Open Gold Training and Practice Expeditions 2018

We will be running two Duke of Edinburgh’s Award Gold training and practice expeditions in 2018. You can choose from:

  • Expedition A – 25th to 29th of June 2018
  • Expedition B – 2nd to 6th of July 2018

This webpage provides an outline of the expedition week, what’s involved and what’s included. More detailed information on the expedition will be set out in our ‘Participant’s Pack’ to participants.

To book on to the expedition  click here.

If you are interested in our final expeditions click here.

Where to meet for the Training and Practice Expedition week

All the participants will meet 11:40am on the Monday, the first day of the expedition week, at Dunkeld and Birnam train station car park.

What’s involved

The purpose of the expedition week is to prepare participants for their final expedition. That means undertaking some training, doing a practice expedition and providing participants an opportunity to work as a team. The training will happen on day one and over the course of the 4 day practice expedition as well, although as participants progress through the 4 day expedition they will be given more and more opportunity to demonstrate their skills and journey independently as an expedition group. Training will include:

  • Working as a team,
  • Assessing risk,
  • The countryside code,
  • Camp craft,
  • First aid,
  • Navigation,
  • Clothing and equipment,
  • Emergency procedures,
  • Cooking on a stove,
  • Writing route cards,
  • Expedition aim.

Day 1 – After meeting at Dunkeld and Birnam train station at 11:40am we shall walk to the campsite (2km walk) and set up the tents. The campsite has toilets and facilities. The afternoon will be spent reviewing expedition kit, expedition food, route planning for the following day and organising the participants in to expedition groups. In the evening we will walk into Dunkeld to the fish and chip shop for dinner (participants need some money for this).

Days 2 to 5 – After breakfast (cooked on stoves by the participants) we will begin the practice expedition, walking to Dunkeld and then north to the rolling moorland and hills near Loch Ordie and Deuchary Hill.  Day 3 will take us north to the Cateran Trail and Kirkmichael, then north to Enochdhu and Glen Fearnach. On day 4, we will walk north up Glen Fearnach then west and explore the hill and moorland area on the north side of Ben Vrackie. On day 5 we will walk to Pitlochry.

The pick up point is Pitlochry train station around 3:30pm.

Apart from the first night, at Invermill campsite, all of the camping will be wild camps. The distances walked will vary from 16 to 23 km. Underfoot we will be using tracks and footpaths, some of which will be muddy. Participants must come prepared with good walking boots.

What to bring

Participants should bring the following food:

  • Packed lunch for day 1.
  • Enough food for the 4 day practice expedition: that’s four breakfasts; four lunches and three evening meals.

Ideas and suggestions on what food to bring will be contained in the ‘Participant Pack’, to help participants prepare.

The Participant Pack will also list all the expedition clothing, personal equipment and group kit they should bring. Like most of Scotland midges are common in the summer so a midge hood is recommended.

Tents and stoves are available to borrow. Gas canisters or meths will be provided and is included in the cost.

Preparation before the expedition week

Before the expedition week, participants will be sent a home paper to assess their knowledge of expedition skills. The home paper will contain questions on navigation, camp craft, first aid, emergency procedures, the countryside code, equipment and team work. It isn’t a test, merely a means for the instructors to find out what the participants know and to aid learning over the course of the week. The home paper will be form part of the Participant Pack.

Cost

The total cost of the expedition week is £160 per participant. This includes:

  • Fuel for stoves;
  • Campsite fees;
  • Expedition supervision;
  • Expedition training;
  • Maps and route cards.

Tents and stoves are available to borrow on request.

The following isn’t included:

  • Food for the entire expedition week;
  • Spending money for buying an evening meal in the chip shop on day 1;
  • Expedition equipment and clothing (apart from tents and stoves, which can be borrowed).

Information about the area

Perthshire and in particular the countryside to the north of Dunkeld is great for walking. The countryside consists of rolling hills with woodland, heather moorland and lochs. The area has lots of big estates and farms where hill-sheep farming, fishing and shooting are important activities.

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