Backpacking the Heysen Trail for Backpack Beds

By FourBears

My Activity Tracking


My target 1200 kms

2022! Second time's a charm!

So, friends, tomorrow I fly to South Australia for some unfinished business. Last year I was all set to hike Australia's longest hiking trail, for the enjoyment of it, for the benefit to my physical and mental health, and to raise funds for a very special charity - Backpack Beds for Homeless Australia.
Sadly, due to outbreak of COVID in the eastern states, at the last minute South Australia wouldn't let me in.

I don't want to jinx myself, I was going to wait 'til I hit the trail before I posted this, but I probably wont have service and will have lots of outdoorsy things to take care of, beyond the digital world!

So, here I am, really doing it! Very out of shape, all a bit last minute, very cold time of year to be going, don't have time to do the whole thing... but hey - can't let perfection be the enemy of the good!

Thank you to all the beautiful people that donated last year. I will do my best to pump out as many kms as I can to honour my distance debt!

I got in contact with the lovely Jenny from Backpack Beds for Homeless and asked her to un-archive my fundraiser to open it up again for donations.
If you haven't already, and have a few spare dollars to give, it would be amazing if you could make a donation. Or if not, perhaps share the link.

I am very privileged to be doing this intentionally, and have all the gear to keep me warm and dry, and if things go wrong I can get on a plane and come home. There are more people than ever that are homeless, and they don't sleep rough because they want to... They don't have a choice.

These award winning backpack beds provide protection from the elements, privacy and dignity to homeless people who are sleeping rough. Dig deep if you can. And a big thanks again to Byron Hikers Club who alone contributed a quarter of last years fundraising $$ .

Wish me luck!
Much love xx

Thwarted by border closures! :(

After spending many months planning, dehydrating, vacuum sealing I was looking forward to a fabulous adventure.
With all my gear and resupplies packed, I set off. In a desperate dash, because rules were changing and borders had closed. 
But I couldn’t get into South Australia …  despite all my best efforts, exhausting every single option, including driving my campervan into Victoria (with exactly an hour to spare before Vic closed its border to NSW) to pass the 14 days ‘til I was legally allowed in. 

When the rules changed between VIC and SA, I literally drove to the border with my permit, my vaccination certificate and my negative Covid test in hand and begged to be let through. Bless their hearts SA Pol very very nearly let me in but while I was there a directive came down that only returning South Australians and exempted persons were allowed in. 

There is absolutely nothing I can do now to hike the Heysen this year. My last remaining option was to come back into New South Wales spend two weeks here before I would be allowed into Queensland and spend two weeks there before I’d be allowed into South Australia. It would’ve been close but there was a tiny possibility, but now the Queensland border has shut to New South Wales. So that’s it.

But my fundraiser is still here. If anyone out there who is reading this has five dollars to spare, please donate it. This has been the worst time imaginable for homeless people in this country. The homelessness crisis has only been exacerbated by this pandemic.

Thank you for reading. 
All the very best to you. 
Four Bears.

The Generosity of the Byron Hikers Club

Last night I had the pleasure of speaking briefly to the Byron Hikers Club inaugural AGM about my upcoming Heysen Trail thru hike and my fundraising for Backpack Bed for Homeless Australia.
I was so moved by the generosity of members of the club who instantly opened their wallets and donated a total of $300. You know who you are but the donations were as follows $100, $15 $50, $15, $20, $100.
Thanks all for listening to my plans and being so supportive and enthusiastic. I was really humbled by your kindness.
When I kick off I will be blogging my hike on my FaceBook page @BackpackingForHomeless

Backpacking for Backpack Bed for Homeless, Australia

Hi! I’m Deanie, also known by my trail name of FourBears and this winter I am setting out to hike Australia’s longest dedicated hiking trail - the 1200 km Heysen Trail in South Australia.🥾

I will have the good fortune to carry a backpack containing a weatherproof shelter and a bed to keep me warm. ⛺️But not all of us are so fortunate. Everyone deserves to have shelter and a bed to sleep in each night.

Please help me raise funds for Backpack Beds for the Homeless, Australia.💰

My goal is to raise $1200 - one dollar for every kilometre walked with my backpack. This will buy 11 Backpack Beds to provide shelter, comfort and dignity for 11 homeless people sleeping rough in Australia. 

Backpack Beds are ergonomic backpacks weighing just 3kg that roll out to an all-weather protected 3 window shelter with built-in mattress that are distributed directly to street sleeping homeless people via partnerships with 700+ Homeless Agencies. They are proven to improve dignity, health, sleep, warmth, comfort and safety and have won the Australian Human Rights Award 🏆.

Please give a few dollars if you can spare it, every little bit counts in helping improve the lives of people sleeping rough. Donations are tax deductible. Thank you ❤️ 

Thank you to my Sponsors


Members Of The Byron Hikers Club Https://


Gregory John Byrnes


Anna & Phil

Well done Deanie.


John Mickan

A marvellous thing to do for those less fortunate Deanie.


Allison Whittaker


Ceys And Ryno Black

You are fab Deanie!


Mel Wilson

Hope you get the opportunity to complete the physical side of your challenge one day. Thanks for walking for this great cause.


Ross Young

Hi Deanie, keep up the good work with a cause you are obviously passionate about and concerns me as well. I hope you get to walk the HT soon. It’s a great journey.


B For Bob

Wish I was there too rather than at my work desk !! Lol


Bec, Doob, Noah & Nat

Great cause Deanie - all the best with your challenge. Lots of love to you ❤️


Mark & Nola Murray

Enjoy your walk and come back to 11 happy homeless people with portable accommodation


Andrew Peter Mickan

I'll be cheering you on - closer than you think!


Ditya Byron Hiker


Amanda Shoebridge

Happy trekking gorgeous friend! I love what you’re doing xx


Yolande Morris

Way to go Deanie… had a wonderful hike with great gear and I really get how very different the experience is for those without out homes in SA…..and there are far too many .


Melanie Sjoberg

Sorry you missed the Heysen 2021 but the cause is alive. The trail will still be there.


Libby Hall

Good on you travels. No bears in Australia, Phew.


Emily Mickan

Best of luck on the walk Deanie! We are thinking of you and following you all the way. Lots of love, Em xx





Good work Deanie!


Yolande Morris

So sorry that your plans were thwarted and hope you can make it next year!! Way to go for sheer determination and effort to get there!!! Since the Glenelg river steps have been your nemesis maybe you can consider the Great South West Walk as an alter I’ve…it’s all year round!!!


Julie S


Kay Dimmock



I love this very useful way to help others. Thanks for making me aware of these backpack beds, if never heard of them.



Love you Deanie!! Happy Heysen hiking my friend xxxx


Heidi Hill


Nadine White


David Roland

ByronnHikers member


Rob Simons