The walks on each day of Len’s challenge range in distance from about 13 to about 21 miles, so whichever day that you’ve chosen to do will require a level of individual responsibility and preparation.
While we have organised a walk leader, ultimately it is your responsibility to make sure that you’re are prepared to undertake the challenge. We recommend that before the day, you take the time to research and familiarise yourself with the route.
If you have a medical condition, have concerns as to the level of your fitness, or are unused to exercise, please consult your doctor before engaging in any Activity.
Cardiff and Vale Health Charity and the Cardiff and Vale University Health Board shall not be liable or responsible for any claim, loss, damage, costs and expenses of any nature, including without limitation for any direct, indirect, incidental, special, punitive, or consequential damages.
Clothing and Equipment
Walking Shoes or Boots
Make sure your footwear is comfortable and that it provides you with the right support and that it has been adequately broken in before the walk in order to prevent blisters.
Good quality socks are essential in order to prevent blisters. Choose socks that will wick moisture away from your feet and prevent overheating, and those that are padded in the heel, ball and toes. A second spare pair could be a good idea should your first pair get wet.
Make sure you prepare adequately for all weather conditions. As the walk is taking place during the summer, we recommend light, comfortable clothing that will wick away moisture. However, insulating layers could be needed if the weather changes and the temperature drops so it’s recommended that you take a fleece or other insulating layers. Do not attempt to walk in jeans as they can cause chaffing and will be cold and uncomfortable should it rain.
On sunny days, a sunhat and/or neckerchief will protect your head and neck from sunburn and overheating. Sunglasses are also recommended.
Despite the challenge taking place in summer, there is no guarantee that the weather will be good. It is essential that you pack a lightweight waterproof jacket and recommended that you pack waterproof trousers both of which should be made of breathable fabrics to help keep you dry and comfortable.
A rucksack is an essential piece of equipment. When full, the rucksack should sit evenly and comfortably close to the wearer’s back, allowing an upright posture. Regularly-used items should be easily accessible when you pack your rucksack, while heavier items should be packed close to the back in the middle section of the bag.
What else to pack?
This is absolutely essential. Remember to take the time to stop and reapply generously
Food and Drink
It is your responsibility to bring and carry all the food and drink that is required to sustain you throughout the day. While walking, eating and drinking little and often is the best way to stay hydrated and energised.
Toilet paper and hand sanitiser
First Aid Kit
Map and Compass
We recommend Ordinance Survey Explorer Maps with a 1:25,000 scale. The following maps cover the entirety of the Offa’s Dyke Path; please choose the most appropriate for the day you’re walking:
- Explorer 265 Clwydian Range
- Explorer 256 Wrexham and Llangollen
- Explorer 240 Oswestry
- Explorer 216 Welshpool and Montgomery
- Explorer 201 Knighton and Presteigne
- Explorer OL13 Brecon Beacons National Park
- Explorer OL14 Wye Valley and Forest of Dean
- Offas Dyke Map Booklet: 1:25,000 OS Route Mapping (Cicerone Guide)
- Offa’s Dyke Path Adventure Atlas (Geogrpaher’s A-Z Map Co.)
Frequently Asked Questions
What will the pace be?
Our walk lead thinks the average pace will probably be around 3 miles an hour but there will be breaks which may affect this.
Is the path well marked?
According to Offaddyke.org: The path is well waymarked and signed, but you should not attempt to walk it without a good map and/or guide book.
Where are the toilets?
Depending on which day you walk, you may pass through towns and villages with public toilets. However, chances are that between them you’ll be walking for many miles without passing one so if nature calls, you’ll have to go in the great outdoors.
Verywellfit.com has some advice on how to do your business in an environmentally responsible way:
“There is a right way to eliminate your wastes in a natural area without a toilet. Your solid waste products can contaminate groundwater, streams, and lakes and spread disease.
- Find a private location in the woods that is at least 20 feet off a trail and at least 200 feet (70 to 75 paces) from a stream, pond, or other water to avoid contamination.
- Urinate into absorbent soil that will soak it up rather than have it run off.
- Scoop the poop. Just as pet owners are required to do for their dogs, you should do the same for your waste. Bring along a sturdy ziplock bag and pack out your own waste. Nothing comes out of you that wasn’t in you, to begin with—you are in no danger from your own germs, but you can cause illness in others.
- To leave it behind: Dig a hole approx 6 inches deep and big enough around for you to hit with some accuracy. Cover over when done.
- Natural toilet paper (appropriate leaves) are the most environmentally-sensitive choice. However, it is unfortunately common for people to use poison oak or ivy leaves, with painful consequences. Know how to identify poison oak, poison ivy, and poison sumac and leave those leaves alone.
- If there is no soil: If your only choice is bare rock or hardpan desert, the recommendation is to pack it out with you. An alternative is to spread out the feces with a stick or other disposable natural item so the sun’s ultraviolet rays will break it down and sterilize it faster.”