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4X4 Trip Safety, Planning and Preparation

Whatever activity you are planning on undertaking in the remote areas of New Zealand, there are a few fundamental rules that you should adhere to. In this article on the subject of 4X4 safety, we talk about trip planning, preparation and some common sense actions that you should undertake to ensure your own safety and the safety of others in your party. In other articles, we look at some of the equipment that you should carry, but the actions in this article cost nothing and may save your life.

One of the first things that you should do, is to plan your trip. Seek local advice on the route that you plan to undertake. Routes can change, particularly those involving river work. Social media is a great source of information, so get yourself onto one of the many Overlanding forums and ask if anyone has recent experience of driving the route that you’re planning. You should also have an idea on how long the planned route should take in order to ascertain whether it is viable in the timeframe that you have available.

Tell someone where you’re going!!!!! This is probably the best piece of advice that anyone can ever give you and whether you’re heading out alone, or as part of a group, this information will be vital if a problem occurs. Make sure that you that tell someone trusted to you what your intentions are and when you expect to be in contact again to confirm your safety. Give as much information as you can. The names, ages and vehicle registrations of those participating and any variations to your initial plan you are considering. Remember that in remote areas, cell coverage may be marginal, so set a realistic time that you expect to be back in coverage.

There are a number of online resources available to record your intentions, including the DOC website. Have a look for “Outdoor intentions form” on the AdventureSmart website. If you are overdue, ask your contact to call 111 if they are in New Zealand, or +64 4 381 2000 from overseas. There have been many cases of people going missing in our great outdoors areas. We all know that vehicles break down, medical emergencies occur, navigation errors are made and that our weather can change suddenly. If you obey these simple rules, you will be giving yourself, and the others in your party, a fighting chance in the event that the unexpected and unfortunate happens.

Here at 4x4 Explorer Adventures, we love the freedom that our 4WD gives us to Explore the remotest areas of these Islands that we call home. We also understand that this does not come without risk, however these risks can be mitigated.

Feel free to explore and embrace what we have but use common sense and stay safe!

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