Hiking Guidelines

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Hiking Guidelines

The purpose of the Mountain High Hikers is to provide a healthful form of recreation and fellowship for adults.   For this purpose the Club has adopted the following guidelines.

CONCEPT:

The club schedules several hikes each week. Usually, each of the hikes is comprised of at least two groups, a lead group and a trail group. Each group has a designated leader, who maintains control of his/her group. The lead group hikes at a faster pace than the trail group. This scheduling and hike organization allows for a variety of hike experiences for all. It readily accommodates the slower beginning hiker and the experienced faster hiker and provides for smooth transitions between the groups. For example, a new hiker can be comfortable hiking with the trail group on a shorter hike, and then move into the lead group. The idea is to have a place for most everyone.

LIABILITY:

A MHH Member/Guest must recognize that there are risks and responsibilities involved and be willing to assume these. Members and Guests are required to sign a waiver of liability at the beginning of each MHH event in order to participate.

HEALTH:

It is the personal responsibility of each participant to ensure that they are physically fit enough for the field conditions that exist and any unexpected conditions that may occur and be able to keep up with their group. Each individual must be properly equipped with sufficient personal gear to deal with the environment and the knowledge to use it correctly. Members/Guests are responsible for their own medical requirements, to include first aid and medications. If one has a special medical need/requirement, that others should be aware of, it is their responsibility to share that information with the leader before the hike/event. Hike/Event Leaders are not responsible for a participant’s medical needs.  

SCHEDULE OF HIKES:

A calendar of hikes scheduled for the coming quarter will be posted on the website, e-mailed to each member with an e-mail address, and mailed to those members without an e-mail address. 

SCHEDULE OF SPECIALTY HIKES/EVENTS:

From time to time the club may schedule special events and specialty hikes.

PARTICIPATION IN HIKES:

A guest should call the hike leader to determine if the hike is appropriate for the hiker’s level of fitness and experience.  Beginner hikers, or hikers with below average fitness, should start with the trail group of a shorter hike and then make transitions to other groups as they develop their hiking skills. Hike leaders may grant exceptions to experienced hikers. All should arrive at the meeting place 15 minutes prior to the beginning of the hike in order to hear the hike leader’s instructions, sign the liability waiver, work out carpool arrangements, transfer baggage and depart on time. If one plans to meet the hike at another location, they should contact the leader, as the hike plan may have changed. Guests will be allowed on hikes on a “space available” basis.

CANCELLATION OF HIKES:

Hikes can be cancelled due to existing or forecast bad weather that may present an enroute or onsite hazard. Some examples are ice/snow, extreme cold, thunderstorms and heavy rainfall. If in doubt, call the leader before reporting to the meeting place. If the hike is cancelled, the hike leader is not required to be at the meeting place.

WHAT TO BRING:

Bringing the proper equipment in your daypack will add greatly to your enjoyment, your safety, and the enjoyment and safety of the group.

bulletWater (bring extra in summer and for hikes with lots of elevation gain-- consider up to 1 quart per hour) and a lunch/snacks
bulletPersonal first aid kit (including any prescription meds for allergic reactions to insect stings) and personal hygiene supplies (toilet paper, trowel, 2 waterproof zipper bags).
bulletPersonal ID and medical information and your car keys
bulletRain gear or poncho (no matter what the forecast)
bullet Cell Phone
bulletSunscreen and insect repellent (unscented if possible as many stinging insects are attracted to certain aromas and other hikers may have allergic reactions to strong scents)
bullet Maps and Compass
bulletHeadlamp or small flashlight
bullet Extra clothing – long sleeve shirt, socks. (Winter: Insulation layer(s), hat, gloves)
bullet Other items to consider: whistle, knife or multi-tool, large plastic bag, hank of nylon cord, space blanket, and a pack capable of holding the gear.  

WHAT TO WEAR/USE:

Hiking clothes; synthetic, wool or silk materials that wick moisture and dry quickly are best. Multiple thin layers work better than fewer thick layers. Cotton is not a good idea because it dries so slowly and cotton socks may cause blisters. Items include shirt, pants, underwear, socks & sock liners. Broken-in hiking boots/shoes. Hiking poles (optional). These can be valuable for balance and stability in stream crossings and on rocky terrain, and can transfer some weight from the legs when going up and from the knees when going down.

