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Osprey Europe’s brand new Rook and women’s specific Renn have a simple and innovative design perfect for multi-day backpackers who want to rise to the challenge.

Designed for Adventure - Rook & Renn - Backpacking - YouTube

Combining a high level of adjustability, an integrated raincover and an innovative, ventilated backsystem, these packs are designed for adventure.

Shop now at http://bit.ly/2PNOLtY 

The post New Osprey Rook & Renn appeared first on Outdoor Enthusiast magazine.

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Wild Pea walking trousers are aimed at female, trans-men and intersex walkers (although anybody can wear them). They allow the wearer to urinate directly out of the garment in a sitting or standing position, without the need to lower or remove anything, maintaining privacy and convenience.

Wild Pea trousers have a discreet zip fastened under body opening which allows the wearer to urinate out of them by simply parting the fabric along with any undergarment. Perfect for using outdoors when miles from the nearest convenience, or even to simply remain covered when using a conventional toilet if there are any concerns over spycams.

Made in the UK to a high standard of workmanship, these trousers are extremely comfortable to wear. Comprised of a strong weatherproof, breathable fabric with a Teflon® Finish, they are water and dirt-repellent and are lined with jersey with a soft brushed surface for warmth.

Invented by Sue Curtis, the inspiration for the trousers came about after hearing people saying, “It’s alright for men”.

Having worked as a Business Analyst within Banking and Financial Service for over 20 years, and a programmer before that, Sue went into “work mode” and analysed the requirements – wanting the freedom to urinate, typically outdoors, while maintaining privacy, and went on to design a solution. Et voila!

Wild Pea walking trousers are intended to be helpful and empowering, by enabling people to perform their bodily functions with ease and privacy, regardless of their anatomy. Available online at www.wildpeaclothing.com

The post Nature Calls – Instant Relief appeared first on Outdoor Enthusiast magazine.

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Outdoor Enthusiast magazine by Chantelle Kelly - 1M ago

Promotion

Pack less, discover more: Jack Wolfskin’s new PACK travel collection combines style and performance in a compact lightweight travel collection.

Pick up your pack, then off you go! That’s what PACK is all about: everything you need on your travels has been included in the lightweight travel collection – ultralight and packs up small. Leave the baggage at home and discover the world.

All PACK products are not only ultralight, they are as compact as possible, giving you more room for your experiences. Jacket, shirt or trousers can be packed away in your PACK within seconds, meaning you can take them with you wherever you go. Whether you embark on a spontaneous city trip, your daily run to work or an exciting and action-packed holiday: the PACK travel collection is ready for any adventure!

Modern and minimalist design meets performance – come rain, or shine – you are prepared for any situation thanks to smart weather protection.

Ultralight and convenient on your travels: the PACK travel collection is always by your side.

PACK AND GO! is available from Jack-wolfskin.co.uk, and Jack Wolfskin Stores nationwide partners.

The post Pack and Go! appeared first on Outdoor Enthusiast magazine.

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£160 and £180 www.hokaoneone.eu

Well known for their running shoes, French footwear brand Hoka One One has just released its very first hiking boot range. The Sky Series consists of three different types of boots, all available in men’s and women’s: Sky Kaha, Sky Arkali and Sky Toa.

I was luckily enough to be whisked off to Iceland for the range’s launch and to put two of the boots through their paces, and I can happily say that I was not left disappointed. I first tried the Sky Toa, the lowest priced shoe in the range (£160), which is a lightweight waterproof hiking boot made for ‘fast hiking’. Made with a breathable synthetic upper and cushioned midsole, I was pretty impressed with how comfortable the boots were on first try. I was pretty sceptical about wearing a brand new pair of boots for an all-day hike in the mountains and across glaciers, but these boots offered all day comfort and by the end of the day my feet were completely blister free.

