Frequently Asked Questions - Walking
How hard will the walk be?
All the walks in the club programme are graded from easy to moderate, strenuous, hard and very hard. Easy walks would be in low-lying countryside and valley bottoms and of 7 to 8 miles. Some easy walks are suitable for families with small children and are generally short and fairly flat. Moderate walks would venture up from valley floors into the hills and be of 9 to 11 miles. Strenuous walks are those which have a good-deal of ascent, or of longer distances. Hard walks are those in mountainous terrain, of 9 to 12 miles with ascents over 2600ft. Very hard walks are those in mountainous terrain of over 12 miles and have over 4000ft of ascent and may involve some degree of scrambling.
What is a typical walk like?
A typical walk would be one in terrain like Swaledale, venturing up from the valley floor and of a moderate grade over a distance of approximately 9 miles. There are also walks in the programme both in low-lying countryside and valleys, and in mountainous terrain like the Lake District. We try to get started punctually, especially in winter to avoid standing round in the cold. Stops are made for eleven’s and lunch generally at good viewpoints. At the end of the walk we like to go to a café or pub, where the co-ordinator can get feed-back from people about the walk. You can get an idea of what our walks are like by looking at Previous Trips in the Walking Section part of this website.
What should I bring?
- Rucksack (with rain cover)
- Waterproof jacket & trousers
- Appropriate clothing for season (denim jackets and trousers should not be worn)
- Food (plus emergency food items)
- Small personal first aid kit
- Map (to cover walk area), map case & compass
- Sit mat
- Fibre-pile gloves
Additional Items for winter walks:
- Water-proof overmitts
- Warm fibre-pile hat
- Head torch
- Survival orange polybag
- Ski goggles (on mountains)
- Ice axe (on mountains)
- Crampons (on mountains)
What should I wear?
Walking boots, good quality loop socks, high wicking “next to skin” garments (cotton should be avoided), fibre pile intermediate clothing, good quality walking trousers (not denims) together with shorts and tee shirt in warm weather. Your clothing should also include a breathable waterproof jacket, over-trousers and a pair of fibre-pile gloves. Advice on clothing can be obtained from the walk co-ordinator.
Where will be be walking?
Over low-lying countryside, along river valleys, out of valleys into hills and moors, and up onto mountains.
When do we go walking?
Generally we have programmed day walks each Sunday and once a fortnight on Thursdays. Sometimes, in the summer, we have programmed evening walks, and on special occasions (e.g. Richmond Club Day) there may be Saturday walks. We also have weekend and longer walking trips in the programme.
What time should I arrive?
Day walks are generally scheduled to start at 10am. One should endeavour to be at the starting place at least 10 minutes beforehand to get ready to start on time.
Where do we meet?
The meeting place is specified in the programme, sometimes identified by both grid reference, and by description (e.g. village green, village hall, market place, car park etc).
Do I need to ring the walk co-ordinator?
Yes, more so if it is your first walk, you are uncertain about your personal capabilities to take part, or simply would like further details of the walk. It is also polite to ring the co-ordinator (contact telephone number in the programme) just to let him or her know that you will be participating. If you have rung the walk co-ordinator, they will know to expect you on the day and may delay the start within reason. Otherwise walks will start as scheduled.
Who comes out walking?
We have a wide age range of participants, both male and female, from five to eighty years old. Sixteen and seventeen year olds may join the Club as Junior Members with the consent of their parent(s) and may participate in Club activities without their parents being present. Prospective new junior members (16 and 17 year olds) may participate in Club activities provided they have written parental consent. Under 16s may only participate in Club activities provided they are family members and are accompanied by a parent or by someone acting in loco parentis. The club's Child Protection Policy can be found in our Policies section.
Is any guidance available for walk organisers and participants?
Please read our Guidance Note.
How can I find out what's going on?
All club sections enter their activities in the overall Swaledale Outdoor Club programme, which can be accessed via this web site. Notices are also posted in the club monthly newsletter.
Are there any social events?
Yes, we have a Club Dinner Dance each year in February at a local venue. There are Slide shows, lectures and “All Section” Quiz Nights at the Clubhouse. The Walking Section holds a Christmas Dinner each in December each year. All are shown in the three monthly club programme, which can be accessed via this web site.