Ready to go? Things to think about

The kit you need

 

You bring indicates items you provide.

SEEE indicates items arranged by leaders, who will agree with you locally how this is done.

 

You

SEEE

CLOTHING

 

 

1 pair of walking boots (broken in)

Yes

 

2 pairs of walking socks (1 pair for each day if desired)

Yes

 

Jacket/coat (waterproof and windproof)

Yes

 

Waterproof overtrousers

Yes

 

2 fleece tops or similar, preferably 1 thin + 1 thicker

Yes

 

2-3 T-shirts (thermal optional) 1 for each day

Yes

 

2 walking trousers (warm, NOT jeans) – 1 can be zip-off

Yes

 

Underwear

Yes

 

Warm hat and sun hat

Yes

 

1 pair of gloves

Yes

 

1 pair gaiters

Optional

 

Midge headnet

Yes

 

Neckerchief

Yes

 

PERSONAL KIT

 

 

Facemask & small bottle of hand gel

Yes

 

Rucksack

Yes

 

Rucksack liner (or 2 strong plastic bags)

Yes

 

Sleeping bag in waterproof bag

Yes

 

Sleeping mat

Yes

 

Waterproof bags

Yes

 

Whistle

Optional

 

Torch, preferably head torch, and spare batteries

Yes

 

Personal first aid kit (see below)

Yes

 

Food (at least 3000 calories per day)

Yes

 

Emergency rations in sealed bag/box

Yes

 

Water bottle

Yes

 

Cutlery

Yes

 

Plate/bowl

Yes

 

Mug

Yes

 

Sunblock

Yes

 

Insect repellent

Yes

 

Towel

Yes

 

Small quantity of money (optional)

Yes

 

Notebook and pen/pencil

Yes

 

Watch (stopwatch function is handy)

Yes

 

KIT SHARED BY THE GROUP

 

 

Plastic aprons, gloves and eyewear for COVID protection

 

SEEE

Tent for individual use

 

SEEE

Camping stove(s)

 

SEEE

Gas for stove

 

SEEE

Box of matches (in waterproof container)

Yes

 

Cooking pans

 

SEEE

Tin opener (if required)

Optional

 

Tea towels

Yes

 

Plastic bags for rubbish etc.

Yes

 

Sponge to mop out wet tent

Yes

 

Toilet paper

Yes

 

Trowel (if available)

Helpful if you have it

SEEE

Map 1:25 000 for area

Helpful if you have it

SEEE

Compass

Helpful if you have it

SEEE

Map case

Helpful if you have it

SEEE

Whistle

Helpful if you have it

SEEE

Glo-stick

 

SEEE

Camera (optional), properly protected

Optional

 

Survival bag (if available)

 

SEEE

Water purifying tablets

 

SEEE

ADDITIONAL OPTIONAL KIT

 

 

Head/neck scarf

Optional

 

Hydration pack or extra water bottle

Optional

 

Small pocket tool

Optional

 

After-sun cream

Optional

 

Sunglasses

Optional

 

Case/box to protect glasses overnight

Optional

 

Waterproofing (pre-expedition)

Optional

 

Spare boot lace(s)

Optional

 

BE PREPARED Extra items to have available in the group, just in case …

 

 

Tape, string, cord, cable ties, sanitary products, toilet paper, multi-tool …

 

 

PERSONAL FIRST AID KIT

Protection

Disposable non-latex gloves

Face mask

Alcohol gel

Wound dressings 

Fabric plasters/waterproof plasters

Blister plasters i.e. Compeed

Bandages

Roller bandage (you can use neckies for triangular bandages)

Additional items (always good to have)

Guidance leaflet (this will come with any purchased kit)

Safety pins

Antiseptic wipes

Adhesive tape

Tick remover

Tweezers 

Any personal medication (leaders need to be aware of this)

Here is a list of some very light things that can help you deal with the unexpected on an expedition.  Some are personal, others can be shared by the group, but it is worth thinking about them and packing them safely where you can find them.  Most of them will be in your house, but that won’t help if you are in the hills.

