Participant taking part in the Defence Forces Challenge

“From a young age I can remember climbing trees and running around outside and as I’ve grown, so has my love for being active“

Iona Lee Parnell – Gaisce Bronze Awardee

Adventure Journey

The Adventure Journey often proves to be the most memorable aspect of Gaisce for participants. It is an opportunity for you to plan, train for and complete an outdoor activity over a number of days/nights as part of a team. It is a unique, challenging and memorable experience that creates strong bonds between participants as well as the opportunity to develop self-sufficiency and leadership skills. Adventure Journeys can take place on land in the form of hiking or cycling, or on water, by canoeing or sailing. The Adventure Journey can be undertaken as an expedition or an exploration.

Expedition vs. Exploration

An Expedition is a journey with a purpose. In an Expedition, the primary focus is on the journeying. More time is devoted to this with less effort put into research and gathering information.

An Exploration is a purpose with a journey. In an Exploration, the primary focus is to observe and collect information relevant to the purpose. More time and effort is spent on this, and consequently less time is devoted to getting from one place to another. The journeying aspect remains significant, however, with a minimum of one third of the activity hours being spent on journeying.


  • Wicklow Way
  • Burren
  • Slievebloom Mountains
  • Comeragh Mountains

Adventure Journey Requirements – what you need to know!

There are 14 key requirements for a Gaisce – The President’s Award Adventure Journey. Make sure you’re familiar with these before you start planning!
  1. The Adventure Journey must be planned as either an expedition or an exploration, both require journeying.
  2. All Adventure Journeys should be undertaken in small teams of peers between 4-10 people at Bronze, Silver, and Gold Award level. For larger groups break up into smaller teams and start the journey at intervals.
  3. All journeys must be by the participants own physical effort – foot cycle, wheelchair, sail, kayak etc., without motorised, or outside assistance. The Adventure Journey can take place on land or water.
  4. All Adventure Journeys should be supervised by the PAL (and appropriate supervision ratios), particularly where the participants are under the age of 18 or are vulnerable adults. Where a PAL is not in a position to supervise the Adventure Journey another adult from the Gaisce Award Partner who has been vetted/screened and is familiar with the Adventure Journey planning and requirements can cover.
  5. All participants must be involved in the planning and preparation of their Adventure Journey.
  6. All participants must be properly equipped and prepared for their Adventure Journey.
  7. The participants must stay in a self-catering hostel, camping or in another suitable form of similar accommodation.
  8. Participants must be encouraged to understand suitable meal preparation and nutritional requirements when undertaking an adventure journey and where possible help to plan, make and/or organise shared meals. PALs and participants should plan meal options appropriate to the adventure journey setting and where possible self- cater.
  9. The Adventure Journey should be undertaken with a suitably trained or qualified person with experience appropriate to the adventure journey activity.
  10. Participants must source and transport all gear and equipment that they will require with them on the Adventure Journey.
  11. The Adventure Journey should be challenging but within the capabilities and fittness level of the participants.
  12. The travel days of the Adventure Journey must be consecutive.
  13. The route of the journey should go from point A to point B to point C etc. (with the exception of the Bronze Award where looped walks are accepted)
  14. On Completion of the Adventure Journey PALs should review and evaluate the experience with participants.

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