camping gear and a knowledge of how to camp responsibly eg carry out your garbage, dont leave ANY litter including from toilet, be very careful with campfires and use wood sparingly as in places it can be scarce.

If you are not experienced campers strongly suggest that once you get your gear together (and before setting off on your big trip) that you do a few short shakedown trips to sort out the inevitable glitches in the system.

That is just for starters - a full list would be pages long, but happy to help with further ideas where possible.


J and V
"Not everything that can be counted counts, and not everything that counts can be counted."
- Albert Einstein

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Reply By: pop2jocem - Saturday, Jan 05, 2013 at 09:04

Saturday, Jan 05, 2013 at 09:04
May I also suggest that if you are planning to visit remote areas you carry a Personal Locator Beacon (PLB). That way if it does go pear shaped you can get rescued.

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Reply By: Member - Old Girl - Saturday, Jan 05, 2013 at 10:29

Saturday, Jan 05, 2013 at 10:29
I would reccomend a tagalog to anyone who asks such questions. Means they have no idea.
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Follow Up By: Member - John and Val - Saturday, Jan 05, 2013 at 10:40

Saturday, Jan 05, 2013 at 10:40
Hi Old Girl,

Maybe that's a tad harsh? We all have to start somewhere. Surely asking questions of a knowledgeable group of people is better than not asking and just waltzing off - as I'm sure many do.

While we now consider ourselves reasonably seasoned travellers I do recall our own state of ignorance and uncertainty prior to our first inland trips, well away from populated places. No forum back then, and we hadn't done any 4wd training then either. But we prepared as best we could, we went, and we learned without coming to grief in the process. Now we can hopefully pass on some experience to those that ask.

For all we know the OP is just going around the coast, sticking to the bitumen - no need for a tagalong there. If he's planning on a solo CSR trip that might call for a agalong. But maybe he will get a better idea of what he can do when he reads these replies.


J and V
"Not everything that can be counted counts, and not everything that counts can be counted."
- Albert Einstein

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Follow Up By: Member - Cruiser74 - Saturday, Jan 05, 2013 at 14:33

Saturday, Jan 05, 2013 at 14:33
Hi Val,

I agree. I would consider ourselves to be experienced long distance/offroad travellers and campers but as recently as last week we found ourselves under prepared for a trip to the Fitzgerald River NP. On top of having issues with our UHF we completely underestimated how much fresh water we would need for our stay. We had 40 litres for 4 days for 2 of us but did not account for how hot it was going to be and we also ignorantly thought we would be able to get fresh water from the river not realising (embarrasingly)it was actually a salt water river. Too much track research and not enough local area research! Upon leaving we were down to our last 4-5 litres and it was 45 degrees and a very long way back up to the highway. If something happened to the car on the way back up we would have been stranded in extreme weather with very little water waiting by the vehicle in the hope someone else came down. After that experience I will always carry at least 10 more litres than I think I need especially during the hotter months/locations. Bad things can happen to even the most well prepared people. Luckily, I keep the truck well maintained and do not take any unecessary risks so we were fine but I will definitely be investing in a PLB before we do a trip like that again. It's these experiences you need to learn from and ensure you do not put yourself at risk like that again in the future, if you do not learn from your past mistakes it is inevitable that one day you will find yourself in trouble.


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Follow Up By: graham B9 - Sunday, Jan 06, 2013 at 11:22

Sunday, Jan 06, 2013 at 11:22
Hi Old Girl,

I too think you are being a bit harsh. Everyone has to start somewhere and at least they are asking questions and doing research.
It is those ones that just head out there with no preparation, get stuck and need our tax dollars to rescue them we should be getting down on.

If they do lots of research they are at least heading in the right direction.
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Reply By: Member - eighty matey - Saturday, Jan 05, 2013 at 11:44

Saturday, Jan 05, 2013 at 11:44
G'day Matthew,

by now you might have figured your question doesn't have a simple answer.

What half of the year you are travelling need sto worked out and where you'd like to go most is the second question.

Australia has a huge variety of terrain, from the Vic High Country to the Kimberley Coast and everything in between.

Before you load up your vehicle you have to consider how much load your vehicle can carry, then work out what you fit in. Passengers, food, fridge, water, fuel, recovery gear (for you or anyone else you come across), camping gear all add up to a heavy vehicle.

I'd start looking at the tyres. If they're a highway rated tyre, you might need to consider All Terrain tyres. The standard shocks and springs may need upgrading to safely carry the load.

Google 4WD Clubs in an area near you and start there. You don't have to tackle any "hardcore off road antics" to get into trouble, especially on a big trip.

I'm on the NSW Central Coast and if you were near here I could help you out but I think you might be closer to Melbourne.

Anyway, whatever you do, I'm sure you'll really enjoy travelling throughout Australia. The trip will only make you hunger for more but...

Have fun,

AnswerID: 501719

Reply By: passionfruit - Saturday, Jan 05, 2013 at 12:25

Saturday, Jan 05, 2013 at 12:25
I travel solo allot and have a winch,but the best bit of gear I have purchased is a set of 'Max Trax'.Has helped me get out of trouble when the winch was no help(nothing to anchor to) and is cheaper and no maintenance. Cheers Glenn.
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Reply By: Bazooka - Saturday, Jan 05, 2013 at 13:10

Saturday, Jan 05, 2013 at 13:10
Best advice I can give you is to read the many articles on this site about this very subject then come back to the forum with any specific queries.

Breaking your requirements down into groups will help in both planning and packing. For example:
Comms - sat phone/plb is a must if you're going to very remote areas, as is advising someone of your plans. UHF is handy. Laptop or phone for internet is very handy while on the road for that length of time.

Vehicle prep/spares/recovery - huge subject, I'll leave it to your research

Sleeping/accommodation - remember the weather



First Aid - including simple things like sunblock

Power - primarily fridge

Navigation - maps at least

Admin - mail redirection etc
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Reply By: Hairy (NT) - Saturday, Jan 05, 2013 at 13:10

Saturday, Jan 05, 2013 at 13:10
Its pretty endless really, but I would say,
Tyre deflators
Snatch Strap
Tide Chart
First aid kit

for a start.......
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Follow Up By: Hairy (NT) - Saturday, Jan 05, 2013 at 13:59

Saturday, Jan 05, 2013 at 13:59
Should have also said...
Beer and lots of it. Its the universal currency when needing a tow!
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Reply By: Geoff (Newcastle, NSW) - Saturday, Jan 05, 2013 at 13:27

Saturday, Jan 05, 2013 at 13:27
A pack of cards is the best rescue equipment ever made!

When lost or broken down, sit down and start playing Solitaire.

Pretty soon some clown will stick their head over your shoulder and say "that red seven will go on the black eight you know"

Grab them real fast and get them to help you with your dilemma!

Otherwise filter out all the advice offered above and follow what fits your needs and situation.
Landcruiser HDJ78,
Grey hair is hereditary, you get it from children. Baldness is caused by watching the Wallabies.

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Reply By: Atta Boy Luther - Saturday, Jan 05, 2013 at 18:32

Saturday, Jan 05, 2013 at 18:32
google lifestraw
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