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    This post is what I feel is an idiot's guide to the Silver Duke of Edinburgh expedition. Hopefully it can give you some advice if you're feeling a little nervous like I was. Before this I had never been camping in my life (yup I didn't even do Bronze). The closest I had been to camping was a one week CCF camp where we still slept on a bed. If you can think of anything I didn't mention feel free to leave it below or alternatively if you want to ask me anything PM me and I'll try to answer as best as I can!

    Firstly I want to make this clear. 99% you won't fail. Unless you take a taxi (and get caught might I add ;-) ) or smoke a joint or something you will pass. It helps to be friendly with your assessor by the way. Take this example: our group, who were chatting away with our assessor through and through were asked at the end "so did you achieve your aim?" We said yeah. "How?" We explained it in a few lines and bam, done. Meanwhile another group had to make a formal presentation together in a classroom environment for the same thing!

    In terms of packing, I did a horrible job on the practice and a much better job on the real thing. You don't need more than a 60l bag for this. I had a 100l bag from my CCF camp and I barely filled half of it. When you initially lay out your stuff group it together and put it in individual bin bags or something waterproof, the idea being if you shove some soaking wet shirt in there nothing else will get wet too. The order you pack is key to an easy time. First pack your sleeping bag (and tent if you are carrying that), clothes, toiletries (on a side note, DON'T BRING A WHOLE ROLL OF TOILET PAPER, I don't know why some people thought that was necessary), trainers if you think your boots will get soaked. Then your cooking kit (if you can I'd highly recommend a gas stove. Even if you have one between all of you, meals can be sorted in 2 min) followed by your food itself (I'll go into detail about food later). Finally you want your first aid kit and waterproofs. Stuff all your extra things like torch, midge hood and spray, water bottle and water purification tablets, snacks, etc in the side pockets. Finally attach your roll mat (in a bin bag or waterproof case of course) to the back of your bag using the clicky strap things (idk what they're called haha). Stick to this order of packing like your life depended on it, even in the morning when you're still groggy and you're being eaten alive by midges, however much you just want to stuff your bag as quickly as possible, don't.

    When it comes to food, boil in the bag meals are your best friend. I'm a vegetarian btw so I can't tell you what exactly to take but bear in mind that things like pot noodles and those pasta meals that you make in the plastic container are a bad idea. Firstly they could break in your bag (although this may not be so bad if you've kept them in separate bags like I said). Secondly, the pasta meals especially, they give you next to no energy compared to say, some rice meal. Those little salt packets you get in fast food places are also pretty useful if your meal needs some more flavour. I've also heard that army ration packs are quite useful although I've never seen them in person. For breakfast you can buy mini cereal boxes with shreddies, frosties, whatever you want and just eat them dry out the box. To save space you can actually take them out the box because they come in little bags. Alpen bars are perfect for snacks because they have lots of energy and they're delicious. In addition to them you may want some sweets for a sudden energy boost but don't live off them. I highly recommend jelly babies, they just seem to suddenly help you get back in the game.

    When it comes to the walking itself, everyone I knew who had gone for silver said it was horrible but honestly its not that bad. Our route was 90% off path and there will be those 2 or 3 horrendously steep parts but as I just said, there will only be 2 or 3. And considering I didn't find it too tiring (and I'm certainly not the local Mo Farah... the only sport I play is golf), I'm sure you'll be fine.

    Lastly here are some final tips I can pull out my head;
    . try not to get cranky. Nothing ruins the expedition more than high tensions and arguments. If you feel down, no offence but its best to just keep your mouth shut instead of complaining which annoys everyone else
    . drink plenty of water and fill up whenever you get the chance, but check around before you do. We once found a dead sheep lying upstream so we had to go further upstream to get clean water
    . eat breakfast or you WILL feel the effects by 11/12
    . try to stay ahead of the other group taking the same route as you. You want time to find the best part of the campsite
    . if someone is lagging behind, slow down or take a break. Imagine if it was you. Or if it IS you, use your voice! Tell people you need a break
    . carry your own rubbish. Don't have a collective rubbish bag and take turns carrying it, that's stupid and leads to arguments
    . check for ticks afterwards and read up on how to remove them properly. If you want to avoid them try to tuck your trousers in your socks and don't lie down in the grass.
    .BRUSH YOUR TEETH. Seriously. Its disgusting if you don't...
    .don't let one person do all the mapwork. And if you do, don't blame them if you get lost because you didn't do anything to help!


    Most of all enjoy it! It's a unique experience and all in all great fun!

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    (Original post by SleepingStag)
    This post is what I feel is an idiot's guide to the Silver Duke of Edinburgh expedition. Hopefully it can give you some advice if you're feeling a little nervous like I was. Before this I had never been camping in my life (yup I didn't even do Bronze). The closest I had been to camping was a one week CCF camp where we still slept on a bed. If you can think of anything I didn't mention feel free to leave it below or alternatively if you want to ask me anything PM me and I'll try to answer as best as I can!

