When it’s time for a holiday, most people head to the beach, seek out the excitement and bright lights of a new city, or pack their passports and jump on a plane.
But some do the opposite. Instead of following the crowd to the obvious tourist destinations, they turn the other way and try to get as far away from civilisation as possible. They jump in their 4WDs and go bush.
While the emptiness and harsh beauty of the Australian outback have undoubted appeal, this part of the world also has its fair share of danger. There are a couple of important rules for anybody considering such a trip: let somebody know your schedule; in the event of an emergency, never leave your vehicle; and be prepared.
So, what should you have on your 4WD checklist? What do you need to have a good time and make sure you get home safely?
1) Vehicle and accessories
An obvious first choice for a 4WD trip checklist, the vehicle you’re in has to not only be able to handle all the conditions you expect to encounter, but also must be in good enough condition to go the distance without problems. Make sure it is fully serviced, check your tyres (including the spare) and carry all the necessary accessories, such as a tow strap, workable tyre changing equipment, recovery equipment, tool kit, and so forth. And don’t forget your spare key!
2) Food and water
You need to calculate the length of your trip and calculate the amount of food you need. Then, when you’ve made your calculation, add more. In terms of water you need a lot, not just for the people on board but for the vehicle too. Jerry cans are the order of the day.
3) UHF CB radio
When in remote terrain it is important to be able to communicate with the outside world when on a 4WD trip. GME offers a broad range of both fixed mount and hand-held radios to fulfil this important function.
The latest of these belong to the company’s XRS™ radio platform. Enabled by Bluetooth® Smart technology, the XRS™ family is the first of a new generation of connected UHF CB radios with unique features never before seen.
XRS™ radios are designed, engineered and tested in Australia and can easily handle the harsh conditions encountered on 4WD trips. Their microphones are tested to over 1,000,000 PTT cycles and the professional-grade strain relief cable and OLED screen mean their microphones are extremely durable.
XRS™ Connect radios are equipped with ScanSuite for group communications. With super-fast scan, ScanSuite can now scan 25% faster than previous generations.
On top of that, the XRS™ family includes the XRS™ Connect App, which allows you to control the features and settings of the radio with your device. The first ever app designed for UHF CB radio, it makes it possible to create and share scan lists and provides you with instant access to the entire Australian and New Zealand registered analogue frequency database.
Of course, sophisticated radios such as these are of little use without appropriate, high-quality antennas. GME offers a broad range of UHF CB antennas, many of which are designed specifically for 4WD use. GME also offers a range of antennas to suit other frequencies, such as 26 MHz, 27 MHz, AM/FM and Cellular varieties to ensure that you can remain connected.
4) Personal Locator Beacon (PLB)
If you are involved in an emergency such as a vehicle accident or sustain a life-threatening injury, you need to be able to contact for help as quickly as possible. The problem is, in remote, off-the-grid locations your mobile phone will likely be of no assistance. The best way to get help is by activating a PLB, which is a type of emergency beacon.
These devices use geostationary satellites (and for the latest models, also GPS technology) to alert the relevant authorities of your location and allow them to launch a rescue mission.
GME’s Accusat MT410G is ideal for use in 4WD applications. Featuring NON-HAZMAT batteries with a seven-year battery life, it comes with a seven-year warranty and boasts a featherweight, compact and robust construction. In the case of an emergency, the MT410G can pinpoint your position in a maximum of 20 minutes and to an accuracy of better than 100 m. In other words, it gives you the best chance of being found.
5) And the rest
Preparation is key, and safety must be priority on any 4WD trip, so be sure to notify someone of your whereabouts if you intend to go off the grid. But don’t forget, you’re there to enjoy yourself. Bring along whatever else you need to do that. And don’t forget your hat and sunscreen!
GME, a designer and manufacturer of world-class radio communication equipment, offers a full range of products that are perfect for your next 4WD trip.