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First aid, wash kit & tools

What you need to pack to keep you ready to deal with most of your expedition encounters.

/ Expedition Kit / First aid, wash kit & tools

What first aid, wash kit and tools do I need for a DofE expedition?

What kind of first aid kit should I take on expedition?

When you do your DofE expedition, you’ll need to know how to keep yourself safe in the outdoors, and how to act in an emergency. Preparing and training with an appropriate, good quality first aid kit helps keep you safe from start to finish. Wellbeing is an overriding concern for DofE expeditions and Leaders. You can contribute by packing a waterproof first aid kit adapted to your needs.   Include specific items for any conditions, allergies or medicinal needs you might have on your journey.  The most common expedition first aid problem is blisters. Make sure to pack lots of blister plasters and antiseptic wipes.

DofE recommended first aid kits

 Lifesystems blister kit  Lifesystems trek kit  Lifesystems camping kit

Lifesystems Blister First Aid

Light and compact
Designed for foot blisters
Includes wipes and plasters
4 items

View Blister first aid

Lifesystems Trek First Aid

Mid-size
For blisters, cuts and scrapes
Includes bandages and medication
14 items

View Trek first aid

Lifesystems Camping First Aid

Large size
For burns, cuts and grazes
Comprehensive range of equipment
24 items

View Camping first aid

All Duke of Edinburgh’s Award recommended first aid kits are water resistant and suitable for expeditions.

Expert tips for your expedition wash kit

  • Of course you’ll get muddy but staying hygienic is an important part of your expedition routine:
  • Keep your wash kit in a waterproof bag/container
  • Keep your toilet roll in a separate waterproof bag
  • Only carry the essentials
  • Don’t bother with makeup or shaving kit
  • Put a mini LED light in your wash bag – they make life much easier at night
 Lifeventure wash kit

Expedition tools and accessories to keep you fit and well

Head Torch

When camping in the wild, dark is very dark. A torch is absolutely essential for finding your way at night and a head torch is even better. Head torches leave both hands free to do what you need to do – putting boots on, tying tent strings, finding kit in your bag – and also direct the light where you need it. The DofE recommend the Lifesystems intensity 220 head torch.

Head torch - photo by fergusburnett.com

All expeditions are different so make sure you plan ahead to have the right kit for yours. There is a wide range of other tools and equipment available to ensure your health and safety on your expedition, whether for sunburn, storms, or midges.

Available from Lifesystems:

Available from Lifeventure:

Available from Vango:

The DofE Pocket Tool

DofE and Victorinox have developed this pocket tool in partnership as an expedition safe ‘pen-knife’. It has a bespoke set of tools and a rounded blunt end on the knife.  The DofE featured Victorinox pocket tool is ideal for making repairs to equipment, and for first aid or emergencies.

View DofE pocket tool

Victorinox pocket tool

Features The recommended pocket can tool help you by:
  • Round-ended blade (under 3” long)
  • Scissors
  • Can opener with cap lifter
  • Wire cutter and stripper
  • Screwdrivers – flathead and Phillips
  • Hook
  • Tweezers
  • Toothpick
  • Cutting tangled boot laces
  • Pulling open tight knots in laces or twine
  • Cutting vegetation that has tangled in hair or clothing
  • Cutting heavy duty tape to repair a damaged tent or rucksack
  • Making a new hole for a guy line
  • Removing small stones stuck in the bottom of boots
  • Pulling tent pegs from hard ground
  • Removing splinters, thorns or ticks
  • Cutting a dressing or cutting away clothing to allow a dressing to be applied

Ways to save money on your DofE expedition

Tools, first aid and wash kits are essentials to keep you happy and healthy on expedition. And there are lots of ways to save on costs:

  • Borrow handy tools where you can. Have your family ever been camping? What can your DofE Leader give you?
  • Ask your family or friends if you can borrow or re-use nail scissors, bandages and other first aid items
  • Visit your local DofE centre to borrow safety gear like survival bags
  • Share items like toothpaste, toilet roll and hand wash with your team
  • Use our exclusive DofE Reward Card to get your 15% discount* in all Cotswold Outdoor stores and online
* Full T&Cs apply