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**IMPORTANT UPDATE**: Due to some recent harassment issues, cyber-stalking and false profiles, this meetup group is currently closed to new members unless you are referred to us by a recently active member in good standing who is well known to the event organizers. You may still submit a request to join this group, but your request will definitely not be approved unless you provide a photo of yourself and will also not be approved until an organizer can verify your identity and meet you in person. **
Meet other local hiking explorers who are dedicated to enjoying leave-no-trace trekking adventures: dayhiking, backpacking, snowshoeing & skiing excursions near and far in the Pacific NW. We might even throw in a little fishing. We love our land, water, sky, and other natural resources and want our grandchildrens' grandchildren to be able to enjoy them as well!
A few ground rules:
1. Please don't RSVP "Yes" for an event unless you are firmly committed to attending. If you do RSVP "Yes" but then are not going to be able to make it for some reason, please update your RSVP accordingly. No-shows for events are a real drag for event organizers.
2. If you are a newcomer / first timer, read event descriptions very carefully and check in with the organizer if you're not sure about the difficulty level of a particular hike. Oftentimes, we've had people get in over their heads showing up for difficult to extreme hikes over 5 miles that have a lot of elevation gain. High-moderate to extreme hikes of longer distances require good health, fitness and conditioning. They may also involve some difficult terrain, technical sections that require good balance and coordination and may also have some exposure to fall risk. If you are new to this group and/or to hiking challenging terrain, we recommend you come out for easier hikes with us first to learn and to check your ability and level of fitness. Don't just assume you are ready for that 10 mile, 4,000 feet of elevation gain, butt-kicking hike. KNOW before you go.
3. Come prepared. Do some research online, take a class, read a book or find some other way to educate yourself on wilderness preparedness. Every once in a while, we get someone coming out for an event who is just not set up for it (such as bringing only a pint of water for a 10 mile hike on a hot day). Hot weather, difficult terrain, remote locations, distances over 5 miles or combinations of these factors and you need a minimum of 2 quarts of water, perhaps as much as a gallon. You need to pre-hydrate before the hike and have plenty of food for fuel based on the distance. You also need grippy shoes/boots, appropriate clothing and sun and bug protection depending on location and time of year. Other recommended gear for remote, difficult or long hikes: a whistle, a headlamp or flashlight, some cordage, a knife, a lighter or matches, layers of warm clothes in case we were to get stuck in a storm or overnight for some reason, and a couple iodine tablets or some other water purification method in case you run out of water and need to drink from a stream. If you are not absolutely sure what you should bring on a particular hike, ask questions.
4. Be nice and be patient. The purpose of meetup.com is to bring people together who have common interests and to provide group activities and social interaction while doing cool stuff. When it comes to hiking and physical activity meetups, this will result in wide variance in ability levels and desired pace. "Group" is a keyword. Know going into events that they may not go down exactly as you would prefer. If you are an experienced and hard core hiker, don't get grumpy with newcomers - encourage and educate them. Use the group events to identify those who have similar interest in pace and difficulty and then you can set up your own excursions with those people to rail on the nasty stuff.
5. Repeat offender no-shows for events will be removed from this group. If you RSVP "Yes" for an event but then don't show up and also don't update your RSVP to a "No", you leave the group and organizer waiting around for you the morning of the event wondering if you are going to show. You also leave people on waitlists shut out from participating. Some events need minimum participation and when several people don't show, it can blow the event completely. Organizers reserve the right to drop people from this group after 3 or more no-shows. Also, if you sign up for this group but then go an extended period of time without attending an event or checking in, organizers may drop you from the group. Currently, this meetup group has several hundred members but only about 40 people actively participate.
6. Ask questions. Event organizers want to be helpful, want people to be prepared and have a good time and want the events to be fun and successful.
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