    Firstly I want to make this clear. 99% you won't fail. Unless you take a taxi (and get caught might I add ;-) ) or smoke a joint or something you will pass. It helps to be friendly with your assessor by the way. Take this example: our group, who were chatting away with our assessor through and through were asked at the end "so did you achieve your aim?" We said yeah. "How?" We explained it in a few lines and bam, done. Meanwhile another group had to make a formal presentation together in a classroom environment for the same thing!

    In terms of packing, I did a horrible job on the practice and a much better job on the real thing. You don't need more than a 60l bag for this. I had a 100l bag from my CCF camp and I barely filled half of it. When you initially lay out your stuff group it together and put it in individual bin bags or something waterproof, the idea being if you shove some soaking wet shirt in there nothing else will get wet too. The order you pack is key to an easy time. First pack your sleeping bag (and tent if you are carrying that), clothes, toiletries (on a side note, DON'T BRING A WHOLE ROLL OF TOILET PAPER, I don't know why some people thought that was necessary), trainers if you think your boots will get soaked. Then your cooking kit (if you can I'd highly recommend a gas stove. Even if you have one between all of you, meals can be sorted in 2 min) followed by your food itself (I'll go into detail about food later). Finally you want your first aid kit and waterproofs. Stuff all your extra things like torch, midge hood and spray, water bottle and water purification tablets, snacks, etc in the side pockets. Finally attach your roll mat (in a bin bag or waterproof case of course) to the back of your bag using the clicky strap things (idk what they're called haha). Stick to this order of packing like your life depended on it, even in the morning when you're still groggy and you're being eaten alive by midges, however much you just want to stuff your bag as quickly as possible, don't.

    When it comes to food, boil in the bag meals are your best friend. I'm a vegetarian btw so I can't tell you what exactly to take but bear in mind that things like pot noodles and those pasta meals that you make in the plastic container are a bad idea. Firstly they could break in your bag (although this may not be so bad if you've kept them in separate bags like I said). Secondly, the pasta meals especially, they give you next to no energy compared to say, some rice meal. Those little salt packets you get in fast food places are also pretty useful if your meal needs some more flavour. I've also heard that army ration packs are quite useful although I've never seen them in person. For breakfast you can buy mini cereal boxes with shreddies, frosties, whatever you want and just eat them dry out the box. To save space you can actually take them out the box because they come in little bags. Alpen bars are perfect for snacks because they have lots of energy and they're delicious. In addition to them you may want some sweets for a sudden energy boost but don't live off them. I highly recommend jelly babies, they just seem to suddenly help you get back in the game.

    When it comes to the walking itself, everyone I knew who had gone for silver said it was horrible but honestly its not that bad. Our route was 90% off path and there will be those 2 or 3 horrendously steep parts but as I just said, there will only be 2 or 3. And considering I didn't find it too tiring (and I'm certainly not the local Mo Farah... the only sport I play is golf), I'm sure you'll be fine.

    Lastly here are some final tips I can pull out my head;
    . try not to get cranky. Nothing ruins the expedition more than high tensions and arguments. If you feel down, no offence but its best to just keep your mouth shut instead of complaining which annoys everyone else
    . drink plenty of water and fill up whenever you get the chance, but check around before you do. We once found a dead sheep lying upstream so we had to go further upstream to get clean water
    . eat breakfast or you WILL feel the effects by 11/12
    . try to stay ahead of the other group taking the same route as you. You want time to find the best part of the campsite
    . if someone is lagging behind, slow down or take a break. Imagine if it was you. Or if it IS you, use your voice! Tell people you need a break
    . carry your own rubbish. Don't have a collective rubbish bag and take turns carrying it, that's stupid and leads to arguments
    . check for ticks afterwards and read up on how to remove them properly. If you want to avoid them try to tuck your trousers in your socks and don't lie down in the grass.
    .BRUSH YOUR TEETH. Seriously. Its disgusting if you don't...
    .don't let one person do all the mapwork. And if you do, don't blame them if you get lost because you didn't do anything to help!


    Most of all enjoy it! It's a unique experience and all in all great fun!

    Posted from TSR Mobile
    Silver was piss now looking back despite the amount of rain we had.

    Gold DOFE in Switzerland in 2 days woop woop

    By the way your guide was really useful for new DOFERS did you wild camp then for silver?
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    (Original post by kingdoo)
    Silver was piss now looking back despite the amount of rain we had.

    Gold DOFE in Switzerland in 2 days woop woop

    By the way your guide was really useful for new DOFERS did you wild camp then for silver?
    Thanks! Yeah we did it was an awesome experience. Gold sounds so awesome! Are you walking or doing something else? I'm thinking of cycling for gold but I heard it can be extremely difficult...

    Posted from TSR Mobile
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    (Original post by SleepingStag)
    This post is what I feel is an idiot's guide to the Silver Duke of Edinburgh expedition. Hopefully it can give you some advice if you're feeling a little nervous like I was. Before this I had never been camping in my life (yup I didn't even do Bronze). The closest I had been to camping was a one week CCF camp where we still slept on a bed. If you can think of anything I didn't mention feel free to leave it below or alternatively if you want to ask me anything PM me and I'll try to answer as best as I can!

