DO remember that practice makes perfect. Put your tent up before your expedition, learn to put it up on a windy day, in the rain and in the dark. This is especially important if you have to pitch the inner and the outer separately.
DON’T forget when leaving a camp site to check nothing has been left behind; in particular count your tent pegs and poles and make sure nothing has been dropped.
DO practice cooking using a portable camping stove like a Trangia and sampling the various forms of high protein energy foods you will be eating. There is nothing worse than after a long day trekking in the hills, finding out you don’t like the meal you have brought or you can’t make your stove operate in the wind.
DON’T forget to bring lots of high energy snacks to help motivate you during the day; anything from oat bars to jelly babies.
DO make sure you can confidently read a map work with a compass and plan your route effectively. If you have prepared your trip well you should be able to follow your route plan even without a map. Mark on your route potential escape points in the event of really bad weather or other emergencies.
DON’T leave this to other team members. These are essential skills that all team members need to have. When in doubt about location, say in thick mist, a team judgement is always best. If the team gets a little lost, it’s never any one person’s fault.
DO buy appropriate kit. “There is no such thing as bad weather only bad kit”. The advice is waterproof, wind resistant, warm and wicking.
DON’T start out wearing all your clothing just because it feels cold. “Be bold start cold” is good advice. You will soon warm up once you start walking. If you still feel cold then add a layer at a time until you achieve an optimum. This stops you from constantly taking layers off and then putting them back on again. Read this guide on the layering system for more information.
DO stop and take breaks and eat your lunch in picturesque, sheltered areas.
DON’T always stop and rest at checkpoints, they are often road sides and car parks, not the most interesting places to be spending time.