DofE checklist is about preparing you for your expedition part of the award. This checklist is to help you gather all the items you need.
Having the right items and not forgetting the things that are essential can make such a difference in your whole experience. If camping, backpacking and hiking in the countryside are new to you, I hope this will help. Even if you are experienced I hope will help you not to forget something.
What is the DofE?
DofE stands for Duke of Edinburgh Award. This was created by the late Prince Phillip the Duke of Edinburgh, to give every young person to get new skills, confidence, experience and life-changing adventures while helping their community.
Experience of DofE
I have been lucky enough to complete my Bronze DofE award many years ago. This experience changed my life, it was my passion for helping others and adventure out. This made me go on to become a scout leader and share my love for the outdoors and walking with people who may never of experienced it.
I have created this DofE checklist with tips and advice to help you enjoy every minute of your expedition by being prepared. Like any good scout will know, always be prepared. I wish you the best of luck.
I have broken this DofE checklist into different sections to make it easier.
These are essential for your expedition. They should be robust, waterproof and, most important, broken in. What do we mean by broken in? You need to wear them lots before you go on the expedition to help them bend and flex and hopefully reduce the chances of blasters.
Thick, warm and higher than the tops of your walking boots. Also, consider a thinner layer of socks underneath. One essential tip is to ensure you have no ripples in your socks when you put your boats on. The tiniest of kinks in your socks can cause blisters. Blisters can make your expedition unpleasant. (Compeed blister plasters are a must)
These need to be both wind and waterproof because you never know what the weather will throw at you. Windproof stops the wind from coming through the coat, which can make you feel very cold quickly, especially if you have been sweating.
These need to be lightweight and comfortable. There are also options for zip-off trousers, which quickly convert to shorts for summer expeditions.
Waterproof Over Trousers
Waterproof trousers to put over your walking trousers if the weather changes. This stops water from penetrating your trousers and protects water from running down into your shoes.
Gaitors are waterproof covers for your shoes or boots. They pull over your walking boots to stop any water from getting into your walking boots or shoes. These would generally be advisable in autumn or winter if rain is forecast, not summertime expeditions.
Shorts incase you get too warm but also can be used to sleep in.
A base layer is the one closest to your skin that can wick moisture away from your skin. Keeping each layer tight to the skin can help stop cold air while moving the moisture away from your skin. Keeping you both warm or cool at the same time.
Thermals protect you from cold winds and keep the warm in.
You need to keep warm, and it’s better to have multiple thin layers than one thick layer. When selecting your fleece, think about its size if you have to carry it and how it can work with other layers.
Hat, Gloves and Scarf
Warm hat or sun hat depending on the time of year.
Underwear and nightwear
Never sleep in your clothes you will be freezing. I know sounds crazy but those clothes have moisture trapped in them from sweating and as you stop you will start to feel colder and colder. Take you clothes off and pop in the bottom of your sleeping bag overnight. This will keep them warm for when you get up and get dressed.
DofE Checklist Kit
Just big enough to fit everything in but not too big.
- Racksack Tips: Racksack should be comfortable, stable and sit close against the back without any large gaps. Even weight distribution should lower the chance of back and shoulder pain.
- Ventilation – Back panels can incorporate a wicking layer which can help remove the sweat
- Hip Belt – Fastens around your waste to help distribute the weight to your hips making it more comfortable to carry.
- Chest Strap – This offers stability
- Waterproof – Many racksack come with liners to make sure your kit cant get wet. If yours doesn’t have this think of investing in a racksack liner. If not waterproof you can also think about a rain cover.
A sleeping bag is essential for a good night’s sleep. They come in a variety of shapes and are rated by temperature. The more fitting it is to your shape means less space which is more effective at retaining heat. You must also consider size and weight to fit in or on your racksack.
Rollmat / Sleeping Mat
Rollmats provide insulation from the ground’s cold and dampness and improve overall comfort from the hardness of the ground. There are a couple of options, from the most basic, a foam roll mat a little like a yoga mat or self-inflating mats, which can be simply inflated with your own breath and tend to be more compact.
It is one of the most important items, and it can come in the form of a bottle (plastic or stainless steel) or a water hydration bladder, like a bag that can fit into your rucksack.
Plate, Mug and cutlery
Personal items to eat from
DofE Checklist Health / Safety
Whistles are an essential safety tool to draw attention to yourself in case of an emergency.
A Torch, head torch and spare batteries. Head torches always allow you to have light while being hands-free.
Secured into a waterproof box
First Aid Kits
Plasters, antiseptic, emergency blanket, sun cream, and bug repellent.
Water Purification Tablets
If you are desperate for a drink these tables will make almost any water drinkable.
Wash Kit & Towel
Basic wash kit for personal hygiene, toilet roll and a light weight travel towel.
Map and Map Case
Ordnance Survey Maps of where you be completing your expedition and a waterproof case to protect it from the weather. Without a map, you will struggle to navigate.
Compass will guide you to going to correct direction.
DofE Checklist Group Kit
Do you need a tent to yourself, or will you be sharing? Tent components tend to be split between the people who will be sharing that tent. You are looking for a lightweight, small compact tent.
Camp stove, utensils and pans
Camp stove and the appropriate fuel and the pans will enable you to cook dinner. Will you be using dehydrated food ready-to-eat food or cooking a camp meal? Do you need a tin opener?
Then enable to shelter from the weather.
Tea Towels, washing up liquid and a bag for rubbish
You need to be able to clean up and take your rubbish home with you.
Toilet Paper and a Trowel
Yes, you need a small trowel because you need to bury anything that comes out of you :-) Poo can spread disease so it is essential to bury it. Aim for a hole as deep as your trowel. Think about accessibility as well if you need it in a hurry. A few disposal bags are always useful to have.
High Energy Snacks
These are great to give you a burst of energy or in an emergency situation.
Duke of Edinburgh Award
I hope this DofE checklist has helped you understand what items you may need as part of your expedition. If you have any questions about your kit, please ask your expedition supervisor, who will happily check it for suitability and make suggestions.
We also have camping checklists, festival checklist and Glastonbury checklist to help in any adventure you are going on.