For many, a Duke of Ed expedition is their first attempt at a multi-day hike, and for some carrying everything required for a two – four day bush walk is the biggest challenge of the whole Award.

While this Duke of Ed kit list may not look like much stuff, be aware that every gram counts when you’re walking for hours.

Knowing the essentials and working out what’s unnecessary is part of the learning process. This list is a head start.

This is our recommended Duke of Ed equipment list for participants on our Adventurous Journeys.

Download the full equipment checklist to ensure you have everything.

  1. Gear
  2. What to Wear
  3. Food

Duke of Edinburgh Kit List

  1. Equipment Checklist
  2. Equipment Tips

Your Supervisor will have the following safety equipment:

  • Maps and compasses for everyone.
  • SPOT Tracker for parents to track the journey.
  • Personal Locator Beacon
  • Mobile and Satellite phone.
  • First Aid Kit.

What to Wear

Wear one set of clothes to walk in every day, and another to wear every night. Cool, comfortable and covered during the day and warm and dry at night.

Wool/merino, polypropylene and any ‘outdoors’ clothing have better temperature control, dry faster and are preferred over cotton and non-breathable synthetics. Cotton only works well in very hot conditions but stays wet a long time if it’s raining. Jeans are inappropriate.

Footwear

Hiking boots are preferable, but trainers are OK. Wear your most comfortable shoes. Please ensure they are ‘worn-in’ before this hike by wearing them around the house, the street, to the shops. New shoes can cause blisters which can ruin your hike.

Your feet may get wet and cold during the day so it is essential to keep them warm at night.

Packing

Put everything inside your pack in either a pack liner (purchased from an outdoors shop) or a heavy duty garbage bag used as a pack liner. Ensure everything will stay dry if it rains.

You don’t need clean clothes every day. Duke of Ed is not a fashion parade. Clothes are heavy and take up too much room in your pack. It’s always a good idea to walk in lightweight clothing during the day and save the warmer gear for the evening. This will also ensure it’s dry.  Have one set of daytime clothes and one for at night.

Food Suggestions

The key to a great hike is great fuel. Here are some tips to consider and some food suggestions.

  1. A balanced hiking diet includes more fat and sugar than a normal diet.
  2. Buddy-up and share as much as you can – you don’t need more than one container of anything.
  3. Remove as much packaging as you can – re-pack in snap lock bags, they’re light and reusable.
  4. Label the snap lock bags (eg Lunch day 1).
  5. Canned food is too heavy, bottles and glass jars are heavy and may break and you have to carry out the empties.
  6. Pack breakfast and dinner in one big strong stuff-bag, and lunch and snacks in another of a different colour – it makes it easier to find what you want when you need it
  7. Do you really need a bowl? Can you eat from your pot? Do you really need a fork and a spoon?
  8. There are no garbage bins at campsites or on trail so you’ll have to carry out all the packaging you carry in.
  9. Bring the lightest food that takes the shortest time to cook. Everything has to survive without refrigeration – please don’t bring a cooler bag.

Meal ideas

  • Cereals: muesli or instant oats. Add long life (can be found as poppers) or powdered milk (MUCH lighter and only needs water).
  • Liquid Breakfast: Up and Go, Fast Start and Vita Go are quick (but heavy) options
  • Hot Breakfast: Baked beans or spaghetti provide great protein but are heavy.

TIP: Measure out the amount of cereal per day and put in a snap lock bag with powdered milk.

  • Crackers: Ryvita, Salada, Vita-weets provide the best carbohydrate
  • Bread & Wraps: Are ok for day 1, but can quickly go stale
  • Cheese: Laughing Cow, Dutch Edam or Babybells keep well
  • Dried meats: Salami, jerky etc are great forms of protein and salt. It will keep fresher if whole, not pre-cut (so remember a knife). Fresh meats are not recommended
  • Vegetables: Carrots, cucumber, capsicum
  • Spreads: Peanut butter, vegemite, hommus, sun-dried tomatoes

TIP: It’s better if you don’t have to cook lunch as we may not have time.

  • Packaged pasta/rice: Good options, although rice takes longer to cook.
  • Add tuna or tinned ham or chicken to get protein and add freeze dried vegetables for nutrition. These are cheap and easy meals.
  • Freeze dried/dehydrated meals from outdoors shops (like Paddy Pallin or Kathmandu) are perfect but more expensive.
  • Fruit: Apples are great, mandarins a bit heavy and go soggy. Dried fruit are your best option
  • Trail mix: Make your own with a selection of sultanas, dried fruit and chocolate! NO NUTS
  • Packaged bars & snacks: Muesli bars, LeSnacks, biscuits are good snacks and are generally light (just strip the packaging and put together in a couple of ziploc bags). – NO NUTS
  • Soups: Packaged soups, particularly if cold can be great. 2-minute noodles are not so good (Please do not bring six packets of 2-minute noodles for six meals, ensure you have variety and good sustenance.)

TIP: Sugary things are OK but not for every meal.

You need more calories and protein than most snacks provide.

Hot drinks: Cup-a-soups, hot chocolate, milo, tea or coffee – just remember to measure the quantities rather than carry the container.