    Firstly I want to make this clear. 99% you won't fail. Unless you take a taxi (and get caught might I add ;-) ) or smoke a joint or something you will pass. It helps to be friendly with your assessor by the way. Take this example: our group, who were chatting away with our assessor through and through were asked at the end "so did you achieve your aim?" We said yeah. "How?" We explained it in a few lines and bam, done. Meanwhile another group had to make a formal presentation together in a classroom environment for the same thing!

    In terms of packing, I did a horrible job on the practice and a much better job on the real thing. You don't need more than a 60l bag for this. I had a 100l bag from my CCF camp and I barely filled half of it. When you initially lay out your stuff group it together and put it in individual bin bags or something waterproof, the idea being if you shove some soaking wet shirt in there nothing else will get wet too. The order you pack is key to an easy time. First pack your sleeping bag (and tent if you are carrying that), clothes, toiletries (on a side note, DON'T BRING A WHOLE ROLL OF TOILET PAPER, I don't know why some people thought that was necessary), trainers if you think your boots will get soaked. Then your cooking kit (if you can I'd highly recommend a gas stove. Even if you have one between all of you, meals can be sorted in 2 min) followed by your food itself (I'll go into detail about food later). Finally you want your first aid kit and waterproofs. Stuff all your extra things like torch, midge hood and spray, water bottle and water purification tablets, snacks, etc in the side pockets. Finally attach your roll mat (in a bin bag or waterproof case of course) to the back of your bag using the clicky strap things (idk what they're called haha). Stick to this order of packing like your life depended on it, even in the morning when you're still groggy and you're being eaten alive by midges, however much you just want to stuff your bag as quickly as possible, don't.

    When it comes to food, boil in the bag meals are your best friend. I'm a vegetarian btw so I can't tell you what exactly to take but bear in mind that things like pot noodles and those pasta meals that you make in the plastic container are a bad idea. Firstly they could break in your bag (although this may not be so bad if you've kept them in separate bags like I said). Secondly, the pasta meals especially, they give you next to no energy compared to say, some rice meal. Those little salt packets you get in fast food places are also pretty useful if your meal needs some more flavour. I've also heard that army ration packs are quite useful although I've never seen them in person. For breakfast you can buy mini cereal boxes with shreddies, frosties, whatever you want and just eat them dry out the box. To save space you can actually take them out the box because they come in little bags. Alpen bars are perfect for snacks because they have lots of energy and they're delicious. In addition to them you may want some sweets for a sudden energy boost but don't live off them. I highly recommend jelly babies, they just seem to suddenly help you get back in the game.

    When it comes to the walking itself, everyone I knew who had gone for silver said it was horrible but honestly its not that bad. Our route was 90% off path and there will be those 2 or 3 horrendously steep parts but as I just said, there will only be 2 or 3. And considering I didn't find it too tiring (and I'm certainly not the local Mo Farah... the only sport I play is golf), I'm sure you'll be fine.

    Lastly here are some final tips I can pull out my head;
    . try not to get cranky. Nothing ruins the expedition more than high tensions and arguments. If you feel down, no offence but its best to just keep your mouth shut instead of complaining which annoys everyone else
    . drink plenty of water and fill up whenever you get the chance, but check around before you do. We once found a dead sheep lying upstream so we had to go further upstream to get clean water
    . eat breakfast or you WILL feel the effects by 11/12
    . try to stay ahead of the other group taking the same route as you. You want time to find the best part of the campsite
    . if someone is lagging behind, slow down or take a break. Imagine if it was you. Or if it IS you, use your voice! Tell people you need a break
    . carry your own rubbish. Don't have a collective rubbish bag and take turns carrying it, that's stupid and leads to arguments
    . check for ticks afterwards and read up on how to remove them properly. If you want to avoid them try to tuck your trousers in your socks and don't lie down in the grass.
    .BRUSH YOUR TEETH. Seriously. Its disgusting if you don't...
    .don't let one person do all the mapwork. And if you do, don't blame them if you get lost because you didn't do anything to help!


    Most of all enjoy it! It's a unique experience and all in all great fun!

    Posted from TSR Mobile
    I'm doing silver soon with cadets, already done bronze. I'll be doing it in the peak district so there will be a lot of hills. I kinda want to do kayaking when it comes to gold.

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    (Original post by SleepingStag)
    Thanks! Yeah we did it was an awesome experience. Gold sounds so awesome! Are you walking or doing something else? I'm thinking of cycling for gold but I heard it can be extremely difficult...

    Posted from TSR Mobile
    Cycling would be had especially if you go somewhere rocky and also your rucksack will be much heavier.

    I am walking I know someone who is horse riding which is meant to be tough because it isn't her horse but I think that would be really easy.

    I am looking forward to it the scenery will be beautiful. Also our expedition starts on Wednesday because we do practice stuff before. We stay at a campsite until Wednesday after which we will be wild camping. Interestingly the campsite is meant to be brilliant it has a pool and everything so that will be extremely missed when we start on Wednesday.
 
 
 
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