One word to describe last term (and possibly the year) for the Hiking Club? Phenomenal.
It’s been phenomenal witnessing how much the club has grown last year, with more than 1000 sign-ups at the Welcome Fair, more than 300 of you coming for our Try It! Walks (shoutout to the 110 of you who came for Seven Sisters), and an average of 30 people for each weekend hike.
With this large influx of members, of course we were quick on our toes to recruit as many walk leaders as possible. In fact, we are opening up this opportunity to YOU later this month, if you want to join our team of walk leaders for the rest of the year! Of course, as always, there is no obligation to come for every weekend hike, but we would love for you to join us if you are interested in doing so! You don’t have to know how to navigate to do so - back-marking is literally back-marking, a.k.a. shepherding.
One particular highlight of the first term was our residential trip to County Kerry, Ireland. Three consecutive days of hiking and climbing might sound a little insane, but if you’ve got a karaoke respite at the end of the day, who really cares? By now, you should know we don’t just hike, we like to spice things up occasionally with some ~socials~ as well.
Some of you probably have a few questions about the Club.
Is it too late to get a membership at this point? No, never! Since we run weekly hikes that are non-obligatory of course, it’s always better to get your membership ASAP so you get more opportunities for hikes, and socials. £15 isn’t really that expensive, and in fact, I think we’re the cheapest sports club at UCL (and probably the most value-for-money ;))
Do you think you need to get hiking boots? My honest answer is that if you’re planning to come often (say at least 2 times a month), yes. And get waterproof (GORE-TEX) ones! Hiking boots are a good investment because good ones last you a long time, and more importantly, they keep your feet (and loose ankles) safe. And we all know that mud and trainers never end up well. We would advise you to get your boots from Cotswold Outdoor where we have a 15% student discount. I personally like to “Click and Collect” my boots on their online website (where they have a much larger variety of boots and brands) and then try them at the store (it’s totally refundable and returnable!) to see if they’re comfortable. Never be afraid to approach their friendly staff for help as well, they’re there for a reason and they do know what they are talking about!
So, what’s next for the Hiking Club? Everything to be excited for! We’re going to be part of the “Get Active” Fair on 15 January, so if you’re an affiliate student reading this, do look out for us on that, and drop by to chat if you have any questions at all! We’ve got an elaborate term lined up for you, with hikes to Canterbury and Margate, and we’re bringing out the all-classic Seven Sisters due to high demand. As for socials, we’re looking into collaborations with other UCL societies, and a walk for charity! Also, in case you haven’t heard already, we’re heading up to PEAK DISTRICT for Reading Week, so more details will follow. An evermore phenomenal term will follow, that’s for sure.
We look forward to seeing you once the holidays have ended (nooooo), and the Club Committee and I are wishing you a jolly good year ahead!