Offroad Adventure Show: Pre-Drive Checklist
Words by Rich O,Brien, Images by Offroad Media Productions
A lot of 4WDers joke that if your marriage can survive an extended off-road trip, then you’re in a good place, but the truth is that most of the stress comes before a wheel is turned. Knowing what needs to be checked off the list before you even begin is a great way to ensure that the fuss and panic is kept to a minimum, and that your trip starts off on the right foot.
Let’s take a look at our TOP 5 things that should be on your pre-trip checklist!
1. VEHICLE MAINTENANCE
This is the absolute no-brainer on the list, but a lot of folks just don’t give it a second thought. Ask yourself the hard question and be honest when you answer: Is my 4WD up to this trip? If in doubt, re-think your chosen destination or invest in bringing your 4WD up to standard. Nothing spoils a trip like a break-down, especially if it is something that could have been avoided with a comprehensive pre-trip safety check! Make no mistake about it – recoveries in remote locations are outrageously costly! Be smart, be sensible, plan and prepare, and you’ll be making the right sort of memories on your trip!
2. WHERE & WHEN
One of the most important parts of any trip prep should be the planning of where you are going, and how long you will be there. Once you have established an itinerary, then make sure you share it with a friend or family member so that they have an idea of where you might be at any one time. This way, if you have not arrived at your destination on the due date, the alarm can be raised and authorities will have a good idea of where to start looking for you!
It’s also worth considering if your destination is compatible with the time of your you wish to travel in. You can forget the Simpson Desert or Cape York in Summer! Put some thought into it, have a plan B, and keep your loved ones informed and you’ll have a great trip without the stress.
Again, it may sound really obvious, but planning out the tucker situation is pretty important. Not only do you need to know what’s on the menu for each day, but make sure your list includes the appropriate gear you will need to do the cooking. Nothing ruins your day like preparing a lovely damper only to find that the camp oven is still in the garage!
It’s also worth considering a few extra meals for an emergency, just in case you end up out on the tracks for longer than you had planned for.
Obviously you are going to make sure that you pack your tent/swag/camper or whatever your chosen style of bush accommodation will be, but have you opened it up and given it a check before you leave? It’s easy to rock into camp and roll out the swag just to find that the sleeping bag isn’t there, or pop the tent up to find it full of mould! A part of your preparation should be a test set-up of your gear to make sure it’s useable, and everything is there!
5. THE PACKING LIST
A great place to start is to ensure that none of the important bits (like a pillow for example) get left behind in the excitement of preparing to leave. Make a checklist for all of your camping gear, personal items and other gear that are easy to forget, and just work your way through the list when packing your 4WD!