Practical Advice for Group Walking


​Walking with a group is not like walking on your own - there are other people to take into account.  Keeping up with the group may be more testing than you expect, so think about this when deciding which walk to go on. If you are quite fit and used to walking you may find that the walk is too slow, so you can this into account when choosing your next walk.

We hope you find the following tips helpful.

When on the walk:

  • ICE (In Case of Emergency) card. All East Devon members have been issued with a card and new members will receive one when they join.  Ramblers' advice is to complete this card and carry it with you on all walks, ideally in an accessible pocket of your rucksack.
  • It is recommended you carry a first aid kit for your personal use containing any medication you may need.
  • If you have any medical conditions which may affect your walking, please inform the leader beforehand.
  • When walking at the front, try to remain behind the leader; they are responsible for setting the pace to suit the fitness and capabilities of the group and the advertised grade of the walk.  Please avoid walking on if they are waiting for others to catch up unless you are invited to go on ahead.  On a re-group allow the leader to regain the front.
  • If you need to stop for any reason make sure someone knows, preferably the backmarker, so you don't get left behind.
  • Look back from time to time especially if the route changes direction to make sure those following behind know which way to go.  Wait if necessary.  Advise leader if group becomes stretched out.
  • Each walker is responsible for his or her safety when crossing or walking along a road but the general rule is to keep to the right, unless the leader indicates otherwise; for example on sharp right hand bend, it may be safer to cross to the left-hand side and then cross back after the bend.
  • Walk in a single file over cultivated farmland and try to keep to the line of the path through all fields or the line chosen by the leader.
  • If you decide to leave a walk early for any reason please let the leader or backmarker know.
  • Pay heed to any hazards and warn others behind you.
  • If you use walking poles, make sure they aren't getting in other people's way.  When climbing over stiles it's much better to put your poles over first.  If carrying the poles; hold with the pointed ends forward and downward otherwise you might accidentally poke the person in front or behind!
  • Leftover food, orange peel, banana skins etc. doesn't just spoil the beauty of the countryside; it can be dangerous to wildlife and farm animals - leave no trace of your visit and take your litter home with you.
  • Gadgets - Many walkers now have Ordnance Survey mapping on their phones and GPS devices and this may add to your enjoyment of the walk as you can follow the route and note distance and height gain; please try not to use them at the front to pre-empt the route unless asked to assist by the leader. 
  • Take a look at Your Guide to Ramblers Insurance for details of  Ramblers Liability Insurance and whilst volunteering, Personal Accident Insurance.