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How do I join the DYW or come on a walk?
Anyone can come on a walk, just turn up to a walk listed on our events programme!
However if you do become a regular and do 2 or 3 walks we do expect you join the The Ramblers. As member of The Ramblers you can lead group walks, go on group holidays and events, and you will also receive a discount on hiking equipment at some major outdoor stores.
What should I bring?
For most walks you should bring a packed lunch and a drink. Clothing and footwear should be appropriate for the conditions, and good quality walking socks to go with your boots will help prevent blisters. Be prepared in winter and harsh weather, and most people bring a small backpack (daypack). A mat or plastic bag to sit on at lunch is also a good idea. You'll find plenty of people willing to offer advice on equipment and if you become a member you can get discounts at several shops selling boots etc. We often stop at a pub or tea room at the end of a walk so money for this (or occansionally for parking) is a good idea.
Can I bring a dog or children on a DYW walk?
There are not normally any dogs or children on DYW walks, but in most cases there will be no objection if the dogs/children are well behaved. You should check with the person leading the walk first though.
How can I find the meeting point?
Along with the Google Map and marker pin for each walk (which can be printed out), the grid references (e.g. "SY123456") given in the programme can be used to identify the meeting point on an Ordnance Survey map or using an online maps system. Please bring these print outs with you to all events so you can find us. The events also have approximate addresses and postcodes you can use with a satnav, however due to the nature of postcodes and the countryside these may not be accurate. Many satnavs also have a function to add a more accurate lat/long coordinate, which is also provided for each walk.
There are usually at least 10 people on walks so we're normally easy to spot when you get to the car park. We often wait about 10-15 minutes after the start time to allow everyone to put on their boots and wait for anyone who might be delayed. The walk leader usually carries the group mobile phone or private mobile if you wish to call ahead, the number can be found on the walk description. Please be aware however that in remote or valley areas mobile reception will not be reliable.
Can I get a lift to the start of the walk?
Many of the walks are not easily accessible by public transport, although we do try and make some walks that start from a train station. If possible you should make your own way when you first meet the group and then arrange lift-sharing for future events. We activily encourage car-sharing, and this can be arranged through the group email or on our Facebook page.
Do I have to become a member of The Ramblers to come on DYW walks?
Non Ramblers members are welcome to come on a few of our walks, but you will be expected to join if you attend regularly or wish to become more actively involved in the group. The joining form for The Ramblers can be found here.
How do the different groups fit together?
There are currently 4 Ramblers groups in Dorset - North, East, South, West and the younger persons group - Dorset Young Walkers. When you join The Ramblers you will be allocated to one of the 'geographic' groups unless you specifically ask to join our group (group DT5). Younger people are welcome to come walking with us whichever group they have been allocated to, but might only get sent newsletters from one of the groups. Some walks are 'joint' - they include people from more than one group.
Why have 'younger persons' groups?
The Ramblers recognised over 10 years ago that the existing groups had a very high average age. Younger persons groups (YPGs) have been set up to attract new people to the organisation. We have members aged from early 20s to late 40s. Many groups such as our own have now split into two younger age-range groups, the 20s to 30s age range, and the 40s and 50s groups.
How fast does the group walk?
Our normal walks are usually fewer than 8 miles so are suitable for anyone of average fitness. We keep an eye on any newcomers and will not leave anyone behind! The pace can be brisk on longer walks but there are plenty of breaks for water and a usually a lunch stop. Longer distances (9miles+) and walks over very hilly terrain will require appropriate fitness and suitable footwear.
Do you do longer walks?
If you are interested in longer or faster walks then you will find similar people in our group - for example 8 Dorset young Walkers completed a 25 mile walk organised by the Long Distance Walkers Association.
When do walks finish?
Walks that start mid-morning normally finish between 3 and 4 pm, although long summer walks may finish later. After changing boots many walkers head for the nearest pub or tea-shop.