What to bring on a walk and walking fitness

Walking in the South East rarely requires specialist, expensive clothing or equipment. Some boots or comfortable shoes with a good sole, waterproofs and a hat appropriate to the weather, together with jumpers or fleeces if the day should be cold, are all you need. Check the weather forecast before you come out and dress appropriately for several hours in the open air. A small daysac (or large pockets) is useful for containing a hot or cold drink and a snack for the nibble break, both of which will keep thirst and hunger at bay until we reach a pub or cafe. Don't forget the suntan lotion, either. During wet periods, and in Winter, many paths or fields can be extremely muddy and often a walk will entail climbing over one or, more likely, many stiles. Assess your fitness honestly and seek medical advice if you have doubts as to whether you are healthy enough to undertake a walk in the country. There are no mountains in Kent but it is not a flat county and a stiff climb up the slope of the North Downs will see the best of us puffing hard! Most likely your local council will run a "Healthy Walks" programme and you could join that to test out and/or improve your fitness.

Before coming out and on the day

If you have any questions then telephone the leader of the walk you plan to join. Allow plenty of time to find the starting place and, if coming by car, to park and change into your walking clothes. Walks details, with maps, are to be found by using the menus. Introduce yourself to the leader and sign the register. That will be it; you will then be a rambler! Enjoy the day, chat to your fellow walkers but let the leader know if you have any problems.