Whether you call it rambling, hiking or walking – and yes, there are subtle differences – making sure you do enough of it can be tricky! If the problem is having no willing or able companion, and you’d rather not go it alone, a walking club could be the ideal solution.
Many BCH Camping
customers are members of walking clubs, and we work with many in the local area. Spending time with like-minded people can only be a good thing, and there is no pressure to take part in all events.
What are the benefits of being a member of a walking club?
Regular walking is good for you!
The benefits of regular exercise are well documented. Walking is a safe form of exercise that is good for your heart and muscles, and burns fat. It is often considered not worthy of “real” exercise status because it doesn’t create as much sweat as running or other high energy sport, but walking provides many health benefits:
Walking at a brisk pace raises your heart rate which is beneficial to your cardiovascular health
One of the benefits of routine walking is that it can help you maintain your weight or even shed a few pounds
Walking at an easy pace works your muscles and joints, improving your flexibility and strength
Regular walking at a slower pace minimizes the stress on your knees, ankles, hips, and lower back while slowing joint deterioration and improving your mood and energy levels.
Walking with a club means meeting new people
Whether you feel isolated and keen to make new friends or you’re socially active and just like meeting new people, a walking club gives you the opportunity to make new acquaintances and interact with them as much as you like. Through the art of conversation, you can also be inspired to consider new walking routes or walking holiday destinations that you’ve possibly never heard of before.
While walking with other members of a club, you can chat all the way or walk quietly. There is no pressure. Everyone is in the same boat – or on the same path – and no doubt there will be people with similar interests to your own and those who are very different. That’s life’s rich tapestry for you. Either way it makes for an opportunity to broaden your horizons and have an enjoyable day out.
Walking clubs have the intel on interesting walking routes
As a club member you are given access to a wealth of information about walking routes that you might not otherwise be privy to, particularly those outside your local area. Furthermore, seeing a new area as part of a formally organised group can give you a completely different experience than going on your own.
It’s easy to be put off embarking on a walk if you have any concerns about whether it’s suitable for your abilities. Most clubs will have a grading system for their walks so that you can decide in advance if a route is appropriate or of interest to you. Group organisers will also have additional information if you need it to help you make a decision about whether to join in or not.
Advice and support are available from fellow walkers and organisers
Whether it’s deciding on the best footwear, clothing or equipment, or needing to know about terrain or conditions, the beauty of being part of a walking group is that other members are on hand to help.
By joining a walking club, you become part of a community of people who all have a passion for the outdoors and keeping fit. Swapping tips and discussing routes, the best places to shop for walking gear (this of course would be BCH Camping
!), places of interest, safety guidelines and so on means you can spread your wings – or feet – and take on more than just a circular walk around your town.
Walking clubs can teach old dogs new tricks
If the inspiration to walk regularly has come to you later in life you may by lacking in some of the skills associated with this fabulous hobby. By being part of a walking club, you can learn about the likes of map reading, using a compass and navigation skills.
Should you decide to become involved as an organiser or in the running of the club you can develop leadership skills or use transferable skills honed during a work career.
Join the army of walkers fighting for access rights!
If you get frustrated about access to restricted footpaths, joining a walking group could give you a voice in campaigning for a better deal for walkers.
Walking and rambling groups have been instrumental in winning improved access rights across the UK. Groups are now fighting to protect national footpath networks and beautiful landscapes. They are regularly consulted by national and local government about potential changes that could affect walkers’ rights. This could be your chance to speak out and have some impact for the future of walking and rambling.
How do I find my local walking club?
If you are a beginner and a little anxious at the thought of joining a group having had little experience, there are many walking groups that focus on beginners and organise easier walks which may be slightly shorter or less challenging.
For the hardcore hiker, there are many groups that offer tougher walks on more challenging terrain.
There are a range of groups to cover particular demographics such as people with a disability or health challenges, walks suitable for prams, age-specific groups, groups for women only and so on.
Groups can be found via the following websites:
How can BCH Camping help?
At BCH Camping we stock clothing
and backpacking equipment
to make your walking activities as enjoyable and hassle-free as possible.
For clothing, breathable fabrics should be worn rather than cotton, and where possible you should be layering
your clothing to allow you to adapt to the conditions.
Your choice of footwear will depend on the terrain and expected weather during your walk. We have a range of fabric
boots to choose from, and we would always recommend that your boots be professionally fitted. Should you need a professional fitting service or any advice on your footwear we’d be happy to help.
Get in touch
BCH Camping have stores in Trowbridge, Bath and Chippenham. We’d be delighted to welcome you and help with any walking requirements. Alternatively, you can call us on 01225 460200 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
. It’d be great to hear from you.