Guidelines

Personal Equipment

We believe in Club Walkers enjoying their walk in safety and comfort. But this can be a double-edged sword; if you are inadequately prepared for a given walk you are a danger to OTHERS in your walking group as well as a danger to YOURSELF.

The best thing you can do for your own safety is to be properly equipped.

  • Membership Card: Carry it with you on all walks - and ensure the additional information, (Date of Birth, Ailments and allergies, Disabilities, Any long term medical treatment(s), Blood Group), is up to date.
  • Insulation: Modern fibres such as Polartec fleece have, to a large extent, replaced natural fibres.
  • Boots: Need to be comfortable yet robust, give support for the ankles and a sound grip with the ground. Modem composition soles with good tread are best for most conditions, e.g. Vibram or Contagrip.
  • Socks: Loop pile thermal in winter, Coolmax in summer and, if you prefer, a thin lining sock. Nylon or cotton may cause discomfort.
  • Gaiters: Strongly recommended for rough terrain, especially when it is wet or snowing.
  • Trousers: Jeans are hot in warm weather and a positive hypothermia killer in cold, wet weather. Do NOT wear them please. It is sensible to wear trousers that are windproof, that dry easily and are loose fitting, and comfortable.
  • Thermal Underwear: These are strongly recommended for both ladies and gentlemen, especially in winter months. You know it makes sense. Again the choice is between natural fibres like wool and man-made thermal fibres like those used in Helly Hansen and other similar underwear.
  • Shirt(s) Jumpers: Suitably warm! Not necessarily two inches thick. It is far better to go for a number of layers, extra length to cover the small of the back etc.
  • Body Warmers: Highly recommended.
  • Gloves/Mitts: Two pairs are better than one, again the layer principle. A waterproof pair or waterproof overgloves are necessary for wet weather.
  • Hats: 50%+ of body heat is lost through the head. Get a hat and have it with you on ALL walks - it can get surprisingly cold on the tops even on a hot summer's day.
  • Waterproofs: Do ensure that you are carrying/wearing outer shell garments (Jackets and Overtrousers) which ARE waterproof Some of the weather we walk in has to be experienced to be believed. We do not want a case of hypothermia occurring due to a member's lack of attention to these major clothing items, or worse, leaving them behind just because we have perhaps enjoyed a recent spell of good weather.
    Waterproof jackets and overtrousers are also useful windproof garments, which will help reduce the wind-chill factor.
  • Rucksacks: A daysack which is large enough to contain all your gear for the day's walk.
    Remember to put a large, heavy gauge polythene bag in it to help act as a waterproof liner. (These can be obtained custom made).
  • Maps: It is preferable for each member to carry a map of the area for the walk of that day. A waterproof see-through cover for your map is sound sense for wet days. (Laminated maps can now be obtained).
    Part of the enjoyment of any walk is to relate what is seen "on the ground" with the way it is represented on the map; an active interest in map reading is worth cultivating. It could some day save a life - perhaps your own!
  • Compass: Carry one and know how to use it. The protractor type, like the Silva compass, is a valuable item to be used in conjunction with the map. Modern technology has now produced the GPS, which some members may find useful.
  • Whistle: A must! The emergency procedure when in distress is six blasts per minute followed by a minute's silence. Repeat even after you hear a response - which is three blasts during your minute's silence - until visual contact is clearly made. The orange plastic ones without a 'pea' are best value.
  • Food: Adequate for the day, high in carbohydrates for readily available energy. Emergency rations, like Mars bars, will be ADDITIONAL to your day's rations.
  • Liquids: De-hydration is the problem on any day walk or longer. Carry a hot drink in a thermos flask for cold weather and PLENTY of water - flavoured or plain, for hot weather. Coffee and tea are diuretics and NOT recommended.
    WARNING: - Alcohol is dehydrating and helps the onset of hypothermia.
  • First Aid Kit: In addition to some plasters for blisters, a minimum kit will contain painkillers like Paracetamol and at least one large wound dressing (a sterile pad attached to a bandage). We all carry something extra that we, as individuals consider necessary in our personal or group first-aid kit.
  • Watch: Vital! Do cheek that it is in good working condition with a secure strap or chain. Preferably waterproof and with a backlight.
  • Spare Clothing: At least one spare jumper, along with hats, gloves, goggles, scarf etc.
  • Torch: Absolutely essential - never leave home without one! Complete with spare fresh batteries and spare bulb. Check their condition regularly.
  • Bivvy Bag: A large adequate Bivvy Bag in heavy gauge polythene is essential. Bin bags are useless, as they give no protection against cold, wet or windy weather. Proper Bivvy bags do offer considerable protection from the elements in the event of an emergency and can be lifesavers.
  • Space Blanket: Light in weight, occupies 'very little space and can be useful in cases of hypothermia when used in conjunction with a Bivvy Bag. Keep it with your first-aid kit.
  • Money: Whilst emergency phone calls are free (999), other useful calls are not. Carry some 10p coins in your first-aid kit. (mobiles do not work in all areas).
  • Personal Hygiene: A small packet of paper hankies can come in very handy!
  • Pen and Paper: For emergency notes etc.
  • Change of Clothes: When you are at low ebb after a walk, a change into dry, comfortable, preferably warm clothing for the evening is a great morale booster. This is normally left on the bus during the walk.

Follow the Safety Code: Be safe on the fells. Be dressed for the day and the walk. Carry the minimum weight consisting of the maximum items for your personal safety and comfort.

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