Practice Expedition - Peak District

The routes for this year's practice expeditions in the Peak District have been predetermined, as the logistics of managing several groups in the mountains simultaneously means that you cannot choose your own routes. However, you undertook a route planning exercise at the training weekend which should have prepared you for planning your own routes when you undertake your qualifying venture.  

For each route, you have been given the start and end points and a suggested lunch stop.  The routes you will follow are listed on the page entitled Peak District Groups and Routes.  Your group now has to construct a complete route card for each day and email them to Andy Blundell no later than Friday 16th August.  To do this, go to the page entitled Compiling a Route Card in the Training Manual section and refresh your memory about compiling a route card.  Follow the link to download Expedition Route Cards - Peak District.  When you have completed your route card(s), make sure that you have saved them with distinctive names.

Each of you, working individually or in pairs must do at least one day.  You must do this on the route card template and save it under the trip name, group name and the day (e.g. "Peak District Group B - Day 2").  Using this will save you having to work out the times of each leg of the journey – the program does it automatically.

Make sure that you insert the name(s) of the student(s) responsible at the top of the route card.  In order to pass the practice expedition, you each need to be able to satisfy Andy of your ability to read a map, use a compass and construct a route card, because that is what you will have to do for your qualifying expedition.  If Andy does not receive a route card from you by the due date as requested, you will not be able to successfully complete your practice expedition.  

Your equipment should be based on the list included in your training manual.  It should be as light as possible, but sufficient to cope with all types of weather except snow.  Remember to line your rucksack and have a rucksack cover if possible.  Put all your spare clothing into a sealed plastic bag and do the same with your sleeping bag.  Pack light things, such as your sleeping bag and spare clothes,  at the bottom of your rucksack and heavier things at the top.

You will have the 1:25,000 OL1 map of the Peak District.  You will need a good map case to keep it dry and clean.  The best ones are made by Ortleib and are available from Cotswold.

You need to prepare a menu for the expedition.  It will need to be well balanced, light and practical.  Refer to the food and cooking section of the on-line training manual on the website for guidance.  Do not take more than you need as you will be carrying full packs for the four days.  However, make sure that you have sufficient to eat for the 4 days – you will be burning a lot of calories. 

You can see a copy of the menu sheet to use on the Sample Menu page.  Download the Menu Plan Template and save a copy under your names and group (e.g. “Group A Menu – Fred and Chris” OR “Group A Menu – All”).  Enter your menu details as shown in the sample on the website and email the completed menu to Mark Leach (   It is very important that the menu plan that you send him is named as above so that he can immediately see whose it is.

You need to plan for food on the way up – we will be stopping at a service station, but you may wish to take a packed lunch.  You can plan for the Saturday evening meal and Sunday breakfast without worrying about weight, i.e. you could take tinned (with tin opener if necessary) or fresh food.  

After that, you should aim for mostly dried food in order to keep the weight down.

On Saturday, 24th August (Trip 1) or Wednesday, 28th August (Trip 2), we will leave from the Tonbridge Sainsbury’s rear car park by the recycling centre at 08.00.  Please arrive there at between 07.30 and 07.45 in order to pack the vehicles with all the gear.  Please do not be late.  If everything goes according to plan, you should be in the Peak District by 14.30.  

On Wednesday, 28th August (Trip 1) or Sunday, 1st September (Trip 2), we should arrive back at the Tonbridge Sainsbury’s front car park, i.e. the High Street side of Sainsbury’s, between 21.00 and 22.00 depending on traffic and how fast you walk on the final leg of the expedition!  We will stop for a meal on the way back.

If you have any problems with gear, sort them out with your school D of E Unit Leader or phone Linda Chapman (01732 359040).  Any other problems, give Andy a ring (07798 810484) or send him a text or email.