Bushwalking clubs?

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Bushwalking clubs?

Postby Tekker76 » Fri 09 Nov, 2018 9:54 am

Are many people here part of established bushwalking clubs or do the majority of folks here stick to their own parties? I was thinking of contacting a local group( if I can find one) mostly to see other setups and bounce ideas off like minded folks. However I was wondering what the usual vibe is( for lack of a better word). Do you tend to find hardcore walkers and enthusiasts in the mix or are they all out doing their own thing?
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Re: Bushwalking clubs?

Postby Tortoise » Fri 09 Nov, 2018 10:10 am

In my experience, clubs differ a great deal in terms of having hardcore walkers or not. And they go through cycles. Just when it looked like one club was on a downhill, aging trajectory, several younger hardcorers joined, possibly because of the wealth of experience and the generosity of the remaining few, who are willing to keep doing 'gruelling' walks so that others can get to really remote places.

I've been in and out of clubs over the years. They've been fantastic when I've moved to a new area, and didn't have many people to walk with. I rejoined my current club in order to do more remote walks that I'm not confident enough to lead. I'm extremely grateful to those leaders who have made it possible for me to do some of the best walks of my life.

It remains a balance for me - I love walking in very small groups, and club walks tend not to be very small. Mind you, 4 was about perfect for the Eldons traverse. :D Through the club and another couple of walking groups, I now have quite a large pool of friends who like to walk places I want to go, and are ok going at my pace. So I benefit from a lot of private walks too.
Last edited by Tortoise on Sat 10 Nov, 2018 8:33 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Bushwalking clubs?

Postby Aardvark » Fri 09 Nov, 2018 10:23 am

My experience shows me that those that walk in clubs believe the majority of people walk in clubs. Those that walk independently think the majority of people walk independently.
When i had a direct involvement with clubs around 1999 to 2003 there were 23 clubs in SEQ alone.
The criticism i hear of clubs is the admin and the vetting process' for allowing walkers on certain grades of walks. That's understandable.
If you can see past all that and focus on meeting like minds, you can get what you want eventually.
As a leader of walks i lent to the harder grades but i felt an obligation to regularly take on the easier things. I was interested in changing perceptions.
Someone asked me once, "Can you walk at night?" "How do you see where you're going?" HaHa

I found most experienced walkers did club walks and independent walks. Some were members of several clubs to get a greater range of walk options.
I would imagine NQ would have a club or two in each regional city.
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Re: Bushwalking clubs?

Postby Zapruda » Fri 09 Nov, 2018 10:29 am

I mostly prefer to walk solo but occasionally I lead trips for the ANUMC here in canberra. While the trips are mostly made up of beginners I always seem to learn something even though I am the trip leader. Taking students who are currently studying things like Geology and Environmental Science always makes for an interesting trip. Its also nice to occasionally walk with other people and share a nice campsite and sunset. I definitely think it would be worth joining a club if only to bounce ideas off people and maybe get a few tips on some less travelled areas.
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Re: Bushwalking clubs?

Postby ofuros » Fri 09 Nov, 2018 11:14 am

You can usually get a feel for a club via the walks program posted on their websites....some are more active than others, some are purely on track, some are off track, some mix it up with kayaking, cycling, abseiling & social events.
We're spoilt for choice here in SE Qld & just across the border.

If you thinking Cairns clubs, email Peter at Cairnsbushwalkers for a upcoming walks program.
Tablelandbushwalking has the latest program on their website
The Townvillebushwalking walks calendar seems to have tapered off now the cool season has petered out.

Meetups are a bit limited in your part of the world too...

https://www.meetup.com/en-AU/find/?allM ... rt=default
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Re: Bushwalking clubs?

Postby Tekker76 » Fri 09 Nov, 2018 12:34 pm

Sounds like a bit of a mix, that's good. Watching how the leaders do it would be good too since I intended to guide a small party into less accessible areas here for various reasons. I emailed Cairns and Atherton Tablelands clubs, cheers!
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Re: Bushwalking clubs?

Postby Mark F » Fri 09 Nov, 2018 2:06 pm

Always worth checking out clubs in your area but some may fit your style and others not. I certainly learnt a lot coming up though Scouts/Senior Scouts, SUBW and the Kamerukas and was quite active in them. When checking out other clubs later in life I found that I didn't find a fit, especially with my view on "safety issues" - ultra light gear, runners, not boots, not wearing gaiters etc no huge first aid kit; others were just very cliquey and unwelcoming.
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Re: Bushwalking clubs?

