Sunday, 20 May 2012

Review: Should I join the BMC?

To quote their website "The British Mountaineering Council (BMC) is the representative body that exists to protect the freedoms and promote the interests of climbers, hill walkers and mountaineers, including ski-mountaineers. The BMC recognises that climbing, hill walking and mountaineering are activities with a danger of personal injury or death. Participants in these activities should be aware of and accept these risks and be responsible for their own actions."

So is it worth joining? Well currently, if you pay by direct debit, the BMC membership has a 50% discount making it £14.97 for a full year. This member ship gets you the following:

£10m Worldwide Civil Liability Insurance & £10,000 Personal Accident Disability Insurance
BMC Individual members are entitled to both of these benefits, and BMC club members to Civil liability insurance.

Access to BMC Travel and Activity Insurance
Comprehensive cover designed for hill walking, climbing and mountaineering in the UK, Europe and Worldwide with premiums from 3 days to annual cover.

Access to Life Insurance, Mortgage Protection and Income Protection
Through Summit Financial Services.

Retail Discounts
10% discount in over 600 outdoor shops.

Summit, the BMC members magazine
Delivered to your door every quarter - full of climbing, mountaineering and hill walking related feature articles, news, reviews, offers and advice.

Travel & Accomodation discounts
From car hire (Hertz, Avis and Europcar) and car parking (BCP) to accommodation (Cottages4you and various hotels) and a range of climbing and walking holiday providers.

A mountain of miscellaneous benefits
Save on medical and first aid training, adventure and instruction courses, bushcraft and survival courses, hot air balloon rides, dining out and more.

Discounts on Trail, Climber, Climb and Country Walking magazines
Save up to 25% on the annual cost of these outdoor magazines, delivered direct to your door.

Reciprocal Rights Card
Joining the BMC allows you to buy this card, which gives you discounts of between 20-50% at Alpine Huts.

Free Members Handbook
An annual directory providing information on BMC work and member benefits.

Discounts at the National Mountaineering Centre
BMC member discounts are available for B&B, equipment hire and group bookings at Plas Y Brenin in North Wales.

Discounts on BMC guidebooks, directories, publications and films
As a member you will receive access to a range of hill walking, climbing and mountaineering information written by experts and available either free or at a discount.

BMC online shop discounts
Receive significant discounts on products sold in the BMC online shop.

Register for Instructor Award Schemes
Entrance to Instructor Award Schemes, including the Walking Group Leader (WGL), Mountain Leader Award (MLA), the Single Pitch Award (SPA) and the new Climbing Wall Award (CWA) is available to members. 

Discounts at BMC events
Reduced rates at BMC events around the country.

From my experience of joining I can say without a doubt it was worth it. I recently purchased a jacket in an outdoor store who supports the BMC discount and saved almost £11 on my purchase, a fair chunk of the outlay to join the BMC.

My first copy of the Summit magazine recently arrived. Granted it is a little climbing orientated, but there are plenty of articles and it is of a high quality. And with the first discount I had, it's basically cost me around £1 per issue.

Topping all this off with the BMC's continuing campaigns for access rights etc it seems to me  it's worth joining and supporting.