Preparing for your next Outback adventure
Extra supplies will help when the unexpected occurs.
If you haven’t experienced outback New South Wales for yourself just yet you’re probably wondering what to expect, right? Well, to be honest, parts of the outback are pretty remote, so you’ll need to learn to expect a bit of everything at some point or another.
The heart of outback New South Wales would have to be Broken Hill, which lies in Australia’s arid zone, so timing is everything when it comes to weather. The summers are stupidly hot and winters are, believe it or not, pretty bloody cold, too. So the months between April to October are generally the best times to visit. You can visit in summer, but if you don’t like the heat, you’re likely to struggle with temperatures regularly tipping into the 40s. Plus, the flies in summer can be seriously unbearable. But, if you time it right, you’ll be blessed with nice warm days, cool breezes and comfortable nights for a memorable outback adventure.
JUST IN CASE
When you’re travelling the outback, one thing’s for sure – things don’t always go to plan. So, it’s a good idea to include a few buffer zones with extra supplies and time, just in case. Staples like flour and even canned food come in super handy, especially if the fridge packs up or the tracks are too slippery to leave camp as planned. Water supplies are another biggie – always carry plenty at any given time because you just never know when you’ll need it. There’s nothing worse than breaking down dry! So, if you’re planning a four-day stint between stops, allow enough food and water to last an extra few days just in case.
Fuel is pretty easily calculated if you’re just travelling between towns on the blacktop, but it can get a tad trickier when navigating the bush.
For the best hope in calculating your expected usage, you’ll need to know how much fuel your vehicle uses when it’s fully loaded offroad. One way to achieve this is to load up your rig and give it a good run up a beach through soft sand and base your calculations from that. A good map should roughly indicate the number of kays between fuel stops. But pack an extra day or two’s worth of fuel reserves for a stress-free trip.
MECHANICAL CHECK UPS
The outback is not the place to break down. So drop your 4WD and camper down to the mechanic’s a good few weeks before your trip for a complete once-over. That’ll give them plenty of time to sort any dramas out, and allow any new parts to settle in before you leave, reducing your chances of sustaining a costly repair out on the tracks.
HOW MUCH WATER?
Good, clean drinking water is vital when you’re going remote, but how much should you carry? One school of thought suggests at least 5L/person/day for remote area travel. So, if you’re using jerry cans for water storage, one 20L jerry can per person will last roughly four days.
Modern camper trailers are usually fitted with large water tanks with ample storage for the average camper, but as the saying goes – don’t put all your eggs in one basket; a rupture can deplete your entire supply, so carry a spare jerry just in case, too.
Always keep a close eye on your water levels; it’s pretty easy to lose more than you thought if you use the water for conveniences like a shower.
Check out the full feature in issue #95 December 2015 of Camper Trailer Australia magazine. Subscribe today for all the latest camper trailer news, reviews and travel inspiration.