PCMSC MODERATE HIKE LEADER’S GUIDELINES – 2017
Prior to the start of the hike introduce yourself and advise that you will be leading the hike and participants should follow you. Hikers should note the leader’s cell number. If appropriate, have participants introduce themselves to the group.
Make sure that EVERYONE (including guests) sign the Activity Release Form. You should carry the completed form with you in case you need the contact information. After the hike, the completed form should be given or sent to the monthly coordinator or Summer Sports Officer.
The following should be verbally reviewed before the start of the hike or before departing the meeting place if it is not the starting location:
Review the full hike description, which should include difficulty level, expected pace, elevation gain, length (in time and miles), and any special comments about the terrain.
Note that: “It is participant’s responsibility to evaluate the type and difficulty of the hike to decide whether they are prepared by having the experience, skill, knowledge, equipment and physical and emotional stamina to safely participate.”
Request from all participants: Anyone leaving the hike must please inform the hike leader directly or through another member on the hike that they are not continuing.
Note it is impolite to hold up the group to take pictures, send text messages or make phone calls. If this is necessary, the hiker should step aside and let others pass. However, the group will not stop while this activity is taking place.
As hike leader you may cancel the hike at any time or change the route at your discretion. If you cancel or postpone a hike be sure to send an email to Chuck Mollard at firstname.lastname@example.org and Ellen Sherk at email@example.com so they can update the Club’s calendar. If you elect to change the route, you should explain the reason and describe the new route.
The Club’s Board of Directors has authorized you, as the hike leader, to advise a given participant not to go on a hike if you are concerned the person does not have appropriate skills, stamina or equipment to be safe, (especially adequate footwear and sufficient water) to be safe.
As the hike leader, you should be familiar with the hike route, trail conditions and the weather forecast. If you are uncertain about the route you must do a pre-hike before leading the group. As the hike leader, you should be at the front of the group that is hiking to set the pace and determine the route. If some members want to go at a faster pace, they should be advised they are on their own, but the majority should follow the hike leader or if there are two hike leaders, one of the two.
When there is a large group on a moderate hike, if possible, split the group in two, with one going at a normal moderate pace and one going slightly slower and, if possible or desired, designate a person to act as a “sweep” to be the last hiker in the group. Count participants at the beginning of the hike, at rest stops and at the end. It is recommended that moderate hikes stop every 15 minutes to rest and regroup during the entire hike.
At the beginning of the hike, the hike leader should stop after about 10 minutes or at the first fork on the trail, to assess if any members are not able to keep up with the group. If that is the case, that person or persons, should be asked to not continue and asked to return to the starting location. It is not the responsibility of the hike leader to have someone stay with a hiker or hikers that cannot keep up with the group.
Remember, we are all out there to enjoy the scenery and have fun.