Packing Checklist for Remote Off-Road Caravanning

Following decades of Outback Remote Area trekking the check list has been prepared by Trakmaster Off-Road Caravans to assist those who plan to explore this great country.

Depending on the type and length of your Outback / Off-Road trip you may not require all of the items listed so use it as a guide and check list and add your own items to suite.

The list is divided into the following categories.


1. Food and Cooking Utensils

  • Cutlery – Knife, Fork and Spoons for each person
  • Plates, Bowls, Cups – Unbreakable plastic
  • Billy and Lid
  • Saucepan(s)
  • Fry Pan/Griller
  • Egg Lifter
  • Preparation Knife
  • Tea Towels
  • Can / Bottle Opener (preferably two)
  • Dishcloths, Steel Wool and Soap
  • Rubbish Bags
  • Scissors (optional)
  • Cooking Stand / BBQ Plate / Camp Oven for open fire cooking (optional)
  • Toasting Fork
  • Paper Towel Roll(s)
  • Tongs (long)
Food

Depends on trip, number in party and particular tastes. (Take extra canned and dehydrated food in case of unexpected delay in a remote area).

  • Bread
  • Milk – Long life or powdered or canned
  • Potatoes – Whole or powdered
  • Vegetables for cooking and salad
  • Fruit
  • Biscuits (sweet/dry), Fruit Cake
  • Cheese, Butter/Margarine
  • Assorted canned and dehydrated Fruit, Vegetables, Meat and Mixed Meals
  • Eggs
  • Cooking Oil
  • Jam, Peanut Butter, Vegemite, Honey
  • Tea, Coffee, Sugar
  • Pepper and Salt, Sauce
  • Fresh Meat and or Cryovac Meals
  • Tinned / Packet Meat
  • Soft Drink / Cordial
  • Ryvita Type Biscuits (bread substitute)
  • Nibbles

2. Bedding

  • Pillows
  • Blankets / Doona, Sheets – dependent on season
  • Ground Sheet
  • Rucksack or Sausage Bag (sausage bags pack better, but one rucksack / backpack per vehicle in case of walking / hiking emergency).

3. Clothing and Footwear

  • Trousers
  • Shirts
  • Underwear
  • Socks
  • Handkerchiefs
  • Pajamas
  • Shorts
  • Jumper / Jacket (light and heavy)
  • Towels – one large, one small
  • Raincoat – Parka, Japara or Nylon – plus rain hat
  • Hat – Woolen, Fur or Cotton
  • Fly Net
  • Walking Shoes, Work Boots or Desert Boots
  • Sandshoes – for wading amongst rocks or checking out creek crossings
  • Rubber Boots – for muddy conditions
  • Overalls / Work Pants

Modify clothing to suit the trip – Summer or Winter, long or short trip. Dress to suit the trip, not for a fashion parade!

Allow for a complete change of weather, i.e. a cold wet day in Summer or a warm / hot day in winter.


4. Toiletries

  • Soap – Toilet and Solvol or Hand Cleaner
  • Toilet Paper
  • Toothbrush and Paste
  • Shaving Gear – Razor, Blades or 12V Electric
  • Hair Comb, Brush, Mirror
  • Face Washer and Towel – Baby wipes (good for when there is a water shortage)
  • Hair Shampoo and Conditioner

5. First Aid

  • Personal Medication (if travelling in remote areas have sufficient medication for duration)
  • Comprehensive First Aid Kit and Instruction Book
  • Skin Cream – for various bites, rashes, etc
  • Burn Cream
  • Sunburn Cream
  • Band-Aids
  • Headache Tablets/Powders
  • Dexsal (or similar)
  • Cough Medicine and Throat Lozenges
  • Eye and Ear Drops
  • Lip and Hand Moisturizing Cream

6. Walking Equipment

  • GPS / Compass, Map, Whistle, Pocket Knife, Waterproof Matches, Small Torch, Map, Small Signaling Mirror
  • FULL Water Bottle (plastic type fits belt)
  • Rain Jacket
  • Small amount of Food

All carried in small back pack in case you go extended walking from vehicle. Dress in appropriate clothing and footwear for the walk.

