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.
You must complete the Trip Attendance Form. Don’t just turn up.
Waiver and Indemnity
Each adult participant must sign the Waiver and Indemnity.
Apart from completing the relevant part of the Trip Attendance Form, consider creating a Contact in your smartphone labelled ICE (In Case of Emergency). Let this person know that they are your ICE Contact. First responders look for this information at the scene of an accident or other emergency.
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. See Grading of Trips.
Get Out of Town
We utilise 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.
We have pre-determined Meeting Places depending on the direction of the Trip.
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.
Your vehicle should have a rated recovery point. Monocoque vehicles need a harness.
A 5 watt UHF radio is required, preferably 80 channel. A 3dB antenna is best when in a convoy.
Minimum recovery equipment required is a snatch strap and two shackles. Soft shackles are preferred.
A Day Bag is required on all Extended Trips. See this list of the minimum contents of your Day Bag.
FORMAT OF TRIP
On most Extended Trips we move every day and camp at a different location each night. Exceptions might include Millstream, Mitchell Plateau, Kakadu, Alice Springs and other attractions that require several days to fully explore.
8.00 a.m. – earlier if everyone is ready to leave.
Pre Departure Briefing
7.50 a.m. This may be done over the radio if decided by Trip Leader.
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.
Past experience has found it preferable to maintain the same position in the convoy each day and throughout the day.
DURING THE DAY
Depending on the highlights, features and ‘opportunity’ stops, the distance travelled each day could vary from 300 to 600 kilometres.
We use our 4WDs for what they were designed 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.
We use Moving Map Technology (Hema, ExplorOz) to navigate a Trip. Prior to a Trip you will be sent GPX files of the intended Route.
Our Convoy Procedure, developed over many years, ensures that a Trip is conducted efficiently and safely. Familiarise yourself with the Convoy Procedure.
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 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.
Recognising peoples’ innate curiosity, need to explore and desire to ‘do their own thing’, it is still highly recommended that you stay with the group during an excursion. In the past we have had people lost (overnight) because they have strayed away.
The Trip Leader will advise if your Day Bag is required at a stop. See above for Contents.
Be aware that temperatures can drop dramatically overnight on inland Trips even when day time temperatures have been in the mid-30s.
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.
It is recommended that you wear a wide brim hat, not just a cap, on all excursions.
You need to be self sufficient with respect to food and water on all Trips. The Trip Leader will advise of refuelling locations.
Because our day starts early we aim to have a lunch break of 30-40 minutes reasonably early, when possible.
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 and not in the morning.
Non Structured or Free Time in a Town
You will be advised of the time and place to RV.
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.
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.
Criteria for selection of a campsite are that it is reasonably level, has sufficient room for all vehicles, and has plenty of firewood.
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.
Mostly bush camps with no facilities. 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.
Try not to need a generator, however, if used, please keep it to daylight hours.
We have a system of ‘fines’ that are designed to remind participants, in a lighthearted way, of their responsibilities in a team environment. See how to keep out of trouble here.
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.
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 on Communications.
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.
Most Extended 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.Further, many caravan parks do not allow dogs. The ultimate decision on whether dogs are allowed on a Trip is with the Trip Leader.
Driving after Dark
We generally do not drive after dark, preferring instead to modify the next day’s Route if required.
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.