Sky Toa

My favourite of the pair were the second boots I tested, the highest priced in the range (£180), the Sky Kaha. The boots come equipped with a super springy, marshmallowy thick midsole and a Vibram Megagrip outsole with 5mm lugs. The upper felt more supportive compared to the Toa, and I felt more reassured about the boot’s waterproof abilities. I wore these for an all-day hike in the Valley of Thor, and these boots were ideal for the mountainous terrain and foot of snow we had to trudge through. Considering they were deep in snow for at least five hours, I was impressed that my feet stayed warm and dry. The outsole proved to be super grippy too.

Sky Kaha

VERDICT: Both offer straight-out-of-the-box comfort, no breaking in needed. The Toa and Kaha are well-fitting boots, with a chunky springy midsole, which helps to minimise the impact on muscles and joints, plus both come equipped with a curved sole to support the foot’s natural movement and a deep insole, which hugs the foot for extra stability. 

BEST FOR: The Toa is ideal for shorter day hikes and casual walks. The Kaha are my new favourite pair of hiking boots, offering exceptional waterproof protection, ankle support, stability and cushioning – making them perfect for long-distance hiking.

Review by Chantelle Kelly. Photos by Elli Thor Magnusson, taken on behalf of Hoka One One. 

The post Gear Review: Hoka One One Sky Series appeared first on Outdoor Enthusiast magazine.

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  • House sparrow remains at the top of the Big Garden Birdwatch rankings with almost 1.2 million sightings throughout the weekend but for many species fewer birds were recorded than in 2018.
  • Almost half a million people across the UK spent an hour watching the birds that visit their garden or outdoor space as a part of the RSPB’s Big Garden Birdwatch, counting more than 7.5 million birds in total.
  • For many people, garden birds remain an important link to nature and the RSPB wants to do more to increase this connection to help both wildlife and people.

The latest results from the RSPB’s Big Garden Birdwatch have revealed a mixed picture for the UK’s garden birdlife with 15 of the top 20 species returning fewer sightings in gardens across the country than in 2018.

Now in its 40th year, the Big Garden Birdwatch is a chance for people of all ages to count the number of birds that visit their garden helping the RSPB build up a picture of how they are doing. This year, almost half a million people across the country took part counting an impressive 7.5 million birds.

The event, held over the last weekend in January, revealed the house sparrow held on to its number one spot whilst there was a decrease in garden sightings of wrens and long-tailed tits, two of the smallest species to visit our gardens. Long-tailed tits decreased by more than 27% and wrens by 17% in 2019 after being counted in particularly large number in 2018. Populations of both species may have been affected by last year’s ‘Beast from the East’ as small birds are more susceptible to spells of cold weather. But it’s too early to say if this is a one year blip or the beginning of a trend.

Over its four decades, Big Garden Birdwatch has highlighted the winners and losers in the garden bird world. It was first to alert the RSPB to the decline in song thrush numbers. This species was a firm fixture in the top 10 in 1979. By 2009, its numbers were less than half those recorded in 1979, it came in at 20th in the rankings this year.

Daniel Hayhow, RSPB Conservation Scientist, said: “Over its long lifetime, the survey has shown the increasing good fortunes of birds such as the goldfinch and wood pigeon and the alarming declines of the house sparrow and starling. But there appears to be good news for one of these birds. While the overall decline in house sparrow numbers, reported by participants, since the Big Garden Birdwatch began is 56% (1979–2019), in the most recent decade (2009-2019) numbers appear to have increased by 10%. Giving us hope that at least a partial recovery may be happening. This year’s survey also highlighted a rise in the number of sightings of redwings and fieldfares on last year’s figures.”

The house sparrow remained at the top of the Big Garden Birdwatch rankings at the most commonly seen garden birds with more than 1.2 million recorded sightings throughout the weekend. Starling held down the second spot once more, with the blue tit moving up one spot to round off the top three.

Throughout the first half of the spring term the nation’s school children took part in the RSPB’s Big Schools Birdwatch. The UK-wide survey of birds in school grounds saw close to 60,000 school children spend an hour in nature counting the birds. Blackbird was the most numerous species seen with an average of eight per school; and was seen in 89% of all schools that took part.