Do not try to walk for assistance from remote areas – especially desert areas. Remain with the vehicle until help arrives, which could take several days. A vehicle is much easier to spot from the air than a person on the ground and it provides shelter.


7. Camping Equipment

  • Tent, Pegs, Poles and Ropes
  • Swag / Stretcher
  • Annexe, Pegs, Poles and Ropes
  • Power Lead
  • Table Fold-up Chairs
  • Fill LPG Cylinder’s or Canisters for the trip
  • Matches / Cigarette Lighter
  • Plastic Bucket and Funnel
  • Fire lighting materials (optional) – Paper, Matches, Firelighters, Kindling
  • Water Sterilizing Tablets (optional)
  • Extra Rope (various lengths)
  • Small Clothes Line and Pegs (optional)
  • Tarpaulin or Groundsheet (optional)
  • Shovel and Axe
  • Calgon (for use in hard water)
  • Washing Powder (Cold Power)
  • Washing up Liquid and Bowl

8. Communications Equipment

  • HF Radio for remote area communication to VKS 737 Network or other
  • Satellite Phone
  • UHF CB Radio for vehicle to vehicle communications
  • Spot Tracker or EPIRB Emergency Beacon

9. Tools for Vehicle Repairs and Maintenance

The modern 4×4 is not something that the average person will be able to repair however things can come

loose and or damaged particularly when traversing corrugated roads / tracks and gibber country.

  • Ring / Open-end Spanners – 1 set
  • Sockets and Drives – 1 set
  • Screwdrivers – various sizes
  • Multigrip Pliers
  • Engineers Pliers (8”) and Side Cutting Pliers
  • Adjustable Shifting Spanners – 6”, 8”, 10” 12” or larger
  • Engineers Hammer
  • Cold Chisel – medium size
  • Soldering Iron – medium size (additional 12v electric for electrical repairs optional), plus solder and flux including Rosin Cored Solder.
  • Adjustable Hacksaw and Spare Blades – 16 and 32 teeth per inch
  • Can Dewatering Fluid/Lubricant (RP7, CRC or similar)
  • Hand Drill (cordless) and supply of popular sizes of drill bits
  • Centre Punch
  • Battery operated Lead Light and or Torch and Spare Batteries and Globe
  • “G” Clamp (4″ & 6”) (optional)
  • LPG Gas Torch and Nozzles (optional)
  • Workshop Manual(s) or Handbook
  • Assorted Cleaning Rags
  • Electrical Tape and Duct or Gaffer Tape (preferred) as it is a strong, tough, cotton cloth tape with strong adhesive qualities

10. Electrical Spares

  • Spare headlight globes or quartz insert – depending on type fitted.
  • Spare Taillight, Indicator Light Globes
  • Roll Plastic Insulation Tape
  • Heavy Duty Battery Jumper Leads (surge protected)
  • Assorted Lengths 3mm and 4mm Insulated Wire
  • Assorted Male and Female Terminals and Wire Joiners
  • Spare Fuses for Ancillary Equipment (if required) – Fridge, Radio, etc
  • Small Fault Finding Testing Light or small Multi-meter Test Instrument (optional)

11. Tyre Repair Equipment

  • Spare Tyre fitted complete on wheel rim (2 spares for outback remote area trekking)
  • Spare Tube (2 for long trip)
  • Tyre Repair Kit
  • Tyre Pump – either hand, foot or good quality 12V electric compressor
  • Tyre Levers – 2 x 18″ (“Dawidat”)
  • Tyre Gauge O-60lbs (dial type preferable)
  • Tyre Pliers / Bead Breaker
  • Tyre Valve Inserts – 1⁄2 doz (“Schraber”)
  • Tyre Valve Caps
  • Jack – Hydraulic or Mechanical, both if possible – 21⁄2 ton capacity or more
  • Tyre Criss-Cross “Bead” Patches – various sizes, plus adhesive
  • Wheel Brace – cross type preferable
  • Jacking Plate – approx. 300mm (12″) square x 20mm (3⁄4”) thick – marine ply or similar strength
  • Large Rubber Mallet for tyre fitting

