Blog 13 March 2024

10 tips for your first DofE Expedition

It’s that time of the year again – expedition season! While they are a lot of fun, they can also seem a little daunting. Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered. Here are our 10 tips to help you ace your first DofE expedition.

1. Pack it up, Pack it in

It’s likely you will be sharing expedition equipment, so work together as a team and arrange who brings what, that way you can (quite literally) share the load. You want to keep your rucksack as light as possible so think about packing travel bottles or sachets of Shampoo and Body Wash.

2. Practice makes perfect

Make sure you get lots of practice in beforehand packing and re-packing your bag. That way it’s second nature when you have to do it during your Expedition. Oh, and maybe keep the waterproofs on the top for easy access when it (inevitably) rains. Which leads us to our next point…

3. Check the weather forecast

As we all know, the UK can be more than a little unpredictable when it comes to the weather. Have a look at the weather forecast in advance of your trip; this will help with packing the right clothes and equipment. Use layering wisely: add and remove layers as you go, and don’t put all your layers on to start with. Be prepared for the worst but also hope for the best, it is quite possible you’ll need waterproofs and suncream!

4. Wet feet aren’t happy feet

Take it from us, walking in wet boots is not pleasant. If your boots get wet then don’t be tempted to just leave them and hope they’ll dry out. Once you’re done walking for the day, get hold of some newspaper, crumple it up and push it inside your boots right down to the toes. The paper will absorb the moisture and you’ll have dry happy feet the next day!

Also, if your boots are new, make sure you wear them in before your hike. Wear a good thick pair of socks, and blister plasters will be your best friend.

5. Eat!

Food is important. Make sure you plan your menus in advance with your team and pick food you like and can all agree on, this should also stop you all bringing the same food. You’ll be on the move pretty much all day, so you need to make sure you consume more calories than normal to keep your energy levels up. No one wants to be hangry only a few hours in!

An aerial shot of a campsite. The tents are on grass, in a circle with a large space in the middle. There are young people next to their tents setting them up.

6. Be prepared to get lost

Getting lost on your Expedition is pretty inevitable and can lead to some funny stories. It’s important to remember not to panic and to check your map, maybe there’s something recognisable on the map? Or can you retrace your footsteps?

7. Protect and respect the countryside

We live in a beautiful country, and you are about to see some of the best of it. We all have a responsibility to protect our countryside for future generations. Close gates behind you, stick to the pathways and leave no trace you’ve been there.

Read our blog to get the low down on the Countryside Code here.

8. Keep hydrated

You will need to carry enough water on your expedition to see you through the day. It’s recommended that a person drinks approximately two litres a day, and more on a hot day. Drink little and often, don’t wait until you’re thirsty.

9. Plan for your period

Your period can be annoying and stressful at the best of times, let alone during your expedition. Make sure to plan ahead and pack some period supplies. Even if it’s not due it’s a good idea to bring some supplies just in case it comes a few days early or someone in your group gets caught out, we’ve all been there!

Read our blog on planning for your period on an expedition here.

10. Have fun!

Stop and take in the views and make memories with your friends. Some of the best stories come from getting stuck in a bog or finding out you’ve been walking in a circle for hours!

Do you have any of your own tips? Or do you still have any burning questions? Let us know on social media.

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