Martin Harper, the RSPB’s Director of Conservation, commented: “Our garden birds should be a part of our everyday life. For many people they provide our only connection to the natural world and bring enormous joy. To have hundreds of thousands of people spend an hour watching the wildlife in their garden doesn’t only help us build up a picture of how our garden birds are doing, but people who take part feel better.”

To highlight the crisis that nature is facing and the loss of over 40 million wild birds from the UK in just half a century, the RSPB is releasing a specially-created track of birdsong titled Let Nature Sing. The single contains some of the most recognisable birdsongs that we used to enjoy, but that are on their way to disappearing forever.  A compilation of beautiful sound recordings of birds with powerful conservation stories including the cuckoo, curlew, nightingale, crane and turtle dove who form part of the dawn chorus choir.

The charity is calling on the public to download, stream and share the single (available 5th April) and help get birdsong into the charts for the first time, spreading the word that people across the UK are passionate about nature’s recovery.

Martin Harper continued, “Birds are such iconic parts of human culture but many of us no longer have the time or opportunity to enjoy them. The time we spend in nature, just watching and listening, can have huge benefits to our wellbeing, especially in these stressful times. The RSPB wants to help more people reconnect with their wilder sides and is bringing birdsong back into people’s busy lives by releasing a soothing track of pure unadulterated bird song. We hope that by understanding what we have lost that we inspire others to take part in the recovery. Without nature our lives are so less complete.”

The track is designed to help reconnect the nation with nature, helping people find a moment to relax and promote a feeling of tranquillity, as birdsong has been shown to aid mental health and promote feelings of wellbeing.

For a full round-up of all the RSPB Big Garden Birdwatch results and to see which birds were visiting gardens where you live, visit www.rspb.org.uk/birdwatch

The post RSPB Big Garden Birdwatch Results show Mixed Picture for UK’s Garden Birds appeared first on Outdoor Enthusiast magazine.

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Elliot Brown Watches has raised a massive £14,000 for Mountain Rescue England and Wales (MREW) over the last four years.

It’s a figure that’s set to grow thanks to the company’s continued relationship, celebrated with the relaunch of the special edition Elliot Brown MREW Canford watch with enhanced features.

Elliot Brown offers a substantial discount on the price off the £385 watch to team members and donates £36 to the life saving charity for every watch sold. Money which goes directly towards providing vital kit for volunteers.

The MREW Canford is a watch that’s been specifically designed, and now updated, to serve the particular needs of Mountain Rescue’s tireless teams – including water and shock resistance and high contrast visibility for clear vision in all conditions.

Elliot Brown MREW Canford watches have been used by Mountain Rescue members to reliably time their pacing and navigation when out on the hills since the first one was developed in 2015.  In addition, the watches are used to take pulses from injured walkers, record incident times and accurately register drug administration. Crucial information which is then relayed to the police and ambulance services.

Robbie Taylor, Fundraising Officer for the North Dartmoor Search and Rescue Team, said: “We are solely reliant on voluntary donations with no central funding. The money has to come from somewhere, it’s vital. Businesses like Elliot Brown enable us to do our work.

“I wear the Elliot Brown MREW Candford watch and so do many of my team members. The critical bit of information is that it does what I need it to do in the conditions I need to do it in. It won’t let me down. We need to know that every bit of kit we own will perform. It’s an incredibly well-rounded watch representing quality and robustness. Plus it’s an elegant watch that also looks good on a date night!”

The new watch, which will be available from June 2019 via www.elliotbrownwatches.com and authorised retailers (stockist details will be on the Elliot Brown website soon), features a fully luminous seconds hand that’s more visible in poor light, larger luminous hour batons, a red perimeter around the enlarged 12h marker on the inner timing bezel and a subtle black on black mountainous backdrop from the MREW roundel.

Ian Elliot, joint Founder of Elliot Brown Watches, adds: “Our watches are made for people who need reliability and durability. We’re an adventurous brand for, adventurous people. Mountain Rescue volunteers drop everything to go out in all weathers to save lives no matter what the time of day. They’re looking for a watch that works as hard as they do.

