Salty is a free-spirited freelance photographer who documents his travels via film and photo. His latest adventure saw him travel the length of the west coast via the road less travelled. We spoke to Salty about his journey and how our Battery Management System enabled him to spend more time off the grid.
Packing the car and heading north
“I was surprised, as always, by how easy the act of leaving was and how good it felt. The world was suddenly rich with possibility” - Jack Kerouac
With weeks of dreaming about packing the car and heading north, the time had finally come to shed the winter clothes. How I’d missed the soft thin crust of red dirt collapsing under my feet as I walked the beautifully barren landscapes of the Pilbara. It was good to set my sights for the northern sun again.
The stretch from Perth to Carnarvon is one I’ve done several times a year for over a decade now. In search of perfect waves, desert sun crisping my skin and a salty smile from ear to ear. It’s a long monotonous drive if you’re in a hurry.
Packing light doesn't mean going without
With the car loaded up for 5 weeks of off-grid travel I was sure to pack my essentials to keep me away from towns as long as possible. For my style of adventure this involves a dual battery catered for by my Manager30 battery management system, 350W pure sine wave inverter and solar blanket from REDARC. I can get by with taking little on my journeys but not having power becomes very limiting as a photographer hostage to the digital world. The peace of mind these items bring to my life is invaluable.
With Perth in the rear-view mirror and the bitumen racing under my tyres, I began to grin and I couldn’t help it.
The landscapes heading up that way change quite frequently, when there’s just your dog to talk to, you notice more, nothing to distract you from the view out of the windscreen. Mind you, once you get out of Perth there’s nothing higher than 15ft until you reach Derby, besides the odd white gum nestled alongside a dry riverbed still tapping into the ancient reservoirs below.
The journey really gave me time to feel out the car and gear I have on-board. I tend to steer clear of the technical side of gear, however this trip gave me time to learn more about the REDARC products I bought along and how efficient and important it really is for my profession.
The Manager30 is ideal for my 4wd as it’s a complete battery management system, which means I no longer need to think about what’s happening in my auxiliary battery. I can set up my solar blanket wherever I like by simply connecting to the Anderson plug hooked up to my Manager and watch the volts being sucked in.
Versatility on the road
If for whatever reason I’m at a caravan park and its raining for days on end, I can plug my Manager30 straight into a 240V plug and charge up my aux battery. Let's hope it never comes to this. Versatility whilst on the road I’ve always found important, thus the system I have feels organic, like it’s supposed to be there with me, nothing forced.
So there I was, nothing to think about besides my grin and bugs on the windscreen. Everything power related I’d left in the rear of the car with the Manager30, just as it should be. Here I was, putting km’s on the clock much quicker than I anticipated with a heavy yearning to make it to nowhere. There’s something very special about making your own path in the outback, the scale of your surroundings really begins to spotlight how insignificant you and your vehicle really are. Travelling further and further from the safety of society has become a romantic addiction, one of which I have no desire of overcoming.
From prospecting in isolated creek beds, fishing for barramundi in crock infested waters to mud crabbing, spearing and surfing in the waters around Broome. It was a trip that saw us cover 80% of the Western Australian coastline in 30 days.
The gift of travel
So there we were, days dropping by us, the clarity I sought in the desert now showed signs of cloud cover, time was being stolen from us. The desolation and stark beauty of the desert was now in the rear view mirror, ahead was the demoralising glow of a city, soon to engulf me again.
Just as quickly as any trip begins, it seems to end, even 1 year on the road I can imagine would creep up on you before you know it. It’s the beauty of gifting ourselves the opportunity to travel, it's precious and invaluable.
Hope to see you out there sometime and check out your REDARC setups, stay salty!