News Section

Gold Duke of Edinburgh Expedition 2013

Article posted: Oct 28, 2013 by Sqn Ldr Wilson

2 groups from South and East Midlands wing set off on our long journey down to Snowdonia, Wales. Capel Curig Training Camp was to be our home for the next 2 days until we set off on our expedition on the Sunday, so on the Saturday we prepared our kit, bought last minute stuff and did a 4 hour walk so we know what type of environment to expect to be walking on for the next 4 days. On the Sunday me, Flt Sgt Sohal, Flt Sgt Mishra, Cpl Kay and Cpl Bogan (Both 209 (West Bridgeford) Squadron) set off for the long and painful journey. We couldn’t get our minds off the fact that for the next 4 days we’re going to have no luxuries and be doing nothing but walking, camping and cooking!

Surprisingly each day was going past so fast, before you know it you’ve completed that day walk and have arrived at the camp site which is your home for the night, on the 2nd day we were saying only ‘Silver’ left to do, 3rd day we kept repeating in our heads that its only ‘Bronze’ to do now, and on the last day we knew we were going to be finishing after this. To everyone’s surprise the 4th day most of us weren’t in pain, weren’t aching and had the most energy we had all week, especially me! When all was quiet and morale seemed low I’d jump and run about, trying to get people to race me because I was bursting with energy, but no one did. As a group we sang along the walk, which gets all engaged, all having a laugh and not thinking about the pain all of our feet are in.

The worst thing about the 4 days wasn’t the walking, wasn’t the camping or eating out of mess tins; it was getting out of bed in the morning! To get out of your nice and warm sleeping bag when it is dark and cold at 6:00am (and 5:00am on Wednesday, the final day!) to get cooking, tent down and ready to walk is the hardest thing, requires a lot of self-discipline to get your mind to it in my opinion.

So as a brief summary of each day; day 1 was the longest, day 2 was the hardest, day 3 was the easiest and day 4 was the quickest! So overall, it may have been one of the hardest and most painful things I’ve done in my life but it was definitely one of the best. I would no doubt recommend to anyone doing any Duke of Edinburgh’s and especially getting through to the end and doing Gold.

Cpl Furby
2418(Sherwood) Sqn