Remote touring tips

By: Claudia Bouma, Photography by: Claudia Bouma

The Boy Scout motto – always be prepared – must certainly be adhered to when it comes to remote touring.

Remote touring tips
You always hope you won’t have to do any emergency repairs on the road but you need to be prepared just in case

You haven’t seen Australia until you’ve experienced the mighty Outback. There’s simply no better place to marvel at the big night skies and be reminded of the unique beauty of this amazing country. However, planning and preparation are necessary to ensure an enjoyable trip without too many mishaps. Here are some tips to get you started.

Be prepared

When travelling into remote areas it becomes a necessity to be prepared. Your car needs to be in top condition before you even consider heading out to remote destinations. Even the latest Patrol or Landcruiser can break down, believe me (I’ve seen it too many times with my own eyes). It could be money well spent to have a mechanic look over the car before you take off. It is always cheaper to get things fixed in the workshop than on the side of the road.

Plan your permits

If you plan on heading into the desert you will most likely need a permit of some sort. Allow plenty of time to organise the paperwork as you don’t want to have to delay your trip because you left it too late. Maps are important on any trip but they become indispensable when you go bush. You need to familiarise yourself with the area you’ll be travelling to. Where can you refuel, what’s the longest distance between fuel stops?

I once had an enthusiastic aspire-to-be-traveller suggest to me he was thinking about travelling to Cape York in a car that runs on gas because it would save money on fuel. You should have seen the look on his face when I told him you can’t make it to remote places because the roadhouses don’t sell gas.

Purchase good tyres

Considering a small bit of rubber is the only thing between you and the road you would think more travellers would ensure they have high-quality tyres. Some people don’t give it a second thought to take their car onto a rough dirt road with basic road tyres (without lowering tyre pressure on top of it). Yet they can’t understand why they come to grief. Two good quality spare tyres are essential.

While in Kununurra we got talking to a bloke who limped into town after doing the Gibb River Road. He used all his spares and had to borrow a tyre off a fellow traveller to make it all the way across. His money would’ve been better spent on good tyres because I can assure you he would have had a massive repair bill.

Pack an emergency repairs kit

You always hope you won’t have to do any emergency repairs on the road but you need to be prepared just in case.

My hubby brought a comprehensive toolkit on our trip around Australia and it came in handy on plenty of occasions. In addition to the usual stuff, you might consider a few mini rolls of wire, liquid nails, zip ties, sealant, RP7, loctite and Kneadit, and heaps of duct tape. Pack some shade cloth or mesh to keep the spinifex grass out of your radiator.

Always have a pack of wet wipes in easy reach − they are good for a lot more than just wiping dirty baby bums!

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