Packing up

The previous trip by the VeggiCruza was the Rellie Bash – Blogsite available – during April 2013. Here we are just a few months later and only a few tasks needed to be completed before it was ready for another adventure.

Regular service items like changing the oil, tying things back together with cable ties, repairing a broken mount for the exhaust and bleeding the old hydraulic fluid from the clutch. Oh, and the big purchase was new tyres. Four big Bridgestone 697LT AT tyres 265/75/16 with a substantial 10 ply rating and carrying capacity of 1550kg per wheel. Six tonnes should be enough carrying capacity for the car and three tonnes for the trailer! There was no way I was heading back to anywhere near the Pilbara with anything but near new good quality tyres. My current four Bridgestones still had plenty of wear on them, but not enough to risk amongst the sharp hard rocks of the Pilbara.

This trip is planned at 4200km which will require 600 litres of fuel at a cost of $300 – travelling IS expensive these days isn’t it! This fuel load will be made up of 12 drums of 25 litres stored in a rack in the trailer to stop them rubbing against each other. I have raised the tilting lid on the trailer by 70mm, and now I can fit 12 more containers on top of bottom row, and the top row holds 20 litres each. That lot totals 540 litres and the onboard tanks bring it up to around 700 litres, so we should be fine for our little jaunt.

Carrying fuel like this is much easier than having to find oil on the way. In particular that we are not travelling through towns much, and the major centres of Exmouth are likely to have their stocks of veggie oil already taken by intrepid grey nomads. There’s a guy I know in Geraldton who has 19,000 litres stockpiled if we run short on the way home 🙂

On the Rellie Bash, Barry had bought a few special goodies to make the trip easier. One of them was a pretty old canvas travellers tent. Torn fly wire, heavy and not looking very good, these single centre pole tents are marvellous for speedy erection. Just put a peg in each of the four corners, walk inside with the centre pole and push it into position. We figure the flies won’t be bad in winter and are hoping it won’t rain too much. Much quicker than our existing tents with their frames, fly and many pegs.

We’ve also got a nice shower tent and a proper toilet thingy to add that extra bit of civilisation in the trailer. I might even cut up the old laundry wash trough and make it into a washing basin – with a day of packing to go, I’m thinking this will have to wait to the next trip.

We’ve also scored the big gas bottle and BBQ Barry found brand new on someones verge amongst their rubbish, so cooking will be a lot better this trip. My light weight hiking stove does a great job for quick cuppa’s by the roadside.

And for sleeping we have some heavy duty large canvas based stretchers. This will get us up off the cold ground and provide a bit of flex for our self inflating hiking mattresses, sleeping bags and blankets. I looked at buying a biodiesel powered air heater for the tent but at the cost of several thousand dollars, a few more blankets, woollen thermals and beanies will be a better option. Yes, even in the Pilbara it gets cold at night in winter.

One special purchase for this trip was a pair of Maxtrax, special strong plastic planks that are helpful in bogs. Reminders if our last trip to Wooleen Station prompted this investment.

Major packing will happen tomorrow, before the netball game at 3:30pm. Hopefully we will leave earlyish on Sunday morning and we are booked into accommodation in Morawa Sunday night.