DofE is totally worth it. You’ll be regretting it every moment of every day while doing the expedition and your legs won’t recover for about a week, but I know I missed it afterwards. I’ve got thousands of pictures in the rain, snow and sleet and I’m smiling in (almost) all of them. If you’re completing your DofE this summer, here are some essential tips that you’re going to need.
1. Expect rain. I’ve done a lot of DofE walks and haven’t had a single sunny day. I’d waterproof everything. Bring a load of bin bags to shove your sleeping bag, clothes, tent and pretty much everything else in. Trying to light a fire in a thunderstorm isn’t the most fun either, so I’d bring an umbrella to at least protect the food a little. Finally, don’t forget waterproofs. Those baggy waterproof trousers aren’t necessarily model material, but it’s worth it to be dry and warm.
2. Food and lots of it. It needs to be light if you’re carrying it around for days. Pasta with pesto or tomato sauce is an easy one for dinner. Or those dry meals where you just add water. For breakfast, packs of porridge or waffles are a good idea. Then bring loads and loads of breakfast bars, fruit, nuts, flapjacks, chocolate bars and pretty much any other light thing you can fit in your bag.
3. There is a lot of mud. Your hands will be caked in it and when they’re just about clean you’ll be forced to put away the flooded tent or clean the rubbish from the floor. Bring a lot of hand sanitizer!
4. Your phone. You might think you don’t need your phone on something like this, but in fact, a phone and charger is essential for those emergency phone calls when you’re lost in the middle of a field in the dark. Remember a portable charger because I know my phone definitely won’t last 4 days.
So if you’re doing it good luck and have fun!