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18-21 July practice team

 We're looking forward to running a safe, successful expedition for you. 

E-learning info

The e-learning modules provided are designed as a resource for all participants; there may be some sections that seem less relevant, for example if you have done basic first aid training elsewhere, but we require all participants to complete our elearning so we know you are starting off with the basics covered.  You should be able to access the e-learning via the links above, or by downloading the 'time to know' app. If using the app, you'll need to enter account name richadventure above your username and password. The web address, if you want to save it for coming back, is 

If you have any issues with the above links or content not working please let me know via live chat on this page or emailing, and I'll do my best to rectify any issues promptly.

Please meet at:

Burton Canoe Club

Newton Park

Newton Road
Burton on Trent DE15 0TU


For 10am on 18th July.  The car park here is free, there is a height barrier (I think it’s 2.1m but can’t remember exactly- if you have a taller vehicle please let us know and we will have someone wait by the gate to let you through the height barrier).


Please advise us if you intend to arrive by train; it is approximately a 30 minute walk from Burton-on-Trent train station but we are able to offer a lift if required.

The training day will be based locally to Burton Canoe club. Day 2 will be a coaching journey, leaving you to make your own way downriver once the coach is happy with your skills.

The last 2 nights 2 days will be your formal practice expedition, under remote supervision.

We anticipate a finish on the last day at:

Holme Pierrepont Country Park (home of the National Watersports Centre)

Adbolton Lane

NG12 2LU


We do find people frequently get lost in the country park; where the teams will be getting off the water is circled here in red. Coming from Adbolton Lane, pass the campsite on your right and the sailing club on your left, then go left at the fork by the welcome sign, signposted towards ‘outdoor adventure zone’ and ‘country park’. Follow this road past the rugby club and turn left into the first gravel car park on your left.


The car park at Holme Pierrepoint country park is ANPR controlled, and has a free stay of 30 minutes for pickup & drop offs (or flat rate £5/day). If arriving early but not wanting to pay for parking, the nearby Colwick Country park has free parking, and participants will be able to phone to advise you when they are off the water with a timeline for pickups (they will need to take part in a debrief, kit return and put their boats on the trailer before departing, which can take an hour from getting off the water). We anticipate teams being finished by around 3pm.



Your main supervisor will be Claire Rich. You may be trained by or checkpointed by some of our other instructors, but you will carry emergency contact details for Claire and Pete (these numbers are on your route cards and printed on various pieces of equipment). We can be contacted by family members in an emergency  on the office phone number which diverts to our mobiles during expeditions.


Preparation/ training
In your confirmation email you should have received a link to our e-learning. Some of you have already accessed it, if you haven’t please visit to register. You should receive an activation email and can then access modules via or the ‘time to know’ app with account name richadventure.

Please take a look at this before the practice.


Day 1 Training and team building day
This will be a chance to get out on the river to learn some useful paddling skills, familiarise yourselves with the boats and get used to paddling with your team mates. We will be on the water for a few hours. Please bring a packed lunch, a full change of clothes and a towel for this day. We will be going through rescue techniques and practices, so please wear a set of clothes you don’t mind getting very wet as you will be going in the water. There will be the opportunity to hang these to dry as much as the weather allows, and you do not have to carry them in the boats for the rest of the week if you don’t need them. Evening meal- there is the option to leave site for your evening meal or cook on our Trangia stoves; there is a pub called The Sump just down the road or you can take a walk into Burton to access a variety of fast food outlets and restaurants. We do ask that all participants, regardless of age, do not consume alcohol at any point during the course, as it may impede your hydration levels, physical wellbeing and therefore safety on the water the following day.


Day bag dry bags will be provided for you to be able to take a spare jumper, lunch, drinks, waterproofs and any medication with you.


 Day 2 Training Journey Day

We will be out on the water for 8 hours, with coaching along the way. Once your supervisor feels the team are ready, you may be left to continue the journey without them, and see them at checkpoints for further support.


Practice Expedition Day 1
This will be the first day of your self- sufficient, unaccompanied practice expedition. We’ll be meeting you at or in between the agreed check points along the river to see how you’re getting on, and giving coaching tips from the bank. It’ll be the first day that we really leave you to get on with everything.


