Going for a hike these days needs much more than just a vegemite sandwich and a bottle of water… we do a lot of remote area hiking and we have to take notice of the requirements of the Queensland Parks and Wildlife Services and other similar organisations.
So on top of the muesli bars and fancy energy drinks that would apparently hydrate you even in the dessert, we carry a PLB and a satellite tracking device.
For this excursion we have chosen a YB3 satellite tracking device from G-Layer.
Why do we use a Satellite Tracking Device?
If a “weekend warrior” gets lost, the loved ones at home can follow your adventures in real time on the web and needn’t panic if you’re an hour late on your return, because you stopped at the pub for a coldie. They can see exactly where you are – even which pub!
In case of real trouble, the YB3 satellite tracking device is fitted with a Big Red alert button. A five second press, and your designated responders will know that you require assistance.
The device is also a two way messenger, and has a free-text function which will allow you to send SMS and email to selected contacts, without the use of a smart-phone.
In case you do have a smart-phone (iOS or Android), you can use it for advanced messaging via bluetooth and the YBConnect app.
Better safe than sorry!
Never too hot for YB3 Satellite tracking device
The weather has been a “scorcher”, which is the technical term for temperatures around 40 degrees here in Australia.
What this means for the uninitiated:
- Bitumen on roads could start melting
- Bushfires can flare up by themselves
- Peoples moods change due to the heat their bodies are exposed to- brains melt too
This is how it looked like in Australia on the weekend!
Red means hot!
We would not be deterred by the heat, as we wanted to check out the new YB3 satellite tracking device from G-Layer in a remote area. We have chosen the Conondale National Park and in particular the Mt Allan track approach from the Charlie Moreland camp area. Looking forward to being able to explore the traditional land of the Gubbi-Gubbi people.
The YB3 satellite tracking device is rated for temps exceeding 50°C so will just carry on, no matter the forecast!
The reason we wanted to climb Mt Allan was the direct access to the fire tower to transmit a position report with our new YB3 and test its accuracy.
Into the wild
We started to climb Mt Allan fire tower on Saturday morning at 9 am.
The distance is not huge, only 8.8 kms return. but gradient to the fire tower is relatively steep so a 4 hr return is estimated.
We had provisioned for water appropriate for the conditions, which for me meant about 2.5L. I had also added extra weight to the pack for training and additional bits and bobs that we carry around these days to be prepared for the worst, like snakebites, and stings. Always a great idea to know how to use your First Aid Kit.
The first kilometre of the hike showed the path ahead, cleared pine plantation, no cover from the sun and a very steep gravel road with a gradient of about 20%.
Long story short, after about 1.5kms I’ve had it, ready to bring up my breakfast!
Nauseous, knees shaking and disappointed we abandoned the mission. We’ll test our YB3 satellite tracking device for pinpoint accuracy (position, elevation and temperature) the next time, better prepared…
It was the wrong approach to Mt Allan from the Imbil State Forest area. No shade and the temperature in the high 30s didn’t help.
We approached the Conondale State Forest the next day from the Booloumba Creek area. The chosen track was from the day area to Boolooumba Falls, 19 kms return.
To reach the day-use area by car various river crossings are required and during wet season can only be approached by 4-wheel drive and with great caution. – So the signs say!
Nevertheless our 2-wheel campervan did just fine. Not to mention the little Asian jellybean hatchback we found after one of the crossings. – Figure that!
Immediately we could see this was the better choice. The forest greeted us with beautiful rainforest vegetation and small waterholes filled with tadpoles.
The picturesque path leads to a swimming area called Artist Cascades, where a river crossing is required.
As there is currently very little water due to the recent drought, we hopped across the pebbles in the river bed. The cascades looked tempting to stop for a dip and make it a day, but we pressed on to the Booloumba Falls to be rewarded there.
After the cascades the path gets quite challenging, with loose rocks and a steep ascent until the ridge of the mountain is reached. A refreshing breeze was helping us along and the splashing sounds of water promising us a cool break soon.
Also some exciting encounters with the local wildlife made for a speedy trip.
Finally, testing the YB3 satellite tracking device
As we reached the top of the hill, feeling like Rocky Balboa, we manually activated a position report on the YB3 to check in and also to be able to track progress and time used. Spot on! Accuracy of about a meter and pretty accurate in elevation too, overall, a perfect 3D fix.
The path then meanders along the top of the mountain opening up tantalising views to the falls. Are we there yet?
Booloumba Falls waterhole is on the “dark side” of the hill and it takes a little while to get there.
Finally we dipped into the beautiful iridescent water of Boolooumba Falls as a reward for our effort. A little cool but super clear and extremely refreshing. While we sat in the water cooling off we placed another manual position report with our YB3 satellite tracking device. It’s waterproof, so no worries!
A quick snack to rejuvenate the energy and off we went for the return trip. Totally unexpected we passed rainforest art slowly being taken over by nature.
The egg reminded us of lunch to be had so we sped up and managed to finish the 19 kms in just under 6 hrs.
YB3, the Satellite Tracking device from G-Layer
We are pleased to know that next time we are heading out our families can breathe easy, can follow our hiking efforts on the YB3 website (Yblog) and put their feet up and relax, while we go bush.
If you wish to know more about YB3 Satellite Tracking Device, give a call to our friends at G-Layer or check the web site.
by Sabine Stainer