How our Trips are Conducted

Western Australia is a big place and if you want to see even a small portion of it you must be prepared to do the kilometres.

Our Extended Trips cover considerable distances, visit many places and include great highlights. We do this in a safe and structured manner/format that has proven to be very successful over many years.

The Cockburn 4WD Club has developed a number of Guidelines that make these Trips safe, interesting and fun for all involved.

PRELIMINARIES

Nomination

You must complete the Trip Attendance Form on the Club’s website. Don’t just turn up.

Waiver and Indemnity

Each adult participant must sign the Waiver and Indemnity.

Emergency Contact

An important part of the Trip Attendance Form. Also consider creating a Contact in your smartphone labelled ICE (In Case of Emergency). Let this person know that they are your ICE Contact.

Grading of Trips

Cockburn 4WD Club does not do ‘extreme’ Trips, however, on occasions we do get into challenging situations. There is no shame in turning around. Note the comments about Tracks, below. More information.

Get Out of Town

For many years we have utilised a ‘get out of town’ strategy to camp about two to three hours from Cockburn on the night before the start of the Trip proper.

Meeting Place

We have pre-determined Meeting Places depending on the direction of the Trip. More information.

Photographs

You will be asked to provide photographs for the Trip Report. More information on this requirement is included in the details about the Trip posted on Facebook. It is also included in the Joining Information that will be emailed to you. See Tips for taking Photographs for Trip Reports.

 

VEHICLE/EQUIPMENT

Recovery Points

Your vehicle should have a rated recovery point. Monocoque vehicles need a harness.

Radio

A 5 watt UHF radio is required, preferably 80 channel. A 3dB antenna is best when in a convoy.

Recovery Equipment

Minimum recovery equipment required is a snatch strap and two shackles. Soft shackles are preferred.

Day Bag

A Day Bag is required on all Extended Trips and most Day Trips. Contents of Day Bag.

FORMAT OF TRIP

Unless a Trip is specifically noted as a Static Base Trip, we move every day and camp at a different location each night. Exceptions on Extended Trips might include Karijini, Millstream, Mitchell Plateau and other attractions that require several days to fully explore.

DAILY DEPARTURE

Start Time

8.00 a.m. – earlier if everyone is ready to leave.

Briefing

7.50 a.m. This may be done over the radio if decided by Trip Leader.

Radio Check

Before departure the Trip Leader will call up every participant to ensure their radio is switched on and working correctly. The Club Convoy Channel is UHF Channel 14 (Alternate 15). The Trip Leader will advise if a different channel is to be used.

Convoy Order

Past experience has found it preferable to maintain the same position in the convoy each day and throughout the day.

DURING THE DAY

Daily Distances

Depending on the highlights, features and ‘opportunity’ stops, the distance travelled each day could vary from 300 to 600 kilometres.

Tracks

We use our 4WDs for what they were designed for and this means that occasionally they will get a little bit of bush pinstriping. If this is of concern to you, speak with the Trip Leader before the commencement of the Trip. See also Grading, above.

Convoy Procedure

Our Convoy Procedure, developed over many years, ensures that a Trip is conducted efficiently and safely.

Obstacles

No driver is to feel at all pressured into attempting any obstacle they feel uncomfortable in negotiating. If necessary an alternative route around an obstacle will be found by the Trip Leader or Sweep.

Always allow the vehicle in front of you to negotiate an obstacle/hill/slope/water crossing before attempting it with your vehicle. This will avoid the possibility of having two vehicles stuck. Confirm by radio that it is safe to proceed should the vehicle in front move beyond your view while negotiating the obstacle.

Stops

Stops will be made at a minimum every two hours. However, because we stop regularly to see highlights, features or anything unusual, stops are quite often way more frequent than this.

Visiting Highlights

It is preferable to stay with the group. In the past we have had people lost when they have strayed away.

Day Bag

The Trip Leader will advise if your Day Bag is required at a stop. Contents of Day Bag.

Clothing

Be aware that temperatures can drop dramatically overnight on inland Trips even when day time temperatures have been in the mid-30s.

Footwear

Thongs/Ugg boots/Crocs are fine while driving or around camp but boots/hiking sandals to be worn on treks/excursions. We will wait while you change to safe footwear.

Headwear

It is recommended that you wear a wide brim hat, not just a cap, on all excursions.

Self Sufficiency

You need to be self sufficient with respect to food and water on all Trips. The Trip Leader will advise of refuelling locations.

Lunch

Because our day starts early we aim to have a lunch break of 30-40 minutes reasonably early, when possible.

Refuelling

It is your responsibility to know the range of your vehicle. The Trip Leader will advise refuelling points. If staying overnight at a town ensure that you refuel on arrival (before you setup camp) and not in the morning.

Non Structured or Free Time in a Town

You will be advised of the time and place to rendezvous.

Breakdowns

Everyone will assist where possible but ultimately it is your responsibility. More information on this is included in the details about the Trip posted on Facebook. It is also included in the Joining Information that will be emailed to you.

OVERNIGHT STOP

Daily Finish Time

We aim to arrive at camp by 4.00 – 4.30 p.m. in winter, later in summer but in any case, before dark.

Campsites Selection

Criteria for selection of a campsite are that it is reasonably level, has sufficient room for all vehicles, and has plenty of firewood.

Campsite Arrival

Collect wood before you set up your camp and bring it to the central fireplace point. Exception is if it is raining – get yourself sorted then collect wood.

Accommodation

Mostly bush camps with no facilities. On an Extended Trip we try to stop at a caravan park every two/three days.

Camp Fire Socialising

Everyone is invited to socialise at a central point where a campfire will be lit, regulations permitting.

Generators

Try not to need a generator, however, if used, please keep to daylight hours.

GENERAL

Fines

We have a system of ‘fines’ that are designed to remind participants, in a lighthearted way, of their responsibilities in a team environment. More Information.

Recovery

Should your vehicle need recovery, use your own recovery gear in the first instance. If further equipment is needed most people are happy to assist.

Radio Procedure

Chat/banter over the radio makes for an enjoyable day, however, remember that the main purpose for radio communication is to enable the Trip Leader to communicate with participants in the convoy. The Trip Leader may require all communication to cease to ensure they have uninterrupted access to the channel. More information.

Firearms

We have no issue with the responsible use of firearms and we have some keen shooters in the Club (State Champion level). We do not organise ‘shooting trips’. That said, on some suitable Trips (Farm Experience) members may take firearms.

Dogs

Most Extended Trips and many Weekend or Long Weekend Trips will at some stage enter a National Park where dogs are not permitted. In addition, Extended Trips will almost certainly pass through areas where 1080 baits have been laid.

Driving after Dark

We generally do not drive after dark, preferring instead to modify the next day’s Route if required.

Swimming/Fishing

At suitable locations there is always time for a swim. Generally, the nature of our Trips means there is no time for fishing unless it is after we arrive at camp.