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Personal Safety & Awareness

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I think SHsheff has raised some very valid concerns but there is a danger that you can talk yourself out of ever making anything happen if you take an overly pessimistic view of how things will (or won't) work. You just need to make sure that you take sensible precautions.

 

Metalman's idea about having an easy kick-off walk so that everyone can get to know each other gets my vote. I'd be equally happy with Tricky's suggestion of meeting in a pub of course!

 

I imagine that I fall into the "total stranger/potential axe-murderer" category cos I don't get much chance to post on SF so can I just take this opportunity to mention that I'm really lovely and, apart from accidentally slicing my own finger with a breadknife yesterday, I have no intention of causing physical harm with sharp implements.

 

I'm happy to entrust all map-reading/decision making etc to whoever wants to be in charge. I just want to put one foot in front of the other and enjoy the scenery and (hopefully) the company.

 

If you want to interrogate me I won't be offended - just drop me a PM. :)

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It's this bit about leaders and being in charge that's amusing me (and Mr Strix)

 

Walking is something we do alot of socially,with alot of different people, and a hierarchy is just not necessary. It kind of goes along the lines of 'We're going to walk from here to there and back, do you want to come' Decisions about shortening a walk due to weather or terrain are taken democratically, according to the lowest ability in the group. Equipment is discussed beforehand, and anybody coming along makes their own decisions about what they aren't bringing off that list.

 

It isn't complicated.

 

It worries me that this desire to appoint leaders and to exclude members from walks defeats the original concept of the walkers group.

 

 

Here's my perspective really.... We have a friend who has recently moved to Sheffield. We have known him for over 10 years. He has joined the forum, but currently has less than 20 posts as he hasn't found anything to contribute to much that has pushed his buttons. The walking group is likely to be right up his street, and is likely to provoke his posting (as having a pet group seems to have done amongst pet owners) (Hi Juhbuh :wave: )

 

This friend is exactly the sort of profile you guys are now ensuring you exclude, though I know he'd be a huge asset to your group - what with his past experience and qualifications.

 

It also bothers me that there are (at first glance) more posts for the negative points than for the positive in this forum.

 

Perhaps we could consider a large-group open-invitation meet tackling part of the Sheffield round walk? This will enable people to drop out and catch a bus wherever they feel like, and isn't 'out in the middle of nowhere with a bunch of strangers' ;) (Pub to finish would be nice, or perhaps a park cafe?)

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...This friend is exactly the sort of profile you guys are now ensuring you exclude, though I know he'd be a huge asset to your group - what with his past experience and qualifications....

What is it about his 'profile' that would exclude him from the group and/or his participation in any walks arranged via this group?

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Being a single male who nobody knows - going on earlier posts

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Forum Policy on Off-line Meetings

 

We have been asked to make it very clear that any meet-up is not endorsed

or officially organised by the forum.

 

This is due to obvious legal issues if someone was to go missing, be injured, etc. The forum's opinion is that people should never meet each other via this or any other web site.

 

In the event that people choose to ignore this advice, as already happens with the social drinking meet-ups, that is their concern and the consequences are their responsibility.

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Being a single male who nobody knows - going on earlier posts

Well you know him, so presumably you can vouch for him...

 

The safety issues are entirely valid, as are the other points raised by SHSheff. I wouldn't be entirely comfortable going on a long walk with strangers. However, I'd be surprised if all the people who participate in the walks arranged via this group were wholly unknown to eachother. Surely there would be the usual couples, small groups of friends, relatives etc.

 

The usual sensible precautions of letting people know where you're going, making sure there's a reasonably large group etc should be sufficient to keep folk safe.

 

As for the issues about map reading, dealing with difficult terrain etc, it would be sensible to make sure that you possess at least some knowledge of basic walking-related skills before venturing out on a walk which might require them. I wouldn't want to rely entirely on the capabilities of others in such a situation.

