Author Topic: The do's and dont's of hiking as a group?  (Read 1037 times)

gunwharfman

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The do's and dont's of hiking as a group?
« on: 11:03:03, 19/11/17 »
I've always hiked alone, not necessarily by choice either. I assume some of you hike in groups? What have you learned from the experience, either good or bad?

I've hiked with people I've met on route but only for a few days at the most. My worst experience was on the Tour du Mont Blanc. I was hiking with a couple of younger blokes, who also met each other en route. Whilst we were having a meal together, we agreed they we would pay for own own food and drink, unbeknown to me, one of them, on the pretence of going to the toilet, was buying his beer on my tab! He just went to the bar, ordered his drink and told the waiters I was buying.

He left us just as we were on our dessert and I only realised that I'd been scammed when I got my bill!

So if I ever get the chance to hike with others from the beginning, is it best to make some basic agreements before the hike starts?

barewirewalker

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Re: The do's and dont's of hiking as a group?
« Reply #1 on: 11:56:33, 19/11/17 »
As you usually walk alone, you will know to close a gate behind you. What if a gate was open when you came to it, how would 'tail end Charlie' know if the gate was opened or closed when the leader went through it. So who appoints a back marker, does there have to be a leader?


I don't think being scammed for a round of drinks is really a walking issue, possible a point of conversation in a bar. Just my opinion, but there are many bad social traits that give the visitor to the countryside a bad image in the eyes of the occupier. Such as bad parking, should access be restricted because many do not know how to behave towards each other. If you walk with a group your collective behaviour has a greater impact than the lone walker.


So an interesting tale comes to mind; A farmer was drenching his sheep (giving them medicine), he was on his  own, so he erected the working pens between two fields and let the treated sheep run out in to the adjoining field. Elsewhere a footpath crossed the boundary between these fields and a party of walkers went through, the gate got left open and the treated sheep became mixed with the untreated sheep.


The farmer should have marked the sheep as he drenched them, cardinal rule. If he had sent an employee to do the job and there had been an accident he might have considered negligent for not sending two to do that job and there would have been someone to do the marking.


I knew the farmer, who actually was the originator of this story, but I have heard the same story from many other sources. Many other farmers retell it to blacken the name of walkers and use it to backup there own grievances. So collectively they are lying to to score points.


Perhaps this is a lesson that groups leave bigger footprints.
BWW
Their Land is in Our Country.

tonyk

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Re: The do's and dont's of hiking as a group?
« Reply #2 on: 17:42:49, 19/11/17 »
 I have learned that a friend in urban life can become an enemy on the fells,especially when fatigue sets in and they start to get scared in adverse weather conditions.Its the reason I walk alone.

Welsh Rambler

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Re: The do's and dont's of hiking as a group?
« Reply #3 on: 19:42:26, 19/11/17 »
I walk with an organised group fairly regularly and lead walks for them. However you have to be prepared to walk at the pace of the slowest walker so there are regular stops for everybody to catch up. Stiles can be challenging for less nimble members and I recently led a group of 48 walkers where each stile took about 10 minutes for the group to all get over.
 
The walk leader appoints a back marker and we close gates behind us even if we find them open. We also use an intermediate marker where the path splits so we do not lose half the group!
 
 Although I prefer to walk alone at a lot quicker pace I do learn a lot of new routes from group walking. Itís also nice to share routes with other walkers who are often widows and would not feel safe walking on their own. A typical group will often be two thirds female and the friendly group environment has encouraged many to lead a group sometimes with a bit of help from experienced leaders.[/font]

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The time may also come where i am not safe to walk remote areas on my own and the group walking may enable me to continue walking into old age.[/font]

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Regards Keith[/font]

pauldawes

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Re: The do's and dont's of hiking as a group?
« Reply #4 on: 19:53:22, 19/11/17 »
I did a lot of my early walking in groups, but drifted into doing more and more on my own. Main reasons...just more flexible (go at own pace, go when I want, shorten or lengthen walk at a whim.)


I (of course) agree with Welsh Rambler that groups need to go at pace of slowest walker.


But certainly a couple of my friends have moved from group walking to solo walking as they have got older for that very reason...they believe itís unfair to rest of the group to substantially delay them on large majority of walks.

gunwharfman

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Re: The do's and dont's of hiking as a group?
« Reply #5 on: 20:27:33, 19/11/17 »
I can already understand that walking on ones own is not such a bad thing. It reminded me of a problem I had when meeting and then agreeing to walk with people for a couple of days.  I agreed to walk with two people who were staying the night in a hotel. I camp and I wake early and I am normally up, doing and more than likely ready to hike half an hour after dawn. My normal routine is to then hike for a couple of hours and then eat breakfast. The couple wanted to have their breakfast and they then joined me at about 8.30am. I'd been up since 6.30am and through politeness I just waited for them. I haven't repeated this mistake again.

I also take your point about the different speeds that individuals walk. Having to catch up, or to keep slowing down could be a problem.

