By canoe or kayak

These are just some examples of ideas for aims. You and your team should create an aim that is personal and interesting to you– and suitable for your expedition area and mode of travel.


  • List different flora and fauna that you see by the side of the canal
  • Make a recording of the sounds of nature you hear on an expedition
  • Investigate the use of towpaths, type and frequency of use
  • Investigate samples of the river bed on your route and compare them with each other


  • Note the age and history of buildings and areas that you pass
  • Use authentic old canoes or kayaks and compare how they are made and used compared to modern techniques
  • Plot the course of a canal and explore the history of why it was built in that location
  • Investigate Second World War defences on the Kennet and Avon Canal


  • Help make a canal navigatable by keeping a log of parts that need clearing and send it to the owners of the waterway
  • Consider the impact of boat traffic on local wildlife
  • Study the effect of human erosion on towpaths
  • Photograph weirs and other water features and investigate their use


  • After keeping a daily log, each evening, reflect on what challenged and tested your team, suggesting ways of dealing with possible future problems
  • Produce a promotional film about how much fun a canoe expedition can be
  • Analyse the team’s need to have a leader and what skills and qualities they should have
  • As a team, record your expedition experiences and create a scrap book

See specific advice for paddle expeditions in the DofE Expedition Guide..

Modes of travel

Find out more about what is involved with doing your expedition using one (or more) of the following modes of travel…

On foot

By bicycle

By boat

By canoe or kayak

By wheelchair

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