Starting from Billiluna in the north near Halls Creek on 31 May 2013, Gaynor Schoeman walked solo for 66 days, carrying a backpack of 30kg, finishing 1657km later in the tiny outback goldfields town of Wiluna on 05 August 2013.
Gaynor was raising money for quadriplegic wheelchair rugby players under the banner Walk 4 Wheels and Walk 4 Wings in memory of hangglider pilot and friend, Bruce McClunan, who broke his neck on 1st April 2011.
Many class this walk as unsupported, done in the same way as the first successful walkers lead by Murray Rankin in 1976. Whilst I did not walk with vehicle support, or with another person, without the help of Andy Sutcliffe in establishing my supply route before the walk, and my food sponsors, this walk would not have been possible. For this reason I class my 2013 desert walk only as SOLO .... by my own standards.
Media interviews may be viewed and listened to by clicking on the banners to the right of this page
In 2015, I researched the availability of water beyond that of the known wells. I determined that I could find water at a maximum distance of 100km apart over a total distance of 1657km between Billiluna and Wiluna. Sometimes I dug down to 3m to find that water, other times it was a matter of locating rockholes with water that the majority of people who travel the Canning Stock Route do not visit.
Part of my research was to see if I could drink water that most people will not even consider and to see what the effect might be. I sometimes boiled the water. Other times I treated it with Aqua Salveo. I remained healthy without any side effects what-so-ever, despite drinking water that was green with camel poo, clear but infused with the decomposing bodies of lizards, and so black or brown and thick with sediment that it clogged up the cloth I strained it through. In doing this research I determined that I could find enough water for a person to walk the route, although multiple sections would be over three 30+km days of hard, dry hiking if no surface water was present. A lightweight portable desalinator would be beneficial as much of the clear alternate water on the Canning Stock Route is salty.Read more...
UPDATED: 27 September 2015.
My Sponsors who turned my 4x4 Canning Stock Route journey into a reality.
All supplied their time, effort, expertise and/or products free of charge and far beyond what I could have imagined. All are highly recommended: PRODUCT + SERVICE = FIRST CLASS !
Here are some highs ... and lows ... with regards to my experience purchasing and equipping a vehicle for a solo journey of 3.5 months on the Canning Stock Route.Read more...
UPDATED: 03 October 2015
A 4WD will typically take 3 weeks to traverse the Canning Stock Route, a motorbike around 10 days, bicycle 33 days and walking 1-3 months depending on support or not. Here is a timeline for notables, focusing on foot powered achievements.
Detailed information regarding the stories and achievements of each walker and cyclists, to follow in the book, 'Every Step of the Way'.
'There is a time in every man's education when he arrives at the conviction that envy is ignorance; that imitation is suicide; that he must take himself for better, for worse, as his portion; that though the wide universe is full of good, no kernel of nourishing corn can come to him but through his toil bestowed on that plot of ground which is given to him to till. The power which resides in him is new in nature, and none but he knows what that is which he can do, nor does he know until he has tried.'
Ralph Waldo Emerson ~ Self-Reliance, 1841
UPDATED: 14 September 2015
The Challenge for 2015
1) To procure a suitable 4x4 for under $13 000 including Roadworthy and Registration; equip it and then drive the full length of the Canning Stock Route from Wiluna to Halls Creek and for a second time, back down to Wiluna. Total desert time 3-4 months. Alone and being female, having never done any real 4x4'ing before, some thought this might be a bit of a challenge, me included ... but not as much as others.
2) The purpose of this expedition was to research first hand the availability of water beyond that found in the known restored wells and springs. To treat and drink muddy, camel poo/animal contaminated water ... and see what happens.Read more...
UPDATED: 20 September 2015
Thinking of walking the Canning Stock Route?
Or just looking for an interesting read whilst 4x4'ing?
The following books and video's I can recommend:
Website updating begun. Articles to appear on the home page as written up.
Facebook is your best source of reference for photographs and updates dating back to my solo walk in 2013 and ending with the completion of my solo 4x4 Bushtucker Expedition in 2015.
'Every Step of the Way' is the title of the book I am writing. By February I hope to present a draft to a publisher for consideration.