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Expedition planning

Expedition planning

As the University Expeditions Advisor for the Royal Geographical Society, David advised countless teams undertaking expeditions and fieldwork overseas, and represented the Society around the country. This presentation will help turn dreams into reality - a focused, practical and entertaining talk providing inspiration and information on all aspects of expedition planning. David regularly spoke on expedition planning for the Royal Geographical Society at their annual expedition planning seminar 'Explore' held every November.

Expedition planning guide

David also wrote the Royal Scottish Geographical Society's "Exploring New Frontiers - A guide to planning expeditions and team research projects in the field". It was written with expeditions doing fieldwork in mind, but much of the content will be of assistance to any type of expedition. It has been updated and republished and it is available here as a book (£3.99 to cover expenses) or as a download (£3).

Chapter 1: The first sections of Chapter 1 are aimed at helping someone, who's at the early stages of their thinking, to understand what expeditions are and what they might achieve. The chapter looks at what sort of science an expedition might tackle, where project ideas might come from, the importance of having a clear aim and supporting objectives, and what you need to consider when assembling a team.

Chapter 2: This chapter has the nitty gritty of how to go about bringing the expedition to fruition, and includes sections on fundraising, reconnaissance, training, equipment, health and safety, and linking with the host country.

Chapter 3: This chapter has some considerations on operating in the field, including conduct in the foreign country, data gathering, building links with host communities, and a section on the importance of having a pessimist on the team!

Chapter 4: This deals with what you need to do post-expedition, including how you document your expedition for the benefit of others, and share the experience generally.

Chapter 5: Further sources of information.


David was the main expedition planning speaker at the Royal Geographical Society's expedition planning seminar where the guide was launched. For more help with expedition planning visit the Royal Geographical Society's Expedition Advisory Centre (now known as 'Geography Outdoors').



“What alters else on sea and shore, These are unchanging; man must still explore.”
Sir John Squire (1884-1958)


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