Walk leaders check list
This checklist is based on advice from the Ramblers Navigation and Leadership, a manual for Leading Group Walks. Walks are led in different ways according to Group practice and the nature of the walk.
For more guidance about leading walks see www.ramblers.org.uk/volunteer and click on Walks Leader.
- Choose the route
- Consider the location, length and timing, whether linear or circular.
- Consider season, terrain, climbs, likely ability and fitness of the group.
- The route you chose may be one you already know, taken from a map or guidebook. Consider points of interest on the route.
- Check transport options, such as public transport or car parks for central meeting point, refreshments and toilets.
- Recce the route (preferably with a backmarker)
- Walk full route, noting critical navigation points, hazards and problems, adjusting route if necessary. Check timings, rest and toilet points, escape or alternative routes, any access restrictions and mobile phone coverage.
- Report any path or access problems to relative Group Officers.
- Publicising the walk
- In order to be recognised as a Ramblers walk the walk must be submitted to the Programme Co-ordinator with the nominated leader identified, so that the walk is publicised on-line, ideally on Group Walks Finder, and/or in print.
THE DAY BEFORE
- Check weather forecasts, www.mwis.org.uk covers many mountainous areas, and review route if necessary. Be prepared to cancel if weather is too bad.
- Recheck public transport and forewarn pub/café if you plan to stop there.
- Check personal gear and first aid kit.
- Charge mobile phone.
- Be prepared to answer queries from potential attendees.
ON THE DAY
- Some Groups ask walkers to carry an emergency contact number and medical details, other Groups ask the leader to record these details.
- Invite declarations from anyone who may have difficulty completing the walk. This allows anyone with a medical condition to bring it to your attention in private.
- Be early and welcoming, particularly to newcomers.
- Where appropriate check the equipment of the party and be prepared to turn people away if circumstances demand.
- Hand out membership forms to non-members and explain the work of the Ramblers.
- Appoint a backmarker if you don’t already have one.
- Introduce yourself and the backmarker and give details of the walk: the route, estimated finish time, refreshment stops and points of interest.
- Highlight your expectations of walkers and any places where particular care is needed.
- Adults accompanying children under 15 years must be reminded that they are responsible for them and check that unaccompanied 15-17 year olds have permission to attend.
- Count the party and signal the start of the walk.
ON THE WALK
- Frequently check that you can see your backmarker or have communication with them. Allow for re-grouping as required.
- Set a pace to suit the fitness and capabilities of the party and advertised grade of the walk.
- Check your route frequently if necessary using the map and/or compass.
- Make a point of chatting to any newcomers.
- Highlight any points of interest.
- Manage the party over stiles, through gates and forests, in poor weather and across roads. Periodically count the number to ensure everyone is present.
- Be alert to any problems with individuals, weather, road walking or crossings.
- Importantly – enjoy the walk!
- At the end of the walk
- Check everyone has returned and can get home and thank them for coming.
- Encourage non-members to join.
AFTER THE WALK
- All incidents must be reported to the Led Walks Officer as soon as practically possible via the Incident Report Form available on the website. Report any path problems to the relevant Group Officer.
Ver.1.3 Mar 2011