12. Fuel, Oil and Lubricants

  • Fuel Containers – Jerry Cans, good quality (Australian Standards Approved)
  • Water Containers – plastic (at least two) extra required?
  • 5 Litre Screw Top Container of Engine Oil (for remote area trips)
  • 5 Litre Screw Top Container of Gear Box Oil (for auto or manual)
  • Brake Fluid – approx. 1 litre
  • Fuel Funnel with a gauze filter – if filing from Jerry Cans
  • Filler, Hose; etc. for filling gearbox, transfer case, diffs, etc
  • Small Tin Multi-purpose Grease
  • Grease Gun (optional)
  • Small Quantity Kerosene and Rag – for cleaning parts eg wheel bearings
  • Engine Coolant, Anti-freeze (optional)

13. Outback Equipment

Desirable on most trips – essential for remote area trips (Exact equipment requirements depend on terrain you plan to traverse and conditions).

  • Sand Tracks – one pair essential, two pairs ideal
  • Towing Sling / Strap
  • Snatch Strap
  • D Shackles – assorted sizes rated at least 2.5 t. S.W.L. type
  • Winch (optional) – electric or hand operated, plus cable to suit, plus 2 spare shear pins for winch
  • Snatch Block (optional) – with opening side catch. 30 cwt SWL
  • Towing / Recovery Attachment front and rear of vehicle
  • Shovel – for debogging and calls of nature
  • Axe – 4 to 41⁄2 lbs and sharp: Blade protection essential.
  • Bushmans Saw (optional) – Blade protection essential (plus spare blades)
  • Chainsaw (optional) – plus fuel, oil, spare chain, tools, wedge
  • Tree Protector Strap for protection of trees when winching
  • Gloves – leather heave duty gardening type (for handling rough cables, etc)
  • Pick – small miner’s type (optional)
  • Maps – comprehensive range for area being visited (e.g. Dept. National Mapping)
  • GPS with Rastor250k maps and or Hema and Westprint maps loaded
  • Land Anchor (optional) – or bury spare wheel

14. General Vehicle Spares

The list below is for guidance only. Spares likely to be required depend on many factors, including type age and condition of vehicle, length of trip, terrain covered, etc.

It is important that the vehicle be in first class mechanical condition BEFORE departure. A complete set of spares is NOT a substitute for a shoddy vehicle.

  • Engine Belt, plus Belt(s) for Air Conditioner, Power Steering, etc. (if fitted)
  • Radiator Hoses – complete set including bypass hose
  • Spare Heater Hose.
  • Spare length Reinforced Plastic Fuel Line
  • Assorted Worm Drive Hose Clips – to suit above hoses
  • Spare Brake Hose(s)
  • Assorted Nuts, Bolts, Washers, etc
  • Spring U Bolts and Nuts and Spring Centre Bolt if leaf sprung vehicle
  • Exhaust Pipe Bracket(s) and Hanger Straps (optional)
  • Exhaust Pipe “D” clamp
  • Various tubes of Araldite, Gasket Cement, Rubber Cement, Petrol Resistant Glue, Contact Adhesive Selastic Cement etc
  • Assorted Seals and Gaskets
  • Windscreen Washing Fluid
  • Fire Extinguisher (x2)

15. Further Equipment for Extended Touring

  • Honda Generator 12V or 240V
  • Electric drill 12V or 240V
  • Vice and or large “G” clamps

16. Caravan Spares

It is essential that the following spares be carried when towing a caravan or trailer over long distances especially in the outback and remote areas.

