QUESTIONS

The Outback Camel Company used to conduct 10 day treks and 28 day expeditions every winter - why have you stopped doing this?

Now that our camels work for the Registered Environmental Organisation, Australian Desert Expeditions (ADE) on their ecological and scientific surveys every winter, there is no longer the time available to operate commercial treks or expeditions. The only trek we are operating in 2018 is the Bare Sole Trek.

 

What is the difference between the Outback Camel Company and Australian Desert Expeditions?

Australian Desert Expeditions is a Not-For-Profit Registered Environmental Organisation with full Deductible Gift Recipient (DGR) status and conducts scientific and ecological surveys in the desert using packcamels as the main method of transport. All members of the public (minimum age 18) are able to join most of those surveys and assist the ecology team with their important research.

 

The Outback Camel Company (OCC) is a privately owned business and during the winter our camels can be found working on ADE ecological surveys.

See www.desertexpeditions.org for more details.

How do you price your trips?

(These answers are given in the context of the ADE surveys)

 

The ADE surveys are participation based walking treks and are definitely not camel-riding safaris that use wagons or follow station tracks/roads. As ADE changes its operating area every year, there are substantial costs incurred in transporting camels, equipment, crew and trekkers to different deserts across the continent, stretching from central Western Australia to Birdsville in Queensland.

 

ADE endeavours to keep prices as competitive as possible and give volunteers exceptional value of money. However the cost of operating any business in remote Australia is considerable and transport costs have particularly impacted on our operations in recent years. Keep in mind that most of the surveys operate in extremely remote areas that require complex logistics & management, well away from the infrastructure that exists on the desert fringe or in other more 'suburban' arid regions such as the Flinders Ranges.

When will you next conduct your Signature Simpson Desert Expedition (SDE) from Andado to Birdsville?

Our last SDE was in 2006, and in 2018 we are committed to exploring other parts of the Simpson with ADE.

How fit do I need to be?

The surveys are designed for anyone who is in good general health. You do not have to be 'ultra-fit', however a super-fit person who is unhappy at leaving the comforts of home behind will not cope as well as a moderately fit person who is prepared to encounter the desert on its own terms. Some of the longer & more challenging survey expeditions may require medical certificates.

Will I see evidence of Aboriginal occupation of the desert?

On nearly every survey that we have conducted, we have found either stone tools or chippings. Whilst it is permitted to examine and document these items, it is not permitted to handle or remove them from the area.

What is the food like?

Healthy and nutritious. You will be surprised at the variation in meals that we can create. Except for refrigerated goods of course, we can carry just about anything, including fresh fruit and vegetables, and cook all meals on the campfire using woks and traditional camp-ovens. We cater to nearly all dietary requirements, bearing in mind that we operate in remote areas, and there is no such thing as a corner shop.

Do you use tents?

We carry tents but only use them during wet weather, and yes, it can rain in the desert during winter! Otherwise there is no need to use a tent. You will be issued with a swag which will keep you warm during the cold nights. You will need to bring your own sleeping bag, along with other recommended items which are explained in detail in the Survey Trek/Expedition Information Guide.

Why do you use swags?

Swags are the proven choice when it comes to bedding. Yes, we could use a combination of tents/lightweight thermarests/sleeping bags, but for durability reasons, swags are preferable. They are also uniquely Australian and we like to keep things authentic.

I've never been on a "camel trek" before - does that matter?

Definitely not! You have to start sometime! If you have a love of the desert/wilderness, are an active bushwalker and want to experience the desert in its most pure form, then an ADE camel based ecological survey is for you. You will find that working with the camels is a fascinating and rewarding experience - about 20% of our trekkers come back for another 'camel fix' every year.

What communication and emergency equipment do you carry?

We carry satellite telephones for emergency communications. One of the great things about desert trekking is getting away from the "must keep in touch all the time" obsession that our society has with mobile phones. We do not use the satphones for idle chatter - they are used for emergencies only. We also have Personal Locator Beacons (EPIRBS) and UHF radios.

 

The camel team also carry a fully equipped Royal Flying Doctor Service First Aid Chest. Whilst the cameleers are trained in Level II First Aid (or more), they will only dispense 'Pharmacy Only' medicines from the RFDS chest in consultation with a doctor.

If there is a serious medical emergency, an evacuation would be organised with the RFDS and state emergency services.

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© Moments In Time Pty Ltd trading as Outback Camel Company ACN 072 215 886  ABN 86 335 402 306