DofE Expedition mapwork

The DofE can be a steep learning curve in some areas, not least of these being mapreading. Using an old paper map and a compass can be a challenge if you’re used to just looking at Google Maps on your phone. There’s a lot more detail and nobody to tell you which turn to make! However guidance is at hand and our TrekCo DofE instructors will give you all of the training you need.

There are a few handy hints you could think about though..

  1. Don’t let your map blow away in the wind – if you stop, always put something on top of it. It’s not much use if you haven’t got it!
  2. Don’t always follow the red needle on the compass. This only points north. It’s used as a base line for you to work from, so if you only follow the way the needle points you’ll always end up in Scotland. Scotland is lovely, but it might not be where you’re headed for.
  3. Concentrate on the detail. Often, people don’t match what they see in front of them with what’s on the map. Tell yourself  things like, ‘there should be a farm in front of us, then we turn left’ – if there isn’t a farm, don’t just keep going!
  4. Trust the compass, and don’t simply follow the biggest path you see in front of you.
  5. Whatever you do, don’t follow the group in front of you! Just because they’re ahead of you doesn’t mean they know where they are going…
  6. if you make a mistake, it’s how you handle it that counts. You don’t fail for getting lost, you just need to realise what’s happened and get back on track.

On your DofE expedition you’ll learn many skills and mapwork is one of the big ones.