“We’re incredibly proud of our association with Mountain Rescue England and Wales and plan to continue our support their vital work for years to come, with the hope that thousands more can be donated from the sale of our watches.”

The post Elliot Brown Raises £14,000 for Mountain Rescue England & Wales appeared first on Outdoor Enthusiast magazine.

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For the first time, visitors at this year’s Keswick Mountain Festival are being encouraged to actively fundraise for the event’s official charity partner, the National Trust, when they sign up for outdoor and sporting activities during the festival, which will run from 16-19 May.

Everyone who enters an event is being given the option to sign up to fundraise for the National Trust’s new Riverlands project which aims to improve the health of mountain rivers, such as the Derwent. Working with locals,  farmers, businesses and communities, the National Trust hopes to ‘slow the flow’ of water from summit to sea and in doing so protect the river, the mountains and valleys it flows through, and the wildlife and people who depend on it. Festival goers who agree to support Riverlands when they sign up for an outdoor or sports event receive a fundraising pack and a limited-edition top.

The Lake District’s own celebrity spaniels Max, Paddy and Harry recently met fundraisers who will be taking part in events at this year’s Keswick Mountain Festival to support the Trust’s Riverlands project. Gillian Pimblett and Rob Webster joined the three dogs, owner Kerry Irving and Jessie Binns and Becky Powell from the National Trust for a walk around part of Derwentwater, to find out more about Riverlands and some of the other work that the Trust is doing in the area.

Kerry Irving, along with the Lake District’s celebrity spaniels Max, Paddy and Harry, are supporters of the National Trust and lead fundraising walks for the organisation. They met up with Gillian Pimblett, from Huddersfield, and Rob Webster, from Ambleside, who have signed up to support the trust during events at this year’s festival. Gillian will cycle the Back o’ Skiddaw Sportive, while Rob will run in the Adidas Terrex 25km Trail Race, both raising money for Riverlands in the process. Gillian, Rob, Kerry and the dogs were accompanied by Jessie Binns and Becky Powell from the National Trust, who were able to provide some insights into the trust’s work around Derwentwater, which fundraising at Keswick Mountain Festival will contribute to.

Jessie Binns, visitor experience and engagement manager for the National Trust, comments: “We’re so chuffed that people are choosing to raise funds for our Riverlands project as part of their Keswick Mountain Festival event. Rivers are the lifeblood of the countryside and, if we can make the mountain river Derwent healthier, it will bring benefits for farmers, for wildlife, and for sports enthusiasts alike. Nearly all the race routes for the festival go through or beside countryside that’s cared for by the National Trust. These landscapes are beautiful but surprisingly fragile and easily damaged, so it’s wonderful that people want to give back in this way.”

Kerry Irving adds: “We really enjoyed meeting fellow National Trust fundraisers while showing them one of our favourite walks. It’s great to support the Riverlands project and hopefully many more will join us.”

Places at the various events taking place during this year’s Keswick Mountain Festival are available at www.keswickmountainfestival.co.uk

To find out more about the National Trust and the work it is doing in the Lake District through Riverlands and other projects, visit its website.

The post Keswick Mountain Festival Encouraging Visitors to Raise Money for the National Trust appeared first on Outdoor Enthusiast magazine.

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70 years after an Act of Parliament was passed creating National Parks in the UK, five of the original campaigning organisations have come together once again to pledge to protect and preserve the Parks for future generations and make access for everyone easier.

Campaign for National Parks, Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE), the Open Spaces Society, the Ramblers and the YHA (England and Wales) made the pledge as part of a special day of 70th anniversary celebrations at Castleton in the Peak District.

Led by the Campaign for National Parks, the only national charity dedicated to campaigning to protect and promote all of the National Parks of England and Wales, the organisations have pledged to work together once again to make the 13 National Parks of England and Wales more accessible, as well as to campaign for strengthened protections.

Despite their status, National Parks face considerable threats from fracking, mining, quarrying, road building, military training and housing developments. Additionally, there is the further challenge to make these beautiful areas of countryside accessible for everyone.

