Membership Questions

What types of membership are there? What's the difference?

*Successful sign-up required for attendance of Away Trips, Adventures and a limited number of other events. No membership level provides priority sign-up to any of our trips and events. Most event sign-ups are first-come, first-served. See individual event advertising for information about sign-up procedures. When oversubscribed, current student members may be given priority over Alumni/Union Associate members.

Club Membership can ONLY be purchased/registered from the Students' Union's (SUSU) website. To join the Club, you must be a member of the Union. This is automatic for all students (including Erasmus) of the Uni.

Alumni and Staff of the University of Southampton, or students at Solent University, are eligible for Union Associate membership, which will allow them to purchace our Club's membership and attend Away Trips. For details and to apply, please see SUSU's membership site for details. Sadly, other non-students are not currently eligible for Union Associate Membership and therefore are unable to come on our Away Trips/Expeditions as they would be uninsured. They are still welcome to join our Day Walks on the basis that they accept all responsibility for any injury they may obtain.

You do NOT need Sports and Wellbeing membership for anything we do.

What do you spend membership fees on?

This is up to each Committee, but generally the membership fees are spent on new/replacement Club kit (tents, safety equipment maps etc), subsidising Away Trips and one-off special trips, and other expenses such as food at Socials.

General Questions (FAQs)

Where are your events advertised?

All our events are advertised on our Facebook page and in our "Walking Weekly" email newsletter. Day Walks and most Socials are usually advertised a few days in advance. Away Trips and Adventures are advertised approximately 3 weeks in advance.

Can I join the club mailing list/newsletter?

Yep! Simply click on the club emails tab above and fill out the form to opt in! Our weekly emails are filled with our events, news and other exciting stuff!

How do I unsubscribe from the email list/newsletter?

We're sorry to see you go! If you no longer want to receive the newsletter, simply click the unsubscribe link located in the footer of the email. This will remove you from the list immediately. Please note: this does not affect you getting emails about Away Trips and other events you have directly signed up for.

How often are your events?

Our dedicated Committee strive to put on as many events as possible during University term time. Day Walks are hosted every Saturday (weather depending) and there are usually 6 Away Trips per year. Whilst some events may continue during University breaks, we cannot guarentee this and any events that do run may be at different days/times to usual.

Do I need to sign up for Day Walks?

Generally, no! Simply meet us at the station about twenty minutes before our train departs (this gives you plenty of time to buy a ticket - see the event description for full details). There may be occasional times (eg: when travel on ferries is required) where we may have to do a sign-up system for Day Walks.

Do I need to be an experienced walker for your activities?

Absolutely not! For all our Day Walks and Away Trips, we take anyone regardless of experience. You do, however, need to be able to walk for at least a few hours and prepared with the relevant kit. Generally speaking, the terrain is more difficult on Away Trips and please bear in mind the increased kit requirement.

What kit do I need for your Day Walks?

You should have the following personal kit as a minimum to ensure a confortable and safe day out:

*By 'sturdy shoes', we mean footwear that you are happy to get muddy, with sufficient grip on the soles. If in doubt, walking shoes/boots are available from sports wear shops such as Decathlon and Go Outdoors in Southampton for very reasonable prices. Inevitably someone (or many people) will turn up with inappropriate footwear and have less fun on the walk as a result. Don't let that be you -it also frustrates us! Ask US if you're not sure. We don't enforce Day Walk kit: having appropriate gear is your responsibility!

Are Away Trips more difficult than Day Walks?

Away Trips are designed more for the regular walker and are better suited to someone who regularly attends our Day Walks. Walks on these trips are typically shorter but tougher (with difficult, often steep and uneven terrain). The signup is not selective and it is up to you to check you are capable of the walks, especially on trips to mountainous areas. If you are unsure of what a trip entails, please do contact us well in advance of signing up. Note that the kit list (detailed in trip publicity) is more comprehensive and you MUST have walking boots.

⚠ This can not be emphasised enough! Poor footwear can cause accidents, delays and makes walk leading less enjoyable. It doesn't matter if you are comfortable with the shoes you have, please follow the kit requirements. You may be asked when boarding the minibus to confirm you have the correct kit.

What kit do I need for your Away Trips?

