Safety Advice

Wilmslow Guild Walking Group

Suggestions for your safety to walkers and walk leaders

Personal

Check the weather forecast beforehand.

Consider the grading of the proposed walk, and if you don’t think you can manage it at a reasonable pace, opt out of going, or discuss it with the leader.

Ensure you have the appropriate sturdy footwear, warm clothing to include hat and gloves, waterproofs and a small first aid kit is recommended. Weather can change rapidly in hilly or mountainous areas.

Carry sufficient food and drinks for the day remember in hot weather to bring more liquid to avoid dehydration.

Take a spare pair of clothes to change into at the end of the walk if wet.

Always stay in touch with the leader and do not stray off on your own.

Leaders Planning the walk

Carefully plan the walk and walk it beforehand. It should be easily achievable within daylight hours. Assess its difficulty and the time it will take in a group. Measure the distance, and altitude required to climb.

Plan where the meeting place will be and a suitable place to park several cars at the beginning of the walk. Plan suitable places to stop for coffee and lunch in sheltered places if possible.

Consider the walk if it was bad weather and try to find alternative routes or escape paths.

Where possible avoid long distances on roads.

Ensure you have a weather protected map of the walk and surrounding area, compass and possibly a mobile phone as well as a small first aid kit. A GPS could be useful in remote areas or bad weather and when landscape features cannot be seen. Consider taking a whistle and torch.

If the proposed walk in considered demanding and at high level, a written route plan should be prepared, recording the route grid references for main stops and compass bearings along the route. A copy should be left with a responsible person at base in case of none return following an incident for rescue purposes.

Leading the walk

Take account of all the people on the walk and check that they are reasonably equipped for the proposed walk.

Ensure that everybody has transport to the walk start point.

Appoint a back marker, preferably someone who knows the walk and who has a map and compass.

Give a brief comment to the group on the proposed walk and any difficulty likely to be met.

Take note of the weather conditions and reappraise the walk if necessary.

Make frequent stops to allow slower walkers to catch up and offer them a break if climbing. Check all are present.

Allow a reasonable leisurely lunch break in as sheltered spot as possible.

Keep an eye open for possible distress in any members of the group, especially in bad weather.

Adjust the pace of the walk to cater for the slower members of the group and in bad weather keep the group closely together and inform them if an alternative route is to be taken due to bad weather.

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