Dartmoor Ten Tors teams urged to 'find the strength'

Thousands of young people have been navigating their way across Dartmoor for the Ten Tors challenge.

A total of 2,400 teenagers have stepped up to navigate themselves to take on routes of 35, 45 or 55 miles (56, 72 or 88km) across the tricky terrain.

They were buoyed by words of advice from Ray Mears, TV presenter, author and survival expert.

"Find the strength", he urged the teams, before telling them "I salute you".

Ten Tors challengers
The groups will have to navigate themselves [BBC]

Mr Mears added: "I think what you are about to do is amazing.

"The journey started when you volunteered.

"Now you have done your training and preparation. On your backs you have the kit you need. In your head, you have the information you need.

"Now you have to look inside your hearts to find the strength you need."

Ten Tors
The young people will navigate their way across the moor [BBC]

Alongside the main expedition there was also the Jubilee Challenge, in which about 400 young people with special physical or educational needs complete routes of up to 15 miles (24km).

Assistant Commander John Cummings said participants would gain "great communication, team work and mental and physical resilience".

The Jubilee Challenge was won by Jason from Mill Ford School.

Ray Mears with Jason
Ray Mears with Jason from Mill Ford School who won the Jubilee Challenge [BBC]

Ray Mears said later: "This morning when these guys set off all across Britain there are people in the same age group snoring in their beds who would love to do this.

"We need to roll this kind of thing out across the whole country because it's so powerful."

He added: "They raced off and in five minutes, they had vanished, the moor just swallowed them like sponge.

"What you don't see of course is all the incredible training they have been doing for months."

Describing Dartmoor as "really special", he said the terrain made navigating challenging, making a compass vital.

He said teamwork was essential, adding: "There will be moments when they will feel like they want to give up...but they find a way of working together."

Tilly from the University Officers’ Training Corps (UOTC) [BBC]

Those in the Jubilee Challenge could enter either as a team or as individuals, each accompanied by an officer cadet from Exeter University Officer Training Corps.

This year's Ten Tors is also host to the first Jubilee Challenge Plus.

Organisers said this was aimed at young adults with special educational needs and disability who were capable of an overnight stay, but may find the Ten Tors challenge inaccessible.

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