GEAR

This is a basic inventory of what you will need, at one time or another, on a 4WD BDSM Getaway! Weekend. Note that you don't have to go crazy and take along everything on the list for every trip - depending on where we're going, some of this gear just won't be needed. For example, there's no point taking a tent along to "The Lodge", because it's a house. On the other hand, if you don't take a tent along to Stockton Beach, then you'd better be really good at making sand igloos. Read the relevant Trek Information Page for each location, and you'll know exactly what you'll need to bring along.

BEDDING RADIOS TORCHES
CLOTHING SHOWER WATER
FOOD TENT 4WD VEHICLE RECOVERY & EQUIPMENT
GAS LIGHTS TOILET PAPER  
INSECT REPELLENT TOILETRIES  


BEDDING

When camping, we find the most comfortable way to sleep is on an air mattress. As we do like comfort, I tend to take sheets and blankets with us, or sheets and a sleeping bag or two. One of the reasons for this is that sometimes it is so hot in the tents that trying to sleep in a sleeping bag is really sticky and uncomfortable. One thing you do need to keep in mind is to not skimp on warm bedding (i.e. blankets or sleeping bags) even if you think there is no way on earth you’ll need them. You’d be surprised how cold temperatures can get overnight when there is no cloud cover to keep the warmth of the day in the atmosphere. Hot days and clear nights can see temperatures drop very low and nothing is worse then freezing your tail off because you aren't prepared. If we are camping in winter especially I like to take an extra blanket and put it down under our air mattress. This helps to insulate you against the cold that inevitably comes up through the ground at two in the morning. Often, our destinations are somewhat remote, so slipping out to Kmart to buy another sleeping bag isn't always an option.

 

CLOTHING

Smelly people aren't fun to camp with, so ensure that you pack clean knickers. We might be camping, but that isn't any reason to reek with the aroma of three-day-old undies. Ensure that you have at least a couple of sets of clothing that cover all of the extremes - hot to cold - even if you’ve heard the weather forecast is for sunny and hot. You’d be surprised at how often we have donned on trackie dacks to sit around a camp fire until the early hours of the morning. Also, make sure you have appropriate footwear. If you're intending to go for a bushwalk, then sandals aren't going to do you much good, even though they'd be fine at the beach.

 

FOOD

Keep food simple. By this I don’t mean it has to be boring - just don’t expect access to a microwave or food processor. Foods that can be heated through (eg: canned) or have water added to them are a great option, as is anything that you can BBQ. If you want to take perishable foods, make sure that you have the facilities to keep them cold. The last thing we want on a weekend is a case of botulism and a hurried trip (or a slow one, if you're a pain puppy) to the hospital.

Below is a ‘sample menu’ of an easy weekend away:

  • Saturday breakfast – cereal (small packets pack better) with milk (long life as it doesn’t require refrigeration), bacon and eggs cooked on the BBQ are also a favourite (using the bacon and eggs the first morning out means it’s less likely to go off).

  • Saturday lunch – hot dogs (canned hot dogs work best as they don’t take up fridge space) with cheese, fried onions and chili. I also often take a small amount of salad and tinned ham as another option. Tinned ham (and other tinned meats) keep out of the fridge and help save precious fridge space.

  • Saturday afternoon – a variety of biscuits, corn chips, dips, antipasto, etc. for happy hour.

  • Saturday night – BBQ including meat (or veggie patties), potatoes, onions, tinned corn and peas (or dried peas and corn or fresh corn on the cob), macaroni, and cheese. A bottle of red is also an important addition. Many meals have been prepared and eaten over a glass or two of a good red.

  • Sunday morning – we seem to be forming a tradition of pancakes with maple syrup and cream (that has been safely tucked away in the cold all weekend).

  • Sunday lunch – this also seems to be a rapidly developing 4WD BDSM Getaway! Weekend tradition: everybody contributes a can of Stagg Chili (available in four varieties - hot, lean beef, normal and vegetarian). These are heated through and served with a dollop of sour cream and sprinkled with some grated cheese - a perfect way to finish our last meal together for the weekend.

You will also need to take any alcohol (albeit in moderation thanks) or soft drinks you want. Again, keep in mind that there are no Woolworth stores at the end of the street, so bring any sauces, salt, or condiments you might not be able to live without.

 

GAS LIGHTS

The most useful form of general lighting that you can take along with you. You won't need to worry about illumination for the general camp area - for that purpose, I always bring my own with an extension pole and a 2kg bottle. Having your own can still be handy: you might wish to light a private play area, for example. I don't recommend gas lights for the inside of a tent - the fire hazard is too great as far as I'm concerned, and for that purpose I'd recommend fluorescent lighting instead. A portable gas light such as the one shown on the left is relatively inexpensive, and very safe to use.

 

INSECT REPELLENT

I doubt that anyone who lives in Australia is unfamiliar with The Great Australian Salute. It's always a good idea, especially in the warmer months, to take along a can of Aeroguard or some other name brand of personal insect repellent. For industrial strength, though, I can recommend a can of Bushman, as shown here. It's not inexpensive, but it'll stop those annoying pests that the others won't (with the exception of whining subbies) because it contains N, N Diethyl Tolumaide (DEET).

