Welcome to the Salem Hiking Meetup group! We are primarily a day-hiking group, with an occasional foray into overnight backpacking, snowshoeing or similar adventures. Here is some information about our group and the ground rules we ask members to follow. We require you to read and agree to these rules so you know what you are signing up for and so we know that you understand your responsibilities to the group. This may look like nothing more than lengthy “fine print,” but the information is important and essential to a smoothly functioning group. Please take the time to read it carefully, and contact the leadership team if you have any questions.
1. We are friendly and respectful to each other. Our backgrounds are diverse, but we are united in our love for the outdoors. If you cannot come to an event with patience, humor, tolerance and friendliness, please reconsider whether this group is a good fit for you.
2. Our hikes range from easy to very difficult. We will provide a brief description of a hike, but it is your responsibility to independently research a hike and determine whether it is appropriate for you. You know your limitations; the group leaders do not. It is your responsibility to show up properly equipped with appropriate clothing, footwear, food and water. The failure to do so jeopardizes your safety and unfairly burdens the group. While we anticipate and welcome a wide range of experience and capabilities, we are not a “teach you how to hike” group. The event host has the authority and discretion to turn away anyone who shows up for a hike not properly clothed or equipped. Suggestions about what to bring can be found in the “Pages” section of this web site.
3. This group’s events are not lead by paid or trained guides. We are fellow explorers. By joining this group you are voluntarily participating in outdoor wilderness activities with a wide range of inherent danger. By joining this group you accept full responsibility for your own health and safety and the health and safety of your guests. By joining this group you agree that in no event and under no circumstances shall the group’s organizers, hosts or event leaders be liable for any injury or damage of any nature to yourself or your property resulting from your participation in the group or resulting from the negligence of any other member of the group. You accept all responsibility for any injury, harm or damage resulting from anything going wrong on a hike.
4. We are a hiking group. If your goal is trail sprinting, you are a loner, or you are not comfortable hiking with a social group, please consider joining a different group. Although everyone hikes at their own pace, our practice is to periodically stop so that all can catch up. We pride ourselves on supporting each other.
5. We are not a “singles” group geared towards the dating scene. Please leave behind personal drama and visions of hooking up, and view the group as a haven from whatever clutter filled your head before your boots hit the trail.
6. We limit the number of hikers on an event for several reasons. Some wilderness areas have legal limits, a large group is too unwieldy for your host to organize, and in any event we at all times strive to minimize our impact on the environment. Do not hesitate to join a hike’s wait list, but respect the attendee limit. For more on that, see the following paragraph.
7. Do not RSVP as a “yes” unless you know you will attend the event, and do not RSVP simply in order to bookmark a spot. IF YOU BECOME UNABLE TO ATTEND, PROMPTLY CHANGE YOUR RSVP TO A “NO.” This allows those on the waitlist to attend and also allows the host to properly plan the event. Members who are multiple no-shows or who routinely cancel after signing up for a hike may be booted from membership.
8. As much as we love them, we do not allow dogs on our hikes unless the description specifically states the hike is dog-friendly. Among other reasons, a dog impacts the environment as much as a human. We understand that your dog is trail savvy, nicer and better behaved than other dogs, but please leave Fido at home.
9. This is generally an adult hiking group. By joining this group you are confirming that you are at least 18 years old. Also - unless a hike is labeled as family-friendly, please do not bring children under the age of 14.
10. A hike labeled as family-friendly means it is a hike that will be geared to a more leisurely pace and relatively easy and/or short, with the expectation that youngsters will slow things down. It does not mean the trail is child-proof. Family-friendly hikes may well involve steep drop-offs, access to swift water and slippery rocks. If your youngsters are not of the age and experience to be exposed to those risks, and if you cannot supervise their safety, do not bring them. It is solely your responsibility as the participating adult to independently research a hike to ensure it is suitable for your family and to make sure your family has appropriate clothing, footwear, food and water for the hike. We want to expose the next generation to all the benefits of experiencing the outdoors, but the safety of your family must be your priority.
11. We strongly encourage and expect carpooling. A hike description will include a carpool meeting spot. There is usually no need to try to arrange carpool details ahead of time – our practice is to show up and pile into cars. Carpoolers are expected to contribute for gas and vehicle wear and tear. The rule of thumb to follow is $5 from each rider for every hour of driving.
12. Finally - to sign up for membership we require a profile picture that is an actual picture of the actual you, sufficient to allow an event host to put a face with a name. Do we care about your gender, ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation or anything else about the way you look, think, act, sing or believe? Nope; we never have and never will. To the contrary, the diversity of our membership and the unity of our love for the outdoors is this group’s greatest asset, though really bad trail singing might eventually draw a mild rebuke. So why do we insist on a profile photo? As much as we enjoy photos of flowers or your pet rabbit, your event host needs to be able to match names and faces. Requiring a profile picture also helps us to ensure that our members are real people and not scammers, marketers, trollers or stalkers. It’s one of those pesky details that helps keep us all above board and safe and running smoothly.
Thanks for working through the guidelines! If you have not done so, please go back to your profile questions and confirm that you agree to follow the group guidelines.