FEATURE as far down the road as possible. Hell, even cars carried bull bars in the Outback. $900 - $2,000 depending on vehicle, at off-road shops. S u n S c re e n / B u g R epellent – Whatever you can find As many know, there is a rather large hole forming in the ozone layer directly above Australia. As a result, UV radiation, the stuff that gives the Aussies that lovely bronze tan, is extremely high, burning paleskinned Canadians like myself in as little as five minutes. It’s for this reason that two out of three Aussies will develop skin cancer in their lifetimes. Not to mention the sheer number of insects that come out at dusk and dawn are enough to carry away a morbidly obese man. Oh and did I mention that many of them still carry diseases not heard of since biblical times. DO NOT go out into the Outback, without some kind of skin and insect spray. $4 $15 for the good stuff found at any supermarket.
from the nearest barn, let alone medical facility, sorting yourself out is mandatory. Having a goodquality kit brimming full of bandages, splints, medical creams and even precondition shots, dehydration tablets and thermal blankets is a must. $10 -$100 at outdoors or off-road shops. Extraction Kit – ARB The red dirt and sands of Australia are unique in the way they react with the grip of your 4WD. The earth will seemingly open up beneath the vehicle and start to suck it down if you are not paying attention. If - I mean - when this happens, a proper Extraction Kit is a must if you are to salvage your only means
Good Hat – Propper BDU Boonie Cap As I mentioned, the sun is a cruel beast down there in Oz, and you won’t always find a good tree to take shade under during the heat of the mid-day sun out in the Downs, areas flatter than our own Prairies. As such, you’ll want to be making a little of your own shade in the form of a full-brimmed hat. The
of transportation in one of the most desolate environments on Earth. You need to be ready to deal with a stuck truck, and we had ours firmly planted on more than one occasion. Bare minimum is a tow strap, and hopefully a passerby will be along in a day or two, but a good winch with snatch blocks, shackles, gloves, shovels and anchors is ideal. $150 to as far as you can take it, at off-road shops.
traditional Aussie Outback hat is ideal, much like a cowboy hat, but with a little Aussie flare. However, authentic examples can be quite expensive down there, so I showed up with a hat that I was quite familiar with, a Canadian Forces Field Cap. The cap served me well, as it went through nearly as tough a time as boot camp, with two-and-a-half months of sweat, sun and red dirt being ground into it. I made sure it was on every time I stepped outside, helping keep the sun off my head, and keeping me cool. $14.99 Surplus Store, $5.00 for flag.
Flashlight – Rigid Industries The sun goes down fast at the 24th parallel; it hangs high in the sky all day long, then plummets straight down to the horizon around 7 pm in the summer. Having a good quality flashlight on hand is ideal. More often than not, I’d find myself repairing motors, equipment or simply setting up camp when the daylight would be turned off mid-project. The Rigid LED flashlight provided massive amounts of illumination with 800 lumens and extremely long battery life, while able to take a beating. In two-and-a-half months, I had to charge it only twice, and usually used it every day. $99 at off-road shops.
First Aid Kit – Any brand The Outback can be a very unforgiving place and let me tell you, blood was spilled more than once on our two-month trip across the Outback. When you are sitting 400 kilometres FEB / MAR 2013
Trucks Plus 49
Trucks Plus February-March 2013 Issue