CARPOOLING/SHUTTLES:

a. While the MHH encourages carpooling because of economic, environmental and social reasons, it is the policy of the MHH not to become involved in the establishment of carpools/shuttles nor the assignment of drivers or riders.    

b. As a service to the membership, the hike description may include a carpool amount for riders. This in no way implies that carpooling is part of an MHH event.  

MANAGEMENT OF HIKES:

a. Each hike will have a designated Hike Leader. The Hike Leader will appoint leaders for the lead, trail and other groups as well as sweeps for the lead, trail and other groups. Hikers in each designated group should stay between the leader and the sweep. Members/guests by participating in an MHH hike or activity agree to accept the authority of the leader(s) and to follow their directions.    

b. Each group may hike at a different pace.  On some hikes a pace component is required by length or special circumstances and that pace will be stated on the hike schedule. On those hikes you are expected to be able to maintain that pace over the distance of the hike.    

c. If you begin the hike with one group and decide to switch to another one, you must make your change known to both leaders.  Do not hike alone between groups.    

d. If it is necessary for you to leave the trail for a restroom break let the leader or sweep know and he/she will ask someone to wait for you.    

e. If you decide to leave the hike altogether, the leader must be informed and physically sign you out on the sign-out sheet. This does not apply if you need assistance.    

f. If you are in doubt about your ability to complete the hike without problems, heed the advice of the leader. It is better to miss the hike than to encounter problems, which may result in an unpleasant experience for you or your fellow hikers. The leader may exclude any person from a hike at his or her discretion.    

g. Pets are not to be brought on any hike.  

HIKE ETIQUETTE:

Hiking etiquette is mostly common sense, but there are a few topics that are hiking specific:    

a. We hike quietly and keep talk to a conversational level.  

b. When hiking on a trail, the larger group yields to the smaller group and moves off the trail until they pass.

c. When hiking downhill, we yield to any hiker(s) coming uphill.

d. When the group stops for a view, or any reason, we move off the trail.

e. Individuals should not stop and cause delays without good reason.

f. If a gap is opened in front of you or the hiker behind you is too close, step aside, to the right, and let the next hiker pass.

g. Cell phone courtesy is leaving it off.

h. Car courtesy is bringing/packing plastic bags to put your dirty boots in and clean camp shoes to wear and another plastic bag/towel to sit on in case you get wet.

i. Rider courtesy is giving your driver the carpool amount, in correct change, with a “Thank you for driving”.  

LEAVE NO TRACE:

The MHH subscribes to and abides by the principles of “Leave No Trace”. For more detailed information visit  www.lnt.org.  The principles that apply to MHH as we day hike are covered below:    

a. Leave what you find. Leave natural objects of beauty so others can experience a sense of discovery, the same as you have. Lunch and rest breaks should be taken on durable surfaces.    

b. “Pack it in-Pack it out”.  This applies to your lunch and snack breaks.  All left over food waste and litter must be packed out and taken back. No apple cores, banana peels or any other food or litter is to be left in the forests or on trails. For example, a bear may find & eat the food residue and associate the human smell with the food. The bear may then become habituated to humans as a food source. A fed bear is a dead bear.    

c. All human solid waste must be deposited at least 200 feet from water or trails.  Solid waste must be deposited in cat holes dug 6 to 8 inches deep (hence the need for a trowel) covered and disguised. Urine has little effect on vegetation or soil; however animals are attracted to the salt content and may damage vegetation, so look for a durable surface of rocks or pine needles, if possible. Toilet paper and other hygiene products must be packed out. This is a good use for waterproof zipper bags.    

d. We strive for minimal impact. When on a hike, if no one could tell that we passed through an area, that is success.  We hike on durable trail surfaces and stay on the trail. As good stewards of the environment, we carry out absolutely everything we carried in, and when feasible pick up other litter along the way.  

MOST IMPORTANT OF ALL:   Enjoy all of your hikes and your friends in the Mountain High Hikers.

Rev: 9/09

 

 

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