You will need
- Pens or pencils
- Scrap paper
- Adventure or expedition kit
Before you begin
- Decide on some sets of equipment for the group to examine. It could be all the kit you’d need for a weekend camp, or everything you’d need to cook a meal for the group. This’ll help you explain what to look for when checking the kit, so that anyone can spot things that aren’t as they should be.
- This activity is ideal to run before an activity, adventure or expedition where the group will use the kit you’ve been examining. This will help everyone see the benefits of a thorough kit check first-hand.
- Choose whether to include any broken or unsuitable kit in the set of equipment. You could also remove an item, or a part of an item, like a lid or buckle. Don’t forget to replace anything you removed at the end!
- This activity could be run as one of a number of bases for smaller groups, so that everyone has equal opportunity to examine the same set of equipment.
Check it out
- Explain to everyone what activity, adventure or expedition they have coming up. This can be real or made up. Ask everyone what kit they think they’ll need for it from the stores.
- Everyone should head to where the relevant equipment is stored and try to retrieve the items they need. They need only bring one complete set of equipment, depending on what you have. See how easy the group finds it to get everything they need.
- See what everyone expects to find when they unpack the kit.
- Explain that each time we use equipment, we should check it before and after we use it. The groups will now be looking at some simple steps that they can run through to complete the position, function and condition checks below.
- Once you’ve completed the check, if any problems resulting from neglect or general wear and tear of the kit can be resolved easily in the session, get stuck in and do it!
- When you’ve finished using the equipment and it’s time to return it, carry out the same checks again to make sure that nothing has been damaged or lost during the session.
- Recap the fundamentals of managing the group’s equipment. ‘Position’, ‘function’ and ‘condition’ should all be checked before and after using any of the kit.
Tidying and maintaining things can seem like the least enjoyable part of anything but both make it much easier to get on with enjoying the activity itself. If you spend half an hour looking for something only to find that it is broken or not ready to use, that is half an hour that you can’t spend using it. By taking care of our own equipment and more importantly the equipment we share with others, we are being responsible. It is especially important to check these things when using adventurous activity equipment as even minor damage can affect the ability of the equipment to keep you safe.