Minimum Group Size for Expedition

Minimum Group Size for Expedition

Based on the Below Research the Minimum Group Size is between 3 and 6. This encompasses considerations for safety, cohesion, efficiency & conservation.

Authors opinion would be that an activity with very little free time might work well with 3 people, but if participants are likely to spend free time together then 6 people would provide better opportunity for social variety.

It would also depend on the demographics of the group. If all participants are of a similar age, and have similar ethos and interests and smaller group may work well socially, but if more diverse then perhaps a larger group would be preferable.

cleaning a beach of plastic

Expedition Group Size

It depends whose advice you follow:

  • DofE = “There must be between four and seven participants in a team.”
  • The Mountaineers = Between 3 and 12 People.
  • Gwent Mountaineering Club = Between 6 and 10 People

Group Size: Social Considerations

Most group sizes for wilderness walks and expeditions are based on safety requirements, but what about social dynamics etc.

Group Cohesion

  • Changing Minds – Within the three, there is a greater sense of cohesion and collective power. If another person joins them, there is a further improvement, but this is not as great a step as between two and three. The same effect is mirrored in perceptions of others. Two may be seen as a person and a supporter.
  • Libretexts – Since it is easier for fewer people to agree on goals and to coordinate their work, smaller groups are often more cohesive than larger groups. Group cohesiveness may suffer, though, if the group lacks enough members to perform its tasks well.


The research shows that three or four, at the most five, is the optimal group size.

Generic Team Sizing

Katherine Klein, writing for Wharton recommends = 5 to 12 range, 6 as the magic number.


So 3 people it seems is not such a bad group size for many reasons, but the number 6 also features quite a lot in the above research.

Do PAPP Run Expeditions?

No not really. But we do run beach cleaning trips to some remote places. The reason this post is being written is retrospective justification of cancelling the group trip in 2023 based on the fact we only had 3 people, willing to go.

It is worth noting that despite cancelling the group trip, we will still fulfill our pledge of 1kg plastic removed for every £1.50 donated. As “thorpy” will travel up to Scotland and collect a minimum of 100kg of beach plastic so as to honour the £143 we have received in donations this year. . . . hopefully a bit more than 100kg.

Ocean Plastic Charity 

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