Walk leader's checklist
BEFORE THE WALK
Choose the route
- Consider location, length and timing, whether linear or circular.
- Consider season, terrain, heights and climbs, likely ability and fitness of the group.
- The route you choose may be one you already know or from a map or guidebook.
- Consider points of interest on the route
- Check transport options, such as public transport and car park for central meeting point, refreshment points and toilets.
Recce the route (preferably with a back marker)
- Walk the full route, noting critical navigation points, hazards and problems, adjusting the route if necessary.
- Check timings, rest and toilet points, escape or alternative route, any access restrictions.
- Note any path or access problems to report to relevant Group Officers.
Publicising the walk
- Submit your walk to the Programme Co-ordinator to include in the Walking Programme with appropriate descriptions such as grade and grid reference and whether it is dog and children friendly etc...
THE DAY BEFORE
- Check accurate weather forecasts and alter the route if necessary. Be prepared to cancel if the weather is bad.
- Recheck public transport / train times and remind the pub if you plan to stop there.
- Check personal gear and first aid kit.
- Be prepared to answer queries from potential attendees.
ON THE DAY
At the start
- Be early and welcoming, especially to newcomers.
- Check the fitness and equipment of the party and identify anyone with particular needs. Be prepared to turn away any inadequately equipped walkers.
- Appoint a backmarker if you don't already have one.
- Introduce yourself and the backmarker and give details of the walk, the route, the estimated time of return, refreshment stops, point of interest and any hazards to be aware of.
- Count the party and signal the start of the walk.
on the walk
- Stay at the front and check frequently that you can see your backmarker or have communications with them.
- Set a pace to suit the fitness and capabilities of the party and the advertised grade of the walk.
- Check your route frequently, if necessary using map and compass.
- Make a point of chatting to newcomers.
- Highlight any points of interest.
- Manage the group's pace over stiles, through gates and across roads. Periodically count the number to ensure that everyone is present.
- Be alert to problems with the weather, road walking or crossing and individuals.
- Enjoy the walk
At the end of the walk
- Check everyone has returned and can get home and thank them for coming.
AFTER THE WALK
- Invite everyone to have a social drink in the hostelry of the leader's choosing.
Guidance issued by RAMBLERS to all their walk leaders