The Duke of Edinburgh scheme was founded so that all children and young adults from every home, regardless of their financial background would be able to take part in outdoor activities of a testing nature thereby strengthening their self confidence and sense of worth. Being able to navigate in the hills, set a tent up and cook for you in the outdoors, as part of a group, teach these qualities and also working as part of a group. The sense of achievement after an expedition at whatever level helps to motivate young people to achieve more in all aspects of their lives as well as engendering a love of adventure. The Scouts as well have always emphasised the benefits of getting away from the conveniences and pressures of modern life.
When young people go out on the hills, it is essential that they are equipped with the right equipment and clothing. This does not mean that they have to have the latest and most expensive clothing. Some well known brands are now regarded as fashion and street wear, and whilst they are very good technically, they are very expensive, to a degree that is not needed for the conditions in the UK.
There is plenty of good quality clothing and footwear that will be quite adequate for most DofE expeditions and the Scouts at very reasonable prices. For example, Regatta makes excellent coats that are waterproof and breathable. HI-Tec make hiking boots that are strong, with good gripping soles at prices that won’t break the earth. A tent does not have to be the latest and most expensive model, the weight can be distributed among the group, one member carrying the poles and the other the flysheet. There are plenty of good quality stoves that are lightweight on the market, by Gelert, Vango, Coleman and Highlander.
When buying boots and clothing the important point to bear in mind is that they should be waterproof and breathable. That does not mean having to buy the latest Goretex jacket for £200.00! There are plenty of good boots starting at around £40.00 and waterproof shell jackets for around the same money. A good fleece can be as little as £10.00. The way to dress is to wear layers, that are made from manmade materials that will wick, that is transport moisture away from the body and can be evaporated away through the waterproof and breathable outer shell, and in this way the hiker is kept dry and warm. Also a good outer shell prevents heat loss due to the wind chill factor.
Singers Outdoors have lots of bargains and good technical clothing , footwear, tents and other gear suitable for the Duke of Edinburgh Scheme and Scouts on the website at www.singersoutdoors.co.uk and also if you ring us on 01772-44001 we will always be happy to give our advice based on many years experience.