For newcomers

At the bottom of each post there is the word "comments". If you click on it you will see comments made by followers, and if you follow the instructions you may also comment and I always welcome that. I have found many people overlook this part of the blog which is often more interesting than the original post!

My blog nick-name is SIR HUGH. I'm not from the aristocracy - my middle name is Hugh which relates to the list of 282 hills in Scotland compiled by Sir Hugh Munro in 1891. I climbed my last one (Sgurr Mor) on 28th June 2009


Monday, 13 July 2020

Thumbs up for D of E

Today I was looking for a  photo. All my photos are in Pictures, a 175gb. file. The photos are in separate titled folders so that I can usually find what I want but occasionally I need more detective work and browsing and so it was today. I was seeing all kinds of forgotten happenings and having a good old nostalgia trip when  I came across the photo below.

Often I have met parties of youngsters embarked on their Duke of Edinburgh journeys and they are almost always cheerful and I have a soft spot for them. I suppose for some it will be a once only, never to be forgotten adventure, but for others the spur to set them on a course to provide pleasure and enjoyment for the rest of their lives.

One thing that strikes me is that nobody seems to have shown these adventurers how to pack a rucksack and I have from time to time had something to say about that. The photo below of a party leaving Lodge Hill above Castle Cary sums it all up.  I have noticed improvement by the time they are on their Gold.


  1. I know there are great D of E instructors out there, but some seem to either lack the knowledge and experience that I regard as being important to hold such a position of responsibility.
    I helped a 15 year old prepare for his D of E expedition, he ended up carrying very significantly less weight than most in his group. I strongly advised against him taking a mosquito net - an item that appear in the recommended kit list!
    I'm delighted and surprised that so many young D of Eers actually return to the outdoors, I'm pretty sure carrying all the recommended kit would put me off for life.

  2. The current D of e kit list is here:

  3. That picture is all too familiar but I suppose that's how I started and stuck with it.

  4. JJ - I had a look at that list - it is all a bit daunting but one can only really learn from experience. Unfortunately much of the answer is in buying expensive lightweight gear at a time when these guys can least afford it. Why do people still use matches when a foolproof cigarette gas lighter will be much more practical and no need to worry about it getting wet? Can you still buy matches?


    BC - I started with an ex-army bergen commando rucksack with a tubular steel frame. Apart from anything else, despite its multitude of adjustable webbing straps with brass ends it was horribly uncomfortable. I also fondly remember the Bukta Snipe tent.