ALL MEMBERS please read our POLICIES AND TIPS

******WELCOME TO OUR FAMILY OF DOG LOVING HIKERS*****


Hopefully we don't have to make a lot of rules for our hikes, but we ask our Dog Pack members to keep in mind that they might have to "adjust" some of their habits when they walk with the PACK.


Our Organizers and Event Hosts are not professionals or employees, we volunteer our time to arrange these hikes for you. Remember, you've been "INVITED" to these hikes by someone who is doing this for you at no charge and no obligation on your part.

Be kind to your Event Host.



OUR RULES AND POLICIES FOR OUR HIKERS & THEIR DOGS


SHORT LEASH ONLY, 6' or shorter, when in the group.
NO RETRACTABLE LEASHES, they are a danger & a major aggravation to the rest of us
No more than 2 DOGS PER PERSON . Some hikes may limit you to one dog/person in very crowded parks.
Restaurants are ALWAYS one dog/person.
Only friendly, well behaved dogs.
MALE DOGS MUST BE NEUTERED . This is not open for discussion!

************WATER FOR YOUR DOG ****************

BRING WATER FOR YOUR DOG OR STAY HOME!

We stop often to water the pups, and you are expected to have your own water. This statement is the result of many, many thirsty dogs on the trail. Many of us have run out of water for our own dogs because we HAD to share with other dogs who were DESPERATE for water, while their owners insisted that "they don't need any".

EVERY DOG NEEDS WATER ON THESE HIKES, REGARDLESS OF THE WEATHER.


We really do not care if you're thirsty, but we DO care about your dog!


************** TRAIL RULES ****************

STAY TO THE RIGHT AND SHORTEN YOUR DOG'S LEASH WHEN PASSING OTHERS OR BEING PASSED.

Always yield to bicycles, runners and horses. Get off trail, if possible. Go to the RIGHT HAND SIDE OF THE TRAIL, when being passed....it gives others more room and it's safer for all of us.

Always assume that other dogs coming our way on the trail are aggressive/vicious, and hold your dog close when they pass. We have passed many mean dogs on the trail, so don't let your dog "say hello" to passing dogs unless the owner says it's okay.


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Expect to spend time playing at rivers, creeks or puddles. This group is not a power hiking group, it's about letting our dogs have a good time. If you're looking to set a speed record for completing a 3 mile hike, this is not the group for you.

Big dogs owners are expected to be extra careful around our smaller pups, some of the little guys can get hurt by well-meaning, enthusiastic bigger dogs. We often have 100+ lb dogs hiking with 8 lb dogs. The little guys sometimes get more privileges than the big rowdy dogs.

Clean up after your dogs, especially if it's ON THE TRAIL.
FRONTLINE your dogs if the ticks are out.

Bring your own human bug repellent, something with DEET, for ticks.
PLEASE have your shots up to date, it protects the rest of us. We don't check this.

Remember, you're part of a PACK of dogs, and we all have to a little more cautious and considerate of the other pups/people.

************THE HIKES AND RSVP's ******************

Arrive a little early. We hit the trail at the scheduled time If you don't know the area, allow extra time. Our dogs know what "hikes" are, and they want to GO!.

Keep your RSVP's up to date, it only takes a minute to change it, when your plans to attend change. Please don't make us wait when you change your mind about attending. Just be considerate of other people and of our dogs. We remember our NO SHOWS!.

RSVP's are important, they help us remember who we met on our hikes, and they really, really help the Organizers and the other DOG PACK MEMBERS a lot. Please respect the RSVP process.

YOU WILL BE REMOVED FROM THE GROUP FOR THREE "NO SHOWS" .


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UNLESS OTHERWISE SPECIFIED......

We hike at a reasonably brisk pace. You don't have to be a super athelete, but you have to be able to keep up, even on our "easy" hikes.

Our average pace is 2.5 to 3 mph, or a 20-25 minute mile. We go slower on difficult terrain. If you walk slower than that, you may get left behind. If you walk faster than that, you will need to slow down.

You are expected to walk at the GROUP PACE. If you are walking way ahead of the group, you have put yourself out there as the group leader, which you are NOT.

Our group is as much about socializing as it is about exercising. We like to watch the pups play, and we stop a lot to water the dogs and just goof off, look at scenery and take pictures.

The EVENT HOST sets the pace!

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We welcome new Event Hosts, if you prefer a different kind of hike or a different location. If you want a FASTER or SLOWER hike, you are encouraged to use this site to arrange one. It's pretty easy. As long as you clearly state that your pace is faster or slower, it's okay.

Just let me know, and you can host a hike at your own pace, at a park of your choice.

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READ THE ENTIRE HIKE DESCRIPTION, ESPECIALLY DRIVING DIRECTIONS.


I CAN'T STRESS THIS ENOUGH. Most parks have multiple parking lots, pay attention to which lot. We lose people on many of our hikes, because they go to the wrong place. We usually try to pick a quieter parking lot to meet, if we can.

YOUR GPS IS NOT YOUR FRIEND IN MANY OF THESE PARKS. Just READ THE DIRECTIONS GIVEN, AND YOU'LL GET THERE.

We'll describe the trail surface, difficulty level and terrain. If you read the description, you'll know appropriate footwear and whether or not you can handle that particular hike. Don't sign up for hikes that are too difficult, too fast or too slow for you, please. The majority of our hikes are fairly easy & good for anyone, but sometimes we throw in a challenging one - we'll always let you know that.

ALWAYS TRUST THE HIKE DESCRIPTION. "DIFFICULT" means difficult, "MUDDY" means muddy. "EASY" means fairly level, not necessarily short. We'll tell you everything, if you just read it.


OUR EVENT HOSTS & ORGANIZERS ARE NOT RESPONSIBLE OR LIABLE FOR INJURIES TO YOU OR YOUR DOG. YOU ASSUME RESPONSIBILITY FOR YOUR OWN SAFETY AND THE SAFETY OF YOUR DOG.


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SOME GOOD RECOMMENDATIONS......

A GOOD STRONG HARNESS IS HIGHLY RECOMMENDED. We often hike around the Meramec or other fast flowing rivers, and they can be deadly if your dog gets loose or slips out of his collar.

You will probably need a backpack for water bottles & stuff. If you're on a budget, check the thrift stores or Target/Walmart, they're pretty cheap, and you don't need an expensive one.

Wool moisture-wicking socks are the best investment you can make, along with a good pair of hiking boots in the winter.

Hiking boots are usually adequate in the snow, but tennis shoes are not. Use your head.

A basic first aid kit is good to have, I keep mine in a ziplock bag, easier to carry.

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WORTH REPEATING.....

BE SURE TO FOLLOW DRIVING DIRECTIONS GIVEN BY ORGANIZER for hike locations.
Sometimes, your GPS and the park websites will be wrong. We try very hard to give clear, detailed descriptions of the roads and landmarks to look for, and our directions are often much more accurate than you can find on your own.

If there's a question, or if you're new to the area of a hike, send us a comment or message BEFORE THE HIKE, and we will respond. Our Event Hosts are usually busy at meetup time, and may not answer your phone message or text.

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