Expeditions are a great experience - they're the chance you get to put everything you learnt in training sessions into practice. Navigating, cooking and being self-sufficient carrying all your gear for the 4 days might seem daunting at first! But we have a series of thorough training sessions and trips before the Practice and Qualifying Expeditions, so you should be able to take on anything the British countryside can throw at you!
Practice & Qualifying Expeditions
We aim to run two expeditions over the summer:
- Practice Expedition: 4 days (3 nights) + travel days. Usually in the Yorkshire Dales at the start of summer holidays.
They each involve around 20km of hiking each day, whilst being completely reliant on your own food, gear and navigation skills (with our own supervisors monitoring for safety during the trip).
It's physically and psychologically challenging - but you don't have to be incredibly fit to do it, and you can still have fun*! We do recommend you get some practice walking in beforehand, though. If you're lucky, you'll get great views, and have the chance to climb some hills and mountains! (But unfortunately we can't guarantee good weather...)
*[Disclaimer: expeditions can sometimes turn out to be Type 2 Fun, i.e. you'll enjoy it only afterwards in hindsight 😛!]
Expedition Training Sessions
Training Sessions - MANDATORY for participants wanting to complete their Expeditions with us. NOT required at all for all other Society members.
We run regular training sessions during Terms 1 and 2 (plus additional route planning and competency sessions in Term 3) - so, by the time you go on your expeditions, you'll be ready for whatever it throws at you and meet all the official DofE requirements! From navigation to campcraft and - most importantly - food, we'll cover it all! Details of our upcoming training sessions can be found on our Events page. If you want to do your DofE expeditions with us, please attend all of the training sessions.
Catch-Up Session - MANDATORY for participants wanting to complete their Expeditions with us ONLY if they have missed at least one training session. NOT required at all for all other Society members.
If absolutely can't avoid missing a training session, there is a Catch-Up Session at the end of Term 2 or during Term 3 where we will:
- Have asked participants to have read the slides for the sessions they missed in advance of the catch-up session. Find past slides in our Google Drive Folder: Training Sessions (Shared With Participants).
- Go through the training framework list and check participants have all of the necessary skills from the DofE Expedition Training Framework requirements
- Provide training where the participants still lack some required knowledge/skills.
- Now the participant should be ready to safely attend our Expeditions.
Brecon Beacons (Term 2 Weekend Trip) - RECOMMENDED for participants. OPEN to all members.
Our weekend trip to the Brecon Beacons doubles up as a training weekend for our participants - and what better place to put your navigation skills to the test than the hills of Wales! The advantages: we stay under a roof in a bunkhouse or Scout Hut, so no need for pitching tents or Trangia cooking.
Rough Close (Term 3 Local Overnight training) - RECOMMENDED for participants. NOT open to all members.
A small-scale practice run for your expeditions: we walk from campus to a local campsite, and give you the opportunity to practice all the skills you've learnt so far! Bring warm socks - tents can get cold in Term 3!
Gold DofE Expeditions
Practice Expedition - MANDATORY for participants who want to do their Qualifying Expedition with us. NOT open to all members (unless driving/supervising).
Practice Expedition. Duration: 4 days (3 nights) + travel days. Usually in the Yorkshire Dales at the start of summer holidays.
Qualifying Expedition - MANDATORY for participants who want to do their final Expedition with us. NOT open to all members (unless driving/supervising).
Qualifying (Actual) Expedition. Duration: 4 days (3 nights) + acclimatisation day + travel days. Usually in the Lake District at the end of summer holidays.
While we provide group kit for you, you will need to get your own individual supplies. We've provided a kit list for you, and we strongly recommend you get as much as you can - the more prepared you are, the better your expedition experience will be!
But we do keep your student budgets in mind! We have some individual kit (rucksacks, sleeping bags etc.), so please contact us before the expeditions if you'd like to borrow some! We've also recommended some shops for you - convenience, budget and quality all in one!