In hindsight

As the Azadi Far Ride to the Murray 2024 comes to an end, we’ve accumulated some of our thoughts in reflection. We’ve listed them below, in no particular order, for others that may find them insightful.

In Hindsight

  • There is a lot of fresh bushtucker along the stock routes like winter apples, lilies, prickly pears, wild fennel, puff balls, freshwater mussels and yabbies etc… You can definitely forage as you go.
  • Bring tools to repair irrigation pipes, like a pipe wrench or multi-grip, if you have the know-how. Some of the stock reserve water points simply required reconnecting pipes and fittings.
  • Always aim to camp at water each night – you feel much more at peace.
  • The best advice is from local farmers and drovers.
  • Have a severe wet weather plan – if you get flooding or heavy rain, where will you bunker down for 2-3 days? Rest areas with covered picnic tables work well.
  • No stables. The horses do not find them restful.
  • Oranges are a good traveling fruit. Own packaging, relatively squash proof. Keep well.
  • Schedules and time don’t exist. Just go where the flow takes you.
  • If Maps say so many #hours walking, add atleast 1 hour on top.
  • Don’t have any expectations whatsoever!
  • An RV friendly town is also very slow traveler friendly.
  • The colder it gets the longer it takes you to get going in the morning, but the horses do better in the cooler weather.
  • Put your clean, dry next day clothes on before you go to sleep.
  • You could bring a pack animal solely for cans and bottles. Each day I counted $20-100 worth of cans and plastic bottles along the way.
  • Know how to use and make a cocky gate.
  • The road less traveled is often in better condition, especially after wet weather.
  • Design an efficient packing system for the support vehicle.
  • Take more time off on the next sabbatical, so I can afford to stay somewhere for a few extra days or engage with the communities more.
  • Bring a fishing rod or hand reel! Every dam or creek had perch, catfish and carp.
  • Polybraid is heavier and takes up a little bit more space than polywire, but it’s much nicer to handle and use.
  • A candle gives nice atmosphere and is good for ambient light. Make it a bug repellent one and you get a double bonus.
  • A thermopot is super dooper handy!
  • Glad I brought a hammock, especially for between Goondiwindi and Moree. It’d be impossible to sleep on the ground with all the prickles, cactus and spikes!
  • Things that died or were lost; a headlight (lost), a cateye red light (lost), 2x right hand gloves (lost), a helmet (died), 1.5x pairs of horseshoes (lost), reading glasses (lost but then found!).
  • Things that needed repair; a chair, a saddle blanket, a saddlebag (knee guard velcro wore a hole), a jumper and a dress.
  • The support vehicle used 48 butane gas canisters for 1-3 people over 7 weeks (cooking and boiling water).
  • 3 sets of clothes is plenty.
  • A snatch strap would have been helpful.

Our favourite sections

  • Tyrone Rd/Tycannah Ck to Narrabri (90km)
  • Narromine to Goonumbla (100km)
  • Condobolin to West Wyalong (110km)
  • Mirrool to Ardlethan (22km)
  • Ardlethan to Kamarah Rd along Mumbledoon/Old Willows Rd (21km)

The essentials (things I’m really REALLY glad for!)

  • Collapsible bucket
  • Iodine
  • A big warm jumper (it greatly improves your comfort and mood in cold wet weather)
  • Universal tap key
  • Lip balm
  • Lifestraw (the water is mostly dams or creeks)
  • and supportive friends and family
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