HEADING TO THE BACKCOUNTRY SOON? RESIST THE URGE TO THROW CAUTION TO THE WIND AND ENSURE YOU CONSIDER THESE ESSENTIAL PREPARATION TIPS
As off-roaders, challenge is part of the adventure – man and machine against the elements, testing the limits of our vehicles to find that magic spot in the middle of nowhere.
That’s all well and good, but no one wants to be stuck on the side of an isolated trail, out of range and out of luck, contemplation an expensive rescue or worse when you should be casting your fly rod into a beautiful river or relaxing with a cold one around a campfire.
Before you head off, research your intended area of travel. Check the local road conditions, purchase or download the latest maps and roughly plan each day’s travel. And if you have GPS, make sure you know to use it.
Take some time to get to know your vehicle. Speak with your mechanic, get them to perform a pre-trip inspection and show you how to rectify some of the common issues specific to your vehicle. Key areas to pay attention to are suspension, cooling, steering components and wheel bearings.
You should also ask yourself if your insurance and roadside assistance are up to date, and whether you are covered for the areas you’re intending to travel. Make sure you can answer yes to both before hitting the trail.
Pack only the gear you really need. Camping and over landing is about escaping the rat race, not taking it with you. A good rule to follow when trying to reduce your amount of gear is ‘if it doesn’t have a least two uses, leave it at home’.
Aside from the obvious items like clothing, food, water and shelter, other non-negotiables for remote area travel include a well-stocked first aid kit (and knowledge to use it), basic tools, common vehicle spares and reliable communication equipment.
The ability to contact the outside world when traveling in remote areas is paramount. Most backcountry locations don’t have reliable mobile reception, so consider taking a satellite phone and EPIRB (i.e. SPOT) for emergencies and have a good quality 2M radio system or at minimum, a good quality CB radio fitted to your vehicle for short and medium range communication.
With this knowledge on board, get out there and explore the amazing places this world has to offer.
To help choose the correct ARB vehicle product for your next adventure, visit ARB’s vehicle application guide at – http://www.arbusa.com/Vehicle-Application
For a more detailed list of recommended spares and tools to carry, driving techniques and recovery procedures, visit www.arb.com.au/getting-started