An expedition through Gobi will be unassisted. In Poland we descibre this style as „without outside support”. What does it mean? In few words: I will be on my own.
There is no single definition of such a style of expedition, therefore the margin of interpretation of what the words “without outside support” means is quite big. If you want to do an expedition in a pure style, you will move alone, do not use previously prepared discharges or deposits of food, water and equipment. You will refuse any help from people on the way, such as refreshments or water. All luggage will be transported on your back or specially prepared cart. You will not be accompanied by assisting cars, even those that will be only necessary during an emergency. Travelers strictly adhering to the rules of the expedition “without outside support” put a great emphasis on overcoming the planned road only thanks to the strength of their own muscles. In the history of walking exploration of the Gobi desert attempts in this style were made. All of them ended without success for various reasons – illness, equipment failure or exhaustion.
Unsupported / unassisted
English speakers define the style “without outside support” in two ways. They talk about “unsupported” or “unassisted” expeditions.
“Unsupported” trips have the following rules: no deposits are left on the route, all luggage is transported by adventurer, but participation in the expedition can be taken by an assisting car, which in a huge way reduces the risk of the trip. In 2017 Gobi desert was passed in this style by the Australian-British team: Elise Hoefsmit-Richmond, Luke Richmond and Mathew Bennett. During the nearly 60 days of the march on the route Bulgan (Khovd Province) – Sainshand, two cars were helping them – drivers found water sources and ensured the safety of walkers. At some point, the travelers made a unanimous decision to drop 40 kg of food from carts, which was later transported by cars for them.
In the ‘unassisted’ style, there is no room for a car. When you start such an expedition, you assume a lonely passage from point A to B, accepting everything what can appen on the way.
What does it mean to me “without outside support”?
I will walk alone through the Gobi. I will not be accompanied by a security car. I will transport all food, water and equipment on the cart. I will complement the water in rivers, streams and wells. But I will not refuse hospitality and refreshments from nomads wandering the desert. By defeating the first kilometers just outside of the Bulgan (Khovd province) I will probably fight with the thoughts