Walks Committee events offer a wide range of styles. At the easy end, we sponsor neighborhood architecture strolls and nature walks in the countryside at a leisurely pace. At the high end, Walks leaders go over the same steep, rocky and muddy terrain used by Hike Committee leaders, but always at a moderate pace and with more frequent stops than a Hike Committee event, to rest and savor a view. We share the same Hike Codes with the Hikes Committee, so you should always pay attention to the Hike Codes for our events and select something appropriate for your physical conditioning. Don’t expect a 2D8(W) to be a short flat stroll! That (W) means the event is sponsored by the Walks Committee, but that “8” means 8 miles, and that “D” means steep hills, scrambles possible.
Our Walks are smokeless and pet-free unless otherwise indicated in the write-up. Children may participate at the discretion of the leaders, provided they are accompanied by a responsible adult and only if a parent or guardian signs the AMC release form.
We especially welcome new members who need to discover what level of activity is comfortable for them. If you haven’t been out for a while, or are recovering from an injury, or just aren’t in the mood to push yourself, you can probably find a Walk event that suits you. It’s best to start with something that looks easy and work up. As an added incentive to begin using your new membership, we frequently schedule our events to start one hour later than the earliest departure times listed in the Transportation section of the Schedule.
Gear: Minimum equipment for any foray into the woods is a knapsack or fanny pack, lunch, water (two quarts on a hot day), a rainproof jacket, and extra socks in a waterproof bag (in case you slip into water during a stream crossing). Additional handy supplies are high energy snacks, tissues, small plastic bags, bug spray, sunblock, bandaids, and a map. Your leader will carry a more complete first-aid kit.
Clothing: Dressing for the weather is obvious. Always have a hat, for sun protection or for warmth. In winter, dress in layers and always pack extra clothing you can add to keep warm while sitting on a cold rock for thirty minutes during lunch, or in case you become injured and can’t walk fast enough to keep warm. It’s always better to have a bit more than you think you need, like extra gloves or warm mittens and scarf.
Footwear: Dress appropriately for the event. For an easy Walk at Pace 1 on Terrain A or B, sneakers or comfortable walking shoes are good enough. For Terrain C or higher, we recommend boots over the ankle with soles stiff enough to protect your feet from sharp rocks. Socks are a personal choice based on experience. Some hikers always wear thin wicking socks under heavier socks, while others change with the weather, using only one pair of wool or combo-fabric socks. Gaiters are essential in deep snow and desirable in rain or wet brush. Crampons, creepers, spikeys, stabil-icers, etc., all provide extra security in ice and snow, but only if you always take them along in winter!