Are you planning to visit one of Australia’s iconic 4WD destinations? Simpson Desert, Cape York, Kimberley are some of the places that may excite you. But what if your beloveds don't have time to accompany you, or maybe you do not want to take the hassle of taking care of other people and their issues? Well, how do you feel about travelling solo this time?
Before this idea crosses your mind, understand that travelling solo in the outback indeed requires good planning and the proper preparations. You might have heard stories of even well-seasoned travelers who lost their lives on a remote land. You need to be aware of the challenges you take and know your limitations.
Know your boundaries
Now that’s very significant; even you are prepared for the ninth degree and have the things and tools to tackle any situation on your travel, you must know your limits. You should think rationally and always try to reduce the risks. Ask yourself, is it worth crossing a furious river rather than discovering another road? Can you take that rocky slope safely, or could it be damaging to your vehicle?
Plan your itinerary
After finalising your destination, the next and most important step is planning your itinerary. Feel free to create it as you like, according to your driving/vehicle capabilities. You should determine how much you want to drive every day and where you want to stop and explore any place. Fix your vehicle
Next to almost every road, we generally find a bypass track around any challenging hurdles. It is always wise to take a safe route, especially when far away from home in a remote location. If you have set up your vehicle correctly, it should not be a problem. Please find out the tracks that posed trouble for travellers and stay away from them.
4WD vehicles are competent to tackle extreme off-road conditions, but every car has a limit, and you should know that. You must also understand the challenges you will face on the trip and how remote you like to travel in your vehicle.
Make your vehicle ready for a 4WD solo trip in Australia in advance. Ensure you complete all repairs and modifications at least 2 to 3 months before your trip. Test drive your vehicle and re-examine that everything is working correctly. Check tyres, suspension, shock absorbers, battery.
Tyres, suspension, and shock absorbers are the backbone of any vehicle. Starting with tyres, make sure they are in excellent condition with a good amount of tread remaining. The less tread means the tyres can puncture and burst anytime on a beaten path. Moreover, the suspension must be in excellent shape to manage the extra weight you are carrying.
In addition, you should replace old, damaged or leaking shock absorbers since Australian roads, especially the corrugated tracks, can quickly kill them. Do not forget to replace your battery if it is old; you will not find anyone there to jump-start.
Before the journey, other things you should check include all nuts, bolts, electrical connections, hose and belt in, below, and throughout the vehicle and trailer. Also, inspect fluids, grease, bearings etc. Have spare parts
While you should replace the components you are suspicious about giving you trouble on the road, you have to carry certain spare parts like radiator hoses, belts, a fuel filter, wheel bearings, a tyre repair kit, etc.
Other things you might want to incorporate are gasket glue, radiator and fuel tank stop leak, engine and power steering oil, brake fluid, some grease and a complete tool kit for different nuts and screws. Carry recovery gears
With extra weight being a problem on a 4WD solo trip, determine which recovery gear is most needful. Of course, it would depend on the route you want to take and the worst-case situation.
While you will not have any trouble finding gear in the market, not every company produces quality gear. It is where MCC 4x4 comes in. We offer a wide variety of recovery gears, including winches – recovery kits, recovery tracks, recovery points, and other 4x4 accessories that you must carry on your solo trip. 10 Must-have things for your 4x4 solo trip
Here’s our list of 10 necessary things you should carry in your vehicle for a solo journey.
Essentials – food and water
- Recovery tracks
- Electric winch and hardware
- Tyre deflator and air compressor
- GPS and paper maps
- Suitable first aid kit
- Gear to suit your 4x4 and workshop manual
- 4x4-specific spare parts/serviceable items
- Tyre repair kit comprising spare valves, patches, and at best one tube to match wheels.
It is a no brainer that we need food and water daily to survive. However, what if we get stuck somewhere and waiting for help without any food and water. While we may be able to survive for three weeks without food, we can die within three to four days without water in hot and humid conditions.
During the hot day, rest under a shade and sip little water whenever you feel thirsty, and nibble food to minimise thirst. Always carry extra food and water to tackle any emergency. Communications
Communicating with others while travelling outback is critical, especially at places with no mobile signals. With technology advancing day by day, we suggest having a satellite phone with network coverage, permitting you to make a call on a preprogrammed number and receive an incoming call.
You can also make use of a satellite communicator, which would allow you to send text messages from anywhere on earth.
Besides, inform local police or rangers about your locations and your intended route. Please print the itinerary of your trip and give it to someone responsible. Tell them that if you fail to contact them within a set period, they should know your location and start calling people around to find you. Solo trip – give it a try.
Remember, travelling solo is not just about going far reaches of Australia. You can also try iconic national parks, distant beaches or charming mountain peaks.
However, you must have the right gear from MCC 4x4, plan in advance, prepare your vehicle, and trust your wits about you to make your trip trouble-free.