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how to use DofE Stoves


we’re going to be running through how a stove works and what’s inside one of these cooking stoves. So to begin with i’m just going to open this up and see what’s inside.
So we’ve got a frying pan uh we’ve got two bits here which i’m just gonna run through in a second um we’ve got two saucepans which come out there as well we’ve got a windshield and we’ve got a base plate as well which flips over so inside these orange bags we’ve got the burner just here and we’ve also got the handle which attaches to all of the saucepans and all the frying pans as well so i also have that as well and now we’re just going to pop these together cool so we’re going to attach the burner through the base plate like so and that just slots in there we want to make sure that this part comes out of the gap in the base plate there we then have the windshield so we can pop that on top and then we can lock it off so it doesn’t come off then what we want to do is we wanted to boil some water or use the saucepan and we can pop that on top like so and it sits there using that handle and we can also use in the handle again bring the metal parts out uh and if we want to use the frying pan we can then place our paper there and that balance is on there we take those off again so if you wanted to boil water in that sauce and what we can do is we can pop those metal bits back inside saucepan on top you want to boil some water and as a lid we can then use the saucepan like so

Now we’re going to attach the gas so all I’m going to do is I’m just going to screw this onto the end of the burner like so and that just twists until it locks on so what I’m going to go through now then is how we’re actually going to light the stove so what I’d do is I would um strike a match and at the same time as that I would then need to control this gas here with the nozzle so what I’m going to do now is I’m just going to turn that on as well that’s what I need to do while slicing the match

make sure the match is cut out and grab the windshield

if you have any questions about any of this then please just get in touch with us by either instagram or facebook or if you want to email us at

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Expedition food

You should design an expedition menu that takes into consideration the following:

  • Try to pack as much energy (or calories) into the least weight and volume possible. Depending on your activity, you may need between 3,000 and 5,000 calories each day.
  • Choose foods that are high in sugars, carbohydrates and fats.
  • Take the food you like and enjoy and everyone in your team can eat, which are quick and simple to cook and will keep for the duration of your expedition, even in hot weather.
  • Dried, cured, smoked or vegetarian foods will usually last well.
  • Think about keeping weight and litter down by removing packaging and cooking as a team.
  • Make sure all food is packed and waterproofed so that it will stand up to being squashed in your rucksack, being dropped or even sat on.


It is good practice to start the day with a substantial breakfast. This can include cereals, muesli, porridge or even a full English with tea, coffee or hot chocolate. You could even make up your own porridge before you go with oats, nuts, fruit, and muesli, then add milk powder. Once you’re on your expedition, simply add hot water to make quick porridge.


Lunch is usually eaten while you’re on the go, so picnic or ‘packed lunch’ style foods that don’t need to be heated or kept chilled are ideal.

A packed lunch is ideal for the first day but for the second, third and (if you’re doing gold) fourth-day soggy sandwiches lose their appeal! There are multiple other options to take for lunch. Firstly think about your type of bread, normal loaf bread will get squashed very easily so choose something that won’t get squashed for example wraps and pittas. In supermarkets, you can get small packs of cheese or soft cheese as well as cured meats or tubs of sandwich fillers and pots of tuna. (Note* don’t take anything that needs refrigeration!) 

Try to combine things that you’ll use for your evening meals too, so for example, if you are having cheese in your lunches you could buy a pack of pre-grated cheese and have it with your dinner too. 

High energy foods like flapjacks, cereal bars, nuts, dried fruit, biscuits, sweets, jelly, mint cake etc are great to go with your sandwiches.



Making a meal together is one of the best team-building activities of the Expedition section. Getting your group to plan your meals, cook from scratch, manage a team budget, choose and agree on a menu and share food are all excellent for developing life skills.

Don’t think of expedition food as dull! This is a great opportunity for you to be creative and show off your skills.

You’ll need to cook a hot meal during your DofE expedition and show you can use a cooking stove or ‘camp craft’ effectively in the outdoors.

Here is a list of food we recommend eating in the evenings AND a list of foods that are not suitable. 

Hearty soups, curry’s, stews, pasta and stir-fry are ideal meals that will give you enough calories to keep you going and are great expedition meals, these can be followed up with a hot or cold pudding, such as chocolate pudding or crumble and custard. 

This is a list of items we don’t recommend and why:

Glass items – Glass is heavy to carry and can break in your rucksack. 

Tinned Food – (Unless you’re canoeing) Tinned items are heavy, bulky and often need a tin opener.

Food that requires refrigeration e.g. cheese, fresh meat, fresh milk, butter – These will go off and some may melt.

Eggs These can crack and go off.

Crisps – Crisps take up a lot of room in your bag as they are in bulky packaging and can get crushed easily.

Chocolate – Chocolate can melt in your bag.

Pot Noodles – Pot noodles take up a lot of room in your bag as they have very bulky packaging, they can also get split easily but most importantly they don’t contain enough calories for an evening meal.  

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Wonderful Wye

What a summer it has been, and what better way to finish the Gold Canoeing expeditions than on the mighty river Wye!

Dan McGaley and myself went to the Wye to supervise and assess two Gold teams. We started the expedition at Byecross farm where we spent the night camping in a beautiful Orchard. Tents packed down, both teams full of bacon baps, they were buzzing to start their expedition! Day one was a shorter day with plenty of time for the teams to develop their aim, have rests and enjoy their paddle down towards Hereford Rowing club. If you’re looking for a campsite with great facilities, I would recommend this spot!


The second day the teams meandered through the river in the gorgeous sunshine. They had a longer stretch to canoe to get to Hoarwithy and stay at Tresseck campsite. Going past incredible wildlife such as swooping kingfishers, and hovering birds of prey were absolute treats to paddle alongside. We had a lush camp fire this evening to roast our marshmallows and not forgetting Dan’s popcorn in a sieve invention.


Third day in and this is a hefty day but these teams had it covered. They started early and were in Ross on Wye for the perfect lunch spot. After a stone skimming session, they continued down their favourite parts of the river (the fast sections) collecting dead wood all the way until Welsh Bicknor to camp at the YHA. After the traditional last night wild swim the team prepared the wood for the final campfire. One of the biggest challenges during this expedition for Dan and I is the drive down to the youth hostel which is not for the faint- hearted! 


Eager and keen for the last day, the teams were on the water by 8am. A quick inspection of Symonds Yat resulted in epic lines down the rapid which they were all pleased with. One last push to get to the end point at Monmouth Rowing Club.

The teams left the expedition craving more white water! They’ve got the bug-what a result!   Dan and I can’t wait to go back to the Wye for its beauty, great riverside camping spots with easy access and an awesome paddling community! A smashing expedition completed by both teams.