  • Cord, string, paracord Make sure you have enough to tie things together, make a spare guy rope etc.
  • Tape Duct tape is very useful, but you don’t need a big roll.  Wind some round an old credit card, lengthwise, and it will help patch all sorts of things.  It is very strong, and waterproof.
  • Cable ties  Have some of different sizes, if possible.  They can hold a boot together, or a rucksack, or whatever.
  • Multi-tool or small knife  This can cut things, be a screwdriver (both types) and help you repair all sorts of things.
  • Sanitary products  Be aware that strenuous exercise can lead to an unexpected period.
  • Toilet paper  Have some extra, folded in a poly bag.
  • Kitchen roll  Have some folded in a poly bag.
  • Freezer bags  These can keep things dry, but also be used to patch things, using tape.  Use one to carry your emergency kit.

Your health and safety

During the expedition

  • Drink plenty.
  • Carry 2 litres per day.

If not using normal drinking water

  • 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. 

Check our advice on using stoves safely.

As a food handler, remember

      Food poisoning is a serious illness and can kill. Think clean!

      Food that is contaminated by food poisoning bacteria usually looks, tastes and smells completely normal.

      You must maintain the highest standards of cleanliness and hygiene at all times. 

For a lightweight expedition

      Plan your menu according to the facilities that you will have.

      If anyone in your walking group has food allergies, check the ingredients carefully when shopping.

      Shop the day before the expedition if not using boil-in-the-bag or dehydrated options.

      Pay close attention to use-by dates.

      Choose foods that can be kept at room temperature, without refrigeration. Consider:

      Meat products packed in a protective atmosphere.

      Certain types of cured meat

      Do not prepare your food too far in advance. If possible, chop fruit and veg in the morning before you leave the house.

      To help keep your food cool, insulate with material like bubble wrap and use a frozen water bottle (this can be drunk when defrosted). Remember to pack these in a leak-proof bag.

      Wash your hands after sneezing or coughing, after visiting the toilet or handling rubbish, and before and after eating.  Hand sanitizer should be used if no fresh water onsite. Do not wash your hands in a stream.

      Keep your food and all pans, plates and cutlery off the ground as E. coli and other food poisoning bacteria are present in soil and animal waste.  

      Ensure that the stove and cooking equipment are clean before use.

      Thorough cooking is important to destroy harmful bacteria. Ensure food is piping hot.

      After cooking, the food should be eaten as soon as possible.

      Cleaning must be planned as part of normal good housekeeping.

      All refuse and waste food material must be removed at the end of each meal to deter birds and other pests. Wash up utensils using hot water and detergent. Dry with a clean tea towel or clean kitchen roll.

 

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

Ticks and Lyme Disease

How to behave on an expedition

 

Respect other people

  • Consider the local community and other people enjoying the outdoors
  • Leave gates and property as you find them
  • Follow paths but give way to others where it’s narrow
  • Follow Covid rules and local signs and obey social distancing measures

Protect the natural environment

  • Leave no trace of your visit, take all your litter home
  • Don’t have BBQs or fires

SEEE policy for phones and electronic devices

It is a requirement of DofE (Condition 15) that groups adhere to the mobile phone policy.

This is because an expedition is an opportunity  to have a unique and memorable outdoor experience away from the digital world, spending time with friends and working together as a team.

The SEEE policy for phones and devices for participants is:

  • Phones, if carried, are for use in emergencies only.  The phone should be registered in advance for the 999 text service.
  • Phones should not be used for navigational purposes, except that OS Locate may be used in an emergency to provide an accurate grid reference for the current position.
  • GPS devices should not be used for navigation.
  • Phones should not be used for general communication, so no calls or messages to family and friends, no link to social media or tracking sites.
  • If a phone is to be used as a camera, the files should be kept on the phone till the end of the expedition, and not posted to any online network or social media.  One way of doing this is to carry the SIM card separately.
  • If a phone is taken, The Scout Association and DofE take no responsibility for the item.
  • The wearing of headphones of any type, or playing music etc on speakers, is forbidden when journeying or when taking part in expedition activity.

