Five Essentials You Need to Drive Through the Simpson Desert

If you want to see the parallel sand dunes of the Simpson Desert and drive through this 170,000 square kilometres of wilderness, you need the right equipment. To ensure you can traverse safely through this rugged region, here are the essentials you must have. Without these items, you may want to forgo a solo journey and sign up for an organized tour:

1. 4WD With Lift Kit

To cross the rough terrain of the Simpson desert, you should have a 4WD. The roads are unsurfaced dirt and sand roads, and as there can be limited traction in many cases, you need the control you can get with a 4WD drive. Additionally, you need the torque capacities of a 4WD to help with balance issues and keep your vehicle upright.

Finally, deep ruts can form in the roads through the desert, and to get over them without damaging the undercarriage of your vehicle, you want a lot of clearance room. While a regular 4WD can handle the task in some cases, to be on the safe side, you want a 4WD lift kit.

2. Repair Kit

There are no towns or cities through the desert, and the small handful of Aboriginal outposts you're likely to find don't stock a lot of mechanical repair equipment. So that you can deal with emergencies on the road, bring a basic tool kit as well as towing straps. Ideally, your repair kit should include every tool you used to install your lift kit so that you can easily tighten it or address other issues as needed.

3. Spare Tyres

Bring at least two spare tyres, a jack and the tools you need to change a tyre on the go. To avoid changing tyres, bring emergency tyre repair spray. Ideal for use on small holes and punctures, this spray creates a self-sealing patch when you spray your tyre with it and is a lot faster than changing a tyre.

4. Fuel

Fuel, too is sparse in the Simpson Desert. So you don't get stranded, bring extra fuel. Map out your journey before setting off and figure out how much petrol your 4WD drive uses in the worst off-road conditions. Then, add a bit extra to be on the safe side. That's the minimum amount of fuel you should bring along with you.

5. Water

Because dying of thirst is a real threat in these conditions, bring water. Stock jugs of fresh water in your vehicle so that if you get stranded, you can survive. Finally, bring a few things so you can have a bit of fun -- if you're willing to hike up the sand dunes, for example, bring a sand sled so that you can slide down and enjoy these natural wonders. With the right supplies, survival won't be a concern, and you can focus on enjoying the journey.