UP IN THE AIR?
Air compressors are an extremely useful part of any recovery kit when travelling, and for those heading for the sand, are essential when it comes to reinflating tyres miles from the nearest service station.
There are many different types of compressors on the market, ranging in price and in quality. Always buy a good rather than inferior quality unit. Cheap "plug into the cigarette lighter" units only work for short periods and heat up very quickly. This makes the process of inflating a flat a time-consuming exercise that will also place enormous strain on your battery.
When doing a lot of work with your compressor, allow the unit to cool down for regular periods and be aware of the draw on your battery. For long jobs, start your engine every now and again to keep the charge up.
One of the most useful pieces of equipment you can carry (especially in heavily wooded areas) is a chainsaw. Where a track is blocked by a fallen tree, it is not always practical to break out the trusty axe, depending on the tree’s size, and even turning back may not be an option if another tree has fallen since you passed. (This is not uncommon, particularly in alpine regions or in areas recently affected by bush fire.)
Although it can be easy to drive until the sun starts to fade before looking for a suitable camping site, try to stop your travelling while there is still enough light to examine your camping site properly.
Even if it is a sport you have stayed at in the past, the conditions may have changed, the ground conditions may be poor or the area could have become polluted or even become a dumping ground since you were last there. Give yourself plenty of daylight to get everything set up, find sufficient firewood and get a fire going will make your night’s stay that much more comfortable and enjoyable.
Regardless of how many times you might have travelled the same stretch of road or track, be aware of the prevailing conditions, and match your driving to suit.
Correct speed to suit visibility and always err on the side of caution. When visibility is hampered due to dust, keep in mind that another vehicle may have recently passed and may well be stopped just up ahead.
4WD TRAILER TIP
When towing a trailer in the bush, always make sure that the wheels and tyres you use on the trailer match those you are running on your vehicle. Should you come to grief and damage one of your vehicle’s wheels/tyres, beyond repair, you will be able to take a wheel from the trailer and continue on your way.
Particularly with four-wheel trailers, you will be able to proceed with only three or even two good wheels on the trailer rather than risk damaging your vehicle even further.
CLEAN UP AUSTRALIA?
There are few things more annoying or indeed disappointing than arriving at a picturesque spot, only to spend the first hour cleaning it up enough to make it habitable.
Some people still seem to think that they can just leave rubbish behind - even burying garbage is of little use as the wildlife will soon pick up the scent and dig it up, making just as much mess.
Make sure you carry sufficient garbage bags to carry your rubbish to the nearest bin without it stinking out the vehicle