Are you expedition ready?

The days are getting longer and chocolate eggs are appearing on shop shelves, which can only mean one thing - expedition season is almost upon us! 

A key part of both the Chief Scout's and Duke of Edinburgh Awards, we were hopeful that 2021 would bring a return to normality. At the moment, that doesn't seem likely, but that doesn't mean you can't prepare. So we've gathered all the information and resources you need to be expedition ready in 2021.

This year’s expeditions might look a little different to those before Covid, but different doesn’t mean that they can't be valid and challenging experiences. We'll be updating this page over the coming weeks with additional resources to help you get expedition ready!

Neil McLaren, Scotland Commissioner (Outdoor and Adventure)

Can expeditions happen now?

Scouting across all of Scotland is currently at Amber readiness level.

You can find out more about the readiness level here.

Moving Forward

This year’s expeditions might look a little different to those pre-covid, but different doesn’t mean that they can't be valid and challenging experiences!

Scouts UK has a webpage that outlines how to adapt programmes, including the Chief Scout Awards here.

The Duke of Edinburgh Award has also published some expedition flexibilities that are going to be valid until at least 31st December 2022. These can be found here.


If we look ahead and consider last year’s easing of restrictions, a possible route back to normal expeditions could look something like this:

Stage 1: Outdoor activities with social distancing allowed, no nights away.
Stage 2: Expeditions locally with participants returning home overnight.
Stage 3: Expeditions happen with all participants staying in single-person tents overnight, unless from the same household
Stage 4: Expeditions return to normal


So what can we do now?

Whilst we can't run expeditions at the moment, there's a lot that we can be doing to plan and prepare for them as soon as restrictions are eased, and our young people feel ready.

We have collated some useful resources so that you can get started today!

Expedition route and activity planning

Now is the perfect time to get together online with your expedition participants to discuss and plan their expedition. Consider looking at the Duke of Edinburgh expedition flexibilities web page and discuss the options with participants.

Case Studies

We have got together some examples of expeditions that were run during last year’s restrictions to give you some examples of what is possible.


Fitness is a key element of any expedition, and, for many of us, the restrictions will mean we have been less active. It's more important than ever before that we encourage our young people to get outside in their free time to maintain and improve their fitness ahead of an expedition.

Agree on a program of increasing distance with participants; starts without bags and then introduce them once they are used to walking distances again.

This exercise can be done individually or as small groups in line with current Covid restrictions.

Cooking and meal planning
Include some meal planning and practice cooking into your online program.


Camping is our bread and butter, and whether your camping on an expedition or in your garden, improving weather means that we can practice our tent pitching and camping skills. You can use the videos below to make sure that your camping skills are expedition ready!

Online Training

BXM learning has produced some online material to help Duke of Edinburgh participants prepare for their expeditions. This prep is equally applicable to Chief Scout Award expeditions.