First Solo Walk of Australia's Canning Stock Route

End of the CSR for Gaynor Schoeman Canning WalkerThe Canning Walker's Challenge for 2013

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.

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What's new? Western 4WDriver pubished a 6 page article entitled 'A Walker on the Canning'.

The Canning Walkers Challenge for 2015

Gaynor camping on the Tanami in 2009Following my passion ...

In 2015 I return to Country, but this time by more traditional means. I will be driving a 4x4. Three to four months steeped in desert adventure ... learning more about the land ... and myself ... for the sheer joy of that experience.

With nothing to prove ... no stressing of body ... no urgent need to keep on moving to achieve a goal ... no destination ... just time to Be ... And let the desert in.

I have always wanted to do this ...

But wait ... there's more :-)

Erik Nordenson from the USA, will launch a supported cycling attempt on the CSR in June 2015In 2013 a few key people made my CSR walk a reality. This year I am in the position to give back and support a cyclist from the USA on his personal journey, Erik Nordenson. It is not every day support. We will meet up every few days in order that he may experience the Great Outback on his own. Quite frankly, I am grateful for the company. I would have already been on the CSR for more than two months so this is a perfect break in my solitude. 

People ask why I keep going back to the same desert. There are many reasons, but one is that there are so many different ways in which I wish to experience the CSR. Part of my journey this year is to experience what it is like to be a Support Driver to a foot powered attempt on the Canning Stock Route. Very excited!

Equipment 2015

I am looking forward to this coming season...

Gathering equipment for 3-4 months of 4x4 and desert walking adventure will determine what I take as a minimalist into 2016.

Most of my equipment is self funded, but a few people who believe in what I am doing and who I am, have fully sponsored products for my use. My thanks to you for your faith in me ... and your product. This is no small feat. I am known for my blunt honesty. I tell it like I see it. If the product does what it is said to do, I am an enthusiastic ambassador. If it does not, I do comment on what I see as the pros and cons. Desert Survival demands honesty and I will not compromise in this.

Equipment list updated weekly:


Nutrition 2015

In 2015 I will be testing out a couple of nutritional options over 3-4 months.

  • Bush Tucker. I am going to starve, I get that, and so ....
  • I am investigating Meal Replacements with enough nutrients, calories and electrolytes to keep me alive and healthy during this learning period, but motivated to find bush food. A dietitian is assisting in this, putting together a custom formula which I will be eating for most of my time on the Canning. No fancy pot roasts for this girl, but a coal roasted goanna would be welcome. The base for the formula we are testing is FutureLife High ProteinAbbotts Ensure Powder, adding a combination of Super Foods and possibly Maximum Vibrance with a Rehydrations solution yet to be determined. Can I survive on these products with meagre bush food to supplement 'the supplements'? This is what I will be testing in the desert in 2015. Weightloss and energy levels will be recorded, especially before, during and after my short two week hikes, in order to tweek my nutrition for 2016.
  • Happy Camper Gourmet meals and other 4x4 camping food for the month of June, so there is some welcome respite from this meal replacement survival food.

In the middle of my Les Hiddens style of adventure, I will be supporting a Canning Stock Route cyclist, 75 year old Erik Nordenson from the USA, eating the same nutrition he has chosen for his journey - Happy Camper Gourmet meals. How can it be any different? Our set up is basic, we have very few luxuries, our preferred nutrition needing to survive the desert temperatures, the corrugations and have a long shelf life. 

Future Life High ProteinFuture Life

This is what is confirmed so far:

SATOOZ a South African shop in AustraliaSATOOZ, an Australian company importing South African foods, has gaciously offered me 10 x 500g boxes of Future Life for my desert survival training food. This I will share with Erik.

SATOOZ is a very welcome sponsorship due to the fact that Future Life is difficult to get in Australia. They had just received 20 boxes and within 24 hours of receipt, gave me half their stock. So thank you SATOOZ!!!!

Future Life have launched a new product with High Protein. 30g protein per 100g. Not yet available in Australia, but hopefully soon.


Media Links - CSR Solo Walker

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