Expedition day 2
This will run in a similar manner to day 1. Each expedition day will involve 8 hours of activity between leaving camp in the morning, and setting up camp for the evening- most of this time will be spent paddling, with some time on additional training. The length of time spent paddling will be dependent on the flow of the river, as this will impact the length of time and amount of effort needed to get from your camp to the finish point.  We will aim to start early on this day, and be finished with all kit returned by 3pm to allow for onwards travel plans.


Planning and communication
We recommend cooking either as a whole team or in small sub groups, which makes the process more time- efficient than cooking individually, so communication in advance will allow the team to come up with a menu plan and decide who is buying which items of food, and allow for any dietary needs. However this is split each participant should end up spending roughly £15-20 on enough food for the 5 days, as a budget of £1 per person per meal is quite realistic when shopping as a group or individually. Pre-packed ‘expedition’ meals from Outdoor shops can be a simple option to cook with high calorific value, but food from the supermarket can serve just the same purpose. For both the practice and the qualifier, we offer a takeaway or sit down meal option on the first night, as the teams are not under ‘expedition’ conditions during this preparation phase. Please bring money to pay for this meal. Participants have the option to cook for themselves and access to our stoves if they prefer or if dietary needs mean this would be easier. Either takeaway or a pub or restaurant meal option will be offered, depending on numbers of participants, distance to food venues and dietary needs to be catered for. Where we have large numbers we may ask volunteers from each team to travel to the takeaway rather than spend hours shuttling everyone for a sit down meal, as our staff will also need to eat, having driven to the expedition area and been on the water during the day delivering training.


Mobile phones and emergency situations
We are happy for participants to bring mobile phones with them to use in case of an emergency, or to ‘check in’ at the start and end of the trip with family; however, part of the spirit of the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award expedition is about being immersed in nature, enjoying the journey and creating a social atmosphere within the team, so we ask that external contact is kept to a minimum. Most campsites do not have facilities for charging mobile phones, and therefore we recommend that during the day they are switched off, to conserve batteries for emergency situations. We also recommend that they are kept in a separate waterproof pouch, and cannot accept any responsibility for damage to phones or other personal items during the expedition. A watch is part of the essential kit as teams need to keep track of where they are and their time of arrival at different locations, and watches allow them to do this without constantly getting mobile phones out.


In an emergency, we ask participants to use their phones/ local phones or landlines and radios, only to contact our staff and the emergency services, until the immediate situation has been dealt with. This will remove any unnecessary panic at home, and allow phone lines to be kept available for essential contact so that we can work with the emergency services and the team to get them the help they need. The participant’s next of kin will of course be informed at the first practical time of any serious incident, however our first priority will be looking after the individual and the rest of the team, and conducting a full assessment of the situation prior to making contact so that we can make sure information given is as accurate as possible. Our staff have a very high level of first aid expertise, and both company directors (at least one of whom is always on duty during an expedition) are both first responders, so we are more than equipped to deal with any medical situation in a professional manner.


Participants will need to bring:

Training day:

Full change of clothes and a towel for after rescues (you will get wet head to toe!)

Packed lunch and a drink

We will provide a drybag and/ or barrel for kit to be taken on the river, and somewhere to store change of clothes.


Hand gel
Waterproof jacket and trousers
Sleeping bag- minimum comfort rating of at most +5 degrees C
Sleeping mat
closed toed shoes- ideally trainers or wetsuit boots, suitable for getting wet
Sandals or other trainers/ wellies/ boots for wearing at camp
layers of warm clothing- at least 2 full sets. Please no vest tops or hot pants due to enhanced risk of sunburn from reflected rays, and chemical impact on your buoyancy aids from skin/ sun cream contact. No jeans- these get dangerously heavy, rub a lot and conduct a lot of heat away from the body when wet. Lightweight, quick- drying clothing such as sports kit or travel clothing is ideal.

A towel
Cutlery and crockery
A mug

Water bottles- at least 2 litre total capacity
A torch

Small wash kit & toilet paper

Sun cream

Hat & sun glasses
A water resistant watch

A whistle

Matches in a ziplock bag or a firesteel or similar

A survival bag

Drybags for spare clothes and sleeping bag (to add an extra layer of protection inside your main drybag)

Emergency rations- quick sugary snacks and something that can be cooked quickly to warm you up- to be kept separate from your main food supply.

