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Las Vegas Hiking & Camping Christians Pages

Frequently Asked Questions

What is "scrambling?"
Scrambling is climbing on rocks. Any time you have to negotiate your way over rocks, boulders, even up a dead tree, that's scrambling. Scrambling comes in five levels. Class I is essentially just walking, generally over rough terrain and rocks requiring additional care an balance. (Like walking on broken sidewalk) Class II requires some use of your hands, mainly for balance. (Like climbing steep stairs) Class III means you'll use hands and feet (and sometimes other parts!) to do the climbing. (Like climbing a ladder) Class IV is advanced climbing, supporting your weight with your upper body or maneuvering in unusual ways. (Like climbing a chimney) Class V is only attempted with ropes, though if the climb is short enough, Class V can be tackled with the helping hands of your fellow hikers. (Like scaling a wall)

What is "exposure?"
Exposure is what makes hikes scary! It's cliffs and ledges and drop-offs. The measure of a hike's exposure is a combination of the danger/height of a ledge, how close you are to it, and how hard you have to try in order not to fall off. In a sense, it's a measure of danger. Obviously, if you have acrophobia, you'll want to avoid hikes that mention exposure.

What if it rains?
As general policy, we DO NOT cancel events due to weather. For most of us outdoorsy types, the rain is a novelty to be enjoyed on the rare occasions when it comes. If you're worried you might get rained on, come prepared with gear that suits your desired level of comfort. On that note, we also do not generally cancel events for wind, heat, or other weather phenomenon (except lightning). If you're unsure about a particular event, drop an email to the Organizer who has posted that event.

The event is full and I still want to go. What should I do?
You definitely should NOT just crash the event. We set up limits for a reason. What you should do is RSVP to the Waiting List. If there is no Waiting List for the hike, you can still RSVP "No" and indicate in your comment that you would like to attend if a spot should become available. As new people RSVP "No", they will be listed above you on the event page. If space becomes available, Organizers may change people from a "No" to a "Yes" starting at the BOTTOM of the list (those who have been waiting the longest). For this reason, it is important that you not update your RSVP once you have put a request with your "No" RSVP. Updating your RSVP puts it back at the top of the list and, consequently, puts you at the back of the line.

What should I bring on a hike?
The answer to this will vary from hike to hike, but here are a few tips that hold true for most hikes.
1) Bring 4 liters of water (about a gallon) if it's extra hot or if the hike is long (more than 3 hours or 6 miles). Otherwise, bring 3 liters. It's always better to have too much water than too little, and your extra water might just make you someone's hero.
2) Bring weather-appropriate clothing. If it's hot, bring a hat and wear clothing that is light in both color and weight. If it's cold, bring warm clothes in LAYERS that you can take off once you start moving. The worst thing you can do when it's cold out is sweat, because once you stop moving, the moisture will make you EXTREMELY cold.
3) Bring sunscreen. And use it.
4) Bring a snack. If the hike is long enough, bring a meal. Going hungry on a hike can cause you to lose strength and lose focus, both of which greatly increase your risk of serious injury while hiking.
5) BRING A POSITIVE ATTITUDE! Nothing will have more impact on your enjoyment of a hike than the attitude of yourself and those around you. Things don't always go as planned on hikes, and a positive attitude can be the difference between an adventure and a disaster.

Do I need any special equipment?
That's the great thing about hiking: no purchase necessary. You can hike in $200 boots or $15 tennis shoes. You can wear advanced Under Armour or an old t-shirt. Hiking-specific clothes and accessories will increase your comfort, safety, and probably your endurance, but they definitely aren't required.

Why don't you have more "beginner" or "easy" hikes?
There are a number of reasons for this. Primarily, it's because of the people we seek out to be Assistant Organizers. We're looking for people who know what they're doing out on the trail, who won't get lost, will minimize the inherent dangers of hiking, and can help other people if needed. These people, by necessity, tend to be more advanced and experienced hikers. They want to go on hikes that have greater payoffs, so they will usually shy away from a two-mile stroll to an overlook - it's just not satisfying enough. Another factor is that, from time to time, we make people Assistant Organizers who are quality people, but they may not be in as good of shape or as trail-savvy as a more experienced hiker. Once they start hiking every week, the same three "easy" trails start to grow boring, while at the same time the Organizers naturally become more fit and experienced, and ready to step up to more rewarding hikes. As a consequence, they stop posting "beginner" hikes. Finally, "easy" is in the eye of the beholder. "Hiking," to me, involves uneven terrain and going up hills. That's not always easy. Anything less is just walking, and should be left to a walking group.

