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Southampton University Hillwalking Club

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Away Trips: Key Information

Southampton and Hampshire is a beautiful area, it has many a good pub and some great countryside to walk through. We cover this in our day walks but what if you want more? What if after the saturday day walk you come back thinking "if only we went a bit higher..."? This is where Away Trips come in!

There are six away trips organised every academic year, going to some more luxurious walking places such as: the Lake District, Dartmoor, Brecon Beacons, the Peak District and Snowdonia. These trips cost on average just £45 and include travel, accomodation and food (with exception of Lakes and Cornwall which have extra days and therefore £45 does not include food).

Trip Format

Trips will leave from the University Interchange at 5.30pm on the Friday night and return late Sunday evening (usually about midnight). During the away trip you can do one decent sized walk each day. There are usually 2 or 3 walks proposed ranging in difficulty (from tea shop/easy to hard) based on the group of people walking. This pretty much summarises away trips, however we do realise it can be pretty daunting for first timers, hence the rest of this page details the signup process, equipment and food provided. If you have any queries, drop an email to or chat to any of the committee at any of our events!

Important! Please read the safety info - Like all outdoor persuits, walking can become dangerous if done without careful consideration. We are required to provide details of our responsibilities to you and your responsibilities to yourself and others to keep everyone safe. This can all be found on our rules page. It also contains details of the club's insurance cover. By coming on any of our walks or events, you acknowledge that you have read and understood our rules and safety disclaimer.


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Away Trip Videos

NEW for the 2016-17 academic year! YouTube Channel now live! It's a little empty at the moment, but we hope to fill it with even more videos of both Away Trips and Day Walks.


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Sign Up and Payment

You have decided to take the plunge and go on an away trip. What do you do now? There will be an email sent to the list roughly 3 weeks before the trip detailing when the online signup will start. The form will be available on our Away Trip Sign Up site. Spaces are allocated first-come, first-served, so please do set an alarm! We'd hate for you to miss out!

Once signup is over, a list of successful applicants and the reserve list is published.

If you're successful, you must pay us to confirm your place on the trip. Pay sessions are usually hosted 2 weeks before on a Wednesday (in the Stag's Head). Unfortunately, we can only take cash or cheque (no electronic forms of payment can be processed).

A few more points:

- Sign up is done on a first come, first served basis. The form is sent out via email and facebook.
- If you sign up but can't make a trip, let us know ASAP so we can offer your place to someone else.
- If the trip is full, you will be placed on a reserve list and will get first dibs on the next trip, or will be emailed if a place opens up on the current trip.
- If you can't make the pay session, please let us know beforehand. Failure to pay during the session or notify us of not being able to make the session will result in your place being given to the next person on the reserve list.
- Any questions? Drop an email to

Final point: don't just turn up to an Away Trip, you will be turned away. Sining up through the form is the only way to get on a trip. Even if it's full, signing up will add you automatically to a reserve list, that is used if someone drops out.

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Roll out of lectures and realise you only have a couple of hours until you are meant to be at campus to catch the minibus?! So hurriedly you pull over a bag and put in the following items:

Compulsory stuff

Sleeping bag - what are you going to sleep in if you forget it?
Walking boots - the terrain will be rougher than day walks, hence strong shoes or trainers are NOT adequate.
Couple of warm fleecy layers - wind chill is more significant than you think. Lots of thinner layers are better than one big layer
Hats, gloves, scarves - in winter/spring/autumn(!) away trips we could be walking in snow, it is nice to be warm!
Waterproof jacket - NO ponchos or umbrellas. They have been known to literally fly away in the wind, and you could end up doing an impromptu Mary Poppins impersonation down the side of a mountain!
Waterproof trousers - a dry walker is a happy walker
Decent loose fitting trousers - NOT JEANS! The quicker they dry the better
Water bottle (minimum 1L) - you will need to drink more fluid than on a day walk!
Wash kit, towel and spare clothes - no one likes a smelly belly
Rucksack - ~20L, pretty obvious why you need one of these
Packed dinner / money - to eat on friday evening / buy food at services on route
Stuff that's nice to have

Personal first aid kit - the club does provide a group one, but a personal one with plasters paracetamol etc. is a lot less faff
Gaitors - buy them from good walking shops, they're bits of material you attach to your boots to turn them into sort of wellies. Help keep your feet dry
Spare walking socks - just in case you do end up in the mud
Thermos flask - for those especially cold days
Present for away trip sec - sweets/alcohol go down well...
Bigger present for president - you know who's in charge...
Money - we will probably go to a pub on Saturday evening and stop off for food on the way back to Southampton
Alcohol - to drink in the bunk house. STRICTLY NOT TO BE TAKEN ON HILLS or consumed on the minibus for legal and safety reasons
Torch - to find your way to the pub and back
Trainers/other shoes - nice to pad around the bunk house in as boots get a bit heavy after a while


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Food Provisions

As mentioned earlier, away trips include food, detailed below:

Saturday Mega Breakfast - including cereal, toast, scrambled egg, sausages, bacon, beans, mushrooms all bought AND cooked for you!
Saturday Lunch - Two sandwiches (with lettuce, tomato, cucumber, ham, turkey, cheese, pickle etc.), piece of fruit, decent sized chocolate bar and packet of crisps! Put together by yourselves after breakfast.
Saturday Evening Meal - Some main evening meal such as bolognese, stew, stir fry etc. All bought and cooked for you!
Sunday Breakfast and Lunch - See above, pretty similar to Saturday

If you feel that this isn't enough food for you (!!!) then feel free to bring your own to add to your stash. Minibus sweets go down well.

If you have any special dietary requirements, we will be more than happy to accommodate you. But please make sure to let us know as soon as possible. In your sign up form, please state exactly what your requirements are, e.g. if you are vegetarian, have any allergies or happen to be a grass muncher!


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Minibus drivers

If you would like to lend a helping hand during away trips (and other events requiring a minibus), why not become one of our minibus drivers. As you are "voluntarily driving" and you would be driving for non-commercial purposes, UK law states that you do not need any previous bus driving experience or the "D licence" which is normally required for driving a minibus. For more information, visit the DVSA guidelines website here.

The rules imposed on us by the Student Union for becoming a club minibus driver are:

- You should be at least 21 years of age
- You should have held a Full driving licence for a period of 3 years and have no endorsements
- You should not have had an accident that was your fault in the last 5 years.
- You must pass one of the free minibus familiarisation tests organised regularly by the Student's Union
- The vehicle must not be capable of carrying more than 16 passengers
- A driver must not drive the minibus for more than 2 hours at a time, or more than 6 hours in a day.

If you are interested in becoming a minibus driver, please email us at or send a message to our facebook page. The club operates under Union Southampton's Minibus Permit issued by the DVSA. This allows us, wherever possible, to give all our minibus drivers a large discount on the cost of our trips (but as a not-for-profit organisation, please understand that this is not always possible).


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Recommended safety guide for walkers

"New Hill Walkers" is a introductory free guide and safety manual published by The British Mountaineering Council (© BMC 2016). SUHC is NOT a BMC-affiliated club.


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The official SUHC Minibus playlist :)

Specially created for club minibus trips by Matt Clark, President 2016-17. May it live on in club history... It will be occasionally updated with both new and classic tracks