Your food / share of group food- you need to cook at least 1 hot meal per day. Due to legal access restrictions on the river banks, please do not bring food that requires cooking at lunch time, we recommend a cold lunch such as wraps, pittas or pasties, or pasta salad cooked as part of the previous evening’s meal. If you would like something hot at lunch time we recommend bringing a flask for hot drinks or food cooked at camp at breakfast time that will stay warm until lunch.

Please consider what sort of bag to pack everything into, as we will have limited space for storing these bags during the week- if everyone brings a hard suitcase they will need to be stored in the canoe trailer and we may not be able to keep them dry; a soft duffle bag, rucksack or carrier bags would be better. As a guide, personal items that will fit in a large IKEA bag or a 60L rucksack should be the maximum; if the drybags and barrels are overfilled it is difficult to form a water-tight seal. You will be able to access some spare barrels to account for group equipment if needed, but there is a limit to the amount of space in your boats and so extra barrels can make things more difficult. Please pack light!


Equipment we provide
Paddling kit: Canoe, Buoyancy aid, Helmet, Paddles (plus 1 spare per boat), Canoe trolleys if long portages (walking with your boat) are expected on route
Safety & comfort kit: Throw line, rope cutter, sponge (1 of each per boat), First aid kit, boat repair kit

Bags: 1x 60 Litre drybag inside a barrel per participant plus 1x 20 litre drybag per participant for day items (lunch, spare fleece etc) , 10L Jerry can per team

Navigation and communication: maps and route cards, emergency safety box including radio and GPS (only to be opened in an emergency)

Camping kit: stoves and fuel, tents

We provide Toughbook laptops for route planning during the evenings of the practice (these are handed out and collected at campsites and not taken on the water).


We don’t ask for a deposit for our kit, however we do ask team members to sign out individual items to take responsibility for them. If items are lost or damaged due to carelessness or neglect, we request the following amounts to be paid to allow us to replace the items:


Kit replacement costs

Inner tent £90

Outer tent £120

Tent Poles £12 per pole, £30 full set

Pegs £1 per Peg

Large Dry Bags £30

Barrel £20

Small dry bags £15

Paddles £45

Buoyancy Aid £45

Helmets £30

Rope cutter £10

Throw line £25

Map book £5

Route card book £3

First Aid kit £25

Toughbook (laptop) £200

Trangia £120

Orange safety box £290 (including GPS, Radio)


If an item can be repaired, or only needs a small part replaced we will reduce the charge to whatever it will cost us. If the damage was accidental and not due to lack of care there will be no charge incurred.

Also if there is a situation where items are lost because it would pose a danger to retrieve them, i.e. after a capsize in a rapid, we prioritise participant safety over replacing equipment, so staff will attempt to retrieve kit if there is a safe method of retrieval but no charge would be made in this situation if the item(s) cannot be recovered. We hope that our participants value their personal kit in the same way, and understand that Rich Adventure cannot be held liable for loss or damage to any personal items. In three years of operating this system we have so far only needed to charge for one lost rope cutter, one lost high vis jacket (used for walking expeditions), a handful of tent pegs, and a couple of drybags, as we find that the responsibility of the value of the item helps participants be more considerate of how they treat their equipment.


Tent sharing

We provide tents that will sleep 3 people in each, with a large porch for equipment. We will provide enough tents for a male/ female split and over/ under 18 split if required. 

Alcohol/ drug policy

We have a zero tolerance policy on consumption of alcohol and recreational drugs (including legal highs) during our DofE Expedition courses, regardless of participant’s age. The effects of alcohol and recreational drugs not only the day consumed but also on the following day can present additional risks, particularly in remote locations and undertaking outdoor activities where the risk of injury, and the consequences of intoxication, can be more severe. If a participant requires medication for illness or medical conditions, it is important that Rich Adventure staff are made aware of this, so that we can identify any additional risks caused by side effects, and in the case of emergency, pass on details to medical professionals who may need to take account of existing medications in making an informed decision about treatment.


We look forward to welcoming you on to our expeditions, and invite you to contact us if you have any further questions or queries regarding the expedition. For more information on the training we cover and assessment criteria, the training frameworks and 20 conditions of assessment can be downloaded from the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award website at

(Please note that there is a training framework for paddling skills and watersports safety code further down the page to accompany the Gold training framework, and the expedition kit list focuses on requirements for a walking expedition rather than a canoe expedition- please use our kit list above!)

Kit list


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