Clubs are a way for like-minded people to share their adventures, with regular get togethers close to home and further afield. Made up of members with a wealth of knowledge, you can benefit from years spent finding the best routes to walk. If you’re starting out, you might not have all the kit or even know what you need. Clubs are a chance to learn from other members, and most even have kit you can try out before you get your own. Equally, if you’ve lived through a few epics and got the hard-earned knowledge, there will be others who are keen to learn from your experience! Clubs are also the very best place to meet future buddies who are up for exactly the same kind of adventures as you.
There are around 300 hill walking and mountaineering clubs in England and Wales which are affiliated to the BMC, and there are a whole range to suit different interests.
You don’t need to worry about whether you’re ‘good enough’ to go to a club, they’re set up to welcome new members and they cater for all abilities. You don’t have to commit to joining straight away, so you can try a few different clubs and activities until you find the one that’s right for you. You have the chance to learn from more experienced members, find new friends at a similar level of ability, and gain experience together as you go along to more meets.
If you’re visiting a new group on your own it’s natural to feel nervous about whether people will talk to you, but don’t worry. Most clubs have a new members officer - it’s their role to chat to newcomers, find out a bit about you, and introduce you to the others. It’s a good idea to drop the club a message in advance so they know to look out for you when you arrive, and remember to introduce yourself when you get there. Once you’ve spent time together hiking, or climbed a couple of routes, you’ll soon have adventures in common and new experiences to chat about.