If you’re ready to go the extra mile, challenge yourself physically and pick up some new skills too, then the Duke of Edinburgh Award scheme might be for you! Young people aged 14-24 have been challenging themselves to achieve something incredible with the award programme for over seventy years, and the Duke of Edinburgh Award is now the strongest it has ever been, with more and more young people seeing the benefits of such a great challenge. By inspiring and transforming the lives of millions of young people from across the country, the D of E award opens the door to a brighter future through volunteering, skills development and expeditions.
The award itself is broken down into three categories, bronze, silver and gold, with a new diamond challenge for those who want to continue to give back to their community. The categories of the award take differing lengths of time to complete, with each award offering an opportunity to work on developing the young person’s skills across a number of sections, from volunteering to physical development, learning a new skill or taking part in an expedition. These sections aim to help the participants to become more independent, while also helping them to achieve their goals in a structured and industry recognised way. From over 13,200 DofE centres across the UK, the award scheme has seen huge successes over the years, and the benefits for anyone taking part are great. When it comes to applying for university, college or any future job role, having a Duke of Edinburgh award helps to show a person’s abilities to take on a challenge and commit to successfully completing tasks.
Here at Tiso, Scotland’s Outdoor Adventure Specialists, we love to help the next generation find their way on their first adventures, and we’re incredibly proud to work with brilliant youth organisations to provide an excellent opportunity for our young people to get inspired. Our products will help you get prepared for an expedition of any length, and with a great discount for our Young Adventurer card holders, there’s nothing to stop you getting involved with a Duke of Edinburgh Award. Find out more about the programme by visiting the Duke of Edinburgh Award Website.
Once you’ve decided you or someone you know wants to take part in the award, our in store staff will be able to help you get geared up for the adventure. We’d recommend checking out some information on where to find your Nearest Group, as they’ll be able to provide more information on what you need to do to get registered, and how you can start your D of E journey. If you’re already looking ahead to your next expedition, we’ve put together our essential kit for the trip, with product recommendations from the Duke of Edinburgh Award team and their supporters. From clothing, to camping, tents to walking boots, we’ve got everything you need for a hassle free expedition - so what will you be adding to your own Duke of Edinburgh packing list?
Our Duke of Edinburgh Essentials:
Making sure you have a good quality waterproof jacket for your Duke of Edinburgh expedition is a great way to stay comfortable and dry in changing weather conditions. Ideally, you'll want one that is lightweight and pack-able for when the rain holds off, and the sun comes out. Look for durability and a hydrostatic head rating of over 1500mm - this will mean that your jacket will withstand heavy rain showers. Looking for a jacket that is also breathable will mean that your inner mid-layers will stay dry while wicking sweat away from the body. For your expedition, you'll want a jacket that is versatile, with a good fit and great design. We'd recommend the Craghoppers Apex Jacket for Men and Women.
When it comes to rucksacks, you need one that is comfortable to wear with the space you'll need to carry all of your kit. Borrowing an old rucksack from someone is fine, but investing in the newest item means you'll benefit from technological developments, such as adjustablility or comfort. Look for a rucksack with a load transferring back system and get the rucksack well fitted at the time of purchase. We'd recommend the Vango Contour Rucksacks.
It's all about the comfort rating with sleeping bags, think about the conditions you'll be camping in, and choose a bag with an appropriate filling, either synthetic or down. Down is a great option for expedition use, due to the fact that it is lighter and can be packed down to a smaller size. The downside, is that it doesn't perform as well as synthetic in wet conditions. Decide on a three season sleeping bag if you're planning to do all levels from bronze to gold. We'd recommend the Vango Latitude or Nitestar sleeping bags to add to your D of E packing list.
The golden rule when it comes to buying a tent for a Duke of Edinburgh expedition is flexibility. You'll need a tent that can stand up to tough conditions, while still being lightweight enough to carry with you during the day. Take a closer look at the stitching and interior designs, as there can be big price differences for similar looking tents. Consider the weight and whether the tent can fit 3/4 people to split the weight when hiking. Our recommendation is the Vango Meteor 200 tent.
Potentially one of the most important item on any expedition kit list is a pair of well broken in, comfortable and perfectly fitting walking boots. Feet come in a range of shapes and sizes, and different boots suit particular shapes better than others. Look for a good sole grip, adjustable lacing and a waterproof coating for preparation against the elements, as well as ensuring a comfortable fit. Visit us in store for an expert fitting with our trained staff,and get some advice on keeping your feet happy! We'd recommend the Berghaus Explorer or Expeditor Boots.
Hopefully our list of the Duke of Edinburgh expedition essentials will help you get out there and achieve your award. If you're not sure how or where to start, don't forget to visit the Duke of Edinburgh Website where you'll be able to find your local group, find out more about what you're required to do,and contact the team to get signed up. We want to encourage as many young people to take on the challenge this year as possible, so sign up today! As such a great way to meet new people, give back to your community and develop new skills, the Duke of Edinburgh Award scheme is the perfect gateway to outdoor adventure. Looking to get fully geared up for the expedition? Look below for our other recommendations on what you'll need to add to your packing list.
Other D of E Essentials
Take a look at everything else you should add to your Duke of Edinburgh packing list, from cooking to navigation and first aid - the little extras that will make you feel more prepared and comfortable on your expedition.
If you'e planning your own expedition this summer, for your Duke of Edinburgh award, or just to enjoy getting into the great outdoors, make sure you share your photos and stories with #MyTiso to be featured on our social media channels. We love to see your favourite camping spots, and best places to hike, so keep sharing and we'll feature some of our favourites in the future.