The creation of National Parks in 1949 is recognised as one of the seminal achievements of the environmental movement from the past 100 years. Today they attract around 100 million domestic and international visitors each year, contributing millions to the economy.

The pledge was signed at YHA Castleton Losehill Hall, a youth hostel based in the Peak District National Park on Friday 22 March 2019. The Peak District was one of the first National Parks to be created in 1951, two years after the Act was passed.

Janette Ward, Chair of Campaign for National Parks, said: “I’m incredibly proud to be a signatory to this pledge to campaign for a bright future for National Parks. It’s absolutely brilliant that the pledge has bought together such a diversity of people who all share the same passion for the countryside. It’s a real reminder of the power we wield when we all come to together – that was the case 70 years ago and it is just as true now.”

Recent research by Campaign for National Parks and CPRE has revealed that too many people face obstacles in getting to the Parks through lack of adequate public transport, cultural barriers or a lack of information. 93% of National Park visitors use a private car, creating further problems for these popular areas of countryside.

Lack of access to the National Parks means some of the most disadvantaged members of society are missing out on the associated health and wellbeing benefits. Research has shown that spending time outdoors can reduce the risk of developing depression by 30% as well as benefiting self-esteem, mental and physical health.

James Blake, YHA (England and Wales) Chief Executive, commented: “Without the achievement of the Act to create National Parks, millions of school children would have been denied the transformative power of adventure in these fantastic spaces. There is, however, work to be done in making the Parks more accessible to the people who need them most – young people and their families. This is why YHA remains as committed now as it was in 1949 to preserving the National Parks.”

Vanessa Griffiths, Chief Executive of the Ramblers, added: “Our National Parks and National Trails are an incredible asset created so all of us can enjoy the countryside. Today, more than ever, we are aware of the physical and mental health benefits of connecting to nature through walking, yet for too many people, accessing National Parks is still difficult or impossible. We must continue working together to ensure that everyone, everywhere, whatever their background, is able to experience the benefits of these wonderful landscapes.”

The pledge was sealed in a time capsule along with messages of support from people of all ages who use and enjoy the National Parks. The time capsule was buried in the grounds of YHA Castleton in the Peak District.

The post Pledge to Protect and Preserve National Parks Renewed by Original Campaigners 70 years Later appeared first on Outdoor Enthusiast magazine.

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Push yourself to the limit on this spectacular challenge in Northern Ireland.

Immerse yourself deep in the heart of Game of Thrones land by joining Parkinson’s UK for a scenic hike along the legendary Causeway Coastal Path.

Choose from a 13, 19 or 27.5 mile coastal hike along the clifftops, beaches and footpaths of the North Atlantic coast. You’ll enjoy stunning views of this UNESCO World Heritage Site, including Ballintoy Harbour, Dunluce Castle and the Giant’s Causeway.

Support all the way
The Parkinson’s UK team will be on hand to support you every step of the way – with drinks and delicious food provided at rest stops, massages and showers at the finish line and a hot meal and all-important medal awarded to all participants, you’re guaranteed the ultimate event experience.

These challenges are suitable for all – individuals, couples or teams of family, friends and colleagues. There truly is something for everyone, whether you’re a nature lover, fan of myths and legends, seasoned hiker or admirer of stunning scenery.

All the money raised from the Causeway Coast Challenge 2019 will go towards finding a cure and improving life for everyone affected by Parkinson’s.

Want to take on a legendary challenge for people living with Parkinson’s? Book your place at www.parkinsons.org.uk/hikes19, email events@parkinsons.org.uk or call on 020 7963 9305.

The post The Causeway Coast Challenge appeared first on Outdoor Enthusiast magazine.

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Every summer thousands of young people across the country undertake self-sufficient journeys carrying all their own equipment and food. Why, and what do they get out of it? To find out, DofE Supervisor Lucy Wallace had a chat with successful Gold participants at the end of their final expedition.

