Walking Gear

What do I really need?

We want our hobby as accessible as possible. But, walking in the hills does carry some risk, and that risk needs to be minimised. We would recommend the following list for all walks, not just those with BFG:

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  • Walking boots are an essential – although a few members tackle wetter or shorter walks in wellies. Trainers do not offer much grip and do not support the ankle.
  • Most of us change into our boots at the start which means that we have dry shoes to look forward to at the end.
  • Waterproof coat – even if the forecast is good, rain is possible. Most of us carry a stow away waterproof in summer.
  • Waterproof over trousers – as above. We walk all through the year, and these are essential in winter
  • Gloves / Hats. The cold and rain can be harsh in winter – gloves and hats help.
  • Thick warm socks – and perhaps a change of socks for the end of the walk.
  • Extra layers – multiple thin layers generally work better so you can add / remove as the day changes.
  • Spare warm clothing and a towel can be a welcome relief at the end of a particularly wet walk.
  • Sunglasses  / Sun Cream/ Sun Hats  – yes, we do get a few hot days!
  • We generally have a drink mid-morning, most of us carry a flask for this.
  • Sufficient water is essential for health, so bring a filled water bottle.
  • We have a lunch break on most walks, so carry a packed lunch for that please.
  • Snacks as required – be prepared for the day to be longer than anticipated, and carry emergency rations.
  • A rucksack to carry things  – a simple inexpensive backpack will suffice to start with.
  • A map that covers the area we are walking is a good idea – the walks are guided, but we think everyone should be able to navigate for themselves.
  • So know how to read and use an OS map – even if you use a navigation device.
  • You will need a compass to use an OS map properly – compasses on phones should not be relied on.
  • Mobile phone – to enable emergency calls, take pictures and to support navigation apps.
  • Consider bringing a portable power bank.
  • Torch – helpful if for example we run out of light due to a delay or we explore a cave.
  • More importantly torches can be used to signal a location if lost in the dark.
  • Whistle – again a good way to attract attention.
  • First Aid kit – a few members carry these, so don’t worry if you don’t have one just yet.
  • Walking Pole. Not an absolute requirement – some members choose not to use them, but most do.
  • Folding Mat – to sit on when we stop for a brew.
  • You may not have all these things just yet.
  • If that’s the case start with an easier walk, under better weather conditions and start with what you have
  • As you gain experience and talk to other group members you will develop an idea of what you need to add.