The Duke of Edinburgh's Award: Team Tips

You’ve made it, you’re ready for your expedition! Whether you’re starting at Bronze, or tackling a longer Silver or Gold expedition, a completely self-sufficient multi-day hike may seem a little daunting. But not to worry, you’ve got a team to get through it together! Who you’re completing your Award with, and your method of getting from A to B will determine how you know your team members and how many of you there are.

From pre to post expedition, teamwork is the most important skill you’ll utilise.


It’s totally up to you and your team where you complete your expedition. Prior to your qualifying expedition, you’ll have completed a practice expedition, extra training and planned your route. This is a great chance to meet your group (if you haven’t already) and learn from each other. You and your team members are there to support each other, and great communication and preparation prior to the expedition will go a long way.

Tip 1. Split up equipment

Your expedition should be a challenge, but multi-day hikes of up to four days require a lot of kit. Splitting up your shared equipment and dividing it between the group makes sure everyone is carrying their fair share and saves valuable rucksack space. Try to divide up various parts of the tent (poles, pegs and material), and the Trangia, so you’re all carrying even weights.

Tip 2. Plan your meals

The entire duration of your expedition involves you being totally self-sufficient and that means carrying all the food you’ll need too. Your food is your fuel, and what will get you through the last few miles. Organise what food you will take and meals to cook prior to the expedition, you could cook and eat your evening meals as a group. A good meal at the end of the day will really boost team morale. Don’t forget, your cooking kit will need cleaning up – plan who’s responsible for bringing washing up liquid, a sponge and a tea towel.

The Expedition

Tip 3. Communicate

Communication is just as vital on the expedition as it is in the run up. Speak up if you’re struggling, and equally, support your group members if they need it – a few words of encouragement or praise will go a long way after your mileage creeps into double figures. Most importantly, if you think you’ve gone the wrong way – say something. Team spirit might take a hit when you find out you’ve walked 2 miles east instead of 2 miles west.

Tip 4. Be mindful of others

Each of you will have different fitness levels and walking experience, and inevitably some will find it harder than others. Nothing says Duke of Edinburgh like my old Geography teacher echoing “Walk as fast as the slowest walker”, but it’s a great piece of advice to follow. Stick together, this way no one will get lost, and if someone gets hurt you can get help whilst staying safe.

Tip 5. Give everyone a chance

If you find reading a map as easy as reading the alphabet or consider yourself an outdoor Gordon Ramsey it’s easy to take the lead. Everyone will have their strengths and weaknesses but remember DofE is about challenging yourself and developing new skills. It’s important that everyone in the team gets a chance to try everything.


Tip 6. The presentation

After your expedition you’ll be required to make some form of presentation about your aims and outcomes of the expedition. There are several different ways you can present the outcomes of your expedition, and whatever way you decide on, make sure everyone in the group is happy with it. A theatrical rendition of the different types of birds you spotted may not be for everyone, so make it a group decision.

Tip 7. Keep in touch!

Your Duke of Edinburgh expedition is a totally unique experience, chances are you’ll never do something similar again. Even Bear Grylls makes mistakes in the wild, but it wouldn’t be DofE if you didn’t come away with great memories to look back on. Keep in touch with your group and reminisce about the time your teammate set the hedge alight (accidentally)

Most importantly...


Shop Recommended Kit

Back to top

Sophie has recently joined the team after working as a sales assistant in the Blacks Meadowhall store. She is an occasional walker and hoping to experience more of the outdoors after moving closer to the Peak District from her small village in Yorkshire.

She is more accustomed to camping and travelling with her local Senior Section unit, camping in places like Alton Towers and Marwell Zoo, and travelling to North America and Switzerland.

Sophie is a self-proclaimed crazy cat lady, space fanatic and likes going to the pub at the weekend like any normal person should.

Related article

Streaming Now: 10 Epic Outdoor Films for Valentine’s Day

Streaming Now: 10 Epic Outdoor Films for Valentine’s Day

We’ve put together 10 of the best outdoor films for you and your significant other to enjoy from home. Read more

Latest article

Warming Up at The Crag

Warming Up at The Crag

Remembering to warm up at crag may not seem important at the time, you’re excited to be outside and all you want to do is climb. However, without properly warming up you are more likely to injury yourself and prevent you from climbing. At Blacks, we have included some advice on how to warm up at... Read more