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My DofE Training

Our first lot of training took part on 4th March 2018 consist of what your expedition aims are, what to take and what not to take to your expedition. We also learnt how to light a candle using both matches and lighters and then how to safely blow out both the matches and candle. Once we’d successfully mastered this, we went outdoors to cook on a trangia – we took turns practicing putting fuel in and lighting the fuel to cook our lunch. We had fun cooking on the trangias and cooked two courses: Starter was hot chocolate or cup-a-soup & our Main was a mixture of pasta, rice, couscous or smash (All this is possible if you use water (bring to a boil)) or use the microwavable packets that you can buy off the shelves.

Once we had eaten, we moved on to putting up different types of tents up. We practiced on two types of 3-man and a 4-man tent. The point of the task wasn’t just to put tents up, it was a test of our communication skills as well, working together to get the tents up safely & quickly (& correctly so they don’t fall down in the night!). Once  the tents were up, each group went around to test them out so that they know what to expect when comes to their expedition.

After all the fun stuff was over, it was down to business for the last couple of hours. We went on to how to read a map and how to plan a route from A to Z. Once we’d decided a route, we had to measure each section in kilometres. Then we had to write down in detail what the compass was saying on the angle of the direction we would be heading. All these steps lead us to create our own route cards. A route card is a safety measure and is completed before setting out on the journey. A route card covers map reference, bearings, distance, major height climb, times estimated and description of the route. Its to help you if you loose your map so you still know where you need to go.

The day was a great adventure from start to finish. Lisa, Anna, Lizzie and Rachel (the leaders), were very helpful and supportive. They took the time to explain the bits of the training you needed help with. I learnt so much about what I am good at and what I need to work on to achieve my Duke of Edinburgh. I am looking forward to doing more trainings and getting to take part in my practice expedition as well as my assessed expedition.

Catrina Pollock

South West Division