The stresses of the coronavirus era have been imposed on all of us. Many Australians have lost have jobs, income and financial stability.
We’ve learnt how to do without, how to put up with much and how to dream.
Being stuck at home for months on end does have a silver lining, though: more time than ever to tinker with vehicle mods, maintain camping gear and bust out the maps to trace out your next adventure.
Here are a few things to keep in mind while planning your quarantine-busting bush blowout…
Offroad tracks and routes around the country will have fallen into disuse through the quarantine period. Do your research to make sure the area you want to visit will be open to the public by the time you arrive.
Scan the Internet for any warnings, track or road reports, and if in any doubt, get in touch with local authorities for up to date advice.
After months of idling in the driveway and bi-weekly runs to the Woollies parking lot, make sure to give the rig a thorough shakedown and tune-up before hitting the dirt.
Schedule a service if you’re due, and make sure to check and maintain engine oil and coolant levels plus tyre pressures before hitting the blacktop.
This is the time to check fluid levels, tighten bolts, take a look at any 12V mods and ensure that wiring is OK, brakes are functioning properly, steering is precise and that seals and lines are free of leaks.
Remember that the lockdown has affected us all around the country. Supply chains have been impacted and some regional areas have been hit harder than others.
If you’re planning on visiting a remote region with limited fuel or supplies available, it’s safest to call ahead and make sure it’s back to business as usual.
What to pack on any offroad getaway varies depending on location and season, although there are a few non-negotiables: namely water, food and fuel.
When travelling remote you want to be carrying large 20L water tanks that are easily distinguishable from your fuel jerry cans. Plan to carry around 10L water per person per day, and if you’re heading anywhere hot and dry, it’s best to err on the side of caution and carry a little extra.
Your food carrying needs will vary depending on your storage and cooking setup. Non-perishables make sense when heading bush, and a good icebox or 12V fridge allows meat, dairy and other food to last the journey.
You’ll want to calculate your fuel needs accurately if you’re diverging a long way from civilisation, and carry extra jerry cans if necessary.
Your recovery kit likely varies depending on where you’re visiting, however the imposed lockdown is the perfect time to dust off all your gear and make sure everything is where it should be and functions as it’s supposed to.
In most instances a high lift jack, snatch strap with dampener, a set of MaxTrax, shovel, air compressor, tyre gauge and set of rated D-shackles will get you out of trouble. If your vehicle is fitted with a winch, this is a great time to make sure it’s working properly, get it serviced and include a tree trunk protector and cable dampener with your recovery kit.