Whilst the majority of Leicester’s students will spend the first week of Freshers partying in the O2, getting back into the swing of Uni and picking up all the freebies and discounts on offer, us second-year physical geography students will be going on a field trip to the Blencathra in the Lake District. Preparing what I need for the trip has brought back memories of the Dartmoor field trip we went on in the 1st year, during the Easter holiday. We stayed in the Exter university halls and took the coach up to Dartmoor, Dawlish Warren and the Haldon Hills during the daytime. Check out Connie’s post about what the trip includes. BE WARNED! If you are unprepared you may never see Leicester again… From my own experience, here’s a comprehensive guide of how to survive the 1st year field trip!
1. Bring the right kit
– It might look sunny outside but it will probably be very different up on Dartmoor – so wear a waterproof jacket and trousers over your other clothes.
– Lots of layers are essential to stay warm – you can always take them off! When you’re dangling yourself over an ice cold river to get a velocity reading you will be glad you wore that extra layer!
– Walking boots will stop your feet from blistering and keep them fairly dry, just make sure you wear them in first!
– Don’t ignore items on the kit list you will be given e.g. sun lotion – you never know what the weather will be like.
2. Remember to pack your field notebook or a camera
– You are given a waterproof notebook to write in – don’t accidently leave it in your room like I did on the Dawlish Warren day. Use this to write down what the lecturers say because it will be very useful when doing the work they set you.
– A camera is a great way to capture the information – espeically if you are a visual learner. When I didn’t have my notebook, I found that taking a picture of the things the guide said, such as the fences around the dunes or the specific plants, helped me to remember what he said. It also made our presentation look great and made some beautiful instragram pictures!
– Some people underestimated time needed to do the work that we had to do on the trip, and put it off on the first night. Consequently they had to stay up till the early hours of the morning the next night in order to finish it before the morning.
– If you do the work for a few hours after dinner, then you can give yourself time in the evenings to relax or go to the pub! 4. Read before the trip
– You will be given reading to do before the trip to help you understand the content of the trip and to use as references when doing the work set during the trip. It saves a lot of time and energy during the trip if you already know what to write without having to go and research it. 5. Carry the equipment
– This cuts down the time you are waiting around and the lecturers will greatly appreciate it
6. Eat a big breakfast and dinner
– The food in the Exeter halls is really tasty so eat as much as you can, particularly at breakfast. This will give you lots of energy to get through the day.
7. Talk to new people
– The field trip is a great chance to make friends with people on your course you havent spoken to before. You will be put in groups with new people and you may make some great new friends!
8. Bring a laptop/tablet
– This is up to you and whether you think the risk outweighs the benefits. Benefit- when you ran out of time during the activity to finish your work e.g. the Haldon Hills carbon content spreadsheet, it makes it so much easier to have your laptop to go on in the evening and finish it off. If its a decent laptop chances are it will be much faster than the ones the geography department supply and faster to get your presentation done for example. You can also use it to do research for the questions set. Risk – might get stolen or damaged if you aren’t careful
– Try to get at least 7 or 8 hours sleep a night. The starts are really early – around 7ish if I remember correctly and the days are exhausting.
I hope I haven’t made the trip sound too daunting, just prepare and be sensible and you will be fine. It is A LOT of fun and you will have a great time with your course mates and lecturers, I sure did!