Can I donate money to the group?
Heck yes you can! Right off the top, the money people donate goes toward paying our monthly dues to Meetup.com. Beyond that, the money goes toward paying expenses related to our outings, such as the two-way radios we use on some hikes, ropes, first-aid gear, etc.. Your dollars also go to the Assistant Organizers and to me for expenses we run in to making these events happen. Finally, what remains is reinvested in the group, buying things like t-shirts, business cards, etc.. Remember, your donations are COMPLETELY VOLUNTARY AND REFUNDABLE, and we'd all keep posting hikes whether we got donations or not. Donating a few bucks just makes it a lot easier for us to do what we do. And it wouldn't hurt to buy your organizer a beer once in a while. ;-) Isn't it worth it?

Can I bring my kid/dog?
As a general rule, yes. Many hikes state in the description whether they are kid/dog friendly. Still, just as you need to know your own limits, it's up to you to know the limits of your kid/dog. Remember that because kids are smaller, they have to travel a far greater relative distance than their adult counterparts. A four foot tall kid will hike 50% further (relatively) than his six foot tall parent. Kids/dogs are often discouraged on hikes with a lot of scrambling. They simply require too much help to overcome the obstacles, and kids/dogs don't always cooperate with those who are helping them. If you're unsure, drop a line to the organizer who posted the hike in question. On the hikes where dogs are welcome, dogs must remain on leash and under control at all times. Additionally, you will be expected to clean up any waste your dog creates.

Where/when are we meeting?
Often, we do not meet at the trailhead. In fact, it's rare that we meet at the trailhead. Usually we meet at a more convenient location and carpool from there. The location listed in the "Where" section of the hike description tells you where we'll actually meet, rather than where we're hiking. Likewise, the time listed for a hike indicates what time you should be at the meeting place, not necessarily the time the hike will start.

Why does the map show a different location than the description indicates? (AKA, Why does the map suck?)
Meetup has improved its map feature over the years, but it might not be perfect. Generally, it needs an actual address in order to display a perfectly accurate map. As you might guess, trailheads and roadsides don't have addresses, so sometimes it's hard for the map to show precisely where we want to meet. If you're unsure where to go, check the event description for directions or write to the organizer who posted that event.

Is there a way to get fewer emails?
Meetup currently offers members the option to turn off "reminder" emails that are automatically sent out as an event approaches. To do this, click on "Account" at the top of any meetup page. Then click on "Membership and Communication." From there, you will be able to edit the email settings of all your groups. New event announcements and other general announcements will always come to your inbox unless you create your own filter to block them. Other than that, you'll just have to keep reading about all the awesome stuff we're doing and endure the mighty burden of clicking the delete button.

Why do you post events that aren't hikes?
There are a few answers to this question. First, our name does not limit the types of events we can post. Burger King sells more than burgers, and Jiffy Lube offers more than oil changes. Our group's charter, which you'll find right on the main page, indicates that "We feature hikes for all skill levels, road trips, camping, and social gatherings." You'll also find social events mentioned on our About page. In addition, consider the following: Sometimes it's nice to meet your fellow hikers when you're not all sweaty and dirty and gasping for breath. We are not just hikers. We are whole people. We share a bond in that we appreciate the outdoors. That bond can be carried over to social events just as readily as on the trail. Furthermore, I'll say that though meeting people for the first time on a 3000 foot, 10 mile hike might be easy for some, many people are unsure of their abilities or are intimidated by hiking with strangers. Our social events provide an easier way to get to know us, and to feel us out a bit before diving in.

Who's in charge out there?
You are. The shortest answer is also the most accurate. We are a social group. We're adults, you're an adult. To put it in child's terms, "We're not the boss of you!" However, please remember that you signed up to do a particular hike with a particular group. You should do THAT hike with that group. If you want to go out on your own, you can do that on your own time. For the safety of yourself and those around you, it's usually best to stay with the group. On the same note, you MUST know your limitations, and don't be afraid to voice them. While the Organizers are not in charge of you, we're still human beings, and we're of a mind to look out for each other. We can help you over obstacles, we can help you turn around, we can carry you home. But only YOU can keep you safe.

Table of Contents

Page title Most recent update Last edited by
Etiquette on the Trail February 1, 2012 8:32 PM former member
About Las Vegas Hiking & Camping Christians February 1, 2012 8:29 PM former member

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