Walk

  • Good fitting boots and socks, well cut toenails, blister treatment packed, walks before the expedition to check how it feels
  • Speed – pace of slowest …
  • Take turns at front and back – not always same position in group
  • Keep to times on route card
  • Hills – shorten pace, walk at an angle across slope (traversing)
  • Contouring – avoid unnecessary climbing/descending but follow agreed route
  • Choose your route to avoid rocky ground, muddy ground, boggy ground when you can
  • Rucksack: adjusting; loading; lifting; walking
  • Remember road safety including forestry vehicles: no earphones
  • Pay attention to what you are doing and what is around you: traffic? bikes? animals? holes in ground?

 

Dress

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

Eat

  • Lots of high energy, lightweight food:
  • Meals – breakfast & evening
  • Snacks – as you go, including lunch

Drink

During the expedition

  • Drink plenty.
  • Carry 2 litres per day.

If not using normal drinking water

  • 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.

Navigate

  • Use route card, map, compass and watch at all stages.
  • Don’t assume somebody else knows!

Keep your Assessor happy

  • Keep to your route.
  • Keep to time.
  • Shut gates if you open them.
  • Don’t block a gate, stile or path – be polite to other people.
  • No litter!
  • Phones only for emergency, or as a camera.  Don’t use social media!
  • Work on your project.

Enjoy yourselves

  • Chat to each other
  • Make decisions as a group
  • Don’t listen to music etc as you go!
  • Support each other – help to put rucksack on; get someone’s water bottle etc from pack …
  • Take photos and notes of what you see.

Planning the expedition

1. The team must plan and organise the expedition; all members of the team should be able to describe the role they have played in planning.

2. The expedition must have an aim. The aim can be set by the Leader at Bronze level only.

3. All participants must be within the qualifying age of the programme level and at the same Award level (i.e. not have completed the same or higher level of expedition).

4. There must be between four and seven participants in a team (eight for modes of travel which have tandem).

5. The expedition should take place in the recommended environment.

Bronze: Expeditions should be in normal rural countryside – familiar and local to groups.
Silver: Expeditions should be in normal rural, open countryside or forest – unfamiliar to groups.
Gold: Expeditions should be in wild country (remote from habitation) which is unfamiliar to groups.

6. Accommodation must be by camping or other simple self-catering accommodation (e.g. camping barns or bunkhouses).

7. The expedition must be of the correct duration and meet the minimum hours of planned activity.

Bronze: A minimum of 2 days, 1 night; 6 hours planned activity each day.
Silver: A minimum of 3 days, 2 nights; 7 hours planned activity each day.
Gold: A minimum of 4 days, 3 nights; 8 hours planned activity each day.

8. All expeditions must be supervised by an adult (the Expedition Supervisor) who is able to accept responsibility for the safety of the team.

9. Assessment must be by an accredited Assessor. At Bronze level only, the Assessor may also be the Expedition Supervisor.

10. Expeditions will usually take place between the end of March and the end of October. They may take place outside this period, if so, non-camping accommodation options should be considered.

Training and practice

11. Participants must be adequately trained to safely undertake a remotely supervised expedition in the environment in which they will be operating.

Bronze: Teams must complete the required training.
Silver: Teams must complete the required training and a practice expedition of a minimum 2 days, 2 nights.
Gold: Teams must complete the required training and a practice expedition of a minimum 2 days, 2 nights.

During the expedition

12. All expeditions must be by the participants’ own physical effort, without motorised or outside assistance. Mobility aids may be used where appropriate to the needs of the participant.

13. All expeditions must be unaccompanied and self-sufficient. The team must be properly equipped, and supervision must be carried out remotely.

14. Teams must possess the necessary physical fitness, first aid and expedition skills required to complete their expedition safely.

15. Groups must adhere to a mobile phone use policy as agreed with their Expedition Supervisor and Assessor. This agreement should also include use of other electronic equipment.

16. Participants must behave responsibly with respect for their team members, Leaders, the public and animals.

17. Groups must understand and adhere to the Countryside /Scottish Outdoor Access, Highway and Water Sports Codes (as appropriate).

18. Participants must plan an appropriate expedition menu, including cooking and eating a substantial hot meal on each day. This is optional on the final day.

Post expedition

19. Participants must actively participate in a debrief with their Assessor at the end of the expedition.

20. At Silver and Gold level, a presentation must be prepared and delivered after the expedition.

You can download a PDF version of the 20 Conditions of the Expedition section here.