The trek got off to a bad start when the criminal Nebbs (on the run for stealing kneepads) shot a dinosaur, wanting to eat it, and started a stampede. This was on the very first day. Lanny Kelsey was killed by a swipe of a dinosaur tail. The trekkers held a service for him that night, singing 'Rock of Ages'. Chuck Kelsey, his brother, spoke movingly of how "He'd been saving for this trip for years" and "All he'd ever talk about was findin' a place where a man could feel free — alive." That night, a second trekker died — the child Wayne Scargille, eaten by a tyrannosaur. Lucas Rudd, an ex-leisure counsellor with six months' survival club training, began to doubt his fitness to lead the expedition.
On the second day wagon 9 was destroyed in a landslip caused by acid rain, and the Hemmingways (apart from baby Ernesto) were eaten by dinosaurs. On day three Spot Kelsey died of the black scab (a horrible disease). By day eight, 50 trekkers had died. On day nine, Titus Nebb shot a friendly mutant and the rest of the mutants threatened to crush the convoy with a rockslide, until Titus was handed over to them to be executed in return for safe passage. On day ten Otis and Judas Nebb attacked the Rudds in revenge for their brother's death, and were killed by Lucas and Amber. Their mother stayed in the Cursed Earth with their bodies.
On day eleven the convoy was attacked by mutants with guns who also caused a rockslide. Four trekkers were killed, and later that day Granacious Turtle was struck by lightning. On day thirteen the trekkers who had taken a detour through the seemingly harmless western plains rejoined the convoy, but they were all dead, only their rad-wagons still rolling. There wasn't a mark on their bodies but their faces were distorted by terror.
Later that day the trek reached the New Territories. Of the 111 trekkers who had set out, only 16 survived (but Amber Rudd was pregnant). Li Ho Koosh and his family established the New Territories' first mobile Chinese takeaway and Hymie Turtle became a preacher. On a poignant note, Bish and Futura Glemp's mutant crab-baby Crustacia swam away down a mountain stream and was never seen again.The Helltrekkers were (divided into rad-wagons):
- Rudd-1: Lucas Rudd (trekmaster; survived), Amber Rudd (survived), Bud Rudd (killed by mutant sniper) and Banjo Quint (guide; died of an infected wound halfway through the trek)
- Diefenbaker-2: Pancho Diefenbaker and Hermeseta Diefenbaker
- Ho Chi Minh-3: block co-op — the Boysons, the Puces, the Spillones and the Knees
- Turtle-4: Hymie Turtle (survived), Ami Turtle, Granacious Turtle (struck by lightning), Elijah Turtle and Ruth Turtle
- Lovejoy-5: Joy Lovejoy and Joey Lovejoy (both blown away by dust devil)
- Bugner-6: Joey Bugner (killed by mutants); Happy Bugner, Plug Bugner, Dulce Bugner, Uncle Spug and Cousin Simp Bugner (all killed by unknown supernatural forces)
- Scargille-7: Krystal Scargille (survived), Wayne Scargille (eaten by tyrannosaur), Lena Scargille, Bonny Scargille and Weena Scargille (survived)
- Jumby-8: Mahatma Jumby and John Jumby (both killed by unknown supernatural forces)
- Tosh-9: The Toshes and the Grahams (all killed in landslip, apart from Gritchen Tosh, who was melted by acid rain)
- Doing-10: Esme Doing (killed by mutants) and Burt Doing (killed)
- Mountbatten-11: Chick Mountbatten, Shick Mountbatten and Rocky Mountbatten
- Hemmingway-12: Bub Hemmingway, Tulip Hemmingway, Ernesto Hemmingway, Dad Hemmingway and Dad Ferd (all eaten by dinosaurs apart from Ernesto, who was killed by a shrapnel wound a few days later)
- Guppy-13: Guppy commune — Derv Paton, Shuggy Milak, Greg Gross, Adolf Turbo, 'X', Sally Bob Baird and Styrene de Palma (all killed by lava)
- Clampett-14: Earl Clampett (killed by mutants), Ivy Clampett (died), Jett Clampett (shot by mutants) and Rock Clampett
- Zapotek-15: Zolten Zapotek, Koko Zapotek and Albert Zapotek (all sucked down by quag)
- Golightly-16: Stephan Golightly (killed by mutants); Yogi Golightly, Marv Golightly and Sprightly Golightly (all killed by lava)
- Glemp-17: Bish Glemp (survived), Futura Glemp (survived) and Crustacia Glemp (mutant baby who looks a bit like a humanoid crab; survived)
- Hubble-18: Hannibal Hubble, Hilary Hubble, Hal Hubble and Robespierre Hubble (all killed by unknown supernatural forces)
- Ewings-19: Family of four
- Nebb-20: Pop Nebb (killed by mutants), Mom Nebb (stayed in Cursed Earth with sons' bodies), Otis Nebb (shot by Amber Rudd), Titus Nebb (executed by mutants) and Judas Nebb (knifed by Lucas Rudd)
- Wilson-21: Family of six
- Kelsey-22: Chuck Kelsey and his wife Senga Kelsey (killed by mutants), Dex Kelsey (died), Dot Kelsey (died), Spot Kelsey (died of black scab; body exhumed and eaten by dinosaurs) and Uncle Lanny Kelsey (the first to die, he was killed by a dinosaur).
- Koosh-23: Li Ho Koosh, Wan Tun Koosh, Hin Du Koosh, Dave Lee and Yung Dung Koosh (all survived)
- Gee-24: Aunt Jemima Gee and Levi Gee (killed by unknown supernatural forces); Levi's fiancée Ariadne (killed by black scab)
- Dyke-25: Ike Van Dyke (eaten by tyrannosaur) and Mike Van Dyke (crushed by rockslide caused by mutants)
- Ruben-26: Hebismund Ruben (died); Edee Ruben and two children (crushed by falling rad-wagon)
- Burger-27: Amos Burger and Maybelline Burger (both killed by unknown supernatural forces)
- Mo-Pad-28: Rollo Peterson
David Kirkham wrote in to 2000 AD prog 424 to ask, "Why didn't The Helltrekkers fly to the New Territories, and so save themselves a load of hassle?" Tharg replied, "This is a circuit-numbingly dumb question. The Helltrekkers obviously didn't fly to the New Territories because they couldn't be certain of getting 111 window seats in the No Smoking Area."