Guidelines for Walking Parties
Ensure that the details of your walk and contact telephone numbers have been correctly entered into the programme. On the day of the walk, leaders should carry a switched on mobile phone, a whistle, a first aid kit, and a map showing the route of the walk
As far as possible the route should be off roads and on rights of way or over which the public have a right of access. Start and finish points should be convenient with adequate car parking and ideally accessible by public transport. Arrangements should be discussed in advance with the publican if a pub stop is included on the walk.
The stated mileage of the walk should be accurate.
The route should be pre-walked shortly before the walk day, to check that nothing has changed significantly from when it was planned (e.g. field recently ploughed, route diverted, deep mud etc).
The Walk Briefing
After welcoming the group and introducing any guests, the walk leader should explain the route with any specific features or hazards and give details of refreshment and toilet stops. It is helpful if approximate timings are given. This is the opportunity for everyone to check that they are suitably equipped for the walk. A backmarker should be introduced to the group and their role explained.
It is recommended that the backmarker carries a charged mobile phone, a whistle, a first aid kit and a map showing the route of the walk. The backmarker will keep in contact with the leader to ensure that the group is kept together and that no one is left behind for any reason.
The leader should maintain a pace that caters for all members of the group, given the terrain and weather conditions. Contact with the backmarker is essential throughout the walk to ensure that the group is never split up. This is especially important where paths diverge and where the route may become complicated such as through a village or wood. A good leader will regularly check the wellbeing of all members of the group throughout the walk.
Time should be allocated for picnic and/or pub stops (usually 45 minutes at lunchtime) with a clear departure time and location stated.
Advice from Ramblers Central Office when road walking is to usually walk in single file against oncoming traffic. At the end of the walk any incidents, accidents or footpath obstructions should be reported to a committee member. The Group Secretary keeps a record of incidents / accidents and informs Head Office in the event of a possible insurance claim.
Accept and support the walk leader’s decisions. Do not pressure the walk leader regarding the pace of the walk or go ahead of the walk leader without agreement. Do not walk more than two abreast across cultivated fields. Check with the walk leader before eating your own food on pub premises. Inform the walk leader or backmarker if you intend to leave the walk, albeit temporarily. Always carry your emergency contact details with you in your rucksack.
Emergency Calls using your mobile - calling 112
When an emergency arises a quick response is essential. Busy networks or signal variations on mobile phones can cause delays which may have serious consequences.
Calling 112 will take you directly to the Emergency Services from any mobile phone since they are all pre-programmed to do so. They will also hunt for other available providers and override a busy network. No security code is needed and the phone will work even without a sim card or credit balance. The 112 service is available worldwide in 70 countries.
Making a 112 call
Tap in 112 on your keyboard and wait 1 minute. If unsuccessful turn 180 degrees, retry and wait 1 minute. If still unsuccessful you can send a text message - but you must be pre-registered.
To pre-register, simply text "Register" to 112. When you receive the automatic reply, text back, saying "Yes" to confirm your registration.
Texts operate on a different bandwidth and have a much greater chance of getting through to the Emergency Services.
When contacting the service give your location - a grid reference may help , but not always, so a verbal explanation pointing out any significant landmarks will help. State the nature of the injury or injuries if more than one person is involved.
All our walk leaders should consider registering, just in case an emergency arises in an area with no or intermittent network coverage.