Leading Walks


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Could you lead a 

club walk ??

We are always looking for people to lead walks for our club on Saturdays and Sundays. 


Ideally you will be familiar with walking in our area using local maps and perhaps you have led walks with friends or family members. We offer guidelines on leading for our club to help you plan a walk for our programme. Even if you are not sure about your capability, we can offer guidance and the opportunity to shadow an existing leader so that you can get the hang of the whole process. 


If you are not familiar with reading a map there are some online resources that will help you and you might consider a practical course in navigation. Occasionally the club will put on a course for new leaders.

The main elements in planning and leading a walk for our club

It is a good idea to be flexible with your clothing so that you can adapt to changing weather conditions during the day. 


Even in the summer temperatures may start off warm, but higher up the mountain the weather might change and the temperature could drop to nearly zero. With wind and rain adding to the picture, then having a range of clothes to meet all of these conditions is desirable.


Layers are often thought to be best. Several thinner layers are more adaptable than just one thick layer, especially on the upper body. It is important to keep hands and head protected, especially in the winter, but in the summer hats and sun cream protect the skin from harmful ultraviolet rays.


Good footwear is important. Depending on the time of year and the local conditions this might range from walking sandals to strong walking boots. 


We do experience a lot of wet and muddy conditions in the winter where good boots are essential. Added protection is provided by gaiters.


Waterproof gear is also vital. Lightweight cagoules can give good rain protection and waterproof trousers protect the legs, giving additional warmth as well

Food and Drink

Take plenty of food. Choice is yours but better to have extra when you are running out of energy. It is a good idea to have snacks e.g. late morning before lunch and mid afternoon.


In summer plenty of liquid hot or cold. Dehydration can be a problem on a long hard hot walk. 


In winter, hot drinks in thermos flasks are favoured by many walkers. Milk has been shown to be better than water for rehydration and has additional benefits for depleted muscles.

Equipment

Footwear

Lightweight walking shoes in summer are often sufficient.


Walking boots provide more protection on difficult terrain and when the ground is wet.


Gaiters give additional protection to the legs and feet.

Layers - upper body

Thin layers 2 or 3 e.g. vest/shirt, polyester top. Man-made are often quick drying but many people like merino wool.  A spare fleece top or down jacket is worth keeping in your rucksac.

Hats

Summer hat - to protect head and face from sun. 


Winter hat to provide warmth. In windy conditions it is good to have a hat with a neck cord.

Gloves

Gloves are essential especially during the colder months, but even in summer the hands can get cold at higher altitudes. Several pairs take up little room. If one pair gets wet they can be replaced with another.

Trousers

Shorts in summer are very comfortable. 


Long trousers - many types available some with stretchy material which flexes as you bend. 

Avoid denim or other thick cotton materials which can get very wet and take a long time to dry.

Waterproof Clothing

Waterproof jacket - Goretex or other waterproof material, though many walkers like Paramo gear especially during the winter.


Waterproof overtrousers - it is worth keeping a pair in your rucksack in case of rain.

Some garments have a water resistant finish e.g. normal walking trousers, but these may not keep you dry in heavy rain.

Rucksac

A good rucksack with a frame will be easier to carry. Size will depend on how much you bring with you.

Maps

Maps are essential if you are finding your own way, but also if you want to know where you are walking when being led. 

Compass

Used together with a map in competetent hands a compass is an essential tool for navigation.

Walking Poles

Walking poles can facilitate getting up hills and provide valuable support coming downhill and when walking across uneven ground. 

Mobile Phone

Great for emergencies or just if you need to report that you are running late! Modern smartphones with location information (gps) can provide emergency services with an accurate location.

GPS Device

A good aid to navigation and especially useful if you are lost. A lot of choice e.g. bespoke device like SatMap or apps that can be used with modern smartphones.

Torch

Good to carry especially in the winter. LED torches are fairly cheap and give good light in dark conditions. Remember to bring a spare battery.

Whistle

Good safety tool to carry at all times. 6 Long whistle blows in emergency (alternatively 6 long flashes with the torch).

Emergency Blanket / Bivvi Bag

The lightest emergency blanket is a very compact foil based product, but despite it's size useful in an emergency if someone is injured and needs additional warmth and protection. 

First Aid Kit

Another essential thing to carry. Can be purchased cheaply, but handy for simple injuries like blisters or cuts. Make sure to take any medications that you use with you.

Suncream

Important not just in the summer as at higher altitudes ultraviolet rays are more penetrating. Keep a small dispenser in your rucksack to top-up during the day.