What is The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award? 
Known as the “DofE”, it began in 1956 when Prince Philip, The Duke of Edinburgh, set up the Award programme as a pathway for young people to develop their personal skills. There are three levels, Bronze, Silver and Gold, and at each level, four sections that must be completed to gain the award. These sections are, Volunteering, Physical, Skills and Expedition. (At Gold there is a fifth, Residential section). The amount of time you must spend on each section increases from Bronze through to Gold. Here, we take a closer look at the Expedition Section.

Should you do it for your CV? Well yes… and no…
Reasons for taking on a DofE Award should be personal. It’s a voluntary programme, which helps you to develop skills and resilience, broadening your horizons, and yes, that looks good on a CV. However, there is a lot more to it than that for most participants. It’s a chance to get out and do something different and fun with your friends, discover your limits and hidden strengths and have an adventure that you will always remember.

Scott, age 17:
It looks good on your CV, but my mum did her Gold DofE when she was younger, and I think I wanted to repeat what my mum had done! Its definitely really good experience because its tough mentally, physically, and just working with other people and struggling along… trying to work together and just pushing you to some of your limits. I enjoyed being with people and getting really close to people that you’d think you wouldn’t be good friends with. Sharing just even 4 days, it doesn’t seem that long, but you spend so much time with each other that you get so much closer.

Sujeet, age 17:
I think I actually enjoyed the hiking part of DofE! I like that it is about something different from just living in a city. It’s so satisfying to know that you can keep yourself sustained… and good to know that you can live independently. Just enjoy it especially if you’re not from somewhere that is like this…

Muaad, age 17:
I wanted to go camping with my friends! That’s exactly why I did it, I’m just telling the truth!  (Laughs) The skill part is quite enjoyable because I’m learning how to play the keyboard.  So that’s something new, Volunteering, obviously will help me out when I apply for things such as jobs and uni, and the sport thing, that’s just going to keep me fit you get me? (More laughs)

The DofE Expedition
The great thing about a DofE expedition is that it is very much a team effort. Groups of young people aged between 14 and 24, take on a practice expedition together, followed by a final expedition, which is assessed by a DofE Accredited Assessor.   Expedition length depends on the level that the group is at: from two days for Bronze, to four days and three nights at Gold. By progressing through the awards you develop the skills and knowledge to not only cope, but also to thrive! There are tons of different ways to make the journey, whether by bike, canoe or on foot and the award is adaptable to accommodate young people of all abilities. With careful planning, the expedition doesn’t even have to take place in the UK. Practice expeditions are an opportunity for experienced adult supervisors to train and support the teams, teaching essential skills such as navigation and camp-craft, all the while encouraging an attitude of self-reliance. To ensure that the spirit of the award is met, there are 20 conditions that the candidates stick to, for example avoiding motorised transport. On the final qualifying expedition, adults remotely supervise the journey (teams may only see us once a day but we are on hand if needed). The experience should be one of freedom and independence. The assessor will meet the group on their journey and check that the conditions are being met to sign off the expedition as a successful pass. Hooray!

The Expedition Aim
The expedition aim links us back to the Duke’s original intention for the award, as a means for young people to develop and learn knew skills. These days, expedition aims vary from scientific explorations on route, to video diaries, to inspired creative projects, each with some form of presentation at the completion of the expedition. As someone who has seen a lot of these, I can verify that the more creative and unusual the better, from my perspective! One of my favourites was a barber’s shop quintet who wrote a hilarious song about their journey and performed it at the end. However, it’s not about me, clearly, so I encourage teams to pick a project that suits their skills and the terrain that they will be moving through. Don’t treat this bit as an afterthought, as it’s this aspect of the expedition that will give you a lasting legacy and something to look back on (with hopefully happy memories).

Highs and Lows
The DofE expedition is a time of big contrasts. From hiking up a steep hill, to kicking back and enjoying a well-earned view with your friends, you will create memories and experiences that you can draw on in future.

Team Tree Huggers
Charlotte, age 17:
I feel like I’ve accomplished something, I actually enjoyed it! I didn’t like it in the moment, but when you look back at it, you don’t really realise how much power you have until you do it. I carried a tent on my back for days going up and down these hills! It’s more enjoyable when the weather is nice as well. If its bad weather then its awful.

