Interested in taking part in the Depaul UK’s Weighted Walk? We’ve answered all your questions here.

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General Weighted Walk FAQs

What is the Depaul UK Weighted Walk Challenge?

This May, we are asking you to carry a weighted backpack so that young homeless people, forced to carrying everything they own, don’t have to. Choose a route, a distance and a weight to carry on your back, and raise money for homeless young people.

When does it take place?

Throughout May 2022 – you can take on your own Weighted Walk at any time.

How do I take part?

It’s simple!
• Sign up for your free event pack by heading to our Facebook Group.
• Choose a distance, a route, and a weight to carry
• Set up your Facebook Fundraiser and share with family and friends.
• Load up your backpack with your chosen weight
• Share your achievement with family and friends

Why weighted walking?

Our Weighted Walk challenge (also known as “Rucking”) is a great way to keep fit, lose weight and it even burns more calories than walking! It will help you build strength in your shoulders, back and stomach, improving your posture. It’s gentler on the joints than running, gets you outdoors and challenges you!

Who can take part?

Anyone! But please ensure you have the right amount of fitness to ensure you can take part safely. Please make sure your chosen weight is challenging, but not so much that you risk injuring yourself. Depaul UK accepts no responsibility for injury sustained during this challenge.

Can I take part in a group/with friends?

Of course! Go solo, or take on the event with family and friends.

Why is this event helping homeless people?

The young people we support have to carry everything they own on their back but also hold the weight of the world on their shoulders as they navigate through their journey through homelessness. We are asking you to carry that load so young homeless people don’t have to. Money raised from this challenge will help ensure we can continue to be there for the most vulnerable young people experiencing or at risk of being homeless.

How does the money I raise help young homeless people?

We run a range of services for young people who are homeless, many of whom are traumatized by their previous experiences. Our Nightstop project offers young people a safe, warm bed, a meal, laundry facilities, a listening ear and a friendly welcome for those with nowhere safe to stay. We offer all young people in our services help with their mental health and wellbeing and support to access education, training and employment, together with independent living skills. Above all we nurture a sense of self-belief and hope in young people to enable them to get their lives back on track and look forward to a brighter future where they can fulfil their potential.

My question is not answered here

If you can’t see what you’re looking for, please feel free to post in the community group or alternatively email:

On the day

What do I need?

You will need a backpack and weight to put in your backpack (this could be filled water bottles or books, for example), a pair of comfortable walking boots/shoes, and your standard exercise clothing appropriate for the weather.

How far should I walk?

We are asking you to walk 10k. But you can set the distance and time of your walk to suit you, making sure that it is appropriate to your fitness level.

How much weight should I carry?

The weight you carry is up to you, but needs to be appropriate to your weight and fitness level.

What can I pack?

You will need to pack your bag with your chosen weight. You can wrap your weights in a towel or bubble wrap to help keep the weight stable and balanced on your back. Remember to pack plenty of drinking water, as well as some snacks for your walk.

What time should I take part?

It’s up to you, take on the weighted walk challenge at a time to suit you in May.
What do I need to do on the day? Load up your backpack with your chosen weight and head out on your walk!

What can I do after the walk?
Post your pictures to social media, using the hashtag #weightedwalk and tagging Depaul UK in your posts. Thank your friends and family for supporting you and have a well-earned rest! You could even try to drum up some last-minute donations for your fundraiser.

Event pack

What is in my event pack?

You will receive everything you need to take part in the weighted walk challenge including an on the day information sheet, a foldable water bottle to keep hydrated, a unique event number and Depaul UK t-shirt.

When will I receive my event pack?

Event packs will be sent out towards the end of April. Any registrations in May will still be sent a pack, but we can’t guarantee it will arrive before you’ve chosen to take on the event. We will send a digital event number to any late registrations which you can print at home and wear during your Weighted Walk challenge in case your pack doesn’t turn up in time.

What should I do if something is missing from my event pack?

In the unlikely event that something is missing from your event pack, please let us know by emailing and we will get the items sent out to you straight away.

Why are you using plastic water bottles?

The foldable water bottle we will be sending you can be reused after you finish the challenge – it is not single use. Sending foldable water bottles instead of metal water bottles significantly reduces the costs involved to Depaul, meaning more funding goes directly to supporting young people experiencing homelessness.


Staying safe

What type of bag should I carry?

To ensure that weight is well distributed, we would recommend carrying a bag with hip and chest straps as well as shoulder straps. Padding to the back and shoulders can also make carrying a weight more comfortable. If you have existing injuries or concerns about carrying weight on your back, please consult a medical professional.

How do I avoid injury?

If you have existing injuries or concerns about carrying weight on your back, please consult a medical professional. You may also wish to refer to the advice of the Health and Safety Executive here.

I haven’t done this type of event before, how do I carry my weighted bag safely?

If you have existing injuries or concerns about carrying weight on your back, please consult a medical professional. Good equipment including comfortable, supportive footwear and an appropriate backpack will also make your weighted walk safer. We would recommend completing some training walks to find out what is comfortable for you to carry and what distance is suitable for your fitness level. Find more general advice here.

How do I keep safe on my weighted walk?

Ensure that your equipment is appropriate for the conditions of your walk, and that you have appropriate food, water and first-aid supplies to hand. Stay on marked footpaths and let a friend or family member know where you’re going and when you’ll be back, if you’re walking alone.

What should I do in the event of extreme weather?

Please check the forecast for your area and make a personal choice. You can always move your walk to another day!