Postby Lamont » Fri 09 Nov, 2018 6:38 pm

Like any social group it's strength is in it's particular members percieved (by you) postive attributes. If you consider them overbearing, possibly one dimensional then for you they are. I reckon bushwalkers are no different to any other social group. You will find people with whom you have an affinity, all the way through to the other end of the spectrum. The only way to find out is to....... ha ha. I'll bet you'll find someone with whom to have a sherbert, a cuppa or compare rucksacks. Just don't get into the merits of Ultralight(echoing Mark here) -there might be a bushwalkers brawl.
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Re: Bushwalking clubs?

Postby bernieq » Fri 09 Nov, 2018 8:20 pm

ofuros wrote:You can usually get a feel for a club via the walks program posted on their websites....
Meetups are a bit limited in your part of the world too

Aaaah, Meetups and Club published walks programs - I know of two clubs (at least) in NSW who no longer make public their walks program - because non-members were turning up to walks (often unprepared and under-equipped) expecting to tag along (presumably thinking it was like a meet-up group).

I'm a club member and a leader of the more difficult/extended tramps - but I also do a little by myself or with a small group of (non-club) friends. The dynamics are different as are the rewards - but, for me, all are enjoyable.

Meetups puzzle me and worry me. I cannot understand why any leader would accept the risk of taking unknowns on a walk. I cannot understand why any person would take the risk of being lead by an unknown.

But people swallow drugs of unknown contents made and supplied by unknowns - bizarre, really.

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Re: Bushwalking clubs?

Postby Son of a Beach » Mon 12 Nov, 2018 9:46 am

The only 'meet-up' walks I've participated in have had NO leader. Everyone is entirely responsible for themselves and was warned that this was the case. They worked well. Although if random inexperienced people did turn up, hoping to lean on the experience of others too much, I could imagine that could ruin it for some of the others.
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Re: Bushwalking clubs?

Postby bernieq » Wed 14 Nov, 2018 8:07 am

So on a Meetup walk, who lists the walk? (decides where, when etc)
... what if 50 people turn up?
... what if some are obviously inadequetly equipped?
... and what happens if someone is injured (say sprains an ankle and can't walk without assistance)?

In a club, prior to a walk, a leader determines where, when & who - so numbers, capabilities and experience levels are known and matched to the walk.
On the club walks I do, whilst there is a leader (sometimes me), it's not a control thing. Everyone on the walk knows the plan (more or less) and any decisions needed to be made are made by everyone. In the very rare event of no consensus, the leader would decide - and everyone accepts that (it's an agreed requirement).

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Re: Bushwalking clubs?

Postby Son of a Beach » Wed 14 Nov, 2018 10:35 am

(retracted, due to misunderstanding)
Last edited by Son of a Beach on Wed 14 Nov, 2018 11:52 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Bushwalking clubs?

Postby RonK » Wed 14 Nov, 2018 11:35 am

bernieq wrote:So on a Meetup walk, who lists the walk? (decides where, when etc)
... what if 50 people turn up?
... what if some are obviously inadequetly equipped?
... and what happens if someone is injured (say sprains an ankle and can't walk without assistance)?

In a club, prior to a walk, a leader determines where, when & who - so numbers, capabilities and experience levels are known and matched to the walk.
On the club walks I do, whilst there is a leader (sometimes me), it's not a control thing. Everyone on the walk knows the plan (more or less) and any decisions needed to be made are made by everyone. In the very rare event of no consensus, the leader would decide - and everyone accepts that (it's an agreed requirement).

Meetup is simply a tool. And a very good one. How you use it is up to the owners.
Meetups are not public, you can’t just turn up. First you must request to join the group and answer a series of vetting questions.
The owner nominates organisers who create the meetups. Organisers can nominate meetup hosts, further vet members who rsvp to a meetup, control the number of attendees, add as much detail about the meetup as they wish.
I am a member and organiser of several Meetup groups. My groups alway hold a briefing at the start of a meetup to summarise the plan and inroduce the hosts and any new members.
Just the same as running a well-organised club really.
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Re: Bushwalking clubs?

Postby Tekker76 » Wed 14 Nov, 2018 1:07 pm

its all interesting to know, I had not heard of meetups before nor the roles of leaders before this thread.
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