WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THE OUTBACK CAMEL COMPANY AND AUSTRALIAN DESERT EXPEDITIONS?
Australian Desert Expeditions is a 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 14) are able to join some of those surveys. The Outback Camel Company is a privately owned commercial tour company that conducts desert treks & expeditions for extended periods in more remote areas. During most winters our camels can be found working on ADE scientific surveys, which is why we only run two or three treks ourselves.
WHY HAS THERE BEEN A SUBSTANTIAL PRICE INCREASE FOR YOUR TRIPS IN THE LAST 3 YEARS?
We endeavour to keep prices as competitive as possible and give our trekkers exceptional value of money. However the cost of operating any business in remote Australia is substantial and transport costs have particularly impacted on our operations in recent years.
I'VE HEARD ABOUT "AUSTRALIA'S HORIZONTAL MOUNT EVEREST?" WHEN WILL YOU NEXT CONDUCT YOUR SIMPSON DESERT EXPEDITION (SDE) FROM ANDADO TO BIRDSVILLE?
Our last 'proper' SDE was in 2006, and depending on schedules, we are hoping to conduct another SDE for Australian Desert Expeditions in the future. It's worth noting that ADE conducts groundbreaking expeditions every year, and whilst they may not traverse across the entire Simpson Desert, they do explore extremely remote parts of the desert.
HOW FIT DO I NEED TO BE?
Our journeys are designed for anyone who is in good general health. You do not have to be 'ultra-fit', however a superfit 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. See more information at Trek Grades.
WILL I SEE ANY EVIDENCE OF ABORIGINAL OCCUPATION OF THE DESERT?
On nearly every trek or expedition 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 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.
DO YOU USE TENTS?
We carry tents but only use them during wet weather, and yes, it can rain in the desert during winter! 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 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/thermarests/sleeping bags, but for durability reasons, swags are preferable. They are also uniquely Australian and we like to keep things authentic.