How to Plan an Expedition

Expedition planning: the golden rules
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I once broke down outside a cement factory in Morocco in the pouring rain, but within an hour I was eating lunch with the manager of the factory and his family, whilst his team of mechanics sourced me the spare parts I needed. In terms of kit, it is important to think about every single item and justify its inclusion. That said, any fool can be uncomfortable: A good night's sleep is essential: I always take a Leatherman with me — such a useful piece of kit. Make sure it has a bottle opener on it… Set yourself a date — and stick to it Put it in the diary and tell everyone you are going — then it becomes much harder to back out!

How to plan an expedition

The only person who you need permission from is yourself! An expedition is 'a journey with a purpose': Visualise the trip Make your own home movie in your mind, play out the first few days of the trip, and think about the things you might need in chronological order. Then make a list. Keep the list with you in the run-up to departure, then as you think of things, you can add to it as you go along.

Start with a long list, then make it a short list.

You are an ambassador You will be the recipient of amazing acts of kindness and hospitality. Are there any natural sources of food or water along your planned route? How many days will you need to travel before you reach them?

This will affect your calculations of how many days' food and drink rations you need to carry at the beginning of your journey. Remember that a lot of water is not potable safe to drink so you may have to take water purification equipment, Iodine crystals whilst not the nicest tasting, is one of the quickest, easiest and lightest per litre of water purified. Are there any deadly creatures you should watch out for along the way, such as snakes or poisonous spiders?

This will influence the medical supplies you pack. Make a list of everything that could go wrong on the expedition. What if someone gets sick from food poisoning or breaks a leg? Make a list of the supplies and equipment you'll need to deal with each situation. Assign each member of your team an essential duty.

These duties might include map reading, shelter building, monitoring rations, fetching water, cooking, gathering wood and building fires, keeping the camp clean, and watching out for dangerous animals. Use all the information you have gathered to write up a trip plan. Give a copy of the plan to everyone who will be going on the expedition.

Leave a copy with someone who is not. I was becoming ski guide and I wanted to get a few more trips under my belt.

Introduction

I generally look for blank spaces on the map and then figure out a way to travel through them self-propelled. Ben Haggar takes a break during a solo bike expedition around Greenland.

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Bruce Kirkby , an MEC ambassador who has travelled to 80 countries and amassed more than expedition days, including lengthy wilderness journeys with his young family: What are you gonna remember later, crossing the Patagonia ice cap or having a clean bathroom? Bruce Kirkby's family takes a break from paddling to swim in the Churchill River. But when street food experiences go bad, they can sideline you for days. We were washed down the Babine River Canyon in a spring flood, lost all our gear and almost drowned.

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That was a long, long time ago, and it taught me to respect and learn deeply about the power of nature. Try to get good at recognizing stress. If you can recognize it, you can manage it better. Stable, not conflict averse, speaks their mind, and can manage emotional situations clearly.

I look for people with similar goals, ambitions, ethics and risk tolerance. Understanding the expectations you have for other team members and what they have in mind for you is a key element.

How to plan an expedition - part 1

The most difficult aspect of my solo Greenland expedition was the loneliness and not having a partner to help me through the darker times of food deprivation and physical and mental exhaustion. Mentorship is the biggest thing. For example, my friend Tobin Seagel took time to relay knowledge to me as we went on a trip. Maps, Google, books, often Lonely Planet for general background. Sometimes the bugs get to your meal before you do. Photo by Frank Wolf. We did a lot of calorie counting while trying to get the least weight to most calories.

My favourite dehydrated meals are mac and cheese or pad Thai. I keep it light and simple.

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I usually have oatmeal for breakfast, PB and honey on tortillas for lunch, a freeze-dried meal for dinner, and energy bars, pepperoni sticks and GORP for snacks. You need to have contingency plans for injuries, weather and equipment failures.

1. Research

This article is a guide on how you actually go about planning an expedition. It's easily the longest and most detailed blog post I've ever written. How to Plan a Group Expedition. Expedition is the word used to describe a trip with a purpose. Here are some tips on how to make sure any expedition you and .

Take the expedition one day at a time. Ben Haggar camps out above the Arctic Circle in Greenland on a solo expedition. Taylor Maavara hops over a river of glacier meltwater in the Himalayas. You need to have something to offer.