Salty is a freelance photographer & videographer based in Perth WA who enjoys escaping the city and touring isolated stretches of the outback and remote coastlines in his Troopy with his dogs Morrison & Buckley.
Salty, from multiple trips to the Kimberley, The Pilbara, Salt Lakes & The Kennedy Range to name a few places, can you explain to people who haven’t watched your Youtube channel, what these journeys are about and what they can expect to see in your videos?
These journeys are two part; They’re an educational adventure for me to learn more about the land I live in and explore and secondly they’re a source of educational inspiration for those wanting to follow in my footsteps or explore similar areas. Television has been pretty bad for quite some time now so I’m trying my best to bring adventure and education into the viewers homes.
Some of the places you travel to are completely isolated where you might go days on end without seeing anyone. This no doubt requires a fair bit of preparation - what is some of your non negotiable gear that you take with you?
I try and take only gear with dual purpose use to limit the amount of baggage I'm dragging along. My MUST haves though are my lightweight camping gear for when I leave the car and road behind. A reliable head torch, first aid kit, a good knife and a warm jacket. Without sounding like a paid promotion, I actually put all of this in my Remote Projects Utility bag. I also carry a jump-starter kit for the car which I think is pretty important out there.
What is it that draws you to exploring remote areas?
The quiet and it’s where maps are still a bit grey.
Why is it important for anyone exploring these areas to have an understanding of traditional survival techniques.
Indeed having some basic survival tricks up your sleeve is very important. When all of your electronics fail it's good to know what to do next and how to stay alive. I think everyone should know basics such as how to navigate at night, how to best signal your location and how to increase your chances of finding water out there. Knowing these simple tricks will increase your chances of surviving 10 fold if shit hits the fan.
Your solo survival hike along rugged coastline didn’t quite go as planned, have you been caught in any other sketchy situations where you think, why on earth am I doing this?
I did a hike in Iceland years ago at the start of their Winter. I was not properly prepared and didn't know how far I actually had to hike to reach the next location. It took me a day to hitch-hike out there from Reykjavik with a plan to hike from Skogafoss to Porsmork alone and had to finish it in one day as I didn’t have any food besides 2 muesli bars and drank water from the melting glaciers. All of the cabins along the trail were closed for winter and technically the trail was also closed. No one knew exactly where I was so i’d really thrown myself in the deep end. I had to cross 2 glaciers without crampons and I began sliding towards a deep crevasse only 20m away, I had to jump to my knees and dig in my homemade hiking stick to try and stop myself from sliding any further. My pack was severely overweight with my day to day gear along with cameras etc. At one point I became lost and had to retrace my steps to get back on track. All up it took my 18hrs of non stop walking covering a little over 45kms over glaciers, volcanoes, through valleys and wading through small rivers created by the melting glaciers. It was then I think I really fell in love with adventures like this.
Like Malcom Douglas, Robyn Davidson & Jon Muir you travelled with your dog Morrison & now Buckley who are obviously good mates and companions on these trips. Tell us about your dogs and your 250km barefoot journey?
It was a few years ago now, long before Buckley came into our world. Morrison was originally a rescue pup at 3mnths of age, he’s now almost 9yrs. I decided I wanted to give back to the dog refuge that had given me so much in my life in the form of Morrie. I figured we both love adventures and love camping so lets do something in that field that we can raise some money. I decided I’d walk from just South of Perth down to Margaret River along the beach barefoot with Morrie and we can have people donate along the way. It took us 10days covering a total of 260kms of soft sand and occasionally some really hard pavement which took its toll on my ankles. We raised over $5000 for the refuge which went straight into feeding all of the dogs there and providing labour for better dog pens.
Your intro song is one of our favorite bands The Villagers, What else are you listening to or reading while on the road lately?
A pretty random mix haha. From Xavier Rudd, Bessie Smith, Nick Drake, Nick Cave, 2 Pac and some podcasts.
For anyone inspired by your journeys, what 3 tips can you recommend before setting out on similar adventures?
- Don’t be rigid with where you’re going
- Settle your mind and soak up the quiet out there, a lot of people are too afraid to be in such isolation because their mind and body become too loud with thoughts and anxiety from within.
- Explore Satellite maps first and see what options you have in the area, download the maps as there's a good chance you won't have reception.
With borders closed and international travel at a standstill, WA is probably not a bad place to be. What’s next on the cards for Salty and what can we expect to see up on the Youtube channel soon?
Expect to see a new vid up by the end of July with another not too long after. I’m not too sure on what's next, you’ll just have to stay tuned and find out ;)
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