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Duke of Edinburgh, should my DD's backpack really weigh this much?

(35 Posts)
LaineyW Thu 08-May-08 09:43:58

My DD (15) is doing her practice expedition this coming weekend for her Bronze award. We've packed the rucksack ready (including tent/sleeping bag/food etc) but it weighs an absolute ton. I can hardly lift it and she is quite small.

She's splitting the tent - ie. she'll take the shell and her friend will take the other bits.

What happens if she simply can't manage the walk? (they're doing about 13 miles over two days in 25C of heat....) God help her!

PenelopePitstops Thu 08-May-08 09:46:59

i remember doing mine, was bloody awful but she will cope, and she will do it!

is there anything you can possibly take out, like extra clothing etc

Hassled Thu 08-May-08 09:58:24

There's no way around this - I had the same experience with my DD a couple of years ago and her DofE Bronze. You just can't pack everything they say you'll need and actually stand up with the backpack on. She did manage it in the end but I was gobsmacked.

Just make sure the food isn't tins (we went for healthy nutritious pot noodles blush on the basis they weigh nothing), and ditch as much stuff as you possibly can.

cmotdibbler Thu 08-May-08 10:07:46

What exactly has she got in it ?

For a 2 day expedition in this country at sea level, at this time of year, I'm thinking (in addition to her wearing clothes/boots ):

Clothes: leggings, 2 prs socks, pants, t shirt, waterproofs, tiny hairbrush, toothpaste and brush, sunscreen

Sleeping bag + Tent plus survival bag and a couple of bin liners

Food - 4x snack (choc/dried fruits and nuts), 2x lunch, 1x dinner - the sort of noodles that come with a flavour sachet are good, plus a pouch of tuna, or savoury rice packet. Tiny solid fuel stove with pan that fits over, a bowl and cup, knive/fork/spoon

Indith Thu 08-May-08 10:11:56

As cmot says check what is in it! Unpack and re-pack. Bet she has change of clothes and spares, only bronze, doesn't need that much, just what she is wearing and one change of clothes just on case of torrential rain/falling in a river/mud.

And if she can't manage it then the supervisors will be there to help But she will!

sunnydelight Thu 08-May-08 10:16:17

As a matter of interest, when is she doing the real thing? My DS is doing the practice this Monday/Tuesday, home Tuesday night and day off on Wednesday, then the real thing Thursday/Friday. He's reasonably fit but I can't see him being too enthusiastic setting off again on Thursday morning.

cmotdibbler Thu 08-May-08 10:33:28

oops forgot breakfast (cereal bars) and hot drink - hot choc sachets are best, or premixed coffee/sugar/coffeemate in a double ziploc bag.

Don't forget the binliners. You sit on them, line your rucsac with them, put your clothes in them overnight - all sorts.

Small packet babywipes good too - can 'wash up', wipe bum, wash hands. Take ziploc bag to keep dirt ones in

brimfull Thu 08-May-08 10:38:58

my dd did her practice silver dofe walk this past weekend.
Her backpack weighed a tonne and she came home with bruised shoulders and hips
She's quite small as well.They walked 16-18k for 3 days!
She was pissed off because her group is all girls and only 5 of them as someone has pulled out so they have even more equipment to carry ,and they're all girls so no macho boys to take the load of them.She said she saw one group with 4 boys and 2 girls and the girls weren't carrying anything as the boys were carrying their backpacks for them!

I do think they make them carry way too much,but it does get lighter as the walk goes on and they eat the food.

ajandjjmum Thu 08-May-08 10:41:52

DD did hers last weekend - the real thing!!

Her tutor laughed as dh carried the rucksack in for her - wondered how she was going to manage over a couple of days. She insisted it was because she'd got her hands for of other things.

She was fine - and got the signature!


jesuswhatnext Thu 08-May-08 10:44:19

dd did this last year, slept in day clothes, took no wash gear, just wipes, glucose tablets for energy burst, suncream/hat is a must in the heat - we honestly thought that we would get a call to say she had given up, my god the flouncing she did at the weight of the rucksack was a sight to behold grin

she really surprised us though and did a really good walk in a very quick time, was very pleased with herself afterwards grin

LaineyW Thu 08-May-08 12:23:43

Gosh! I posted this and went off to yoga and I'm thrilled at the quick response! I thought everyone would be out in their gardens...

Thanks so much for all your good advice. I'll definitely unpack it and make her take some stuff out. It's been packed for about a fortnight now grin and I'm pretty sure she's put in too many clothes for a hot sunny weekend. I think we've got the food about right - although a multipack of Mars Bars might be very silly in this weather, plus they weigh a ton!

The actual expedition isn't until mid-June sunnydelight. I agree that doing the practice with only a day or so off before the real thing wouldn't be my idea of fun either...

I feel much better about it all now. She's small, but feisty and hates to be beaten so even if it kills her, I think it sounds as if she'll complete it. At least it's the practice and not the real thing! Good luck to everyone who's in my position and all your sons and daughters. I'm so proud she actually wants to do the D of E in the first place, it's a fantastic thing; wish I'd had the chance when I was her age.


chopchopbusybusy Thu 08-May-08 13:35:58

Dd1 did her practice walk a couple of weeks ago - the assessment is this weekend. Her rucksack was very heavy but she did it. She ached for a few days afterwards and kept saying it felt odd not to be carrying something!.. She packed sachets of mug shots and cous cous which just needed boiling water. She did have mounds of sweets and chocolate too though - so much so, she even brought some back!

