Gay Outdoor Club
The activity club for gay men and women and their friends

Further Information

Walking is our main activity, but we also cater for cycling (both on and sometimes off road) plus occasional social events. As well as day events there are monthly weekends away where we stay in hostels or have summer camping.

Which Walk?

Day walks usually average about 9 miles, though there are longer or shorter ones available.

On summer evenings we have some short walks of about 3 to 5 miles, with a drink afterwards.

Newcomers to walking are advised to start with one of the shorter walks, as the longer ones may be quite challenging, especially where the terrain is difficult or very hilly. Check with the leader if you are in doubt about what to expect. Some of the walks on our weekends away are a lot more strenuous, especially those in the Lake District or Snowdonia.

What to Bring

Arrive with a packed lunch and plenty to drink unless event details say otherwise.

Occasionally a lunchtime pub stop is possible but don't count on it, least of all in winter when daylight and time are short.

On rough, steep ground or in winter conditions it's vital to wear boots, which give more stability to the foot and ankle. For summer walks on easier ground trekking shoes are often adequate though do expect wet feet if they aren't the waterproof type. Ask the walk leader what terrain to expect if you are in doubt.

British weather is often unpredictable, even in the height of summer, so pack your rucksack with waterproofs, hat and gloves plus some extra warm clothing. Cotton clothing (e.g. jeans) soaks up lots of water and dries slowly, feeling cold and uncomfortable, so is best avoided. The weather can change surprisingly quickly with wintry conditions occurring at almost any time of year. Often hill conditions are very different from those you left at home.

In winter the need for extra clothing, a torch and spare batteries cannot be overstressed. In summer don't forget your sun hat, sun cream and extra drinks in case of hours of hot sun.

Weekend Events

Transpennine organises monthly hostelling or camping weekends. Even if you are not staying overnight you are welcome to join us for the day provided you let the organiser know in advance. Please note though that we are generally ready to start walking by 9:30am.

To camp with us you'll need to have your own tent and camping gear. This need not be too costly and experienced campers will offer advice on what to get. Some camp sites have toilet and shower facilities but little else. Often our evening meal is in a local pub but it's best to have some basic cooking equipment.

The hostels we visit are either part of the YHA network or privately owned and sometimes we rent the whole building for our exclusive use. Small dormitories with bunk beds are the norm. At YHA hostels bedding is provided but it's often necessary to take a sleeping bag or other bedding to privately owned ones. Take your own towel etc., though some hostels will hire you one if you forget.

YHA hostels are often shared with other parties. Booking is usually direct with the YHA but do always contact the organiser first in case he has reserved some beds or plans have changed. The YHA has a £3 a night surcharge for non-members. An optional full meal service is usually available, with a self-catering kitchen for those who choose to cook their own meals. Most YHA hostels now sell wine and beer; only unlicensed ones will allow you to drink your own alcohol.

Where we have sole use of a hostel the contact for that weekend takes bookings. There may be a communal evening meal arranged but other meals are normally on a self-catered basis. You are free to take alcohol to sole-use hostels.

Dogs

Well behaved dogs are welcome on most events. Some landowners ban all dogs as do many camp sites, the YHA and most private hostels. It's sometimes possible to let dogs sleep in the car at hostel weekends.

Owners are fully responsible for their dogs during walks and are expected to observe the Countryside Code, using a short lead where necessary. Please ensure that the risk of others tripping over your dog or its lead is minimised and do not expect assistance with lifting over stiles as this can carry a risk of back injury and bites. Also if your dog is not well behaved people in the group are likely to find it annoying.
 

In case of emergency

You may wish to have the following numbers entered into your mobile phone address book:

  • ICE  - the number(s) of your next of kin for first responders to contact - some handsets have this as a standard feature
  • Emergency Services - 112  - please click here for an explanation of how to summon help using your mobile in the event of an emergency or accident
 
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