YesA recent news story about a couple whose car caught fire on Talwana Track (WA) and were rescued by a helicopter was followed by police comments that they were ‘well prepared’ because He had a sat phone.
Originally cited by police Sgt. Channel 7 News Saying: “This is a really good story of well-prepared people.”
I’m not sure that having a set phone, especially if that’s all you have, is enough to guarantee that it’s well-designed! Yes, the satphone got them out of trouble and possibly even saved their lives, or at least a few more nights in the desert without a plan – but is a satphone really enough?
Interestingly, judging by the pictures in the news report, the couple had enough time to grab some gear from the vehicle before it was completely engulfed in flames. In the makeshift shelter they built, they had a nearby gas stove and gas bottle, saucepan, thermos and cup, a jerry can of water, a box of supplies, basic bedding and various other items. . Everything looked brand new.
It got me thinking: was this another example of people traveling with ‘full luggage and no idea’? We’ve met even more in the last few years, when people have had tighter restrictions on overseas travel and decided to have an Australian adventure. Who can blame them for wanting to see a little bit of their country? I certainly can’t.
However, you can’t just buy all the gear and head off into the unknown like it was a trip down the road to Byron Bay, or Wilsons Promontory along the Coastal Highway.
Smart people join a 4WD club or go on a tour with a tag or two to learn new skills, techniques and hopefully a bit of gear, which will help them enjoy long-distance desert travel. will help and, in the process, help sustain them. Out of trouble
At the very least, take a basic course on how to drive a 4WD vehicle. When you’ve never done this before, or even sat in a 4WD, don’t assume you already know how to drive a 4WD in sand, cross a river or up a steep hill. To climb.
It’s also important to be aware of the dangers of desert travel, including the potential for fires from spinifex build-up under the vehicle, particularly around exhausts, DPFs and catalytic converters (see page 84 for more on spinifex fires). ). Did the couple in question know all this and if they did, did they check under the car periodically?
They also had enough time to save the gear they did, so did they have enough time to use it to put out the fire? Did they also have supplies that everyone should at least carry with them during the cleaning? My gut feeling tells me, ‘No!’
Now you may have a brand new car and camper, but that doesn’t protect you from breakdowns, punctures or even fires. Carrying only a sat phone is not being well prepared.
Yes, it’s a step in the right direction, but preparation and planning, basic knowledge of repairs, having tools for the job, as well as a first aid kit, recovery gear and communication equipment are all essential when going out.