April 20, 2013
Travelling the world
In February 2011, Mark Boogaers started the Kuala Lumpur Hiking and Trail Running Meetup Group with the purpose of finding like minded individuals who enjoy going out for the purpose of getting/staying fit and enjoying nature. This group was not so much about the activity being a social gathering, but about getting some serious exercise on a regular basis.
Although the initial plan was to organise interesting hikes in hilly terrain that will take up to a full day within two hours drive from the centre of Kuala Lumpur, our hikers are now expanding their views. New hiking venues, in other states and even other countries, are now presented and explored.
I still respect and endorse Mark's concept that this Meetup group is a forum for hikers by hikers. Anyone who likes to organise a hike is welcome to do so. At this moment every person who is registered as a member can suggest a hike. In the past however the suggested event was scheduled as soon as three members confirmed their participation. In order to avoid that events won't have an assigned Meetup organiser, from now on a co-organiser has to confirm the event before it can be scheduled. Meetup members must have the assurance that every hike will be properly organised.
In order to start with a clean sheet, I will “demote” the co-organisers who haven't been organising a hike lately. I appreciate their efforts and contributions for Meetup in the past and will reassign them the co-organiser status upon request. In the future, I prefer to work with a passionate and active team of organisers. This implies that non-activity for a few months will automatically result in loss of the co-organiser's status. It should be an understatement that organisers participate in the hikes they organise.
For everyone who is suggesting or organising a hike, please use the rating system as explained below and include a schedule so all attendees know what to expect. Although the rating system has its flaws, it will give you an indication of the difficulty level. Please do read the write-up of every hike very carefully for additional information.
The rating system allows you to judge whether or not this hike will be too difficult for you. The difficulty level indicated is the average of 3 ratings determined as below:
1 - Height difference over whole hike less than 100m
2 - Between 100m and 200m climbing/descent
3 - Between 200m and 400m climbing/descent
4 - Between 400m and 800m climbing/descent
5 - More than 800m climbing/descent
1 - All paved roads
2 - Mostly unpaved roads, not too steep terrain.
3 - Unpaved roads with steep sections. Good footwear is a must.
4 - On some stretches hands and legs are required to be used. Expect to get dirty.
5 - Some parts are close to rock climbing.
1 - Total distance of the hike less than 2km
2 - Distance between 2km and 4km
3 - Distance between 4km and 8km
4 - Distance between 8km and 16km
5 - Distance more than 16km
Every event has its own event host(s). Be aware that co-organisers can participate in hikes which are organised by another organiser. That doesn't make them co-organisers for that particular hike.
Meetup KL Hiking is organising events for all levels of hikers, from sheer beginners to experienced trailblazers. Every co-organiser has his/her own approach of creating an event, so also here it is highly recommended to read the write-up very carefully.
Generally I'll do a survey hike before scheduling an event, so I know what to expect for the hikes which I organise myself. During the hike I focus very much on group dynamics, and it's a rule of thumb that nobody will be left behind. We're all links in the hiking chain and nobody is more or less important than anybody else... For every hike, I will be the last one to leave the venue in order to be sure that everybody made it out safely. Creating an adventurous but most of all a safe hiking experience is my goal.
For every event you will find specific instructions in the write-up. There are however some basic elements:
wear shoes with profile (a pattern on the soles to prevent slipping and gliding); adidas kampung is good to start with...
wear suitable and comfortable clothing (will get dirty...)
bring appropriate shoes for river crossings, if any
carry a proper backpack
rain gear is recommended
pack your valuables in plastic bags (mobile phone, camera, etc)
be prepared for the unexpected (first aid kit, whistle, headlamp, gps,...)
leave a towel and some dry clothes in the car
bring something warm to wear at the top if your hike is a climb
a pair of gloves doesn't weigh that much (thorns, roots, trees, mud)
if you're comfortable using a walking stick, bring it along
bring enough snacks (carbohydrates) and drinks; 0.5 litre for each hour hike is normal
mosquito repellent and leech protection is recommended
please be responsible and don't litter – be sure not to leave any rubbish along the track
It should not be necessary to highlight certain common sense behaviour, but I do it anyway in order to avoid any misconception:
All participants will respect each other's background, religion, race, complexion, etc and will try their utmost not to offend anyone with their behaviour. This would include bringing alcoholic drinks to the events and taking showers on public roads.
