Frequently Asked Questions
Welcome to St. Albans Adventure Group. Here is a little more information to help you get started.
Who are St Albans Adventure Group?
St. Albans Adventure Group consists of people who enjoy being out of doors – walking, cycling, and other outdoor activities. All ages are welcome although we are mainly in our 50s. Some members have been with the group for a number of years whilst others have joined more recently. The membership is distributed across Hertfordshire, as well as near St Albans. We also have some associate members who are scattered around the country and beyond.
Why an ‘adventure group’? – because we are a group that likes to do different activities and challenge ourselves. Adventure means different things to different people and everyone can choose the right level for them.
What do we do?
We have a regular programme of Wednesday evening and weekend events. The Wednesday evening events include slide shows, talks, quizzes, meals, and walks or cycle rides in the summer.
At weekends we normally have a walk or cycle ride on Sundays unless there is a weekend trip away to explore the countryside. The weekend trips are organised on a regular basis throughout the year. There are no charges for these events other than the costs incurred, i.e. accommodation, food and transport.
All events are arranged by group members on a voluntary basis and undertaken at your own risk.
The numbers at each event can vary with between 5 to 15 or 20 which means it is easy to get to know everyone. Some members come along to all the events whilst others will come just to certain ones depending on their other commitments.
How fit do I need to be?
A reasonable level of fitness is helpful, but not essential as we have a wide variety of activities on our programme. More important is an adventurous spirit.
Where do you meet on a Wednesday evening?
We meet in St. Albans, at the United Reformed Church Hall on the corner of Sandpit Lane and Homewood Road from 8pm, unless otherwise stated on the programme (i.e. for a meal or evening walk). There is a charge of £1 for Wednesday evenings to cover the cost of the hall and there may be additional charges for cost of food etc.
What can I expect on a Sunday walk?
We try to give a variety of walks mainly around Hertfordshire from 5 to 15 miles, typically starting at 10am for a full day or later for shorter walks. There may be a pub to visit on route, but normally we take sandwiches for lunch outdoors. It is often possible to arrange a lift to the meeting point if you do not have your own transport. Bike rides are similar however we can cover a longer distance- e.g. 30 to 40 miles.
What do I need to bring / wear for a typical Sunday walk?
- Comfortable clothing, including
- sunhat and sun screen during summer
- hat and gloves during winter
- Waterproof jacket and over-trousers
- Rucksack (large enough to take some layers when you get warm)
- Drinking water (about 1 litre)
- Food for lunch (unless a café or pub stop is indicated) and some snacks
- Comfortable shoes / boots (paths can be muddy at any time of year)
- Torch (winter months only)
- Money (e.g. for travel, drinks)
If you are unsure, talk to the walk leader who will be happy to advise and may even be able to help if you need to borrow something.
What can I expect on a weekend away?
A typical weekend away does not exist, but some things are common.
The event will be publicised on the programme with a ‘closing’ date to allow the organiser to finalise arrangements. It may be possible to join in after the closing date, but this is at the discretion of the organiser and they may ask you to make your own bookings.
The weekend starts with a Friday evening drive in shared transport to our accommodation which is usually a youth hostel or similar. On Saturday and Sunday there will be a walk or other activity, sometimes with multiple options depending on the number of people and their particular interests. On Saturday evening there will either be a group meal or a visit to a local pub. Other meals are self-catered.
We ask that new members join us for a Wednesday evening or Sunday day activity before signing up for a weekend away, so that we can get to know you and you can be better informed about the expectations for a weekend.
What extra do I need to bring for a weekend away?
If we are staying in a hostel or similar then as a minimum you will need additional food, pyjamas, washing kit & towel. We are a sociable crowd so it’s worth having money for a pub meal out etc.
Equipment depends on the activity and time of year, so worth talking to the leader. Many of our weekends involve travel in wild or mountainous country, where having suitable equipment is important for your own safety and that of the group. The British Mountaineering Council has an excellent introductory booklet, available at https://www.thebmc.co.uk/new-hill-walkers-booklet.
Where can I find more details?
What do I need to do next?
You can come along to an event or two of your choice and see what you think about the group. If you like us we will ask you to join at the 3rd event.
All group members receive a weekly email reminding them of forthcoming events. We will include you on the weekly email reminder for the next three months to keep you informed. After that we will stop emailing you.
How do I join?
You can join at any time by completing the attached application form. Membership runs from October to October and there is a discount for joining after April.
First aid kit
We recommend that everyone brings a basic first aid kit with them on longer outdoor events such as day walks and weekends away.
This should be just sufficient to deal with relatively minor injuries and conditions such as these
- Cuts and grazes
- Insect bites and stings
There is much useful advice on-line about what a basic kit should contain and the following web-sites are well worth a read. The BMC site in particular offers practical guidance to a simple kit which won’t weigh down your rucksack with bulky items you’re never likely to use. There are also links to organisations such as the Red Cross and St. John Ambulance
Having a first aid kit is not much use unless you know how to use it and the websites above will also help with this. Even better – why not book yourself on a first aid course and learn from the experts?