Blog 08.05.2018

Introducing DofE Ambassadors for Craghoppers

Tried and tested expedition tips from the five new DofE Ambassadors for Craghoppers

Last year Craghoppers asked the DofE to help them find brand ambassadors who could feedback and promote their range of expedition clothing.

Craghoppers received over 200 applications in total, reading and reviewing each one.

We can now introduce the five ambassadors who were chosen.

This group of adventurers were selected based on their experience and expertise with the outdoors and are already familiar with both the DofE and Craghoppers.

We’ve asked them to share their best expedition advice with all those setting off on their journey this season.

Laura – Silver Award holder and current Gold DofE participant

I’m a 17-year-old student at the Royal School Armagh studying History, Government and Politics, Geography, and Religion at AS level. I achieved my Silver Award last year and I am currently doing my Gold DofE through school.

I love being outdoors, whether it’s hiking in the mountains or out on the water sailing. However, living in Northern Ireland, we don’t normally have the exotic outdoor climates many would wish for and so the kit I wear is very important in keeping me warm and comfortable while exploring. Craghoppers is an incredibly versatile brand with loads of great kit and their half zip fleeces are my go-to when heading outside; they’re extremely cosy, so I enjoy representing the brand!

My best expedition tips are:

1. Pack light. You’ll only regret taking anything unnecessary with you. Also, bring a good set of waterproofs – I have been so thankful for mine on previous expeditions.

2. Have an absolute blast! I’ve loved doing the practice and qualifying expeditions – some of my funniest and best memories come from them.

3. Lastly, bring food you’ll be excited to cook and eat. Something you can eat hot or cold is also handy.

Al Barnard – Expedition Supervisor and Kit Store Manager for Friends of Nairn DofE Group in the Highlands of Scotland.

Originally from London, I’ve made my home in Scotland where I enjoy what the hills, mountains, crags and waters have to offer all year round. My love of the wild places was nurtured whilst serving with the RAF Mountain Rescue Service. I’m proud to be a Craghoppers Ambassador as it gives me the opportunity to be associated with a great British company who manufactures quality outdoor gear, which gets used and abused in my DofE role yet continues to perform.

My top expedition tips are:

1. Personal administration. Try and keep as much kit stowed in your bag. Avoid gear dangling that may fall off or get wet if it rains. Keep compasses away from metallic objects, including mobile phones and cameras. Also, have your head torch to hand before it gets dark.

2. Health and hygiene. Be tick aware! Check yourself and your group regularly. Pack a pair of tick-tweezers and know how to use them. Sort any blisters ASAP and keep toe nails short and tidy and feet dry where possible.

3. Food and drink. Remove all unnecessary packaging and wrappers from food. Less bulk means less to carry. Be well practised in safely setting up your stoves and tents. Have a bag of ‘morale sweets’ stashed in your pocket.

4. At least once in the day just take a moment to enjoy and appreciate where you are and what you are doing.

5. Ensuring all borrowed equipment is returned clean, dry and intact guarantees a happy DofE expedition kit store person!

Liam – Current Silver DofE participant

I’m Liam and I’m 18 years old, currently studying at college full time. I have almost completed my Silver DofE programme and am looking forward to starting my Gold later this year.

I’m an Assistant Scout Leader and help out every week at my local Beavers, Cubs, Scouts and Explorers . I love all things active and outdoors – getting dirty is my specialty! It isn’t always easy for me to try new things because I have Autism, Foetal Alcohol Syndrome and ADHD. This means that I have increased anxiety and sensory difficulties, so things can be tricky for me.

I’m proud to be a Craghoppers Ambassador because I have been inspired to believe anything is possible if you try your best, and I try my best and enjoy all my new experiences.

Here’s my expedition tips:

1. Prepare and prepare some more.

2. Pack well and only take what you need. Remember that you have to carry it, so less is best!

3. Work as part of a team and lookout for your peers.

4. Enjoy and have fun.

5. A personal one for me is to have the right clothing to make it easier for me. Due to my sensory issues clothing can be tricky because of how it feels, moves and even if it makes a noise. The best clothing I’ve ever found is the Craghoppers DofE range. It is not only practical and fit for purpose but it doesn’t make a noise and feels good on me.

Stefan – Gold Award holder and DofE Leader

I’m a 22-year-old graduate from Hampshire and I’ve been involved in the DofE since I was 14 years old when I achieved my Bronze Award. I then completed my Silver and Gold DofE before moving to an adult volunteering role and haven’t looked back since!

I’ve been a DofE Leader and a Bronze and Silver Expedition Assessor for Hampshire and the Isle of Wight’s Air Cadets for just over a year now, and I personally run the groups for two local units.

I’m also completing my Lowland Leader Award, run by Mountain Training UK, to allow me to assess Gold-level expeditions.

I’m proud to be a Craghoppers Ambassador because it means that I can share my knowledge about the great outdoors with not only adults but the generations of tomorrow. It also enables me to champion some of the same clothing and equipment that took me through my three DofE levels, which were essential for comfortable and safe expeditions.

My tips for those going on their expedition are:

1. Always bring a pair of sunglasses, a hat and some gloves, even if you think that you won’t need them! I have been caught out a couple of times in the past when the weather suddenly changed and these items are such a quick and easy way to get more comfortable and carry on journeying!

2. Carry plenty of bin bags – there’s nothing worse than travelling through an area full of rubbish. If you really wanted, you could also pick up other people’s rubbish that they’ve left behind – every little helps!

Pauline Stirling – Head of Citizenship and PSHE and DofE Manager at Christ the King College on the Isle of Wight.

We have just come back from a practice Gold expedition on Dartmoor where I put my Craghoppers clothing to the test. I wear Craghoppers on expedition as I need kit that I can trust, e.g. if it says it is waterproof then it needs to be!

My top expedition tip: I would recommend lots of layers and be prepared for the weather to change.

Check out Craghoppers range of DofE Recommended clothing and save at least 10% with your DofE Card and Voucher.