How to stay healthy when lightweight camping

Food hygiene

This document, produced by a chef, outlines the things you need to consider to keep yourself safe when cooking and eating outdoors.  Food safety on lightweight expeditions  (Word – check Downloads)

Also see DofE poster about eating on your expedition.

Ticks and Lyme Disease

You must be aware of ticks and the potential dangers they present.  Full information is available in this document:

Poster about ticks.


Drink plenty of water.  DofE recommends that you carry 2 litres per day.  Empty squash bottles will work.  If you have 2 separate litre bottles, one can be used for purifying (1 tablet for 1 litre for at least 30 minutes) while you drink from the other.  Or you can work together to make sure you always have enough water purified for the group.  Our advice is:

To be safe, water must either be boiled for at least one minute or treated with water purifying tablets (Chlorine Dioxide is the most effective).  It should be taken from a free flowing stream/small river,  preferably not a pond or loch. Check upstream for 100/150m to make sure there is nothing in the water that could be harmful – dead animals, rubbish, chemicals etc. If in doubt, always treat with tablets rather than boil it. 

We will issue purification tablets to all groups.

How to dress

You should have clothing and kit:

  • For rain
  • For heat
  • For cold – gloves, warm hat, layers …
  • For sun – hat; sunblock (only what you need!)
  • For midges etc – net, repellent; and keep tent door shut!


You should have lots of high-energy, lightweight food – at least 3000 calories per day, possibly a lot more.

You should plan for 2 meals a day – breakfast & evening.  Include things like packet soups and packet hot chocolate, which are light, easy to prepare quickly, and can keep you going as you wait for your main meal.

You should have plenty of high-energy snacks to eat as you go, including lunch.  We ask you not to use stoves at lunch time.


If we ask you not to bring nuts, don’t bring any!  There could be an Explorer or Leader who has a serious allergy. 

First Aid, medication

You should have your own personal first aid kit – see under kit list.  Blister plasters like Compeed can be very handy!

You should also bring any medication you require.  Please make sure that parents update OSM so that leaders know of any medical conditions and/or medication. 

A group first aid kit will be issued to each walking group.