Training and safety

So you're signed up for a UK trek - congratulations! Here are your first steps to getting prepared for your challenge.

Training

Whether you’re new to hill walking or a seasoned pro, take advantage of your training walks to test out your kit. Wear the walking boots you intend to wear on your challenge to give them a chance to break in. Also wear the rucksack you intend to wear on the day, filling it with clothes and water bottles to get you used to carrying that extra weight and adjusting the straps so it’s comfortable to wear.

We’re rarely short of rain in this country so when the heavens open grab your waterproof coat and trousers and head out for a walk around your neighbourhood. You want to make sure they stop water soaking through to your clothes underneath, so should it be raining on the day of the trek you won’t be spending hours up a mountain soaked through to the skin. If your waterproofs don’t hold up to weather conditions on the day you may not be able to take part, so make sure you give them a test drive first.

Top tips: We don’t all live on the doorstep of hills and rolling countryside and, while you should still plan to get two or three walks under your belt before the trek, there’s still lots you can do to keep on top of your training. Avoid the lift at work and start taking the stairs (two by two if you can manage it!). Where practical, walk to and from the local supermarket or shops, rather than taking the bus or driving in - just think of the money you’ll save on parking and carrying those bags back home will get you used to walking with extra weight.

Take photos and video as you train and post them on your Facebook, Twitter and JustGiving page. Not only will it encourage you to put the effort in to train (we all like to show off!) but it'll raise awareness of your dedication and commitment, which will inspire your friends, family and followers to sponsor you and help you reach your fundraising goals.

Kit check

Once you've registered, we'll send you a briefing pack that includes a list of recommended and necessary items.

These items include:

  • high energy rations like chocolate, nuts and dried fruit, plus drinks
  • a compass, torch and whistle
  • personal first aid kit
  • clothing which is light and waterproof, plus layers of vests, T-shirts, sweat shirts and waterproof trousers are recommended (not jeans)
  • walking boots with firm soles

Your kit will be checked before you head off on your trek so it’s important to follow the advice in your essential information pack regarding everything you'll need on the day.

Marie Curie's UK treks can take place in most weather conditions so you need to be prepared. It’s essential you have a decent pair of walking boots that have been worn in on your training walks. And, this being the UK, a waterproof coat and trousers.

You also need to make sure you can fit all the kit into your rucksack, and be able to carry it over a long period of time, over difficult terrain, so try to make sure you have all your kit with you in plenty of time for your practice walks.

You can’t underestimate food and drink as one of your most valued pieces of kit. Graze as you walk by having small packets of food in your jacket pocket. You want to go for things that'll give you energy and keep you going all the way to the finish line. Popular choices include jelly babies, nuts and seeds, chocolate bars and fruit.

Top tips: Finding your gloves, camera, sun cream or snacks in your rucksack when you're halfway up a mountain and everything is jumbled up can be a tedious task…so why not invest in some dry bags? They come in all different colours and sizes depending on what you want to put in them. They help keep items in your rucksack dry should the heavens open, but it’ll also make it quicker and easier to find what you’re looking for.

Hopefully your walking boots will be nice and broken in so they won't cause you blisters, but include a pack of blister plasters in your kit. You don’t want to get halfway through the trek and have to turn back because a blister has popped up and made walking unbearable, and you can guarantee if you don’t need one, a fellow trekker might!

Maps 

We recommend the following:

  • Ordnance Survey Landranger series 1:50,000, sheet 41 Ben Nevis or Harvey's Ben Nevis Superwalker 1:25,000
  • Ordnance Survey Outdoor Leisure map 2 for the Yorkshire Dales
  • Ordnance Survey Landranger map (1:50,000) for Snowdon
  • Ordnance Survey map OL2 - the Peak District, Dark Peak Area

Safety advice

Be aware that the weather is changeable at all destinations so be prepared, especially at the summits of Snowdon and Ben Nevis.

The trek is not a race and you will be encouraged to walk at your own pace, taking time to rest and take photographs. The duration of the walk will depend on your fitness level. However, please remember to keep within the allocated hours as it ensures walkers return safely.

Some hill walking experience helps and if you swim, cycle, jog or take part in a regular activity, this will help you train for your charity challenge.

If you have heart disease, high blood pressure, chest problems or are pregnant you should not attempt the walks. If you are in any doubt about your level of fitness, please contact your GP for advice.

Walkers aged 17 years or under must be accompanied by an experienced adult hill walker.

All the walks are supported by marshals and guides who will give you an introduction on the route and what to look out for.

Code of conduct and preserving the environment: at the start of each trek you will be briefed on complying with a code of conduct for the national parks and the mountains.

In order to create a pleasant event for all walkers, numbers will be limited. You will venture along dedicated routes that have been created to ensure there is minimum damage to the area and to ensure that there is no undue impact on the environment.

For more information about our UK treks aned walks please contact our events team.

What to expect on the day

You’ve done your training walks, you’ve bought your kit…now you just have to complete the challenge! Here’s a quick rundown of what you can expect on the day with a few helping hints to make sure you set off with a skip in your step.

make sure you double check the registration time for your trek (which will be highlighted in your essential information pack). For health and safety reasons we run a strict check in time and anyone who arrives after registration is closed will be unable to take part. Whether you’re staying in accommodation close by or commuting from home, plan your journey to make sure you arrive on time, accounting for potential traffic and picking up any members of your team on route.

When you arrive you'll be checked in by one of our amazing event volunteers and given further items needed such as maps and identification bands.

Our mountain guides will check through your kit to make sure you have everything you need, and there'll be a supply of donated sweets and drink at the event base which you will be able to pick up. Please note: this should be in addition to your own lunch, drink and snacks which you need to bring with you.

You’ll then be ready to head out on your trek. We’ll be waiting for you at the finish line to check you back in and celebrate your success, including receiving your UK treks medal!

If you run into difficulty or have to retire early from your trek, just let one of our mountain guides know who may be walking with you, or at any of our checkpoints along the route and we will facilitate your return to base, but note sometimes this may require you walking on further to a point where we can pick you up, or retracing your steps to a previous checkpoint.

Do

  • Have your mobile number ready when you check in. If we don’t already have it on our registration list we'll need it for the check in.
  • Have an amazing trek - it'll be tough at times, but you’ve trained for this moment – enjoy every second!

Don’t

  • Bring your sponsorship money with you. We’ll ask you how much you’ve raised and keep a record of it but we're not able to process any money on the day. Please refer to your essential information pack on how to bank your sponsorship.
  • Don’t forget your camera – all your family and friends will want to see your achievement when you get home, and posting photos online after the event can help increase sponsorship!
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