Herts & Bucks Wing Adventure Training Group

Canada 2000

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Training Plan: March 1999


This document sets out the training plan for the proposed Herts & Bucks Wing ATC canoe expedition to Canada in the summer-autumn of the year 2000.  It outlines a syllabus of training for the expedition, and summarises the minimum training requirements for cadets wishing to be considered for selection

This plan does not specifically address staff training requirements, but it is safe to assume that any staff member wishing to be considered for the expedition will demonstrate at least as much commitment as the successful cadets, and will possess a significantly higher level of training and experience, as well as bringing necessary specialist skills to the team

The objectives of the training are to:

  • build a compatible, skilled and highly motivated team of staff and cadets to go to Canada

  • equip individual cadets with the technical and team skills to complete this challenging expedition safely, enjoyably and in reasonable comfort

Although the initial emphasis of the training will be on the canoeing aspects of the expedition, it is worth remembering that the trip is not so much a canoeing activity, as a wilderness expedition which happens to use canoes for transport. Every member of the expedition must be a safe and competent paddler but fitness, stamina and good all-round expedition skills will be more important than achieving a high technical standard of paddling

It should also be emphasised that the training will be designed to be enjoyable and to provide worthwhile benefits to participants, whether or not they eventually choose, or are selected to go to Canada


Training will include the following:


  • boat handling (launching, recovering, portaging etc)

  •  technical paddling skills, on flat and moving water

  • effect of adverse weather conditions (wind, waves, currents etc)

  • selection and use of safety equipment

  • rescue and emergency procedures

Expedition skills

  • camp-craft

  • selection and use of personal and group equipment

  • food preparation and cooking

  • minimising environmental impact

  • navigation

  • emergency procedures and basic survival skills

Health & fitness

  • understand and achieve the required strength & stamina

  • first aid

  • personal hygiene

  • hazard awareness and avoidance

Timetable and milestones

Building on the 3 days of training completed in 1998, approximately 20 days of training are planned for 1999. Water-based canoeing training will take place from May to October 1999, although training sessions on other parts of the syllabus will take place outside this period

The main training event will be the one-week River Wye expedition at the end of May. Other training sessions will be weekend courses, similar in format and cost to a normal Wing mountain activity or canoeing course

By the time of the Summer expedition in August, we will make a provisional selection of staff and cadets for the expedition, including proposed boat/tent pairings. We hope to finalise the selection before the Winter expedition in November 1999, and to maintain these pairings through the final stage of training, which will take place between Easter 2000 and the departure for Canada.

Training requirements

Any cadet wishing to be considered for selection for the expedition will have attended at least 75% of the available training days, in addition to demonstrating their proficiency at each of the required skills. Everyone selected for the expedition will be expected to attend the final series of intensive training sessions between Easter 2000 and the departure for Canada.

A database has been established to hold contact details for the cadets who wish to be considered for the expedition, and to record details of the training events attended

Geoff Bowles

Wing Adventure Training Officer: Flt Lt John Smith RAFVR(T)       Web site by: Flt Lt Geoff Bowles RAFVR(T)       Last updated: 05/03/2001