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Due to the spread of the virus and the subsequent social distancing measures that I hope you’re all abiding by, we’ve had to change the way we hike too.
No longer are we gathering in groups and driving for hours, exploring the scenery, enjoying the banter and then laughing together over a decent meal. No longer do we get to feel the rays of sunshine on our faces, or get soaked by the rain, or even shiver in the cold. At least as a group, anyway.
Well, I’m happy to announce that THE HIKES MUST GO ON!!
But with a couple of major changes, of course!
We have a NEW format to the hikes – we’re going online baby!!
This means that you get to hike in the comfort of your own area (we would recommend against driving somewhere, so explore your local area if you can) and you can bring your family members along with you (as long as you abide by social distancing guidelines and regulations).
Then simply connect to our group video chat and engage with the banter as if we’re all together anyway!
We’ll be experimenting with different platforms (Zoom, Houseparty, Whatsapp, Hangouts, Teams), and will settle on the one that most people migrate to. We’ll make that announcement on our Telegram group
So, to summarise – you choose your route, and how long you want hike for in your own area. And we’ll all meet online!
To stop potential fraudsters joining in, we’ll be keeping the videochats on an invite-only basis, so if you’d like an invite, please join our Telegram group first.
Saturday 4th April
- Walk in your own area
- Log onto our video chat app of choice (still to be decided) at 10am
- Join the videochat
- Hike at your own pace and join in on the banter!
- TIP: you don’t necessarily have to start walking at 10am, you can start earlier to get to a great scenic area so that when you join the videochat, you have an amazing view to share with the rest of us!
- You won’t have any first aid trained individuals with you (unless if you bring someone yourself), so please be extra careful, as the NHS is already pretty overloaded (not that it wasn’t overloaded already)
- Extra equipment to consider – good set of earphones, battery bank, extra data for your phone!
- None lol
- Don’t even bother using your car for this – simply walk around in your neighbourhood, but try to explore somewhere new in your area – or somewhere slightly further away which would make this a worthy hike for you!
- HAT – ideally waterproof, but if not, even when hat is wet it will still be warm while you are moving
- SCARF/Neck Warmer – will keep neck warm, plus will protect face from wind and hail at top
- GLOVES – ideally waterproof, but any will do (additional liner gloves would be even better)
- BASE LAYER (very important) – cotton will soak up sweat and could cause hypothermia – use a sports t-shirt (dryfit /wicking/Merino wool baselayer)
- FLEECE/TOP x 2 or 3 – thin layers are better then one thick – its warmer overall and easier to cool down if too hot
- JACKET – waterproof
- TROUSERS – ideally waterproof, but anything that does not hold water like jeans
- SOCKS – thick socks, double up with liners or thin socks – plus bring spare
- BOOTS – waterproof
- HIKING POLES – they really save your knees on way down
- POWER BANK – keep your phone charged for all those selfies!
- OTHERS: tissue or wipes/plasters for blisters/clear plastic bag for mobile phone/black bag to line your rucksack/black bag for wet clothes & shoes on journey home (keep the car clean)/few dry clothes for journey home/lip balm/GPX route/torch/extra food/
The above list is not exhaustive, nor is everything there necessary or vital. If you would like more targeted advice, please contact one of us in the Telegram group.
How to prep:
Follow these recommendations and you might find that your hiking game improves over time!
- Learn to hydrate yourself regularly – being dehydrated on the mountain will only make yourself weaker and more tired. So make a habit of drinking around 2 litres of water throughout each day. Drink slowly (don’t gulp it down) and enjoy the water!
- Get that step count up – on a daily basis! Consider walking to work, or parking further away from your workplace and do the final leg of the journey on foot. Go for a walk on your lunch break. Or go for a walk after your evening meal every day leading up to the hike so that you’re used to being more active. Take the stairs instead of the lift.
- Get the right equipment! If you’re unsure what to get, ask on the Telegram group and get advice from some of our seasoned hikers. But go for comfort over brand names. And you don’t have to splash out on expensive equipment. Cheap and cheerful is usually fine for a beginner – you can always upgrade your equipment once you get more involved
To be added onto the Telegram group, please contact me directly
- We are NOT a hiking company – which is why it is free for you to come, as you will be joining as a member of public visiting a public place. Otherwise, you could very well be spending around £35/head to join in on a guided hike.
- We are not qualified Mountain Leaders; although some of us are working towards that qualification. Events like these build up the skill set and confidence of our hike leaders who will do whatever they can to assist you on this hike, should you need it.
- Therefore, we are not insured against anything that may happen to you on this hike. We may have Doctors amongst us, and we have many first aid trained individuals who would be more than willing to help if needed.
- Keep to the governmental guidelines on social distancing – so hike alone or with members of your household.
- Try not to drive to an area, but if you choose to drive, don’t drive anywhere too far from your home.
- Treat everyone and everything with respect – including passers-by, animals and the environment. This means no littering – even things that will decompose like banana skins (take all rubbish back to your house or car where you can dispose of things properly).
- Help each other – this is not a race to the end and there is no trophy for finishing first. We don’t support the individualistic culture – we are a helpful community that wish the best for others.
- Have a laugh and enjoy yourselves! But please don’t put our reputation in jeopardy. If you choose to do this online hike with us, you will inevitably be seen by others to represent us – even though that is not the case.
- Take plenty of pictures and share the best ones with the group! If they’re amazing, they may be published on the website!
- If you’re tired and would like a break along the trail, just stop – you won’t be holding anyone up!
- Don’t wait til the day to download the videochat app (whichever one we choose). Download it at least a few days in advance and familiarise yourself with it. Feel free to ask for more advice via the Telegram group.
- Use your common sense on the hike. If there are any problems or potential threats to safety, please inform a hike leader as soon as is practicable so that someone can take action.