Expeditioning requires the ability to live as comfortably as possible in remote areas and under any weather conditions, with the minimum of equipment that will ensure adequate shelter and feeding. Expeditioning covers a range of activities, from an overnight camp in an official campsite to extended expeditions using lightweight equipment. The skills of expeditioning are similar whatever the means of transport.
In general, efficient camping is safe camping and many aspects of campcraft can be practised before attempting an expedition. The safety and success of many expeditions, on land or water, depend on campcraft skills. Those introducing people to remote and potentially hazardous environments should have been suitably trained and have the necessary skills and experience to operate safely.
The use of expeditions as an educational activity is widely recognised. Through camping, bivouacking, bothying or building shelters, people learn to live comfortably and efficiently out of doors, to accept and value personal qualities of behaviour and to develop interests in the natural environment.
A high degree of training is required in order for young people to be able to journey unaccompanied without undue hazard to themselves or detriment to the environment. Considerable emphasis should be placed on environmental awareness and the needs of rural communities.
Competent leadership is the most important safety factor of all. Special training and experience are essential for anyone leading parties on expeditions into potentially hazardous environments; enthusiasm in itself is not enough. For clarity, leaders must not lead expeditions on any terrain or in any medium in which they would not ordinarily be qualified to do so.
When participants are unaccompanied and need to be supervised remotely in order to meet the requirements of the venture, leaders will require specialist training regardless of the height or nature of the terrain. The council’s in-house Remote Supervision Module is appropriate for this.
Equivalent training through other schemes such as DofE will also be recognised as appropriate for this and advice should be sought from the Adventurous Activity Consultant regarding equivalence.
Hillwalking Steve Long (official handbook for ML and WGL schemes)
Expedition Guide W J Keay (official handbook for D of E and BELA)
Backpacking Don Robinson
Mountain Craft and Leadership Eric Langmuir
Follow the Map John G. Wilson
Mountain Navigation Peter Cliff