The walk is the easy part… the planning is extreme!

by | Apr 27, 2021

In 60 days, we will embark on the massive adventure of trekking across the Simson Desert. By this point, an incredible amount of work will have been completed. The planning and preparation that goes into such an expedition is significant and we are incredibly fortunate to have the experience of Rob Porcaro as our Expedition Leader (code name Polar Bear).

We would not be able to undertake this trek without having an experienced support team. On this adventure we are lucky to be working with Kerry Muhleder, her husband Wal and Greg from the Overland 4WD club of South Australia.

Their role is crucial. Not only are they responsible for getting us to the beginning of the desert, our starting point, but they will literally be monitoring our progress nightly. In the event that comms are lost, or there is a health issue, they are also responsible for coordinating search and rescue operations.  Further, they will bury supply caches at two day intervals and communicate their coordinates to us via satellite phone.  The caches contain dehydrated meals, water, clothes and critical spare parts.

Earlier this week Rob’s previous expedition leader, Peter Baddams who is incapacitated after a major operation, made the time to meet with our new team to pass on his wisdom and learning about planning and logistics, the terrain and critical GPS coordinates for each of the Madigan camp markers.

Rob and I will be using Osprey 70 Litre backpacks, which when fully laden will weigh between 20 to 23 KG. This includes meals (made up into day packs – breakfast, snacks, lunch and dinner), 8 litres of water, camp gear, satellite phone with batteries, tents, sleeping bags, emergency supplies, lighting, clothing, ThermaRest self-inflating air mattresses, first aid and medical supplies, 5w Uniden handheld UHF radios and a range of spares.

We are now working on our risk plan with mitigation strategies. This includes daily communication protocols, emergency extraction and contingency plans.

The expedition will be self sufficient for 35 days – this includes critical items such as food and water (and a sneaky bar of chocolate here and there!)

Thank you for following our journey.

Brigid