Southampton University Hillwalking Club
Away Trips: Key Information
Although Hampshire and surrounding areas offer marvellous walks, we host whole-weekend away trips to offer our members the chance to explore another part of the country and the walks these regions offer!
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, Snowdonia, Pembrokeshire and Cornwall- just to list a few! These trips cost £50 on average for the weekend trips and slightly more for the 5 day trips around £100 +.
This cost is all-inclusive of your travel, accommodation and food. Please note that the price of trips can fluctuate depending on the location, but are always planned with a student budget in mind and are always a bargain!
We meet between 17.00 - 18.00 on the redbrick (outside the union shop) on the Friday night for the weekend trips and return late Sunday evening where you are dropped to your door. This is dependent on location and travel time as we may need to meet earlier. There are main walks each day, where we accomodate all walking abilities with a casual walking group and a more challenging group. Details of the difficulty of walking groups are outlined during the morning briefing and each member may select their walking group based on how they feel on the particular day. If you have any queries, drop an email to firstname.lastname@example.org or chat to any of the committee at any of our events!
Important! Please read the safety info - Like all outdoor pursuits, 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.
Sign Up and Payment
You have decided to take the plunge and go on an away trip. What do you do now? Details of our trips will be posted on our Facebook page at least 2 weeks before the trip. Details will include when the online sign up form will go live. The form will be available on our Away Trip Sign Up site. Spaces are allocated on a first-come, first-served basis, so please do set an alarm! We'd hate for you to miss out!
Once sign up is over, a list of successful applicants will be published on the Facebook event for the trip, along with the waiting list.
If you're successful, you must pay us to confirm your place on the trip. Pay sessions are usually hosted 1 week before the trip and are a great opportunity to meet us before the trip and ask any questions you might have. We can accept cash or payment by bank transfer; details of which will be emailed to you.
- 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 waiting list and will be contacted if an extra space becomes available!
- - If you can't make the pay session, please let us know beforehand. Failure to pay or notify us of any issues may result in your place being given to the next person on the waiting list.
- - Any questions? Drop an email to email@example.com
- Final point: don't just turn up to an Away Trip, you will be turned away. Signing 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 waiting list, that is used if someone drops out.
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 autumn, winter and early spring! Some away trips may feature snow, it's 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.
- Rucksack - recommended 20L. Needs to fit water, lunch and space for extra layers.
- Packed dinner / money - to eat on Friday evening / buy food at services en route.
- Tupperware box or reusable sandwich bag - as a club we endeavour to be as environmentally friendly as possible and want to reduce the use of single-use plastic. Please bring your own tupperware box for sandwiches to avoid us having to buy disposable sandwich bags.
- Torch - we often arrive at our accommodation after dark, particularly in winter.
- 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 ideal for easy access.
- Gaiters - 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 shoes and socks - just in case you do end up in the mud. It's also nice to have a spare pair of shoes for evening down time and minibus journey.
- Thermos flask - for those especially cold days.
- Snacks - sometimes it's nice to have your own!
- Money - for gift shops, service stations, etc. We usually stop off at a pub en route to Southampton in the evening.
- Power bank / portable charger - there's not always easy access to plug sockets.
- Trekking pole(s) - for the extra support on challenging terrain.
- Board games or card games - to play in the evenings.
- Alcoholic beverages - to drink responsibly in the accommodation.
- Present for away trip secretaries and drivers - sweet treats go down well!
- As mentioned earlier, away trips include food, detailed below:
- Breakfast - we provide a selection of cereals, toast and a light cooked breakfast. Usually egg and beans.
- Lunch - Your choice of sandwich (with lettuce, tomato, cucumber, ham, chicken, cheese, pickle, jam etc.), with fruit, chocolate bar and crisps! Put together by yourselves after breakfast.
- Evening Meal - Some main evening meal such as bolognese, stew, stir fry etc. All bought and cooked for you!
- Returning evening Meal - it is tradition that we stop at a pub (usually a Wetherspoons) to enjoy an evening meal together on the journey back to Southampton!
If you require more food than is provided then please feel free to bring your own snacks.
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, including allergies.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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).
Recommended safety guide for walkers
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