Weekend Trips are generally two nights, two days, with the occasional long weekend extending it to three days, three nights. Very occasionally we’ll do an ‘overnighter’. The format is up to the Trip Leader.
Our Weekend Trips may 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 on the Club’s website. 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. 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.
We have pre-determined Meeting Place, dependent on the direction of the Trip.
You will be asked to provide photographs for the Trip Report. 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.
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.
The minimum recovery equipment required is a snatch strap and two shackles. Soft shackles are preferred.
A Day Bag is required on Weekend Trips.
FORMAT OF TRIP
Weekend Trips could be ‘static’ or ‘mobile’ (referring to camping arrangements) depending on what the Trip Leader is trying to achieve. This will be advised in the Joining Information sent to all participants.
8.00 a.m. – earlier if everyone is ready to leave.
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. Should you wish to change your position advise the Trip Leader.
DURING THE DAY
Depending on the aim of the Trip and the highlights, features and ‘opportunity’ stops, the distance travelled each day could vary from 150 to 600 kilometres.
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.
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.
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.
If you need to stop for any reason, advise the Trip Leader.
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.
If a hike/walk is being considered at a feature/highlight, the Trip Leader will advise if your Day Bag is required. See above for details of the contents of the Day Bag.
Be aware that temperatures can drop dramatically overnight on inland Trips even when day time temperatures have been in the mid-30s. Plan accordingly.
Thongs/Ugg boots/Crocs are fine while driving or around camp but boots/hiking sandals need 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 the location of refuelling points.
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 the location of 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
Prior to arrival in town the Trip Leader will advise of the departure time and place.
Everyone will assist where possible but in the case of a breakdown, 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.
The main 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.
Depending on the destination you may be requested to bring a bag of firewood.
Depending on whether the Trip is ‘mobile’ or ‘static’ accommodation could range from bush camps with no facilities to caravan parks with a camp kitchen and more.
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 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.
Reasons that prevent dogs being allowed on a Trip include:
- passage through a National Park;
- passage through areas where 1080 baits have been laid;
- property owner/caravan park rules.
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 that the only time for fishing is after we arrive at camp or if it is a ‘fishing trip’.
See Day Trips
See Extended Trips