Writing Expedition Reports
From the Venturer Scout Record Book
“The report should critically evaluate the planning and conduct of the expedition and cover such subjects as food, equipment route and emphasize evaluation of the original planning details in the light of the expedition and report on possible improvements”
For the expedition, emphasis is put on walking in rugged, challenging and unfamiliar country.
- Your expedition report will be a permanent record of your trip.
- It will enable others to repeat the same trip and benefit from your experience. A new Venturer should be able to pick up your log and undertake the same walk and cover the same ground as you did.
- You will be able to compare your planned with your actual expedition, critically analyzing what you did, what you took, your own performance and that of your companions.
You should include:-
- An Introduction
- Information about the participants
- Background information
- Intended route
- Menu and ration lists
- Personal equipment
- Group equipment
- Expedition story
- Expedition report
- Review i.e. planned vs. actual expedition
- Unit, Examiner Approvals
- Weather forecast
- This could go on the front cover so that the reader immediately knows what the report is about: Hike, Canoe Bike Expedition or other.
- Where it was held: Blue Mountains, Snowy Mountains, Great North Walk etc
- The dates of the expedition
- Award section i.e. Expedition 1 or 2, Outdoors 1 or 2
- Your name and Unit
These items could go on your first page:-
How you decided to undertake this particular expedition and how you recruited your companions.
A brief summary of the expedition area
- i.e. distance and direction from Sydney and the main features. E.g. The Major Mitchell Plateau lies in the heart of the Grampians in Western Victoria about 500 km from Adelaide. Rising to 1067m, the plateau is a very rugged and exposed part of the Grampions with Mt. William the highest point at 1167m.
Who was involved?
- Introduce yourself, the expedition leader and the other members of your group, ages, experience in bushwalking, 1st Aid certificate, which Unit to which they belong.
- Who was your examiner?
- Note. Expedition examiners need to be approved by your Unit and may need to hold Guide qualifications.
Preparation & Training
- List information in the appendix about the expedition area and where you got the information.
- List your practice hikes, bike rides, canoe training, selection and checking of essential equipment for this particular trip, meetings with your examiner, menu preparations, buying, packing food, practice cooking, use of stoves, gaining permission:- Activity notification and Parent Consent forms, camping & access permits with the people contacted.
The Intended Expedition
- Detail your planned trip. Include dates, times, start and finish points, campsites with grid references, emergency procedures, escape routes, transport, distance to be covered each day, features to be visited each day e.g. hilltops, waterfalls.
- Include a colour photocopy map with the above details.
- Title, edition, date of issue, scale
Budget and Actual Costs
- Transport, food, camping fees, gear hire, permits
Menu and Ration List
- List your meals and the quantities
- How did you cater i.e. in pairs
- The Expedition Leader should work with the less experienced team member
- Mention everything that you took
- What was your pack weight compared to your own weight
- Include before and after weights
- Details of your personal first aid kit and what was used on the trip
- Tents & type
- First aid kit (list contents)
- Stoves, billies, fuel- how much was carried and used
- Maps compasses
- How did you get to and from the expedition area
- Distances, time taken and costs
This is the main part since by reading it other people should be able to retrace your route and complete your expedition.
- On the trip make notes of your progress.
- Start time, breaks, major changes in direction, significant places & campsites.
- Time, Bearing, Distance (TBD) and general details columns
- Times and grid references of start, finish, rest stops, campsites
- Direction of travel (bearings or compass direction)
- Details of important features
- Describe any difficulties encountered.
- Describe campsites (suitability, water and protection from the weather.
- Distance traveled each day and height climbed
- Photographs really add to the report. Include a photo of yourself at a known point on the journey.
- What was the weather on the trip as it progressed:- wind, cloud, temperature, rain?
The expedition story
- This is the story of the trip as it happened with highlights, problems, incidents.
- Comment on how the expedition went – successes, how you got slong, what you would change if you did the trip again.
- What advice you would give to someone planning the same expedition, compare the planned trip with what really happened.
- A thank you statement to the people who made your trip such a success.
- Parent consent
- Activity notification E1 form
- Unit approval of proposed trip. V1 form
- Weather reports prior & during the trip for the area.
- Copies of correspondence.
These notes are adopted from http://www.scoutnet.net.au/venturers/articles/exp-reports.html