Missions Close To Home

Graham Cahill. — February 05, 2014

Well excuse my absence over the last couple of weeks if you will; the festive season coupled with an immediate return to filming saw me MIA and away from a keyboard for longer than anticipated. With January already just about over, I for one have begun to settle down, if only temporarily and judging by the rapidly thinning crowds at popular south-west campsites, so to have all of you.

I have had several Facebook messages with accompanying images from folks who got well and truly out and about over the holiday period; many of whom managed to put together some epic trips to places remote. I love getting this feedback, seeing people not so much on holiday but more, getting out to the places only a handful of us bother to venture. There really is something special about remote area travel that captivates me and judging by this holiday season just gone, you too as well.

Of course, the reality is that an extended, remote area 4WD adventure is not the sort of thing that happens either on the spur of the moment nor that often (a crossing of the Simmo doesn’t happen after work on Friday and finish with a 9am start back on Monday). For those who did manage to put a major expedition together over the holidays, I’m sure there was a mountain of preparation and planning in the run-up. So there should be, remote areas demand respect and deliver justified rewards as a result. However, now that the dust has settled, work has resumed and thoughts have drifted to the next big trip, how do you fill in the gaps?

See let’s say you have invested half of your annual leave on that big trip (combined with a few public holidays you managed to squeeze three weeks for the cost of two) you still have a couple of weeks up your sleeve plus a host of long weekends and the odd, shall we say, personal Friday (while I certainly don’t condone “chucking a sickie” sometimes one just doesn’t feel ones best on a Friday….). In short, there is a heck of a lot of gaps that can still be plugged with smaller but no less rewarding trips, for some reason though; many of us overlook this fact.

It’s understandable, after all, Cape York has far more gloss on the face of it than your local beach but at the end of the day, they can both offer just as much. I can hear you shouting at the PC screen, “C’mon numbnut, how can a beach an hour from home compete with Cape York??” Good question, I’m glad you asked!

When you get to the bottom of why we head bush, it’s actually pretty simple. Reasons such as relaxing, getting away from it all, wetting a line, enjoying a campfire, sleeping under canvas, getting back to nature; all crop up regularly and form the basis of our outdoor experiences. The thing is, by planning as many close to home adventures as you can get away with, you increase your time out bush and maximise all of your own reasons for doing so. It’s a win-win situation.

Sure, we all lust over images of far flung destinations and rightfully so but there really is little point in only doing one, maybe two big trips in a year then just leave the truck and gear gathering dust in between. You have all the goods, why only use them occasionally? By planning a host of smaller missions; out and back in a day or three you can radically increase your time involved in doing the things you love. Heck, I am so caught up in this philosophy that I try and lock the hubs at least three to four times a week! Sure, it might only be to the sand tracks 10 minutes from home to go for a surf or a fish but it’s still getting me out there.

Once you get short, sharp missions under your skin, you pretty soon start thinking up ways to do those more and more. Cape York and the Simmo are always in the background calling your name but now, that local beach track or the simple campsite down by the river have a whole new set of possibilities. One thing I know for sure, you won’t catch a fish watching a fishing show!





Comment by Geoff on February 06, 2014

Not to mention those 'short sharp missions' offer invaluable experience with different weather conditions but often in familiar territory!

Comment by Aaron on May 19, 2014

The more short trips you go away on the better prepared you are for the longer ones. It's all the little modifications and improvements you do that make all the difference to your travelling experience!

Comment by Fleety on May 20, 2014

Graham I have the same passion for the bush I love camping 4wd our just siting around the fire love to cache up on one of your trips