On the move

Many leaders tend to lead from the front. During the various stages of the activity, good leaders generally change their position within the group, providing a good opportunity to make contact with different members of the group and observe how they are going. Newcomers need special attention in this context.

It is a good idea to develop techniques which will enable trouble to be anticipated, so that possible disruption or later cancellation of the activity can be prevented. This is particularly important if you are going into remote or difficult country. Look for gear that is about to fail, limping participants, and any signs of fatigue.

During the activity aim to maintain a steady pace appropriate to the circumstances. Do not stop unnecessarily, because this breaks up rhythm and creates frustration. On steep climbs slow right down rather than stop. It is undesirable to stop in cold, wet and windy conditions because of the windchill factor.

Look around regularly to count heads and note how the individuals are coping. Use this time to check on general progress, and keep in touch with navigational reference points and features. You do not need to stop to do these things, because there are usually opportunities such as a bend in the track or a wildlife distraction which allow time to glance around. Practise referring to your map and taking compass bearings on the move.