All of your kit questions answered:
What kit do I need?
We will cover this during the pre-expedition training and we will provide you with a copy of our Expedition Preparation Guide which has a detailed kit list. This can also be downloaded from your school website or we can email you a copy if you contact us.
I have forgotten something, what happens?
We may have a small supply of items if you have forgotten something. This cannot always be guaranteed so please let us know as soon as possible if you have forgotten something for your trip. On some occasions there may also be time to stop at a shop before you start. If nothing can be done you will not be able to participate in the expedition.
Are mobile phones allowed?
Yes – but please only use it in case of an emergency. Ensure that it is fully charged and you have something to ensure it is safe from the elements. We recommend a swim case or tough Ziploc bag.
Can I bring an MP3 player or I pod?
We advise against bringing any music devices. DofE is all team work and togetherness so we encourage participants to spend time together and not on devices by themselves. We also advise against this as it can be dangerous to wear headphones when walking and not be aware of your surroundings.
What about my camera or video recorder?
We highly encourage you to bring a camera or capture as many memories as possible on your phone. If using your mobile please be wary of how this will affect your battery! You can upload any photos to your eDofE portal and also include them in your presentation all about your expedition. Please ensure that like your mobile phones you protect your camera/recorder from the varying weather conditions.
Should I bring walking poles?
Although not essential if you find that using walking poles helps you then by all means bring them along! They can be useful on rough ground and to also help distribute your weight. Many people with ankle, knee or hip problems find them particularly useful on expeditions.
Do I need to bring any money?
We advise to bring money with you in case of emergencies, it is also useful for if there is a chance to stop at a shop before the expedition starts and you have forgotten any of your kit.
What is a fun item? Do I need one?
Yes! There are many different items that fall under our fun category and it is completely down to personal preference. People in the past have bought things to keep them focused and inject a social element into their expedition, especially for when you have set up camp. These items can include:
- A ball
- A pack of playing cards
- A book
- A frisbee
- A cuddly toy (for home comforts)
Staying away from electrical items is best to ensure safety and element chances of things getting broken.
Am I insured for something I have broken on my expedition?
Your possessions are not covered by either us here at Peak or DofE. We recommend checking if you have any add on’s to your house insurance for outside of the home or take out a travel insurance policy just to be on the safe side!
If I break or lose something will I be charged?
If the damage or loss was accidental eg breaking a tent pole whilst trying to pitch a tent in stormy conditions, then we will not charge you. However we reserve the right to make a charge if we believe that the damage or loss was caused wilfully or by misuse or negligence.
Shoes & Clothing:
What do I need to bring with me?
Your kit list is covered thoroughly in your training and we also have a kit list in our course notes that you can use.
Why can I not wear trainers?
As with any expedition to safely participate and avoid unnecessary injury you will need to have a pair of walking boots to complete your expedition. Please ensure they are in good condition and the soles and heels have good grip. You will not be able to take part if you do not bring these with you.
Why do I have to have walking boots and not walking shoes?
Throughout your expedition you will be carrying heavy loads and also navigating rough terrain. In order to best avoid injury it is crucial to have your ankles covered to gain the extra support.
Do I need an extra pair of shoes for camp?
This isn’t necessary but some participants do bring a smaller pair or shoes like flip flops or trainers for when they are at camp. Please ensure that you do not walk barefoot around camp.
Can I wear shorts?
If the weather is forecast to be nice then you can wear shorts. However to protect against sunburn, insect bites and long grass/nettles etc we recommend to wear long trousers when walking.
Why can't I wear cotton?
As cotton absorbs water and dries slower than other materials it can make you uncomfortable and cold throughout your expedition. Other materials such as fleece and synthetic materials dry quicker ensuring you have the most comfort throughout.
Why do I need winter woollies in summer?
Depending on location and weather conditions it can still be cold in the evenings throughout the year. It is best to bring them just in case so that you can ensure you keep yourself warm.
How many sets of spare clothes do I need?
We advise to bring in addition to the clothes you are wearing, a warm jumper and a complete set of fresh clothes.
How many pairs of socks do I need?
As a minimum you will need the pair you are wearing and a spare pair, However some participants prefer to have a fresh pair for each day.
Your safety is key so make sure you read up on the following questions:
Keeping in Touch:
Can I contact friends & family when we are out on expedition?