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Being a single male who nobody knows - going on earlier posts

 

Looks like this is going to rule me out too :(

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Looks like this is going to rule me out too :(

 

No it won't

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Looks like this is going to rule me out too :(

I doubt it. I'd probably think twice about walking with you on my own, or with just a couple of other blokes I didn't know, but on a walk composed of a fair number of people I'd be more than happy to see you there :) .

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Personal safety and awareness, is as previously stated, an extremely valid concern and although I cant see any difficulty in going for a hike with men I would also feel a tad uncomfortable going for a day out with lots of men and being the only woman in the group.

 

Another common sense thing in this mobile age would be to take at least one fully charged mobile.

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Okey doke. Seeing as I'm the one who started the thing about 'leaders' and 'responsibility' etc, I think I should maybe put my original comments into perspective. It was only AFTER I posted a thread 'organising' a walk that I realised:

 

1 - anyone turning up would, not unreasonably, expect me to know where we were going! The particular walk I was proposing (in my enthusiasm, because I fancied walking it) is not one I'm hugely familiar with, as a route, although I have walked over that area in general. I have, however, always walked with a friend of similar ability (so we can check each other re mistakes) an OS map and a compass to check where the path is going (it's not all paved, tho the Pennine Way itself is pretty clearly marked - tho not in all places!) and where we need to leave the path, take a compass bearing and set off across unmarked territory. It IS possible to get lost up there, believe it or not! All I was concerned about was feeling that I would have the responsibility of making sure that we were in the place we were expecting to be. The weather can change pretty quickly on high ground, I'm not exagerating when I say that visibility can alter in heavy rain and mist, for example, and it can be easy to become disorientated. Hence my posting concerns (not directed at the Strixs in any way, they clearly are experienced walkers) about 'leading' and 'responsibility'.

 

2 - also, the only people who said on the thread that they were coming were the Strixs. Now, I have no problem with the Strixs (of course), having met them previously and Mrs Strix in particular being a regular contributor to the forum. However, it made me realise that, if only one person had posted a response, someone who I didn't know and who is an infrequent poster, I would be uncomfortable about setting off across lonely moorland with them. Is that so unreasonable? I think not. They might not be an axe-murderer (that's just a phrase I used to get the point across) but they equally might be people who I would not choose to be stuck with for hours. And vice versa!

 

3 - it's fine for people to say stuff like, 'but I thought we were walking as a group, so what's the problem?' - but only if a group turns up! What if it's only one or two people who are 'strangers' who are interested? Does the walk still go ahead? Or does the person posting the OP say, sorry but I don't know either of you well enough to walk with you? Think about it! (And imagine you were the person starting the thread. What would YOU do?)

 

4 - incidentally, after I had to cry off going (my mum wanted to see me, and I don't see much of her as it is!), no-one else walked either! Yet, why not? If I wasn't the 'leader', there was absolutely no reason why anyone else interested shouldn't have still met up. No-one did - yet we apparently have no 'leaders'? :confused:

 

5 - Strix's post about her friend, although valid, isn't really the point - a 'friend of a friend' isn't a stranger! My hesitation about walking with someone I don't know (and I'm talking about the two of us, not him joining a group of people) is to do with complete strangers. Just because someone posts a few posts on the forum, doesn't mean that we know him (or her).

 

6 - Since joining the forum, I've had several (unpublicised) walks with people I've met through the forum. The difference has been that we've noticed a mutual interest, and PM'd each other. So, yes, it is perfectly possible to do that!

 

7 - Some of us (including Strix and her friend) have arranged to walk tomorrow (Wed). BECAUSE we now have a bit of a group together, I'd be perfectly happy to throw open the invite to other people - yes, including 'strangers'!

 

So, no, it's not to do with being negative or not being friendly. IMO it's a perfectly rational (and very sensible) approach to the whole situation.

 

BlankFrack, if you're free to join us tomorrow, you'd be welcome! Otherwise, it's possible that there'll be several people walking together on Sunday. Maybe I'll start a thread. Or maybe, someone else could! ;)

 

:)

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