Frequently Asked Questions

So, you are thinking of joining Staffs Walkers? Here are some Frequently Asked Questions which may help to ease any worries or fears you may have about walking or joining our group.

Q: I'm not a member of the Ramblers Association (RA), can I still join you on a walk?
A: Yes of course! The majority of new people are not RA members yet. We welcome new members to come and try out to see if the group is for them but we kindly request that you participate in a maximum of 3 events (walks and socials) before signing up to the Ramblers Association. This can be done on the RA website and costs around £30 per year. There is no cost to join individual walks as this is covered by RA membership.

Q: Should I contact the walk leader to let them know I will be attending?
A: Yes. It is good practice for all prospective and existing members that you text or phone the walk leader prior to the walk starting in case any details have changed and so that they have an idea of numbers and don't start without you!

Q: If I contact a walk leader to ask if you can come on a walk and they don't answer / get back to you, is it OK to still turn up?
A: Yes. Walk leaders will endeavour to get back to you promptly but, on rare occasions, they are unable to do so. It might be best in this situation to allow plenty of time for your journey so that you arrive promptly. That said, we stress that it is still best to contact the leader for the aforementioned reasons. Generally, a walk leader will give 10-15 minutes grace if they are expecting latecomers to turn up.

Q: Your group is described as being for 20-30s age range, is there an upper/lower limit?
A: No, the age thing is not set in stone. The average age of our members is late 30s but we have regular members who are older and some who are younger. The age specification is more to indicate that our group has, let's say, a more youthful outlook than the majority of other walking groups and we have a socials program which reflects this! Nobody can or will be excluded from walking with Staffs Walkers due to their age. Equally, we do not assume that age is an indicator of any individual's respective fitness.

Q: What level of fitness do I require to take part in your walks?
A: Good question- We have many members with varying levels of fitness and ability in the group. It goes without saying that a reasonable level of fitness is required but you do not need to be an Olympic athlete to be a member! That said, some of our longer or higher-grade walks can be tough so please consider carefully whether or not you are capable of doing a certain walk. The grades for walks range from 1-3 with 1 being the easiest- The vast majority of our Sunday walks are Grade 1 or 2.

Q: How long are your walks?
A: Generally, our walks range from 8 miles up to around 12 miles. There is the odd walk which is shorter or longer than this but that is the average distance. Walks usually last between 5-7 hours and tend to start between 9:30am-10:30am but please check the start time for individual walks before setting off.

Q: Can I walk with more than one walking group?
A: Yes, but it is preferable that you are already a Ramblers Association member.

Q: Where can I find directions for the walk start points?
A: For individual walks, click the tab on the sidebar of our website which says "Walks". Here you will find our full upcoming Sunday walks calendar. Directions and other details can be found under the title and date of a specific walk. Often, co-ordinates or postcodes (or nearest postcodes) will be specified but we ask that you plan your own route before setting off and perhaps use a Sat Nav, if you have one.

Q: Can I bring my dog(s) along to walks?
A: Dogs are welcome on walks at the discretion of the relevant walk leader; please contact the leader prior to a walk to make sure that it is OK to bring you dog. Some walkers may not like dogs so please respect this. Please also bear in mind that a leader may decide that a given walk is not suitable for dogs due to safety reasons. If you do bring a dog with you, please consider the following:- Keep your dog on a lead when near livestock. Don't expect others to take your dog in their car when sharing transport. You are responsible for your dog at all times.

Q: Is there a car-sharing option, to get to walks, with members who live near me?
A: Absolutely! We encourage all members to car share where possible, even if a walk description states that there is ample parking. Lift-sharing minimises costs for all members and means that the local community are not inconvenienced by lots of cars taking up space. No member is obliged to give anybody a lift to a walk. Should you be car-sharing, please provide the driver with a share of the fuel/parking costs.

Q: Do I need to have a car to access the walks?
A: Yes. Due to a large number of our walks starting from fairly remote locations, it is essential that you have your own car or regular access to your own transport. There have been walks which have started from within walking distance of railway stations but this is very rare.

Q: What do I need to wear/bring along to walks?
A: It is always worth being prepared for differing conditions on walks as the weather can change dramatically in a very short space of time. It may be worth considering taking the following items with you: Waterproofs- both coat and trousers. Fleece- These can keep you warm, even in wet conditions. Hat and gloves. A sun hat in the summer months. A good pair of boots and a pair of walking socks -dry comfortable feet make all the difference. You may also wish to bring a spare pair of socks. A packed lunch- It is advisable to ALWAYS bring something to eat and drink, even if it is not specified that lunch is required. Likewise if there will be a food/pub/coffee stop. Walking trousers. Denim jeans are not suitable for high-level walks. Water and/or energy drink(s) in order to stay hydrated. Head torch- This I can be useful in the winter months if it starts to get dark towards the end of a walk. A rucksack/ backpack to carry all of the above!