I am very proud too lainey - it's not something I would have wanted to do at her age, so although I occasionally have cause to moan about her, she is a much nicer teenager than I was grin

Milliways Thu 08-May-08 22:50:49

What really adds to the weight is when they have to carry water everywhere! DD has one of those bladder thingys in her rucksack with a tube that comes over her shoulder, and she drinks gallons as they get so hot. For her gold she has had to buy a water steripen as they leave the campsite on Sat morning & then survive with no campsites/loos/taps until 50k later on Monday morning! (Sick of noodles by then too!)

She has a tiny 2 man Coleman tent, very lightweight, and a weeny sleeping bag. SHe has learned to minimise clothes and only ever takes 1 spoon, 1 bowl, 1 cup to eat with. She wears her boots and takes a pair of flipflops to wear around the tent in the evenings. She has a tiny piece of microfibre towel (cut from a large one)and has tiny containers for washing up liquid etc. They even decide who will take the tiniest toothpaste for them to share!

Don't forget the suncream - they really catch it out there all day.

LaineyW Fri 09-May-08 13:47:24

Thanks Milliways, yes she's got the suncream in! And I managed to persuade her to ditch two of the five Mars Bars...

Fingers crossed.

duchesse Fri 09-May-08 14:00:35

For the Ten Tors, they have a weight limit. For Ten Tors they have to carry part of a 3 man tent on top of food clothes etc.. His rucksack this morning weighed 16 kg including 2.5 litres of water, which I think is the limit they're allowed at this age. On the practises it weighed around 12-13 kg.

Lilymaid Fri 09-May-08 14:14:48

Agree re the towel - DH has a hand sized micro fibre towel which he uses for walking trips in Scotland - he says that it is perfectly adequate for drying oneself after a shower. Shoes wear a ton, so boots plus flip flops (or thick socks if not camping) are all you need. The more experienced you are the less you take - hence DofE bronze award kids always carry far too much. Old blokes like DH eat from their mess cans and have built up, over the years, light weight gear.

LaineyW Sat 10-May-08 12:09:21

We saw them all off at 10am this morning in the blazing sunshine - I didn't actually weigh the pack in the end, wish I had now...

Have had my first text from her on her (illegal) mobile saying "This is such a giggle! I'm sweating like a pig! Woohoo!" and a big smiley face. I feel much better now!!

moyasmum Sat 10-May-08 12:22:34

Dd1 did her practice in the peak district 2 weeks ago. I think it helped that she was walking down a valley and ended up in Bakewell (for buns) Shes 7 + stone and the ruck sac weighed 2 stone! We were careful with cutting down what she had to carry and she was fine, great in fact, sounds like your dd is having a fantastic time.

Indith Sat 10-May-08 16:11:14

Tsk, a mobile! Fail that child! wink

I believe I ended up in the pub a couple of times. Bought ice creams on one, flagged down a lift in the pouring rain from a very nice YHA minibus that was passing on another occasion.......well it is all about resourcefulness is it not? grin

LaineyW Sun 11-May-08 21:25:57

DD1 is now home, having successfully completed her practice expedition (none of the leaders spotted her phone, although some had theirs confiscated for openly texting etc...)

She's exhausted but very relieved to have done it, especially in the awful heat. Her team took a wrong turn but thankfully managed to backtrack and work out the right way so they passed. She's very proud of herself, and so am I!

Thanks for everyone's posts, it really helped to ease my anxiety before the event.

pigsrcute Fri 03-May-13 11:48:51

DS about to do practise walk this weekend. told its 25% of bodyweight they are allowed to carry! that means he can carry 35 lb (16kg). His pack currently weighs we think (weighed him and then with his pack) around 12 kg (just over 26 lb). However DofE may say 25% of body weight, but recommended weight for growing backs is 25lb, and they say if carrying for a long time then shouldnt carry more than 20lb to protect developing backs.
My son is really struggling to pick his up (he suffers from back pain anyway because of an excessive curve in his spine), but I know he won't give up, but I'm just worried about the damage he will inflict now which will cause pain later.

pigsrcute Fri 03-May-13 12:15:04

Also don't understand how some are saying all they carry and eat are pot noodles/ or noodle packets - part of the DofE as far as I was aware was doing a calorie count and nutrition evaluation of your menu - you have to make sure you eat enough calories and nutrition for the journey.

goinggetstough Fri 03-May-13 12:29:21

Before anyone says this is a zombie thread..... true but I ma replying to pigsrcute's question..

pigsrcute do check that your DS's rucksack is adjusted correctly eg straps and belt. The belt should go round the top of the hips. So the weight is taken on his hips and not so much on his back and shoulders. If your DS has a disability then the D of E has ways to adapt the expedition so do ask.
My 2 DCs have done all 3 levels so we have watched them pack and unpack..... I agree with you about the food. Pot noodles do not have enough calories. IMO you may be able to get away with it for bronze but on the longer expeds for silver and gold it can have a detrimental effect. Lack of energy and tiredness can lead to people stumbling twisting ankles etc. In the end my 2 resorted to boil in the bag meals from Cotswold camping which at the time I think they got a D of E reduction on.
Good luck to your DS.

TheWave Sat 04-May-13 15:33:05

I thought they were failed if they brought pot noodles.

flow4 Sun 05-May-13 10:28:28

This is one of those (rare) zombie threads that it's great to see resurrected! I'm trying to persuade my geeky, unsporty DS2 to do DoE next year, and it's good to hear some real life experiences. smile

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