We advise to let your friends and family know that you wont be able to contact them whilst your on expedition. Your phone battery should be preserved so that you can get in touch with your expedition leader should you need to. Phone signals are not always best in rural areas which will also make it more difficult to contact friends and family.
These rules generally apply with your parents also trying to call you so let them know that it will be hard to contact you and assure them you will be safe.
How can I contact my son or daughter if they are on expedition?
If there is an emergency or you urgently need to get in touch with your son or daughter whilst they are on expedition, please get in touch with us or their school if they have staff out on expedition with them. We will then get in touch with your child’s leader and pass on any messages.
My son or daughter has contacted me and is lost and/or upset, what should I do?
Please reassure them, and tell them they need to speak to their leader who will be able to help. Instructors make regular checks on the groups progress and participants are all given contact numbers for their instructor. Phone signal may be poor in the expedition areas, so if participants cannot get hold of their instructor they should leave a clear message and send a text giving their location and information about the problem.
If you are concerned please contact us and we will pass a message to your son or daughters instructor.
Please try not to worry, expeditions are challenging and participants may want to call parents if they are tired and upset. They often forget to call you back to tell you that everything is OK later on.
If I have a medical condition, illness or injury can I still take part?
Expeditions are very strenuous and often take part in remote areas so we need to consider whether it will be safe for you to take part if you are not fully fit.
It may be possible to apply for an exemption from the DofE 20 conditions so that we can assist you in some way, or we may recommend that you need to undertake further training or wait until you are fully fit before taking part.
What happens if I am ill or injured during the expedition?
Our instructors will be on hand to give you support and first aid. If necessary you will be seen by a medical professional. If you are unable to continue with the expedition then we will contact your organiser and/or your parent/guardian to arrange for them to collect you.
What happens if I get bitten by a tick?
Ticks are common in some expedition areas. You can prevent tick bites by covering up and using insect repellent. If you get bitten by a tick during your expedition please let your instructor know. If you find a tick when you get home then you can find advice on safe removal online or seek the help of a medical profession.
Food & Drink questions sorted to keep you healthy & alert:
How do I cook my food on expedition?
Your group will be given a number of trangia stoves – typically 1 for each 3 participants. The stoves are fuelled by gas which is safe and easy to use. Each stove has 2 pans, a lid and a handle, so you will be able to boil or warm food. You will not be able to fry, toast, roast or oven cook food so you need to choose what to bring carefully.
What food do I need?
Our course notes cover what kind of foods you should look to bring with you and we do cover this in the training portion of your expedition. We recommend dried, preserved and long life foods.
Please avoid the following foods:
- Raw meat, poultry & fish.
- Anything that needs refrigeration so a sandwich with anything like chicken or ham would be OK for day 1 but not for after.
- Any foods that someone in your group has an allergy to.
Water & Drink:
How much water should I bring?
You should carry 2 litres of water with you when walking to keep you hydrated throughout the day. You will need to drink more than this to keep you hydrated and alert, so also drink water in the morning before you start and more when you arrive at your campsite in the evening.
Will I be able to top up my water?
Most campsites will have taps with drinking water. In more remote locations you will need to purify stream water by boiling it.
In very hot weather we may be able to meet you with a supply of water during the day, but as you need to be self-sufficient you should plan to carry all of the water you will need.
Do I need water purification tablets?
No – at most campsites you will have access to clean drinking water. Where you need to take water from streams we recommend you purify this by boiling rather than using purification tablets. If this is going to be necessary during your expedition our instructors will give you appropriate training on this
Can I use a hydration system instead of a bottle?
These are good as you don’t need to stop and take you bag off to drink, so they can help you to stay hydrated. The downside is that you also can’t easily see how much you’re drinking and it is easy to drink a day’s supply of water in a couple of hours. Hydration systems are also prone to leaking so in addition you should bring a 1 litre water bottle with you too just to be on the safe side.
What will the campsite be like?
The majority of the campsites we use have basic tap & toilet facilities. Many do have some wash facilities. As you progress through the levels of the DofE award facilities can become more basic or non existent in wild camping. This brings out the more challenging side of your DofE expeditions.
Should I bring toilet roll?
Yes – you need to be self sufficient. Some campsites do not provide toilet rolls or it may be in short supply. Remember to protect your supply from the elements with a waterproof Ziploc bag.
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