( Completed June 2015 )
Pack Hiking solo from an unknown destination East of Finke NT periodically crossing the Old Ghan Railway and Pedirka Desert to Oodnadatta raising funds for the Royal Flying Doctors Service.
Depart Sydney Airport on the 16th of June 2015 to Alice Springs NT then be taken to Kulgera to assemble with support crew and finalize preparations.
During that particular time of year the weather conditions will be suitable for long range trekking with day time temps around 21 degrees and night time temps not expected to drop below zero.
Commencing the trek, no roads or tracks will be followed, navigating with paper maps and a compass in 3 day legs.
The duration of the trek is expected to run over a 2 week period covering around 230 klm under foot with 2 rest breaks scheduled for Eringa Water Hole and Hamilton Station.
Brian Mooney a return Vietnam Veteran will oversee all co-ordinates logged. It is agreed that no variations are to be made on the selected route between points to streamline search and rescue if needed.
Rendezvous points will be determined on suitable vehicle access every 3 days to allow restocking of food and water rations with a planned average walking distance of 22 klm per day carrying a pack weighing approximately 25 kilos with only essential equipment.
Support & Equipment
Brian Mooney and his trusty old Toyota Troopy, better known as the Slow Camel Kitchen and Chris and Val Hall from Riverwood Downs, which provides top class rural holiday accommodation at the foot of our world heritage Barrington Tops, will together be running support throughout the duration of the trek.
Personal equipment carried will be
One Planet Strezlecki Pack
One Planet Goondie Tent
Exped 7 air mattress
Roman -10 degrees sleeping bag
Katadyn Hiker water filter
Sigg water bottles
Back Country Cuisine Ration Packs
ResQLink Personal Locator Beacon
SPOT Satellite GPS Messenger
Garmin GPS 62s
GME UHF hand held radio
Swedish Fire Steel
And other personal kit
All of the above equipment listed is to my personal liking and tested to best suit my requirements.
To experience the harsh captivating interior of the Australian Outback wandering the Desert travelling on foot an unknown path far from the reaches of civilization.
Releasing my imagination and senses to an inner world of no barriers only restrictions governed by the unforgiving and relentless law Mother Nature serves.
Also having the privilege of observing the wildlife in their natural environment without the intrusion of Humans for the most part.
Along the journey follow various parts of the abandoned Old Ghan Railway piecing together the intriguing story the workers left behind in the sand and rocky landscape as they forged ahead laying tracks in the name of progress only to be rejected by the terrain in the years to come.
First things first I would like to thank my wife Maree, Brian, Chris and Val for supporting this crazy adventure from the start, also Doito Industrial Painting for sponsoring Brian with a fuel card throughout the entire operation and the many other supporters behind the scenes who donated to the cause enabling the trek to raise just over $10500.
Good old Aussie Spirit at its best.
Back to the trek, what an unbelievable experience to endure, it is very difficult to lay pen to paper and capture the emotions and events that had been encountered on a daily basis.
The only down side to the trek had been finishing around 60 k’s short of Oodnadatta. But after losing 5 toe nails and splitting both heels midway through the trek from poor boot selection, it was still a good effort with no feelings of disappointment.
The most spectacular site by far had been the unique colours of the sunrise and sunset accompanied with brilliant night sky’s.
Each time I crossed paths with wild animals they reacted in a very peculiar mannerism, not in an aggressive manner but more with an intriguing curiosity to what on earth this crazy human with a blue pack on its back is doing out here.
Should every person at some stage in their own life experience the feelings of detachment from general society, I believe so.
You may just be surprised the way you will look at yourself upon returning to modern society as we live it today.