Mr Winch is our featured Adventure Seeker this week. He is a man of many talents but few words. A meticulous planner but notorious for never making any plans. The guy that everyone wants to be around and call a good mate. He is the first person you’d invite on a trip cause he can whip up anything out of nothing for a camp oven dinner AND rescue you from a bog hole.
Here is a look into the life of the man behind the beard, our Patrol and the Winch and Unwind aerial photography.
Describe yourself in 5 words.
Organised. Patient. Quiet. Adventurous. Diligent
How old were you when you started your 4WD adventures?
I learnt to drive a 4wd at the age of four on our family farm. I had to drive the truck in low range while Dad was putting bails of hay in the back tray.
What is your current off-road vehicle including your set-up/living arrangements?
2002 4.2 GU Patrol. Last year, before we started travelling Australia, I took out the back seats and added an 80L fuel tank and a 60L water tank where the seats sat. On top of the fuel tank sits our clothes/gear boxes and the Bushman fridge that we use as a freezer is on top of the water tank. The 2nd Bushman fridge is in the back with the drawers. We’ve got the 1.4 Howling Moon ‘Star Gazer’ Rooftop Tent, and it has been the best thing we bought for this trip.
Who inspired you into this ‘adventurous’ lifestyle?
My Dad and Mum. They travelled around Australia for one year for their honeymoon and saw some good sights before the destinations became commercialised and over populated. They also did lots of touring in their later life and had lots of interesting stories to share.
What was your first 4WD/touring vehicle?
80 Series Toyota Landcruiser. It was a great truck for what I needed at the time. I added a stack of scratches on it touring around North QLD. Earlier this year I ran into the guy I sold it to, and he said he’d just done a lap of Australia, and with 570,000 km on it, it hasn’t missed a beat. Good truck that one.
What has been your all-time favourite 4WD track in Australia and why?
The Carson River Track for sure. Mrs Unwind and I did it last August (2016) on our own. It was so good to be up there in the Kimberley in what is called the most ‘remote track in Australia’. The track was tough in it’s own way and different to anything I had driven before, but I’d like to go back and do it again.
Can you tell us the most bizarre experience you’ve had on the road?
I was north of Cooktown trying to get back to Cairns after a camping trip, and a typical North Queensland storm dropped 200ml of rain very quickly. All the rivers had flooded, and there was a truck loaded with live crayfish that needed to be in Japan LIVE the next day. The only option was for me to help out these guys and drive back and forth across the river, transporting $1 million worth of live crays to the trucks on the other side.
Fondest memory while out exploring Australian roads?
Travelling through some of the most remote sections of the Australian desert last year with my parents, Tammy (Mrs Unwind) and family friends, Jenko and Joan. We went searching for Chugga Kurri which was a dream of mine and Dads to find. Unfortunately we didn’t find it but what we did see was pretty special. Being on those desert tracks, out in the middle of Australia for 12 days without seeing anyone else was great.
Describe your ideal campsite.
By the water, no one else around, with a good campfire and beer.
Favourite meal to cook on the campfire?
Lamb shanks in the camp oven.
What Australian Tracks or Destinations are on your bucket list?
Canning Stock Route, Coburg Peninsula, more of Len Beadell’s Tracks, Karinjini National Park
What would be your advice to new 4WD enthusiasts?
You don’t need to spend thousands of dollars to get out there and start exploring. Be smart about what you do buy, prepare well and just start.
Name one product you wouldn’t leave home without?
Oh yeah and recovery gear. I’ve seen people get into stupid situations because the are not properly prepared.
Would you like to share your story? Have a favourite track that others should know about? Leave your name in the comments below and we’ll be in touch.