Pitboot

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Re: The do's and dont's of hiking as a group?
« Reply #6 on: 06:05:43, 20/11/17 »
It would be nice if groups of walkers would not stand outside my bedroom window having loud discussions about their route, or the view, or their favourite bloody Wainwright. We've also had groups sitting on our wall or sprawling on a nearby verge as they have lunch. I've found litter from same after they have left, stuffed into the wall and dropped over into the garden.
I work nights, so does my partner, so having a bunch of inconsiderate loud mouths arrive an hour after we've gone to bed can be stressful to say the least.

I live on a farm that is near a junction of two paths in the Lake District so walkers are a common site. Sadly it is the older ones who are the culprits, D of E groups and Cadets are well behaved and considerate.
 Another problem is dog walkers who ostentatiously call to their mutts and "get them under control" as they pass the farm, even though I have seen the dogs running wild less than 100m away up the path.
And cyclists are a pain too, they cannot communicate at normal volume, everything has to be shouted for some reason, as they speed past dangerously close to my front door.
I'm moving into Kendal this week so this will all just be a memory.
I'm a walker too, and I don't see the reason to be loud when out and about.

April

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Re: The do's and dont's of hiking as a group?
« Reply #7 on: 10:10:23, 20/11/17 »
I'm a walker too, and I don't see the reason to be loud when out and about.

We are the same, no reason to be loud, for us it is just annoying when we are out walking, it spoils the walk, for you it is not letting you get to sleep, you have my sympathy Pitboot.

When we were out Saturday, we found people walking in groups that were so busy talking they were oblivious to us walking toward them. They were two or three abreast on the path and I had to jump out of the way onto the grass off the path or I would have been shoulder charged by a bloke who was too engrossed in his conversation to notice me.

"Who would've thought...... you are light and darkness coming through" words by Tim Armstrong

pauldawes

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Re: The do's and dont's of hiking as a group?
« Reply #8 on: 17:42:17, 20/11/17 »
Not a do or don't...but something I noticed when I regularly walked in groups...I never really took in the route to a good "enough standard" to do walk on my own afterwards.


I was persuaded to start walking by a good friend..because he thought we were both getting really unfit (he was right though I didn't realise that at the time).


Anyway "general strategy" was to join local rambling group, do a load of walks with them...and so build up a "port folio" of walks that we could do solo afterwards anytime we fancied a stroll.


But we both found exactly the same thing... just following the walk leader for a 6 or 7 mile walk didn't enable us to memorise it well enough to do it solo afterwards. On other hand if I plan and navigate a walk on my own, can usually do it subsequently with minimal recourse to a map.





gunwharfman

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Re: The do's and dont's of hiking as a group?
« Reply #9 on: 18:28:55, 20/11/17 »
Thank you all, I've learned  lot. Maybe walking alone is not so bad after all. I get the feeling from what I have read and from the little personal experience I have, that to be viable and for the best results for everyone, the group should never be larger than ---?--- (4-6 perhaps?) and perhaps when walking, not to be bunched up and live in each 'others pockets'. Would this be fair comment?

dank86

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Re: The do's and dont's of hiking as a group?
« Reply #10 on: 20:43:11, 20/11/17 »
I used to lead large groups of walkers as part of my old job, a route that would take me about an hour would stretch to three hours it was a nightmare.

I do a mix of solo routes and groups of about 5 or 6, normally it's the same people in the group so we know our limitations and how to push each other further. We don't always walk as a bunch sometimes we get a bit spread out but sometimes it's good to go as a group have a bit of a laugh

Slogger

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Re: The do's and dont's of hiking as a group?
« Reply #11 on: 15:32:04, 23/11/17 »
I prefer solo every time. Ive walked and climbed mountains in a group, Ive also led groups on the fells.
Up to four of us went through a Munro baggin phase. it wasn't so bad when there were just two of us but more than that, and all fell runners at the time, and each walk became highly competitive, almost a race to the top and back down.
When solo it is complete freedom of route, pace, where and when to stop etc. you can always chat someone briefly then be on your way again.
For safety these days I always carry a tracker with an emergency button just in case. it works via GPS so doesn't require a mobile signal.

gunwharfman

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Re: The do's and dont's of hiking as a group?
« Reply #12 on: 17:11:51, 24/11/17 »
Yes, like me, I carry a Pebbell, I think it must be a similar gadget to yours.

gunwharfman

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Re: The do's and dont's of hiking as a group?
« Reply #13 on: 17:14:51, 24/11/17 »
Mine however requires a mobile signal to work, its also an emergency phone as well. My wife, if she wanted to can also programme it, to warn her If I've wandered out a specific geographical  area :)

Jac

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Re: The do's and dont's of hiking as a group?
« Reply #14 on: 09:28:36, 25/11/17 »
My wife, if she wanted to can also programme it, to warn her If I've wandered out a specific geographical  area :)
;D sorry, just my sense of humour. Ignore me
Most walks start by finding the way out of the car park