Top Tips for Your DofE expedition
Is your Duke of Edinburgh’s Award (DofE) expedition approaching? We have plenty of useful tips for your expedition planning. From your expedition food list and knowing what food to pack to buying the right outdoor gear, we’ve got you covered with our DofE expedition advice.
Top Tips: What To Pack
Staying dry, warm and comfortable is one of the most important things to get right on your DofE expedition. If you get cold or wet at any point, it can be tricky to warm back up or dry yourself off without relying on the great outdoors’ unpredictable weather. Instead, just pack the right clothes. Simple, sensible stuff. Before you even begin your packing, ask yourself some of the following questions:
What clothes should i take on my DofE expedition?Packing clothes for your DofE expedition involves lots of planning. Use our simple checklist before you start packing:
• Check the weather forecast and temperatures
Work out your budget and stick to it
• Shop wisely and take advantage of offers
• Opt for multi-purpose items, especially coats and waterproof jackets
Unsure of how many clothes to take with you? Plan your clothes in alignment with the length of your DofE expedition. Remember: you don’t need three separate outfits for three separate days. You’ll want to stay light on your feet and no one will be worried about their outfit when you’ve got a day of hiking ahead of you.
Walking boots for your DofE expedition: What do you need?
Investing in the right walking boots can be tricky if you’re a rookie when it comes to hiking. Here are some hints as to what to look for, with comfort being your number one priority.
• For durable and waterproof boots, leather walking boots are your go to, but can be slightly pricey
• If you’re on a budget, opt for synthetic walking boots; they’re cheaper and just as protective and durable
• Try a pair on with your walking socks to be certain of the fit and size
If you buy the right walking socks, you’ll drastically reduce the chance of blisters. You want your feet to be warm, dry and comfortable, but it does depend on the time of year as to the type of walking socks you choose. Midweight socks are generally suitable for all-year round expeditions. Lightweight socks are a good choice for your summer and spring hiking. For hygiene purposes, grab some thin liner socks too.
DofE ExpeditionTips: How To Stay Warm and Dry
Staying dry is the number one rule for your DofE expedition, so here’s what we would recommend to stay warm and dry on your journey. Your recommended DofE expedition clothing includes base layers and insulating fleeces to layer up from the cold.
• Comfortable waterproof, not water resistant, jacket
TIP: Before you buy, double check it’s just as comfortable with your layers on too!
• Practical walking trousers
• Waterproof trousers with adjustable ankles
• Breathable walking socks
What Do I Need For A Good Night’s Sleep?
Getting adequate sle
ep can make all the difference on your DofE expedition. A tent, sleeping bag and a sleeping mat are essential expedition kit for your camp. Your tent is usually given to you by your DofE Leader or centre, but it’s worth checking. If not, look for tents with compression straps to make it easier to pack up and colour coded poles to make setting up camp even easier.
If you have a smaller budget, synthetic sleeping bags are a great option as they are lightweight and dry quickly. If you’re willing to spend a little more, down sleeping bags do an excellent job at keeping you warm at night, but are hard to dry if they get wet, so keep it tucked away in your rucksack until you really need it.
When you buy your sleeping mat, consider how tall you are to ensure you opt for the most suitable size. The type depends on your budget. Traditional closed-cell foam mats are cheaper and lightweight, but they can be uncomfortable. Self-inflating mats are pricier but more comfortable, helping you get a good night’s sleep.
Planning Your Food And Drink
Your nutrition shouldn’t suffer on your DofE expedition. In fact, you should be taking on more calories to be at your peak. You’re going to be using lots of energy almost all the time, so refuel wisely. Essentially, in your expedition food list, you will need the following:
• A water flask
• Plenty of slow releasing food
• Cooking equipment
• Slow release energy snacks
Planning, preparing and cooking your meals with the rest of your group is an essential part of your DofE expedition. Working together, you will save time and it gives you all the chance to split the hard work of cooking and any costs between you.
Keep it simple and take food that is high in calories, vitamins and protein but make sure it’s quick and simple to prepare. You won’t want to make more challenging dishes on your trip after a long day of hiking. Equally, if the weather isn’t very good, you’ll want something simple and warming that can be prepared quickly.
Don’t make the mistake of trying out new dishes, because if you don’t like them, you won’t enjoy your food and you might not eat at all, putting a dampener on your mood. Stick to the hearty foods you know you love. Pasta is always a good slow release source of energy, or curry if you prefer spicier tastes. If you want something warm on the go, you can keep it simple and buy pre-packed expedition food.
Waterproof food bags do a great job of keeping your delicious ingredients safe from the rain. Plan your cooking equipment, cutlery and any other gear with your group to make things easier and avoid unnecessary duplicates.
How To Pack Your Rucksack
Firstly, make sure you choose the right size and design of rucksack for your DofE expedition, as some models will cater for different heights. Look after your back, waist and shoulders by finding a rucksack with strong waist straps, wide well-padded shoulder straps and, if possible, waterproof covers. Getting the wrong rucksack could be a critical mistake. Very quickly you’ll start to ache, affecting not only your mood, but the group’s mood and your general performance.
Packing your rucksack the right way can save you a whole lot of hassle on your DofE expedition. Start by lining your rucksack with a rucksack liner to keep your belongings dry. Pack similar items together, like your food and pans, as this makes it easier to find items when you need them. Pack logically – if you’ll need it first, don’t pack it first so it falls to the bottom.
Now you’re ready to pack for your DofE expedition. Hopefully, our DofE expedition tips will make shopping, packing and preparing much easier. Enjoy your expedition and make the most of our DofE expedition kit advice before you get hiking.