Walking Advice

The group will leave Jethro Centre, Lurgan punctually at 9:30am on morning of walks (previously 10:00am). Where possible the start point for walks and estimated time of departure on walk will be "broadcast" beforehand via email, text and the web site. If you are going directly to start of walks make sure to check beforehand to confirm the rendezvous point and car share as much as possible, not only to save the planet but also because parking can be limited.

Walk Safely & Enjoy Your Walk

Walking is one of the safest outdoor activities but, as with any outdoors activities, it is not without risk and the risk increases as the grade of walks and the severity of the weather increases. Make sure you understand how walks are graded. The following advice should help minimise risk without compromising enjoyment.

Individual Safety
  • Know your own limitations and if you have been inactive for some time take some shorter grade 1 and 2 walks to build up your fitness and stamina.
  • Whilst walking your pace should be such that you can comfortably hold a conversation. If you become breathless while walking and talking, slow down; we'll not leave you behind!
  • Listen to your body. If you feel pain, dizziness, nauseous or unduly uncomfortable in any way, stop and summon assistance.
  • Keep hydrated. Drinking water is always a good idea. Drink small amounts before, during AND after your walk, especially if you are sweating heavily due to warm weather or exertion.
  • Remember you're responsible for your own safety. Check your kit before departure and, especially in cold weather, bring hat, gloves and extra layers.
  • Keep warm, especially when sitting down for a break, but don't overheat.
  • Carry card in your rucksack at all times with emergency contact name and phone number and details of any relevant medical conditions/allergies.
Group Safety
  • Members should accept the Leader's decisions.
  • Look out for the safety of other members of the group. Don't rush ahead and leave other struggling to catch up - and give them time to catch their breath! This applies especially going up and down mountains. Stop a while and look around.
  • Walkers should stay with the group at all times during walks - if you need to answer the call of nature, let others know where you are so that you're not left behind.
  • Take care when walking downhill as accidents on descent are more likely, especially towards the end of a walk. And DON'T jump down from banks, walls or fences.
Responsible Walking
  • Take nothing, only photographs
  • Leave nothing, only footprints
  • Keep to paths where provided/possible to avoid erosion of fragile areas of ground.
  • Close all gates except when you are sure that they are meant to be left open.
  • Observe the country code. Respect the countryside and those who work within it.
  • Do not damage any walls or fences - use stiles and gates where provided even where it seems a quicker or easier to climb over or under an adjoining fence.
  • All litter including what might be considered 'biodegradable' waste such as teabags, orange peel, banana skins, apple cores, etc. should be taken home - leave no trace - nothing!
  • In many places dogs are not permitted - please check beforehand if you wish to bring a dog. Dogs should be kept on leads near animals.
Personal Gear & Equipment
  • This advice applies especially to hill and mountain walks over rough terrain.
  • Proper walking boots should be worn - these are more comfortable over rough ground and protect the ankles. Stiff soles with deep treads are safer on steep ground.
  • A complete waterproof outfit including coat, hat and leggings should be carried at all times (within reason). Weather conditions in mountains and hills can change suddenly. Gloves should be carried when cold weather might be experienced. Remember, you may be in the hills for longer than you had expected.
  • All walkers are advised to carry a well-stocked ruck-sack with personal first aid kit, emergency bivi bag (especially in winter), spare clothing, food (including emergency rations), drinks (hot and cold), whistle and torch.
  • Durable walking poles help maintain balance over rough or sloping ground.
  • Ankle gaiters are useful to keep feet dry and mud off trousers. They also stop stones and twigs entering footwear.
  • When walking in open countryside, e.g. the Mournes, it is good practice to carry a compass and suitable map and to keep track of your position.
  • Good quality clothing and footwear made specifically for walking usually repays its cost in enhanced comfort and durability. Stores such as Cotswold have experienced staff who can give helpful advice..

"Help Me" The Secrets of using 112 on a mobile phone in an emergency/accident

Ever been out in the mountains and unable to get a phone signal? What would you do if an emergency occurred and you needed to summon help? Clicking on the picture (right) will take you to a YouTube video that explains how to use your mobile phone in emergencies and, perhaps more importantly, how to register you phone so that you are able to text your location and details of the incident / casualty to the emergency services if it proves impossible to make voice contact.

Even if you read nothing else on this page, you should watch this video; it may help save a life.