By: Blonde One
You may have heard of a phrase that has 6 p’s as its initial letters? I won’t explain it here but I’ll leave you to look it up. Beware: don’t look it up if you’re a bit sensitive to swearing and even more don’t look it up if you’re at work and your IT department might be a little bit adverse to a spot of bad language!
The point is that planning is important for success. Success of any kind requires a carefully executed plan and a DofE expedition is no exception. Since our last bout with Storm Brian planning has begun for the next trip out. The biggest hurdle by far is getting a mutually convenient date. The 7 sixth formers are so busy with their A levels, activities outside of school and university applications that it’s proving difficult to organise. We Blondes have often joked that we need an extra month to fit in all our busyness, so slotting that month in quite soon would be perfect!
In the meantime there’s lots of preparation to be done. The route cards need to be written and maps need to be marked up (using colour coded Sharpies of course). Most importantly though kit needs to be reviewed and sorted. Luckily for us we have 2 new Vango sleeping bags to add to our stores thanks to a very kind gift from Winfields Outdoors. The Vango Longitude 420 4-season sleeping bag is going to be perfect for the cold Dartmoor nights that the team have ahead of them. It has a comfort rating of down to -4°C and certainly proved its worth in the classroom test. The occupant could only stay in for a few minutes to pose for a photo before suggesting he was turning into a boil in the bag meal!
Excitement is building again with the team for their next expedition as they are desperate to put their carefully laid plans into place and try out their new sleeping bags.
Didn’t need to look it up – the film with George C Scott is one of my favourites.
I guess the 4 season bags will be quite heavy. For long distance backpacking in summer when every gramme matters I have a lighter down bag (RAB Quantum) which is quite adequate and saves a fair bit of weight, but I’m sure your new acquisitions will be appreciated.
It always seems a shame to me that D of Eers often have to put up with less than suitable (in terms of lightweight) equipment just at the point when they need all the help they can get to make the experience enjoyable and a basis for future adventures. I remember doing my Scouts 1st Class journey with an ex-army Commando rucksack with a steel frame – the thing probably weighed nearly as much as I carry in total these days.