 

RADIOS

For those that have UHF CB radios, we will be in constant radio contact.

Basic hand-held radios with power outputs of 500mW are adequate for vehicle-to-vehicle use, providing that you don't spread out too far. Naturally, mobile radios are preferred, as they have a much higher power output (5 Watts) which gives you vastly increased range compared to a 500mW hand-held. There are also hand-helds on the market with power outputs greater than 1 Watt, but of course these cost more.

My own personal hand-held is a Simoco P65, which puts out 4W of power on high setting, and for my vehicle radio I use a Simoco PRM8040. These aren't available new any more, but commercial-grade radios like these are to be found on ebay, or professional communications stores that sell second-hand gear. I can thoroughly recommend commercial-grade radios when you're out four-wheel driving, because they're built as tough as the trucks themselves.

You don't need a UHF CB if you strictly adhere to convoy procedure, but a radio would be handy to have anyway. With a radio, you can be in constant contact during the trip and be prepared for warnings, problems, emergencies, etc. While you're exploring on foot, a hand-held radio enables you to keep in touch with others in the group. Note that mobile phones are not a reliable means of communication out there in the bush. One thing to keep in mind is that if you're using a hand-held, remember to always have at least one set of spare batteries for it. Nothing is more frustrating than having an emergency situation arise, and you can't get help because your batteries ran flat last week.

 

SHOWER

Solar showers are available for around $20 from any camping store. These are great when there's no other way of showering, and hold around 16 litres of water, which is plenty. You leave them out in the sun and they produce very hot water - great after a long day and you want to freshen up. Another useful item is the powered shower, which consists of a small submersible pump, a shower head, and a plug which fits into the cigarette lighter plug in a vehicle. You just plug in, and enjoy the luxury of a proper shower. These retail for anything from $25 to $50, and I have one in my truck kit as a standard accessory. Some 4WDs also have showers built into the engine bay, and connect into the engine's heating system. Don't bet on finding one though - not everybody fits them (including me - I just run the powered shower). Keep in mind that you won't need lots and lots of water for showering. As an example, we've found that a single 25-litre container is more than adequate for showering 4 people, including a good shampoo.

 

TENT

For those locations which are categorised as camping only, you'll obviously need a tent of some kind to sleep in. You don't need the latest and greatest; anything will do if you're comfortable in it. Dome tents are the easiest and quickest to set up, and are the preferred type nowadays. For example, the Sportiva Seascape tent shown here is only around $170, and can sleep 4 people without playing sardines. It can even be divided into two rooms for extra privacy. There are, of course, larger and smaller tents available: the price depends on the quality of the material, the stitching, and the size. Smaller tents than the one shown can be bought for less than $100, and are ideal for two people. You don't necessarily have to buy a tent. You might have friends or relatives that you could borrow a tent from, if you don't wish to buy one. Finally, if you're very, very friendly with someone who's on a 4WD BDSM Getaway! Weekend, you might be able to share some space in their tent. Maybe you have to buy them dinner and a movie first.

 

TOILET PAPER

Please bring adequate toilet paper, as using rabbits is a violation of the Cruelty To Animals Act. Besides, their fur sheds easily and it's a bitch scraping it off your butt afterwards.

 

TOILETRIES

Tooth brush, deodorant, etc... so when you've gotten yourself lost and we come and find you twenty-five days later, dead from starvation and dehydration, at least you will make a presentable-looking corpse.

 

TORCHES

An often overlooked, but vital, piece of equipment. Don't skimp on this item. The really good ones are made out of aircraft aluminium and sealed against water, so you can drive over them with a truck, drop them in the ocean, and still use them later for that emergency toilet break at midnight. You don't have to go all out - just buy the best you can. One kind that does come in handy though is the head-mounted light. This fits over your head with adjustable straps, uses LEDs for illumination, and gives you hands-free lighting with long battery life. I have one of these and can recommend them.

 

WATER

For locations that don't have any ready access to fresh drinking water, you'll need to carry your own. I'd recommend that you take along at least 5 litres per person per day. This should cover you for all your drinking requirements, and also leave you an adequate reserve for food preparation. Of course, this doesn't include any water you might need for showering - it's just a recommended minimum figure. Take along whatever extra you feel comfortable carrying.

 

4WD VEHICLE RECOVERY & EQUIPMENT

All 4WD vehicles are expected, as an absolute MINIMUM, to have RATED front (and preferably also rear) recovery points. If you get bogged, there's no way we can extricate you from your predicament if there's nowhere to attach a strap or chain to. You would also be expected to carry a RATED snatch strap and appropriate shackles, in good working order, and know how to use them in both light and heavy snatches. If you don't have your own snatch strap, then you can use somebody else's, and I'm happy enough for you to do this, providing that if somebody else breaks their snatch strap pulling you out, you're up for the cost of a replacement. It's only fair. If you have a bridle chain, winch, HiLift jack etc. then so much the better.

 

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