A Typical Expedition Day
Life on expedition is inherently changeable – the weather, prevailing conditions, your team members and terrain may all play a part to vary experiences from expedition to expedition.
However, there are some factors that we try and ensure are maintained across all expeditions so that we can ensure that the DofE 20 Conditions for Expeditions are met. A typical day-in-the-life on expedition at Bronze, Silver or Gold level looks something like:
- Wake up according to the time agreed between you and your team the night before. You might have discussed this with your Supervisor or Assessor and it will have a knock-on affect to the time that you leave camp and so it is important to stick to that alarm time! Between waking up and leaving camp you will need to make breakfast, take down your tent, pack your rucksack, do a litter sweep, meet with your Supervisor/Assessor and go through your route for the day;
- Depart on your route for the day: this will be based on the required hours of planned activity for your level of award (Bronze = 6 hours, Silver = 7 hours, Gold = 8 hours);
- During the day you will need to have snacks, lunch and a supply of water handy. We recommend having lots of smaller snacks to have on the go rather than a bigger lunch or items that you need to cook as this can take up a big chunk of your day and make you cold in poor weather if you need to get your stove out and cook;
- Each day your Supervisor and Assessor will supervise your remotely – they will not be walking with you and your team, you will see very little of them. They will keep tabs on your progress but if you take a wrong turn it will be up to your team to recognise this and correct your navigation!;
- When you arrive in camp you should report to the campsite manager or your Supervisor/Assessor and set up camp for the night. You must cook at least one hot meal each day and so your Supervisor/Assessor will be looking out to see what you are having for dinner – we recommend packing a main meal and something tasty for dessert as well, it’s always nice to have something tasty lined up for dinner in the evening to look forward to while you’re on expedition!;
- Evenings spent at camp can be a really fun experience. Have a think about whether there is anything that you can bring with you that will be nice to have while you’re away – small items such as a pack of cards can provide some great evenings of fun and lasting memories, while a notebook and pen can help you and your team plan your expedition presentation/report in the evenings so that you are ready to give this at the end of the expedition and leave having everything completed and signed off;
- Bedtimes are generally not late on expedition so that you get a decent amount of sleep ready for the next day. Noise levels should be kept to a minimum at camps in the evenings and this is a key thing that Supervisors/Assessors look for as we don’t want to compromise the experience of other camp users. Be sure to step outside and take a look at the stars on clear nights though – this has been listed as a real highlight for a lot of our expedition teams, instructors can help you pick out different constellations and watch out for shooting stars if you’re keen.