Sam Sykes Top 5 DofE Expedition Tips


We’re very excited to have Sam Sykes on board as our newest ambassador and working with Craghoppers in continuing to provide the best clothing for DofE expeditions. From his HQ in the Lake District, Sam and his highly respected team deliver DofE expeditions for schools and groups throughout the UK and globally.  Additionally, his companies train and assess many of the UK’s new outdoor instructors whilst also delivering UK based mountain skills courses and experiences to the public.  Sam shares with us his top 5 expedition tips!


Take care of your feet

Get some walking boots that fit you perfectly. Choose a high-quality insole and walking socks too. If your feet hurt and develop blisters, you may not be able to complete your expedition. Keeping your feet comfortable and in good condition is super important.


Plan your food

Expeditions are physically challenging and you will require more calories than normal. Make sure you choose things that you enjoy eating, which are suitable to be carried in your rucksack without refrigeration and with the ability to be cooked in a camping stove system. Try your food out in advance of the expedition to make sure! Carry high energy, slow carbohydrate release foods and snacks. Morale of an individual or a team can quickly change with bad or good food!


Keep it light

Lay out all the equipment and food you want to take on your expedition, and then take away all the things that you do not need (keep to the required kit list though!). Any unnecessary packaging and high-water content foods will make your rucksack heavier. By getting rid of all the extra weight, even by a gram here and there it all accumulates into a lighter load to carry – a lighter load means the expedition will be easier and more enjoyable for you.

Understand what is expected

Research the expedition section of the DofE website. Have a look at the resources available and look up the 20 conditions and read them through with your expedition team. If you all understand these, you will be set up for success.


Work as a team

Meet with your expedition team beforehand a lot! Talk through your routes, menu ideas, who is carrying what, where you are going, the weather forecast and the aim of your expedition. You want to start your expedition with everything organised and planned so you can really enjoy the experience with no surprises or stress. Get to know your team well and support each other. Everyone has their strengths and weaknesses, so work with what you have in your team to make your expedition outstanding!

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