When heading out bush, their are some items you can not afford to leave at home. Here are five things I always remember to bring:
This article was originally published in the June 2014 issue of 4x4 Australia.
I don’t go anywhere without my Leatherman Wave or Swiss Army knife. The Wave is my favourite bush tool, but in the city I prefer the Swiss Army knife. I also carry a good fixed bladed knife when I’m heading scrub – a Schrade, Uncle Henry Golden Spike, to give it its full moniker, with super hard 5-inch 153UH steel blade. This has copped alot of abuse over the many years I’ve had it, and it still works like new.
We’ve been cooking with gas for more years than I can remember and we’ve been using Coleman stoves for much of that time. We currently have a 3-burner unit and, like all their gas stoves, it can run off a small bottle of Coleman LPG – or with a connector hose from a normal refillable LPG cylinder. Why these units? Their ability to heat in windy conditions and the amount of control over the flame make these Coleman stoves a winner.
3. FIRST AID KIT
While hopefully it’ll never be used to keep Viv, our friends, or myself alive, I always carry a first aid kit just in case. Who knows when someone will be in need of first aid. Doing a lot of miles on outback roads we’ve come across the odd road accident or two and a few sterile bandages, clips and safety pins, along with antiseptic and other similar items, really comes in handy. It may never be used, but always pack one.
4. CAR FRIDGE
Most of the time there is an Engel 40-litre unit in any vehicle we have out on the road, although Viv now prefers the National Luna 55-litre fridge with a 10-litre freezer box. Still, I reckon you can’t beat the Engel for reliability. But, the National Luna is very flexible in its use and the freezer box is very handy. Although the National Luna units are expensive to buy and are a little heavier on power because of the freezer box.
Of all the swags I’ve used, my Southern Cross single dome swag is the one I always take when travelling on my own or heading out on a road test with the crew at 4X4. I’ve done away with the normal mattress and set it up with a self inflating mattress, but more recently I’ve taken to carrying a stretcher to help ease the aching bones. It’s had a lot of use over the years and being Aussie made with Aussie canvas, you can’t beat it.
FAVOURITE 4X4 LOCATION
This is a hard question. I guess if you go by the number of visits to any particular area we have done, then you’d have to say Cape York, the wild west coast of South Australia, or the Flinders Ranges – I was bumming around the Flinders and the west coast way before I got a 4WD, chasing bunny rabbits and spearing fish. Since 1980, Cape York has been attracting us for the challenges it offers, the variety of country, the fishing and hunting and the fabulous camping spots. In a country with many exceptional places, Cape York has to be high on the list of places to visit!