I love trip planning.

UPDATE: I said the right shovel was important! Expect Andrew to trade that little thing in when he makes it over to Oz...

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A bit like shopping for a new car, I enjoy the planning and research as much as the actual event. Trip planning is even more involved than buying a new ride.

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Each trip brings it’s own challenges, what is the terrain? How far from help/fuel/civilisation are you? My next trip is about three weeks away, and is going to be on sand. As last time I tackled sand it ended in tears, I’m not messing around this time. I’m taking all my recovery gear. Overkill? Yeah probably...

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Even though this trip is only 5 days, I’m actually going pretty gear heavy in general. Whereas normally I would take as little as I could get away with (which is still a lot), I am hoping to do a properly long trip in a few years and so I want to start trialing a set up for that. So those anything that could make us more comfortable, keep us entertained on a rainy day or could give us options for getting out of a ‘situation’. Well we better start taking it, and see how it all works/doesn’t work together.

I splurged on some new stuff too for this one:

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My snatch strap is over 10 years old and has at least 10 recoveries on it, so it’s time for a newby as insurance in the box of tricks. Also my long handled shovel has seen better days, so after researching a new shovel (told you I dig this stuff!), this one seems the go, all steel one piece construction, no sharp edges on the blade (for tyres), not much chance of it breaking or getting burnt by mistake.

I’ve been smashing out jobs on the Cruiser, some of which I’ve shared on here, then re-packing the wheel bearings and flushing the trans fluid was done at a mates borrowed workshop (Ashley you are a fuckin legend).

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Fitting this, I managed to do all by myself :)

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I’m hoping to do both these National Parks:

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A bit of scale:

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This will be my first trip with this new (to me) Hema offline navigation app. While the mapping is no more detailed than the paper Hema maps I use, the BIG advantage is this lets you know where you are (as the map detail is still pretty poor). This, plus a compass, and I’ll be laughing (famous last words...).

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Most of my waking thoughts outside of work are consumed with stuff to do. I’m continually writing lists, thinking about the ‘menu’, and setting reminders in my phone. Every trip you do, you learn a bit more for the next one. I totally enjoy this process.

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