Walks & What to bring

Prior to a walk

  • Check its grade and distance, is it for you?
  • Check your ordinance survey map; look at the area in which the walk covers and look at the contour lines they should give you a good indication as to the terrain you will be covering.
  • Always check the weather beforehand then dress and pack appropriately.
  • Check the website; (prior to leaving), walks do occasionally have to be cancelled at short notice.

 

What to Pack/Bring

For most walks you should bring a packed lunch and a drink. Clothing and footwear should be appropriate for the conditions, and good quality walking socks to go with your boots will help prevent blisters. Be prepared in winter and harsh weather, and most people bring a small backpack (daypack). A mat or plastic bag to sit on at lunch is also a good idea. You'll find plenty of people willing to offer advice on equipment and if you become a member you can get discounts at several shops selling boots etc. We often stop at a pub or tea room at the end of a walk so money for this (or occasionally for parking) is a good idea.

Proper walking boots and socks - every year a few new people will turn up to longer walks in unsuitable footwear and suffer painful blisters, sore ankles or be forced to get the bus home as a result. Don't let it happen to you - appropriate footwear is a must. Outdoor stores are everywhere now and offer decent ankle boots at affordable prices, so it's easier than ever to get the proper kit on a budget for your first walk.

Water-proofs - on any walk the weather can turn for the worse, so even if the forecast is clear most members carry a pack-away jacket or rain-proofs. During the winter a rainproof jacket is a must, and many members also swear by waterproof over-trousers or quick drying outdoor fabrics.

General Clothing - in addition to your boots and water-proofs, you are usually better off wearing multiple thin layers of clothing that are easy to remove and adorn (most people get warm, pretty quickly once the walk starts). Don’t forget hats and gloves particularly in the winter.

Rucksacks – Rucksacks are great for carrying your clothing, water bottles and food.

Rucksack are also great for securing valuables get one with plenty of zip pockets; get into the habit of using one zip pocket for keeping your keys, wallets and spectacles secure; the last thing you want to do at the end of a walk, is to retrace your steps because you have lost your keys or wallet. 

Wisdom; it’s wise to pack some toilet paper and wet wipes with you, everyone gets caught –out, occasionally.

Mobile phone - a mobile is a good safety device to have with you, even if reception is patchy you can always walk to high ground and try to get a signal.

The trick is to bring what is essential along with what you are likely to need; the problem is a conundrum in that you want to keep the its weight down as far as possible.

 

Food and Drink

Keeping hydrated

Staying hydrated is one of the most important things to do when going walking. Dehydration can lead to tiredness, cramps, headaches, which, in some cases can be a serious threat to health. So be sure to take plenty of water with you particularly on hot summer days, long walks and or are walking in remote areas.

Isotonic and sports drinks are formulated to improve the rate at which water is absorbed, however, still water and milk are the healthiest options and best rehydration fluids.  

Fizzy drinks work like a diuretic, which takes away more water than it provides to the body. Furthermore, the high level of sugar in soft drinks steals a considerable amount of water from the body.

What to eat

Walks often that you recommend that you bring along a packed lunch, as most day hikes over 5 miles entail a lunch stop of about twenty minutes (or five minutes if it's raining hard!).

Carbohydrate-rich foods, fats, and healthy sugars are a good source of energy and will help you keep up with the pace of the group and should prevent exhaustion from setting in.

Bananas are high in potassium and natural sugars, harder fruits, like apples and pears are compact and easy to pack. Pack soft fruit with care at the top of your rucksack to avoid it getting squashed.  Go for foods that provide long-lasting energy, rather than a short-term sugar-rush. A Trail mix, which combines nuts and dried fruits, or energy bars are an excellent, high energy snacks.

Not forgetting Chocolate which will give you a good boost of energy, so it’s always wise to have some with you.

If you’re going on a longer walk (over 8 miles), it’s better to snack (and drink) in small amounts throughout the day, rather than eating everything at once; This will help you keep your blood sugar levels up and should help you avoid painful cramps.

Remember to take all your litter away with you – including fruit peels, skins and cores - to avoid spoiling the beauty of the countryside, and causing unnecessary harm to wildlife and farm animals.