The weather can be unpredictable. Last year, the DofE expedition season saw both snow and 30-degree heat, so you need to be prepared for any eventuality.
Protect yourself, whatever the weather, with the right kit for your expedition. From expedition essentials to extras that will make you more comfortable, we’ve picked our top products for you.
A good waterproof jacket
For any expedition, it’s essential to get your outer layer right. A lightweight and waterproof (not water resistant or showerproof) jacket will protect you against the wind and rain.
Look for features such as waterproof coatings, zip pockets and an adjustable hood. The Craghoppers Horizon Jacket ticks all these boxes.
Preparing your kit ahead of time can often be overlooked but can make a huge difference to your kit’s performance.
Use Nikwax TX Direct before your expedition to add water repellency and revive breathability in your outdoor gear. TX Direct can prolong the life of gear and optimises outdoor performance. It’s easy to apply – it can be used in a washing machine, and no tumble drying required.
Some spare socks
An extra pair of socks is always a welcome sight if rain has got your feet wet. We recommend you carry at least one spare pair, preferably several, and ideally one set for each day.
Bridgedale Hike Midweight Performance Boot Socks are designed to minimise blisters with padding and moisture protection fabric – ideal for when your feet get sweaty on long walks.
Zip off mid layer
Layering your clothing can help fight against the cold and wind. Having a warm mid layer, such as the full zip Craghoppers Strata Jacket, offers an extra layer that you can easily put on or take off when the weather changes.
This cosy fleece adds warmth when journeying, or an extra layer at camp – you could even use it as a pillow at night.
Dry bags make a difference
We recommend Lifeventure Dry Bags, which come in a variety of sizes and colours, to keep your kit dry and organised. Pack similar kit together, such as clothing or food, in these lightweight, waterproof bags. This makes your kit easy to find in your rucksack and stay dry even in heavy rain.
Plenty of sun cream
Protecting against the sun is important during all outdoor activities. A sweat resistant high SPF sun cream will help protect against UV rays. It’s important to reapply regularly throughout the day, even in overcast conditions.
The Lifesystems Mountain Formula Sun cream has been specifically designed to protect exposed skin from the increased intensity of the sun’s rays at altitude.
The BUFF® Original Headwear will wick away moisture from your head, neck and other exposed areas when it’s hot, and protect from sunburn. Famous for having 19 ways to wear, such as a sweat band, wristband or even a light scarf.
The lightweight, breathable, microfibre fabric is extremely comfortable to wear and is great for cold, windy weather too.
A Gold group took theirs on their expedition and used them to protect against midges, as an eye mask at night, and as an extra head layer to keep warm.
Wicking base layer
Cotton clothing isn’t great in hot and humid weather. The versatile Craghoppers Fusion Base T-Shirt is a cooling base layer ideal for walking and sports activities.
The wicking fabric will help take moisture and sweat away from your skin, to keep you feeling fresh.
The stretchy mesh venting panels keep you cool, dries quickly and doesn’t need ironing.
Sunlight and UV rays can be damaging to fabrics, not just your skin. Nikwax Tent & Gear SolarProof is a high performance waterproofer and UV blocker that can be used on tents, rucksacks and other outdoor gear.
Applying the proofer to wet or dry synthetic fabrics adds durable water repellency, increases fabric strength and protects against UV damage.
Excellent insect repellent
Mosquitos, midges, fleas, ticks and other biting insects all love hot, humid weather, and are in the UK.
Protect yourself from bites with Lifesystems Expedition 50+ Insect Repellent. Effective for up to 10 hours, this dual action formula gives you the maximum level of protection against biting insects.
Don’t forget the ankles and lower legs – wearing trousers won’t stop you getting bitten.
Large water flask
Don’t get dehydrated on your expedition, as it can make you feel unwell. Ensure you drink plenty of fluids frequently throughout the day, especially in hot weather.
We recommend you take at least two litres with you per day. Make sure you tank up at camp before leaving in the morning, and when you arrive in the evening.
Virtually unbreakable, the 1 litre Lifesystems Tritan Flask has a high capacity which lets you keep your hydration levels up, and the screw on plastic lid has a loop that allows you to attach it to your rucksack.
Download our latest free poster to find out more handy tips for waterproofing and weather protection for your expedition.
If you need to get any last-minute expedition extras, always show your DofE Card or Voucher. You’ll get the best savings and help support young people to do their DofE. Find your nearest store.