12 February 2021

Kit for DofE expeditions – what not to take!

Kit and equipment is something that lots of participants have queries about. And that’s no surprise, as having the right kit for DofE expeditions is essential to help you stay comfortable, safe, and happy! Deciding what to pack can be difficult. What do you need? What is essential? And what could you do without?

We caught up with Emma, one of our recent Open Gold participants, to find out what she wished she knew about kit before taking part, and what she would do differently next time. First up, she chats…

‘Dead Weight- Top 10 pieces of kit I wish I’d left at home’

Having recently completed my Open Gold DofE with Wilderness Expertise, I’m here to tell you what I think you should leave out of your bag when you’re deciding on your kit for DofE expeditions!

  1. A hairbrush. The chances of you needing a hair brush are pretty low as you will likely be too tired to care how your hair looks. If you have long hair and are worried about knots try putting your hair in tight plats at the start of the expedition this should help to keep it controlled until you get home. You could always bring a small comb opposed to a full hairbrush if you feel that you will need one.
  2. Full sized hygiene products. There’s no point carrying any extra weight so best to leave these at home and opt for something travel sized.
  3. Tinned food. Tinned food can be more heavy than other forms of food such as expedition meals, some of which come dehydrated making them incredibly light weight and easy to cook!
  4. A book. You may not have a chance to read on your expedition but if you do want to bring a book opt for a small paperback, this won’t take up too much space in your bag and will also weigh less.
  5. An extra torch. One head torch will be more than enough as long as you have a spare pair of batteries.
  6. Pyjamas. I’d recommend bringing two pairs of thermals on DofE and making one of these pairs your pyjamas this way you will always have a dry pair of thermals and if your other pair get too dirty you can switch them out mid-expedition. This approach means that all of the clothes you have are practical and light weight.
  7. Fluffy socks. Fluffy socks for night time may seem like a great idea but it’s probably better to bring a spare pair of technical socks for night time so that you can use them for hiking if you need to!
  8. A plate. If you really want to cut down on kit leave your plate at home, you can eat out of your trangia and put your dessert in your bowl or wash up your bowl in between courses but you really don’t need a plate.
  9. A full set of cutlery. If you bring expedition meals you probably won’t need a knife so a spork should be more than enough for your expedition meals.
  10. Chocolate. If your expedition is in the summer you should probably leave chocolate and chocolate covered snacks at home as they are likely to melt in your bag and be inedible on your expedition. Instead opt for hard boiled sweets and gummies to get your sugar levels up!

I hope you found these tips of what not to bring useful, next week I we will be sharing the top 10 most underrated pieces of kit for DofE expeditions – so keep an eye out for that!

Find more help and guidance on helping to prepare for your expedition on our DofE resources page: www.wilderness-expertise.co.uk/dofe-award/dofe-expedition-resources/