THOUSANDS  of  youngsters will be trekking across Dartmoor this weekend as the Ten Tors Challenge gets underway.

The event, which is one of  the biggest outdoor adventure events for young people in Britain, will see 2400 young people aged between 14 and 19 cross the start line at 7.00 am this Saturday at The Army’s Okehampton Camp.

The teams of teenagers taking part, many from schools and youth groups from across the  south west,  will trek unaided over different 35, 45 or 55 mile routes and will encounter some of the toughest terrain and highest peaks in Southern England. 

They will rely on their navigational skills and carry all their food, water, bedding, tents, and other essentials as they go. It is a feat they must complete as a team and without any help from adults and they’ll remain entirely self-sufficient during their arduous expeditions, including camping out overnight on the moor.

 Photo: Steve Pope. MDA070522A_SP013
Okehampton Camp, Dartmoor.  Start of the 2022 Ten Tors event
Youngsters at the start of last year's Ten Tors challenge (©Steve Pope/MDA)

Official starter this year is Colonel Sir Jonathan Van-Tam, Honorary Colonel to Medical Support, Army Cadet Force (ACF). 

Known for his high profile and vital role during the pandemic, Colonel Van-Tam is a former Army Cadet Force medical officer who served for 12 years. Awarded an MBE for his design of medical response equipment for cadets taking part in arduous activities, he also holds the appointment of Honorary Colonel for 306 Hospital Support Medical Regiment, Royal Army Medical Corps.

In addition to the  Ten Tors event  several hundred youngsters will be participating in  the Jubilee Challenge. 

Immediately after the start of Ten Tors, up to 400 young people with special physical or educational needs - many in wheelchairs - will start the Jubilee Challenge, competing routes up to 15 miles. 

The youngsters can enter either as a team or as individuals, each one accompanied by an Officer Cadet from Exeter University Officer Training Corps.