Adam Craze Interview
When you’re talking to Adam Craze, it's best to get a map out. After spending 20 years setting up others for touring in his role as General Manager of Ironman 4X4 Products, Adam is making up for lost time by zig-zagging his way around the country. We caught up with Adam recently, days before he was setting out on a trip following the Beadell tracks and beyond.
How long have you been in the 4WD Industry?
Adam started out twenty years ago with Ironman. He worked with Tom & Barbara Jacob and helped build and establish the brand in the Australian and global 4WD accessory market. Building the brand, belief in what they were doing and controlling the company’s destiny was the key to that success.
What's the remotest place you’ve travelled to?
Off track in the Gibson desert, north of Lake Mackay looking at old wells. No tracks, just using GPS to navigate our way. In 2021 we travelled from the Carson River track and made a track out to King George Falls with just one other couple. This was done in consultation with the Balanggarra people who are the traditional owners and we established this track so that King George Falls could be added to the ‘tag-a-along’ tours that they conduct. It's a pretty remote place with absolutely nothing around at all.
Any hairy moments on that trip?
There’s always hairy moments when you’re trying to establish a new track in that sort of country. Nothing too serious. We were crossing the rivers after a full wet season and we were some of the first people to travel on the Gibb River Road because we travelled with the traditional owners to get access into their land. At one stage on that trip we lived on the banks of the Drysdale River for 23 days waiting for the river to go down. The Drysdale River on the Carson River Track is as remote as it gets.
What's changed in how you travel compared to 20 years ago?
When we started travelling, we wanted to have everything with us and have the best of everything that we could afford. The camper trailer was all important. Now-a-days we travel a lot simpler. The Landcruiser 79 is set up to be fully remote. Power is always top-of-mind so we run solar, fridge technology is much better now, for cooking we have a deep-dish gas burner and a Bije-Barbie. We also use a 12-volt Travel Buddy oven a lot. They’re a really handy piece of kit as they’re an actual oven. Cooking a lamb roast, heat-up lasagne or a pre-made cryovac meal we’ve taken as we drive means we can eat as soon as we arrive at our destination.
We’ve realised that we don’t need everything now we've lived full time on the road for twelve months. We have really tried to simplify what we need and how we live and to reduce how much weight we carry. One simple method we started back when we used the camper trailer was every time we used something, we put a black dot on it. At the end of two years if it didn’t have a block dot on it, we turfed it out of the car. It was about rationalising down what we took on each trip. Nowadays if we have power, water and diesel, we are pretty much self-sufficient.
The only thing I haven’t reduced down is tools and the spare tyres we carry. Since we go fairly remote, we need to make sure we can get out of where we are.
What’s your favourite piece of kit you travel with now?
For the last year we've basically lived out of our Alu-Cab roof top tent and awning. You soon forget about the cost when you use it every day. Our camp takes 30 seconds to set and the same to pack down. Each night we have a comfortable bed to climb into. It allows us to spend time exploring rather than setting up kit. The ease of setup came into its own one time when I had food poisoning. I was able to pull over, flip the tent up and crash out for a few hours recovering. The Alu-Cab has really changed the way we camp with its ease of use and having a comfy bed 30 seconds away.
Favourite Touring rig?
The Landcruiser 79 on portals is the best. The clearance from the portals really comes into its own, particularly in the off-track country around the Carson River track. It was rock crawling off track and very demanding on the vehicle. Our set up is very simple with a Bull Motor Bodies Canopy on the back which is dust and waterproof and fits everything we need.
Advice for the readers?
Keep it simple and believe in yourself and your vehicle. If you’re starting out, join a club, get some training so you know your vehicle's capabilities and your own capabilities. Mechanical knowledge is very useful if you break down as is a sat phone. Plan and be prepared for your trips.