What to Wear for DofE
The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award is a momentous experience which requires hard work and determination. Not only does it require skills in walking and navigation, but it is also an opportunity to demonstrate a sense of responsibility and is an impressive way to enhance your CV or university application. Whether you or your child are completing bronze, silver or gold, ensuring you have the correct gear is essential to make sure you have the most enjoyable time possible. Knowing which materials to choose, or avoid, can be the difference between a successful walk or an unhappy one! Here at LOWA, we believe that high-quality materials are of the utmost importance and have compiled a guide on what to wear for this incredible challenge.
Your feet are going to be taking on a lot of the strain, so it is vital to make sure they are properly looked after. It is a good idea to choose your boots early on so you can break them in before the big expedition. For more information, take a look at our blog on how to break in your walking boots for further hints and tips.
Investing in walking boots with excellent support and comfort, as well as having waterproof properties, should be high on the list of requirements. Not knowing what the weather will do, having waterproof shoes is especially vital. Waterproof Gore-Tex lining features in all our boots, creating light but durable footwear for optimal comfort. We think the Lowa Taurus 2 is ideal for DofE, for more information take a look at our wide range of lightweight walking boots!
Still taking care of your feet, making sure you have some good, high-quality socks is a must. If your feet suffer from the cold, wearing a sock liner is essential to keep your toes toasty! They are thin, so will not add thickness to your feet and won’t disturb the fit of your walking shoes. They are engineered to keep sweat and wetness away from your feet while maintaining thermal properties. Then, you can put your regular hiking socks on top.
Using layers to regulate heat is vital. Instead of opting for big coats and jumpers, using numerous, thinner layers that you can add and remove is much more practical.
Begin with a top that is specifically designed for walking. A standard cotton top is not recommended for walking because they tend to retain moisture and can eventually lower your temperature, as well as feel uncomfortable to move in. Instead, choose walking clothes that are made from polyester. This will wick away any excess sweat and moisture and keep you dry as your body temperature increases.
As previously mentioned, opt for a lightweight jumper made from breathable fabrics that can easily be removed in hot temperatures.
The DofE website recommends a lightweight shell jacket. It needs to have waterproof and windproof properties to be useful in all elements. Furthermore, the lightweight nature will allow it to be packed tightly into a rucksack when not used.
It is crucial to make sure your trousers are specifically designed for walking. Jeans should never be worn. Similar to cotton tops, jeans tend to soak up water in wet climates and can dramatically lower your body temperature, which can be quite dangerous. Choose walking trousers that have water repellent fabrics as well as being sturdy and durable.
Hopefully, we have given you a base to start choosing effective clothing for your exciting DofE expedition. There are plenty of other clothing items to consider too, such as gaiters and a multi-purpose scarf/hat accessory. Make sure you always choose waterproof and highly durable fabrics for ultimate comfort, along with a pair of walking boots you can trust no matter what the challenge throws at you!