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If you’re organising a ramble for family, friends or workmates, remember to give them plenty of warning and get them signed up early.  And follow these simple steps to ensure that your walk in the country is a walk in the park…

    • Work out how long your walk will take and arrange your set-off time accordingly.
    • Check the weather right up until the moment you set off. Remember: there’s no such thing as bad weather, just bad clothing choices.
    • Kit yourself out with the right clothing and footwear. If it’s a chilly day, wear thick socks or double up for extra padding. It’s always a good idea to take an extra pair too, just in case those boots aren’t as waterproof as you thought! Make sure your walkers wear jackets with hoods, or hand out Pudsey ponchos – available to buy at the BBC Children in Need online shop. Turn a bad forecast into part of the fun.
    • If you’ll be walking in the dark remember to wear high visibility jackets or reflectors, and take a torch.
    • Take supplies with you – particularly if it’s a long walk. Cereal and fruit bars are a good source of energy. Make sure you’ve got plenty of water too.
    • When planning your route mark potential pit stops. You could identify your picnic spots in advance or, if you plan to eat at a café, restaurant or pub, think about booking ahead.
    • Take a first aid kit, fully stocked with antiseptic cream or wipes, bandages, antihistamine and Pudsey plasters for blisters!
    • Other essential items: a fully charged mobile phone, money, a pack of hand wipes and a couple of plastic carrier bags (always handy).  Chuck a hat and pair of gloves in the bottom of your bag even if you think you won’t need them. If you have binoculars, take them with you too.
    • OK, I know I’ve just told you to take water, snacks, money, phone, extra socks…but, as far as possible, travel light! Share the load by distributing essential items around the group in a good ruck sack to keep your hands free.
    • Rest up the day before and get a good night’s sleep.
    • Show the world why you’re walking and wear something Pudsey – if not the poncho how about a pair of Pudsey ears?
    • Put a checklist together before you set off of things to spot during your walk. Include specific birds and plants, stiles, sheep – as well as particular landmarks that you’ll pass. You could also include a list of games to play; I spy, the shopping list game, ten questions etc. Turn off your technology and turn on your senses.
    • Make your walk count even more and pick up litter as you go (there’s a use for those plastic bags I mentioned!)
    • Liberate yourself from the sat-nav! Plot your route before you go using a good old-fashioned map – and remember to take it with you.
    • The most important thing to remember is that you are not on your own land. Respect whose land you are on, stick to footpaths and please keep your dog on a lead. Always follow the countryside code
    • And remember – you might be hiking up Ben Nevis or taking a gentle stroll with children and the dog. It doesn’t matter how long your walk is or where it takes you, what matters is that you have fun and raise money. 

If you’re one of those technological types, share your route and pics by tagging @BBCCiN or @BBCcountryfile.

Why not plan your ramble for the weekend of 10-11 October and join Matt, his fellow Countryfile presenters and the rest of the nation as they get out and ramble for BBC Children in Need.

Happy walking!

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