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Guidance for Walkers

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Information that is relevant to anyone who walks regularly with Basingstoke Ramblers Club.

Click HERE for a printable pdf version of this Guidance document. Opens in new tab.

Updated: May 2022


The monthly Walks Programme gives details of the organised walks available to all Members.

However, before deciding to go on an organised walk, you are advised to consider the following:

  • Distance – you should be fit enough to complete the walk distance; if in doubt, contact the Walk Leader and ask if there is a short-cut available on the route.
  • Terrain – expect the walk to include uneven ground with hills and stiles, and mud after rain.
  • Weather – check the forecast before setting off from home.
  • Health – any personal physical limitation, e.g. climbing over stiles or up hills.
  • Pace – most walks assume a reasonable level of fitness and stamina, however the Walk Leader should accommodate the novice in this respect if necessary.

Members are responsible for making their own decisions, and participation is at the member's own risk. Club insurance is third party only and does not cover any personal loss or injury. In exceptional circumstances, the leader of a walk has the authority to cancel, or decline to allow a member to join the walk.
 

EQUIPMENT

Footwear – crucial to safe, comfortable walking. Boots provide grip and ankle support, although walking shoes are preferred by some. Walking sandals are also popular for summer use. Trainers are not generally recommended. Suitable socks are a must.

Clothing – dress appropriately for the expected weather conditions. Fast-drying walking trousers allow comfort and flexibility. A waterproof jacket is always advisable, and waterproof overtrousers may be appropriate. A couple of layers rather than thick clothing work best. A suitable hat is essential in winter (gloves too), and in summer to avoid excessive exposure to the sun. A suitable walking pole(s) helps take the strain off joints and provides support on slippery surfaces.

Food and Drink

All walks include stops for refreshments and comfort breaks. Walkers should always take their own sufficient liquid refreshment to ensure good hydration. The Walk Leader will decide the location and duration of all stops during the walk. The Walks Programme indicates whether you should bring a packed lunch, or whether you can choose to book a pub lunch and how.

Rucksack

This should be comfortable to wear and provide sufficient space for waterproofs, food and drink, something waterproof to sit on (if you plan to sit on the ground at any time) and personal possessions required for the walk. A small first aid kit is advisable, and spare clothing as necessary. A rucksack cover is useful in wet weather.
 

THE WALK

The Walk Leader is a volunteer who has planned the route, and walked and checked it prior to the walk date. The time stated in the Walks Programme is the time at which the walk starts, so your arrival time at the venue should allow for parking, putting on boots, etc. The meeting place is identified precisely in the Walks Programme by the National Grid Reference and the relevant Ordnance Survey map. The route from Basingstoke is briefly described; post codes are only given as a guide for SatNav users but should be used in conjunction with the OS map coordinates given. The drive time is estimated from Basingstoke and is an indication only.

On arrival at the meeting place, new members should identify themselves to the Walk Leader.

Immediately prior to starting the walk, the Walk Leader will brief the group about the walk, check whether anyone has any questions, and introduce the back-marker or ask for a volunteer to be back-marker who will walk at the rear for the safety of the group.

During the walk:

  • All walkers should adhere to the Walk Leader's instructions.
  • Do not get ahead of the Walk Leader, who will be setting the pace for the walk and deciding on stops.
  • Keep the walker ahead in view.
  • Inform the Walk Leader or back-marker if you have a problem, need to slow down or stop, or want to leave the walk for any reason.
  • When walking along a road, do so in single file facing the oncoming traffic; however, where a blind right-hand bend occurs, using the left-hand side may be preferable. Follow the Walk Leader.
  • When crossing a road, take account of the Walk Leader's instructions, but the decision when to cross remains with the individual member.
  • When crossing a ploughed field, or a field with crops, walk in single file.
  • Only cross fences and hedges via the stile, gap or gate designated along the footpath.
  • If anyone challenges your right to be on a path, refer him/her to the Walk Leader immediately.
  • A dog is the sole responsibility of the owner, must be kept on a short lead and under the owner’s full control at all times. Walks are typically through farmland, sometimes through fields with farm animals.
  • Bin your litter. If unable to do so, take it all home with you. ('Litter' includes slow-to-degrade banana skins and orange peel.)
  • All accidents/incidents must be reported to the Walk Leader without delay, who will follow due process in order to comply with our insurer's instructions.

All members are expected to adhere to the above.
 

EMERGENCIES & MINOR INCIDENTS

A minority of members have first aid training, but generally if a member is injured or taken ill and is unable to continue, the Walk Leader's ability to assist is likely to be limited to calling for professional assistance.

For minor incidents, e.g. wasp/bee stings, some help may be immediately available; however, application of any form of medication cannot be undertaken by the Walk Leader and is at the sole discretion of the affected member.

 

May 2022