Blog 22/04/2024

Dealing with the elements on a DofE Expedition

It’s no secret that UK weather can be pretty temperamental. When it’s finally time to venture out on a DofE expedition, it’s important to be prepared for anything as you never quite know what weather might be coming at you. Rain, sun, wind, you name it – mother nature could throw all kinds of weather your way, so make sure you pack your rucksack with all the right clothing and kit to keep you prepared for anything!

When setting off on a DofE expedition, weather will depend heavily on many things – geographical location, time of year, altitude, and many more contributing factors. Climate can also be different in urban areas compared to more rural locations which is good to keep in mind.

We’ve put together some of our best tips and advice to help you navigate through all weathers on your DofE expedition.

Hot weather:

Sunny blue skies and warm temperatures are great for outdoor expeditions. However, it’s important to still take the necessary precautions to protect yourself from the sun.

Suncream or sunblock is an expedition essential, especially if you’re doing your DofE expedition during the summer. SPF 50+ is ideal for hotter days, in order to protect your skin during extended periods of time outside in the sun. Why not check out DofE recommended suncream from Lifemarque – its sweat resistant and lasts up to 8 hours from just one application! It’s also a good idea to bring after-sun cream to help soothe your skin, just in case any sunburn does occur.

Try to make sure your base layer clothing is lightweight and breathable; this will help you regulate your body temperature during warmer days. The Atmos T-shirt from Craghoppers is ideal for this! Accessories such as hats and sunglasses also offer extra protection from the sun.

Warm weather is also when insects tend to become more active (and annoying), so try using Lifesystems Insect Repellent to protect yourself from any bug bites.

One more thing to remember, drink water! It’s so important to drink enough water, especially when you’re walking for extended periods of time in warmer weather! DofE recommended hydration packs from Vango are the perfect solution – they slot right into your rucksack and allow for easy access to water all day long!

Cold weather:

Cold temperatures are inevitable, particularly during spring or autumn and especially at night-time. That’s why you’ll need to pack enough layers to keep you warm during colder weather.

Technical layers from Craghoppers are ideal for staying warm on long outdoor journeys! Start with a tight, breathable base layer and go from there. A medium layer such as a fleece will help you to stay warm, and a windproof jacket will prevent any windchill. Hats, gloves, and scarves are also great accessories to bring with you and will help to add an extra layer of warmth.

Lastly, do your best to keep your kit dry throughout your expedition. Damp clothes or equipment will lead to a very cold expedition!

Wet weather:

Rain can happen at any time, regardless of whether it’s summer or winter. That’s why it’s important to be prepared if you do get caught in the rain on a DofE expedition.

Waterproof layers are essential for keeping you and your kit dry. Waterproof jackets and waterproof trousers provide full coverage protection against the rain, allowing you to stay dry and comfortable whilst navigating through rural areas.

The same goes for footwear. Wearing non-waterproof shoes, such as trainers, can cause a lot of discomfort during wet weather. Make sure that your walking boots are durable and waterproof, as this will make the journey much easier! DofE recommended walking boots from Hi-Tec are tried and tested to keep your feet warm, comfy, and most importantly, dry!

As well as protecting yourself from the rain, make sure you protect your kit too. Lifeventure Dry bags help keep your belongings protected from any moisture and all DofE Recommended rucksacks from Vango come with a waterproof cover to provide an extra layer of protection for your kit!

Lastly, always make sure you keep an extra set of dry clothes to change into, you’ll thank us later!

Whatever the weather, we want to make sure you are ready for anything. Even though the weather may not be great sometimes, we still want all the participants setting off on a DofE expedition to get the most out of their journey! As long as you bring the right clothing and kit, you’ll be well on your way to a successful expedition.

If you’d like to find out more about how you can protect yourself from the elements, check out our helpful online resources here.