Hiking Club Guidelines
Hiking in a group provides companionship, safety and fun but also requires each hiker to responsible and courteous when participating in an event. Outings run more smoothy when everyone does their part, so follow these guidelines for a fun and safe hike.
Preparing to hike
- Be mindful of your own capability and the trail rating. If you’ve never hiked before, joining in on a 5/5 strenuous hike is not only discouraging for you as a new hiker, but also disruptive to the group (who will be worried about you if you struggle).
- Hike in pairs. Sometimes (depending on the group) we break off into smaller sub-groups depending on speed and fitness levels. Just make sure you never find yourself along on the trail; keep another hiker in sight at all times. If you’re not sure of your pace, bring a buddy and agree to stay together.
- Notify the hike organizer that you plan to go on a hike. It’s just nice to have an idea of how many are attending!
- If you carpool with another hiker, be courteous to their vehicle and be sure to chip in for gas. Additionally, make sure you know in advance if your driver is planning to attend the group meal/drinks afterwards and allow time for that.
- Arrive a few minutes early to the meeting place and ready to go when you get there. We leave on time! (Well, we try to.)
- Be prepared with the right equipment. Dress in layers, bring plenty of water and snacks, and a change of clothes for after the hike. There’s nothing worse than being sweaty and cold on a drive home!
Hiking in a group
- Dogs. Some people love them (me), others are indifferent, and some people are afraid of them. Please be respectful of everyone’s feelings and keep your dog on leash during group hikes. If your pup loves to pull, feel free to scoot to the front of the pack so your bestie can sniff away!
- These aren’t “guided” hikes. In a perfect world we’d all stay together on the trails but with many fitness levels (and goals) that’s not always possible. If you decide to turn back or take a shorter route, please let the hikers in front of you know! Otherwise we’ll wonder if you fell off a cliff or were swept downstream.
- We are a company of equals, hiking on the same trail and starting (but not necessarily finishing) at the same time. The hike coordinator organizes the hike logistics, but you are responsible for your own actions. Exercise your good judgment on the hike when it comes to your safety and good health.
- If you are tackling an unfamiliar trail, come prepared with a TRAIL MAP (most times these are posted in the hike event).
- Hikers under the age 18 must be accompanied by a parent or guardian who takes responsibility for their behavior and safety.
- Be considerate of your fellow hikers and other trail users.
- Practice low-impact hiking, i.e., stay on the trail, don’t take short cuts; pack it in, pack it out; take only pictures, leave only footprints; don’t pick the wildflowers; leave nature as you found it; leave no trace!
- Carry out all of your own trash.
- Be friendly and courteous. We are a group of chatters! We often wind up in deep conversation and sometimes we “overshare” – practice discretion and follow our “what’s discussed on the trail, stays on the trail” motto!
- Share the trail nicely. Walk on the right. Pass on the left. Warn people when you are planning to pass (and feel free to do so!). We are a “fitness hiking group” and some are training for big events so if you want to blaze ahead, by all means!
- Stay on the trail. Creating your own trail or cutting switchbacks creates erosion and damages habitat.
- Downhill traffic should yield to uphill traffic. ALWAYS (you’ll see why when you climb your first serious hill)!
- We’re the visitors in our little buddies’ forest home. Don’t disturb the animals, even the ones you don’t find personally appealing – spiders, snakes, skunks, and so on. Ticks are fair game, though. Kill the ticks 😉