Top Tips for packing your DofE expedition Backpack

At My Adventure, we lead the expedition phase of the Bronze, Silver and Gold Duke of Edinburgh Award for schools and private groups in Edinburgh. We provide walking and canoeing expeditions across Scotland for DofE participants.

As part of your Duke of Edinburgh Expedition, you must pack and carry all your equipment, depending on the level you are working on, this means you have to carry everything you need for an expedition between 3-6 days.

This may seem like an overbearing challenge, which is why we have came up with these ‘Top Tips for packing your DofE backpack’. 

Cooking on the Duke of Edinburgh Expedition | Using DUKE OF eDINBUGRH ON YOUR CV

Take what you need!

Your backpack needs to be as light as possible, as you need to carry it throughout the duration of your whole expedition. Take a look at the DofE Expedition Kit List and decide what equipment is essential and what items you could remove.

TIP- For expeditions on foot, rucksacks shouldn’t weigh more than 25% of your body weight and all rucksacks must be weighed before departure.

Check out our ‘Essential Equipment List’ for your Duke of Edinburgh Award here.

Practice Packing

Practice packing your backpack numerous times before your expedition- this isn’t just so you know you can fit everything in, this also helps how quickly you pack: There is nothing worse than all of your kit getting wet as you have to pack and repack on expedition in the rain.

First Out, Last in rule

Pack your kit in order of how early in the expedition you need it, for example, you don’t need your change of clothes until the nighttime when you at camp, so pack those at the bottom. But, you may need you waterproof trousers if it starts raining heavy- so those go at the top, where they are easy to access.

Your first aid kit should also be packed at the top of your bag or in an easy accessible pocket in your backpack. 

Pack heavy gear at the back of your bag

Pack your heavy kit, such as your tent, at the back of your bag- this will help your balance and support your back. 

Remember- part of your DofE expedition involves proving you have worked in a team, so share the load of heavy equipment with your team-mates. 

Use dry bags to organise your kit

Dry bags are not only great for keeping your kit dry, they are also great at keeping your bag organised, it is always easier to pull out a couple dry bags than pull everything out separately. 

Use a waterproof bag liner

Keep your kit super safe from the elements, by using a waterproof bag liner- even if your rucksack says its ‘Waterproof’ of the label, the Scottish rain can soak straight through it. 

Your bag needs to fit your back!

My absolute top tip, is that your bag needs to fit your back! When you go to buy your backpack, ask for help from a member of staff. If your bag does not fit, you may get back, neck or hip pain- which makes for an even more challenging expedition. 

Top tips for packing your DofE backpack

If you enjoyed this blog article and are looking for additional information about adventures from Edinburgh, we have published a number of other blogs:

  • Top Ten tips for your Duke of Edinburgh Award expedition here
  • A guide to the Duke of Edinburgh Award: here
  • A guide to the Duke of Edinburgh Award: Silver here 
  • A guide to the Duke of Edinburgh Award: Gold here
  • Duke of Edinburgh award: Essential equipment: here
  • Top Tips for Backpacking in Scotland: here
  • The best head torches for adventures in the outdoors: here
  • Stag Party Adventures Edinburgh: here
  • Planning a Hen Party to Edinburgh: here
  • Hen Party Adventures Edinburgh: here

If you haven’t already seen it, check out the Intrepidus Outdoors Trip AdvisorYoutube channelVisit Scotland page and blog to hear about how others found their outdoor adventures with us!



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