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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!

TeenAndTween Mon 08-Jul-13 21:52:20

DD1 has just signed up for next term. She is not very tall so these tips are great, thank you!

Isthiscorrect Mon 08-Jul-13 14:44:34

Ds just back from his DofE gold expedition in Morocco. His pack weighed 11kgs. They did buy food from villages daily, carried 2l of water a time. Tent & stove were extra weight, but teams of 2 shared, 1 had tent and 1 had stove, then swapped the next day. He gave his boots to a homeless man as they were starting to come apart. Left his sleeping mat with the family of their guide. They had hot and cold weather clothes. He had a spork, a shammy towel, leaves of soap paper. He also tells me they cooked rice in their thermos flask by adding the boiling water at breakfast and it was cooked by lunch. I think I'd need to see that in practice before I ate it.

Fannyadams13 Sun 07-Jul-13 23:39:50

Bit new to all this but here goes!
I do a lot with the D of E er's and one of the biggest thing is the weight of the things they turn up with.
Always look for the lightest alternative.Instead of a knife,fork,spoon(KFS)
out of the kitchen drawer you can get something called a Spork which is a combination of all 3 and made from lightweight plastic and weighs a fraction of the weight. You can get these off the Internet or any camping shop.its all the small little things that add up.
Unfortunately there is a minimum amount of kit they do have to carry and there's no real way round it but cutting down weight is the number one priority.Last one for tonight is a stuff sack which tend to come with most of the modern sleeping bags now anyway but these are ideal for reducing the size of the sleeping bags and creates more room in the rucksack which is another battle you've constantly got,lack of space in the rucksack.Anyway hope that's been of some use, if you need to know anything else just do a post thing so everyone can see it(Sorry for rambling pun intended !)

Isthiscorrect Thu 16-May-13 16:27:15

Whois looking back for you that's hilarious. I hope you told everyone else when they were choosing groups. Omg I nearly spluttered my wine. I can't even begin to think how mad I would have been. Wanders off shaking head ...........

whois Sat 11-May-13 23:10:00

Aw everyone ways takes too much stuff for bronze! Saw loads of people out and about for bronze last weekend all doing an awful lot of standing around map reading and not a whole lot of walking.

Before our practice the other two girls and I in the tent got together to dole out rent and cooking equipment. Two of us actually took some of the other girls stuff as her pack was redic heavy. Until Sunday afternoon when I saw her drinking a can of come, the stupid bint 'didn't like' water so had bought 8 cans of coke hidden in the bottom of her rucksack! Didn't have her in our group for the real

Isthiscorrect Fri 10-May-13 05:21:08

Lol ds is off to the atlas mountains to do his gold in 1 month. Weight limit for the plane is 20kg so I not sure he will be able to take quite as much stuff as others suggest ;-) we have a pre emotive strike when everyone has to take their rucksacks a few days before and get the contents checked. It will be interesting as they are supposed to be taking books and pencils etc for the village they are staying at when it's over. Not sur how they will get fitted in. But their menu is lots of veg and couscous.
I hope he has as good a time as I did.

Whatalotofpiffle Wed 08-May-13 00:16:09

Mine had to be 1/4 of my body weight, so at 16 was 2 stone

Loshad Wed 08-May-13 00:07:52

What always amazes me is how 13 miles over 2 days is thought of as a lot hmm you would walk further shopping tbh
my ds4 was walking 18 miles at age 6, albeit with no kit, but easily does 10 miles + with scouts at age 11 with kit for expedition. DS3 was quite disdainful of his bronze expedition due to the short distance.
Gold is another matter though.

TheWave Sun 05-May-13 17:36:44

I was just wondering if LaineyW's DD went on to do gold and go trekking at university in the end as it is 5 years down the line!

TwllBach Sun 05-May-13 10:42:33

I loved doing the D of E, it is one of my all time favourite memories. I remember trying to pick up my bag and then wearing it when we had all gathered at the meeting place for an introductory lecture sort f thing, and being terrified because I was literally shaking with the weight of it and was sure I wouldn't be able to do it. After a while, though, you sort your posture out so it actually begins to feel quite light, if you see what I mean.

I'm jealous of all those doing it now, I would love to go back and do it again.

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

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

I thought they were failed if they brought pot noodles.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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

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.

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!!

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.

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.

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.

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.

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

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.


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