  • Spare Tyre(s) and Tube(s) fitted to wheel rim(s)
  • 2nd Spare Tubes (optional)
  • The above to suit caravan or trailer which could be different from the towing vehicle
  • Consider Spare Elbow and Joiners for Air Suspension
  • Fuses
  • LPG Regulator (optional)
  • 7 or 12 Pin Plug
  • 50 amp Anderson Plug
  • Consider a Spare Set of Wheel Bearings

17. Incidental Items

  • Camera in Dust and Waterproof Bag
  • Small Clothes Mending Kit
  • Notebook and Pencil
  • Reliable Maps
  • GPS / Compass
  • Driving Licence
  • Radio Licence if applicable (VKS 737)
  • Money, Cheque Book, Credit Card, Bank Book
  • Papers Associated with Vehicle, e.g. Insurance Docs
  • Binoculars (optional)
  • Torch(es) and Spare Batteries and Globes
  • Permits to enter Aboriginal Reserves, National Parks SA etc (if applicable)
  • Sunglasses x 2, Driving Glasses and Reading Glasses

18. Packing Hints for Off-Road Conditions

All items packed in the van will bounce.
All items packed in the van will rub.

Every item which might be damaged needs to be separated from the next with wadding / 1⁄2-inch foam plastic / non-slip matting, or similar. A hint from a client – many plastic bottles (oil, cordial etc.) fit closely inside an empty milk carton, which provides a good protective jacket.

”Wet-suit” type stubbie-holders also work well.

Where possible, use break-resistant plates and containers.

Storage jars should have tight or screw-top lids. (A bouncing item next to it can force off a snap-on lid.) When travelling very rough roads check screw-top jars regularly – they can unscrew. You may need to tape the tops.

Aluminium cans such as soft-drink and beer cans will quite quickly wear through if they are rubbing against each other or against other items.

Cartons – long-life milk, custard etc., – will wear through and burst if not wrapped as will wine casks.

Thin plastic bottles, e.g. some cooking oils, cordials, disinfectants, are prone to splitting; choose the thicker and smaller bottles or decant into stronger containers.

NOTE: Label Your Containers Well

Any containers that might leak, such as washing-up liquid bottles and soap powder boxes, should be placed in zip-lock plastic bags just in case. Store upright.

We do not recommend microwave ovens for outback travel, but if you do have one installed make sure that you remove the turntable before travelling, and pack securely elsewhere.

If you are going to be travelling very rough roads, remove any blinds (fully rolled) and store safely – e.g. in bedding.

Double-check for items left unpacked, e.g. on gallery shelves.

Refrigerator

Keep eggs in the carton and put an elastic band around it. Eggs are usually safe if the carton is stored right way up, but for extra security you may want to wrap the carton.

Milk is best stored in a screw-topped container, but it is fairly safe in the carton if it is not full, if it is pack firmly, and if the top is clipped tightly. A strong clothes-peg is good, or a bulldog clip.

Check that the refrigerator door is properly secured, (then check again!).

DO NOT PLACE HEAVY ITEMS IN THE DOOR – REMEMBER 1 LITRE OF DRINK WEIGHS 1 KILOGRAM.

Don’t Forget
  • Axe
  • Spade
  • Binoculars
  • Bottle Opener
  • Bucket
  • Camera – Digital
  • Camera – Video
  • Can Opener
  • Chocks
  • Clothes Line and Pegs
  • Doormat
  • First-aid Kit
  • Hand Cleaner
  • Hats
  • Hose
  • Insect Repellent
  • Maps GPS
  • Matches
  • Notebook and Pencil
  • Power Lead
  • Rubber Boots
  • Spare Keys
  • Sunglasses
  • Sunscreen
  • Toilet Paper
  • Torch
  • Umbrella
  • Wet Weather Gear