Although English is not the mother tongue for almost all members, I'm sure we all can refrain from using insulting words and expressions.
While hiking we respect the nature surrounding us, as we are the “intruders”; the jungle doesn't belong to us. We will bring back any drinking bottles/food wrappers we used along the way. In short "Leave nothing but footprints, take nothing but pictures".
The Meetup website is publicly accessible. So don't post any phone numbers or e-mail addresses in the comment sections. We only mention mobile phone numbers on the carpooling list, which can only be accessed by the participants of a particular hike. The same goes for the carpooling link. Let's keep it private as we don't want anybody else than our hikers to make alterations to the list, do we?
This group has in no way a commercial agenda. There will be no fees to join an event. Entrance fees to enter certain venues will be specified in the write-up of the event and are to be paid individually to the respective authorities. Expenses for events that come with a price tag like camping trips, coach travel, hikes abroad, etc. will be shared by the participants for that particular event.
If an event host is asking you to answer some questions during the confirmation process, please do so. And be sure you answer them completely. This will make the pre-organisation of a hike smoother.
Normally, for every event carpooling is recommended. If there's a carpooling list, passengers have to look for and contact a driver in their neighbourhood to make the necessary arrangements; not the other way around! Carpooling is by no means taxi service...
If you RSVP "Yes" you make a commitment. Do realise that! You are expected to show up for the event and to show up on time. From now on, event hosts will pay more attention to hikers who simply don't show up for an event. Serial no show offenders will be removed as a member. There will be no waiting for people that are late. If you change your mind about attending, or you are unable to participate, you are expected to change your RSVP status before the event, otherwise it will result in a no show on your profile.
You are attending the hikes/runs at your own risk. The event host will try his/her best to assist and guide, but is in no way responsible, liable or accountable for any damage, personal injuries, etc. By clicking RSVP “Yes” for an event and/or signing the attendance list and/or making a payment, it is deemed that you have read, agreed and accepted the terms and conditions of the following disclaimer:
Disclaimer Terms of Participation as Follows:
Kuala Lumpur Hiking and Trail Running Meetup Group is an amateur adventure platform that welcomes all hikers and trail runners. By joining the activities, all participants are deemed to have agreed to the terms and conditions contained in this disclaimer, and agreed to exonerate the organisers, the activities' hosts, and any other participants in the trips from any liabilities, claims, including but not limited to liabilities and claims as a result of any injuries or deaths or damages arising thereof.
1. If the participant is absent at the specified meeting point on the agreed date and time, the organisers (hereafter taken to include co-organisers, assistants and hosts) shall neither wait nor are required to wait for the participant.
2. The participant acknowledges that this is an adventure trip and that the itinerary serves as a guide only and flexibility may be required. The organisers shall not be held responsible for any changes/cancellations/delays caused by airlines, accidents, strikes, government regulations, weather conditions or natural calamities, etc.
3. In case payment is required, once a payment is made, there shall be no refund of any monies whatsoever. However, replacement is possible, but will be entirely the responsibility of the participant and not the organisers. Further, any replacement shall be at the sole discretion and the availability of the organisers.
4. In case of trips abroad, it shall be the participant's onus to find out and fulfil, in a timely manner, the immigration requirements of the trip destination with regard to his/her own nationality - i.e. visas, permits etc. In the absence of essential documentation, the organisers shall not be liable for the consequences of incomplete trip formalities.
5. The participant is advised to have comprehensive travel insurance against medical exigencies, personal accidents, natural calamities, etc. with the appropriate coverage of activities and geographical area. Please provide the agency, policy number and 24-hours contact number before the trip commencement.
6. The participant understands that during the course of the trip certain events may occur, including, but not limited to, accident or illness, political instability and the forces of nature. The participant understands and agrees to assume all risks associated with the trip and undertakes to indemnify the organisers and hosts against all claims arising from his/her participation.
7. As this is an adventure event, organisers have the right to disallow your participation if you're deemed unsuitable for the event/trip or for any other reason whatsoever. When you have confirmed your participation and/or signed the attendance list and/or made a payment, it is deemed that you have read, agreed and accepted the above terms and conditions.
Alex KL Hiking