Away Trip kit requirements can vary seasonally and by destination. You will be provided a full kit list prior to sign-up as part of the trip advertising, so please check that thoroughly before signing up to any trip. Below is a rough giude of the kit you'll need for a 'typical' Away Trip:

All the above can be found for a decent price from outdoor shops such as Go Outdoors and Decathlon, conveniently located within Southampton. Please contact us at the earliest opportunity if you need kit advice or clarification. We will do our very best to help you out!

⚠ You may be turned away if you turn up for an Away Trip without the correct kit. This is for your own safety and the safety of others present on a trip.

Where do you stay during Away Trips? Do I have to carry all my kit?

This depends where we go and what time of year. More often than not, we'll be staying in a bunkhouse. However, we do like to run a small number of camping trips in the warmer months! You can leave anything not needed for the walks in the accomodation. We do not stay in hotels! (Yes, this has been asked!)

Are Adventures open to anyone?

Yes they are! They may vary in difficulty, though are open to everyone and are accessible to newcomers.

What kit do I need for your Adventures?

This varies! Adventures such as orienterring may require similar kit to day walks, though overnight adventures will require more kit, including most of the advised away trips kit plus more! However worry not as you can hire kit from the club free of charge with our membership. If special kit is required, you will be told several weeks in advance!

How old is the club?

The Club was founded in the 1966/67 academic year, making it one of the oldest continuously active clubs in the University. We have gone through various iterations and names (we were originally the Rambling club and adopted our current name in 1999). We've even discovered evidence that the Club has it's origins back in 1903 when the University was "Hartley University College" - check out our archive to see what we've found!

Some of our walks, such as the Isle of Wight walk, have taken place annually for over thirty years in essentially the same format!

How do you get to walks and events?

For the majority of Day Walks, we use the train network, and you will need to buy the ticket stated on event advertising (we don't charge for Day Walks!). Away Trips are mostly done using minibuses. Adventures often use public transport, but have also used private cars. Most socials are hosted in Southampton, read the event advertising to see how to get to a venue

You mention a "Railcard" in most Day Walk posts. What is it and is it worth it?

A railcard is available to anyone studying, or under the age of 30, regardless of nationality. The most common is a 16-25 railcard, for people between the age of 16 and…. 25! This costs £30 and saves 33% of the price of any rail ticket. It’s easiest to buy this online, but you can also do so at the station, but NOT on the day you want to use it! If you want to use the trains a lot, it will save you money. After about six or seven day walks it will start saving you money (we usually travel by train).

I'm alumni of Southampton Uni, can I still join you?

Yes! To be insured, you'll need to purchace Union Associate Membership from SUSU, please see SUSU's membership site for details, then register for Club Membership (free or paid, depending on what events you are interested in). Of course you can still turn up to Day Walks and Socials without having to register. Please note that for trips requiring sign-up that become oversubscribed, we may have to prioritise current students.

I'm not a student or alumni of the University, can I still join you?

You are welcome to attend our Day Walks and Socials on the basis that they accept all responsibility/liability for any injury or accident they may be involved in. Sadly, we are unable to allow you to attend Away Trips and certain Adventures, as you MUST have the insurance provided as part of Student Union membership.

I want to organise my own trip or walk, can the Club help me?

Sure thing! If you have your own plans and want to advertise them to our members, the best place to do so is our Facebook Forum group, or our Discord server. We regulary have groups of members planning their own trips and we fully encourage you to utilise this wonderful community for your own benefit! If you're a little unsure of where to start, or want a helping hand, just get in touch with us and the committee will be happy to help and advise.

Can I look at some of the club's history?

Of course! We maintain our own archive in both a digital and paper form- passed down over the years between Presidents. You can view the full online public archive here.

How do I join the Committee?

Every year we hold an Annual General Meeting (AGM) to vote in a new Committee. This typically takes place in mid March and all Members (Full or Free) are entitled to vote. If you decide to stand for election, you will be given a short time for a speech to advertise yourself to everyone at the AGM, before voting begins. You do not need any qualifications or experience to stand for any position - if elected, we will train you during a handover period. Some roles are more competitive than others, but get involved with club events and focus on one or two roles and there's a good chance you'll get elected! Please note that to stand for election, you must be a current student with Union membership.

This bar shows how far through the Committee year we are...

Do you have terms & conditions of signing up to or attending your events?

Yes, and you can find them on our safety and rules page here.

Any other questions you have? Get in touch and let us know!!