THE GEAR – September 3rd
A lot of you guys have been e-mailing us with queries about our various bits of gear. So to set the record straight we’ll try to clarify a few things for you.
When we started out we had everything imaginable if it had buttons or an LCD display, or could be purchased in a camping store we figured that we’d find a use for it. Plus, having read up on other peoples experiences, we made sure that we had plenty of backups for everything (except of course the phone…….wouldn’t you know it!)
We had: spare pumps for the boat; extra tent pegs; enough cables to start an electrical store; all sorts of electrical gizmos; ten million batteries (in assorted sizes of course!); 3 torches, matches coming out of our ears (in case the first 28 boxes got wet!); and the all-important, can’t leave home without it, “On the Road Milkshake Maker”.
In the words of a dear friends grandfather SHISH!
Well……the culling started out around Mission Beach and we are still doing it to this very day (if we’re not careful we may end up walking the last part of the trip). The amusing thing is that when we identified an object that was useless and left it behind, other campers seemed intent on trying to give it back to us. We’ve been leaving our undesirable objects in inconspicuous spots before moving on – generally next to rubbish bins – in the hope that someone else may find a use for it (if not they’d just be tossed in by the next person. It seems that this has probably contributed to the confusion.
For example, last night we left a fire-engine red plastic table that had been annoying us both by constantly falling apart all the time. Sure enough the next day and 110km down the road, three people came to let us know that we’d left our precious table behind. One had queried whether we had meant to do it because they had already fixed it and found a use for it. We reassured them that it was intentional and that they were most welcome to keep it. One couple actually carried a cutting board and potato masher 700km up the coast hoping that they would bump into us and be able to give it back! People never cease to amaze us. We are all of us very strange creatures.
All and all the most important thing regarding equipment that we have discovered in the last two months is that you really don’t need a lot!
The very first time we set up camp it took us close to two hours to do it…with food boxes, gas lantern and stove, tent, bedding, chairs, tarps, fishing gear, water, etc……… you name it, we had it!
We’ve managed to simplify things…we NOW pull out
the bed(a mattress) the chairs a billy & two cups
And that’s pretty much it sometimes we pull out the tent if there are lots of beasties around (feral pigs, crocodiles or mossies) but we really prefer sleeping under the stars. I must admit that at first, this felt very precarious….you imagine that everything within a five-kilometre radius is just dying to jump all over you…..after a while, you realise that they’re probably just as scared of you as you are of them.
We’ve even gotten to the point where the fire is pretty much our only source of light.
This may seem like we are taking things to an extreme, but in fact camping like this has been incredibly rewarding. We feel that rather than trying to introduce a scaled-down version of our house to the bush (like so many others do) we are instead trying to attune ourselves to nature….mind you I won’t go so far as to start sharing our bed with the wildlife.
As far as other gear goes…..we have all the usual stuff to help us get out of sticky situations…… * Straps, winches, ropes, car accessories.
- We carry a healthy supply of back up food.
- Lots of water in drier areas.
- A small box of wood and cardboard for starting fires.
- The mobile satellite phone in case we really get into danger.
- The phone is voice, fax and data capable….and allows us to send this info and our photos to you. The phone has a kind of crackly reception and a few seconds delay but other than that it’s OK…..there really are no other options!
Our GPS system allows us to get a fix on our location if we’re a bit unsure.
We’ve done a lot of work to the car, with new suspension (Old Man Emu) and tyres (Dunlop Adventurers roof rack (ARB), bullbar (ARB) and other bits and pieces.
However the most important piece of equipment and probably the most dangerous to your health is: YOURSELF. Your commonsense and your ability to stay calm under stress can be the difference between life and death no matter what other equipment you have!
There is nothing common about commonsense it’s your best asset and a lack of it will get you into trouble long before the lack of any piece of equipment will!
N.B. There is one special thing that we haven’t mentioned and that is our guard toad where ever there is trouble he’s there to help out!