Now of course everyone wants to get on the road over the Christmas break and escape from what’s been wearing them to the bone all year. I think we’re all in the same boat here so it’s important to plan ahead and also have a bit of a backup plan. Don’t get me wrong, I love to travel without a plan and ‘wing’ the adventure however the Summer break is not necessarily the best time to do this as you will generally find every campsite and hidden camp spot full.
The truth is people are exploring more and the spots you knew would never have anyone around are slowly being found and exploited.
A few tips for Christmas travel would be;
- Have your mechanic do a check up before you hit the road
- Ensure you have some recovery gear with you
- Check the tides if you’re not familiar with your destination
- Does someone know where you’re going?
- Book a campsite if you plan on camping in designated areas
- Have a first aid kit and know what’s inside it
Book the car in for some TLC
I know we all love to think our car is running amazing and that it’s the best there is out on the road. But, however great you feel your car is, it may be a good idea to just give your mechanic some beers to give it a quick once over and get a record of the check up just in case something does go wrong. It doesn’t take much for something to go wrong especially when outside temperatures are hotter than usual over summer and your car is now fully loaded with food, beers, kids and camping gear. I can’t imagine the call out for a mechanic over the Christmas period would be cheap. If you decide not to have a check up then at least sign up with a roadside assistance service as a backup and cancel it after Christmas.
Get the right gear
Have you got some recovery gear in the car? It’s a good idea to have one or more of the following;
- Snatch strap and appropriate shackles
- Satellite Phone or phone and CB radio
- Drag Chain
- Sand Anchor for winch
- Recovery Trax
Ahead of the tides
A lack of awareness for tides at the location you are travelling to could very easily become an ‘ocean Grinch stole Christmas’ kind of scenario. Just like the check up of the car, it’s about setting aside some pride and doing some research before you drive onto the beach to camp for the night.
Don’t re-create 127 hours
If you haven’t seen the film, let me just preface with this; It’s always a good idea to let someone know where you’re going. I think we all know this one. It’s especially important when you’re on your own and going way off the beaten track. I generally send someone a screenshot every day or two of my location so that at least someone has a rough idea of where I was last in case I don’t come home.
Be campsite ready
Booking a campsite over the Summer break well in advance is important. You may think you’ve got plenty of time up your sleeve but just remember there are some very organised people out there that have their Summer already planned 6 months ahead before Summer even kicks in. Do a bit of research and look for other options just in case.
Become a first aid pro
The last tip I would suggest is to know what’s inside your first aid kit and more importantly, know some basic first aid. We’re in Australia and I think maybe 1/30 people actually know how to perform first aid for a snake bite. Seriously! It’s the one thing that will kill you quicker than a car crash and so many people have no idea as to what to do. So, some basics for you. Learn how to look after a snake bite, a fractured bone, heat stroke and of course CPR. I think if you have these fresh in your mind then you should be ok for the time being.
Lastly, have a great summer break and stay safe!
Caleb, 'Salty' Davenport
About Salty: Caleb is a versatile freelance photographer based in Perth, Western Australia. His nomadic spirit ensures he is frequently roaming across Country & the World as often as possible.
He recently embarked on a 250km barefoot journey along the white sandy beaches of Western Australia to raise funds and awareness towards Dogs Refuge home WA. Their target was $2000, however at the completion of the walk, they secured $4700 in donations all going towards the wellbeing of dogs waiting to be rescued.
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