Erin, age 16:
My friends pure pressured me in to doing it! I found out that you can go straight to gold, so I didn’t have an excuse not to. I’ve got a sense of accomplishment. Tired but accomplished. I’ve done it!

Rebecca, age 16:
It’s funny when people fall over, as long as no one’s hurt! The best bit was at camp.  Every night when you see everyone again, everyone is happy. When you finish a day and you are all just sitting around.

Sally, age 17:
My advice would be to get fit, because it’s awful when you’re not fit! Bring dry socks. Don’t bring stuff you don’t need, so don’t bring shower stuff. Bring blister plasters! Bring loads of them. Definitely bring flip-flops or a change of shoes for camp because that’s amazing when you change out of your boots, that’s the best feeling ever. And make sure you have someone you kind of like in your group because otherwise it’s awful for four days and you’ll die! (Laughs)

Equipment, packing and food…
As you prepare for your first expedition, the DofE kit list can seem quite overwhelming and it is tempting to cut corners. The knack to packing, is bringing lots of the right stuff and not too much of the wrong stuff. Washing is overrated, and you may not even have access to showers, so you don’t need lots of toiletries, and nobody cares if you smell a bit. However, warm and dry clothes to change in to at bedtime are something that you will really appreciate, and waterproof jacket and trousers are essential. Sometimes it can be hard to visualise just how cold and wet you can be living outside for two or more days, until you’ve been there. The good news is that many quality brands produce a range of budget expedition kit that is ideal for DofE. Even so, it can add up, so its often worth looking for castoffs of things like rucksacks and sleeping bags from older siblings and friends, and you can share the love by selling on your gear once you have finished with it.

When it comes to food, DofE exped time is one of those rare occasions when it is completely acceptable to snack all day on sweets and goodies that you know you normally should go easy on! Conversely, meat products are definitely not recommended, as fresh food is heavy and doesn’t keep without a fridge. Bacon and sausages may be delicious, but for the inexperienced camp chef, can make a nightmare mess of camping pots and pans. It’s worth avoiding heavy tins too, as weight for weight, dried food is the most efficient source of calories. It is possible to buy convenient pre-made camping meals, but noodles, couscous and pasta are less expensive and easier to prepare in a group. Keep an eye on how many calories you are eating because when you live and exercise outdoors, you need a lot more energy than you normally would at home.

Secrets of Success
Top tips for absolutely smashing the DofE expedition from those in the know!

Gordon, age 17:
Think about the clothes that you bring, like you convince yourself that you don’t need to change clothes as much so, maybe you can save space or weight. The phrase my dad taught me was a “heads down bum up approach” Just kind of getting on with stuff. That’s really it!

Heather and Zara, age 16:
H: Bring enough scran! And sing! Sing songs to keep you motivated!
Z: I forgot a lot of my kit. I lost the list! Just remember to pack everything you need especially waterproofs because it rains quite a bit.

Brad, age 17:
Try and pack as light as you can and only pack what you really need, but bring food because even if you are bored you’ll eat. Just bring loads of food!

Vivian, age 16:
Don’t take it too seriously! It should at the end of the day be quite fun… and probably over-pack socks and food.

Eesha and Rabeel, age 16:
R: Pack so little! Live without things. I mean you‘re going to be stinky anyway there’s no point in having five t-shirts. I brought one and I brought another one and I never used it. You get too lazy to even… (Laughs).
E: My advice is just do DofE… Just go for it! If I can do it you can do it too! Its true!

Lucy Wallace: As a DofE supervisor and assessor, I’m privileged to witness the remarkable journeys that young people complete for the Expedition section of their Award programme. It is genuinely, the best job in the world. I’d like to say a special thank you to the young people of Mearns Castle High, Tatra and Arran 2018 Gold Expeditions, who helped me write this piece, and to Adventure Expeditions, the DofE Approved Activity Provider, who work in partnership with Mearns Castle High to deliver their DofE expeditions. For more info visit: https://adventure-expeditions.net/

The post Rite of Passage: The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award Expedition appeared first on Outdoor Enthusiast magazine.

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