We were stoked to be a part of the Great Aussie Escape Giveaway this year and we wanted to share with you a story from the winner, Chris and his family...
On behalf of our family I’d like to thank you all sincerely for all the top notch kit you’ve all tipped into this fantastic prize pack. The last family trip to the outback was when our oldest was 9 months old. He’s just turned 11 in July.
We’ve always been keen camping and exploring types and we’ve tried to maintain a sense of that with our 3 kids.
They love the outdoors and it’s great to see them discovering new things every time we go away.
My wife and I celebrated her 40th at Uluru about 4 years ago and after driving a rental Pajero decided to buy a used one on our return with the aim of doing a trip through the outback with our kids.
We found a relatively clean one with a lift kit and snorkel. I had to drive 2.5hrs to test drive it in Echuca and the test drive involves going through a small grass/bushfire, so it really was a baptism of fire.
We put some underbody protection on it, a bullbar + winch, 2nd battery.
Since then we’ve bought a used Cub Camper and been slowly getting them ready.
Although capable, our combo is certainly not what you’d call fully set up.
We don’t have a fridge, except the gas on in the camper, and that’s not great for touring. The fuel tank is rather small compared to some other 4wd’s. We don’t have MAXTRAX, but was looking at getting some. (Easier than winching!) We have a bunch of legacy gear from the past, but the whole set up is lacking. So this prize pack fills a lot of gaps for us.
This year has been very trying.
The bushfires at the start of the year were shocking.
The feeling of helplessness we felt from the safety of living in the city was agonising as we know just how difficult it was for all the folks affected out there in the places we like to visit and camp at. In fact we had to evacuate from our camping trip after one night that we’d been looking forward to for some time.
I got in touch with the Lavington Fire Brigade and asked what they needed. I then passed the hat around at work and with the combined funds of colleagues and our employer we were able to get them 5 BBQ’s to feed firefighters and evacuees +8 UHF radios and some other bits and pieces. I then drove this up from Melbourne to the border.
We were fortunate enough to get one last camping trip in March just before the last lockdown and have been going slowly mental ever since.
We got through that with my wife working from home full time, my hours were reduced but my workload increased as I was working from home in the morning while homeschooling the kids and then going into work every afternoon as well. I eventually got back to full time work and now we’re staring down the barrel of Stage 4 Lockdown.
2020 has been a proper nail biter so far and we can only hope it gets better for everyone. We consider ourselves very lucky.
We have our health, we still have jobs and we now have this amazing prize that gives our extended outback tour dream seem so much more attainable and something to look forward to in these crappy times.