The clothing on you back and the boots on your feet aren't the only things you'll need to have a good, safe and comfortable walking experience with the Group. Depending on the grade of the walk you wish to attend, and the expected weather, you'll need to carry some things as well. Below are a few hints to help you decide what to bring with you.
Don't forget, if you have to make any purchases to ensure you have the right kit, members of the RA enjoy a 10% discount on clothing and equipment from many outdoors stores. In addition, LYPWG members enjoy even greater discounts and monthly special offers at Cotswold Outdoors' Preston store. For further details click the Cotswold logo at the bottom of the page.
FOR EASY and MODERATE GRADE WALKS, in good or mild weather, you may not need to bring anything other than a packed lunch, something to drink (up to about a litre total) and a small rucksack to carry it in. However, this is an absolute minimum. What is to be carried in addition is dictated by the grade of the walk and the expected weather.
IN HOT SUNNY WEATHER at ALL WALK GRADES it makes sense to carry extra fluid (water is best), sunscreen, a suitable hat and maybe sunglasses.
IN COLD WINDY WEATHER at ALL WALK GRADES it makes sense to carry a windproof jacket, a suitable hat and gloves.
IN RAINY WEATHER at ALL WALK GRADES it makes sense to carry waterproof jacket & trousers, a suitable hat and waterproof gloves.
FOR INTERMEDIATE GRADE WALKS you should consider carrying spare socks, a spare layer of clothing, a personal first-aid kit and additional fluid (up to one and a half litres total if weather is hot or walk is to be long or strenuous). In late autumn, winter and early spring you should also consider carrying a small torch or headtorch.
FOR HARD GRADE WALKS you should carry spare socks, a spare layer of clothing, spare gloves, a spare hat, a headtorch, an emergency bivi bag, a personal first-aid kit and additional fluid (up to two litres total if weather is hot or walk is to be long or strenuous).
FOR SEVERE GRADE WALKS you must carry a map of the area being walked, spare socks, a spare layer of clothing, spare gloves, a spare hat, a headtorch, an emergency bivi bag, a personal first-aid kit, emergency food and additional fluid (up to two and a half litres total if weather is hot or walk is to be long or strenuous). In winter conditions you should also carry walking crampons if required.
MOST IMPORTANT don't forget to bring a sense of humour as you'll undoubtedly need it if bad weather comes in, and some beer money for a drink in the pub after; after all, rehydration after a long walk is essential!
- IPods, personal stereos, radios - they're very antisocial in a walk environment
- Excessive kit - if you aren't going to use it, and it's not there to ensure your safety, then don't carry it
- Alcohol - booze and walking do not go together. Save your beer thirst till safely in the pub after the walk
- Bad behaviour - be gracious to those you are walking with and those you meet. Give help, where needed, to fellow walkers over obstacles such as stiles. Hold gates open for others and close them properly if last through. Protect the environment (the old maxim, "Take only photographs, leave only footprints", is as valid today as it was 40 years ago). Listen quietly and carefully if the Walk Leader speaks and follow any instructions given by him or her (or by anyone assisting the Walk Leader).
For further guidance on what to bring on your walk please ask one of the New Member Team or a Walk Leader. Please note that if, in line with Ramblers' Association policy, you are inadequately dressed, equipped or fit for the walk you intend to join the Walk Leader may refuse to accept you as a participant.
When you join the Group through the Ramblers' Association you automatically qualify for extended discounts on a range of outdoorswear and equipment from Cotswold Outdoor's Preston Branch. Click the image link for further details.