Formerly the Fresno-Madera Hiking Meetup Group.
Meet other local hiking, camping, mountain biking, snow sporting, fishing enthusiasts! We are a group of friends and soon-to-be friends who carpool, hike and backpack together. All those who are dedicated to outdoor excursions near and far, with a focus on leaving no trace of litter and treading lightly.
Membership is free, and always will be free. Events are free. Some outings there are entry fees, some people decide to carpool, sometimes we need a permit or a campsite - communal charges are shared among the attendees equally. Sometimes people support the group with a voluntary gift to perpetuate the subscription to keep our meetup account alive.
HOW OUR GROUP WORKS:
Note that we do not have leaders, tour guides, instructors, or experts. To describe and post a hike does not constitute nor should it convey any guarantee of safety nor the assumption of liability. To organize is to assemble details, disseminate information, and provide a bit of cohesion to an event by being the single point of contact for the participants. We do not provide any service nor do we tell you what to do. If you choose to ignore suggestions and recommendations posted you are well within your rights to do so. Our suggestions and recommendations within trip descriptions are based upon the greater fund of knowledge presented by backpacking books and search and rescue teams in general. You are strongly encouraged to do your own research, take classes at REI, and make your own plans to ensure your own safety, wherever and whatever you are doing.
Meaning, the event hosts and the group at large:
☞ We will have fun!!! Enjoy the wilderness! And, stay safe while doing it!
☞ We will all obey the regulations of the public lands we venture into, and respect the tenets of Leave No Trace. (If you are not familiar with Leave No Trace the basics are really simple. Go to lnt.org to read them.)
☞ We will stick together, as a group or as subgroups of the larger group, and always communicate with other members of the group.
☞ We expect you to read the event description. Read it on a computer, not the phone app, and understand whether or not there are other things you need to do to participate in the event. We have a LOT of events of various levels of difficulty and some of them will also require you to make a reservation, or get specific gear, or to respond to the event host in a certain way. If you miss something you may find yourself removed from the event or unable to go.
There will never be an event on this group requiring mountaineering gear (ropes, crampons, ice axes, other climbing aids). Use of such items without instruction and practice is *extremely dangerous*. You are encouraged to fully inform yourself of the risks of any activity before agreeing to go with anyone, anywhere, in the wilderness, no matter how much experience they appear to have.
☞ When we are hiking, we expect you to speak up when the unexpected happens. If you have symptoms that distress you while hiking, it is impolite and imposing to NOT speak up about it - because not doing anything about symptoms of dizziness, nausea, headache, hot spots, etc leads to more serious symptoms or conditions that will adversely affect your ability to continue, and may be symptoms of more serious conditions that if ignored may worsen to the point that you need to be evacuated. It is a rare occurrence to have medical professionals on hikes, and they are there to enjoy the hike like you - so you cannot reasonably expect any professional intervention from this group!
Therefore, we expect you to learn about hypothermia, dehydration, heat exhaustion, and how to AVOID it and thus avoid the embarrassing situation where you are requiring a helicopter ride to a hospital. And we expect you to talk to the group about what's going on! If a TUMS would resolve the issue, and the person hiking with you has some in their first aid kit, ask! If you need extra water and getting it will keep you from dehydration, which can be miserable and potentially dangerous to you, see if someone has a filter! Don't overlook minor conditions that, if neglected, may become major problems - deal with them while they are minor and don't be afraid to say something.
☞ We expect you to prepare for outdoor activities as anyone should be prepared, with adequate gear, clothing, and enough water and food for the activity we have planned. We also expect you will understand that it's very likely you'll need more water than you think. We're not responsible for the weather, and sometimes our groups hike in rain - it's up to you to choose wisely on your own behalf how you prepare for and/or choose events.
☞ NO SHOW POLICY: As all our events are planned using the software at Meetup, we expect you to maintain your RSVP yourself and not to beg for others to change it for you. Unless you are having technical issues with the software you should be able to click and change your RSVP when you discover you cannot go. Organizers keep people on waiting lists when they have a history of "no show" for events, as waiting lists have been longer and hikes are filling. Please be polite to your fellow hikers and group members, and come back to change the RSVP if you can't come. Do this even if you are still on the waiting list.
In the event a waiting list develops on a hike, people who have "no showed" in the recent past who are on the Going list will be moved to the Waiting List to allow people who are not "no show" ers to attend.
Habitually changing at 5 am on the day of the trip is also frowned upon. We understand that emergencies and the unexpected illness can happen to anyone - this too is something to communicate, to avoid misunderstandings. We don't want to be punitive to anyone. BUT - people who want to hike with us should have the opportunity - so remember to change your RSVP when you need to and you can avoid being put back on waiting lists!
YOU CAN EXPECT:
Friends, fun and hiking.
Campouts and potlucks.
Scenery and adventures.
Loads of opportunities to go to places in the wilderness you have never thought about going.
YOU CAN NOT EXPECT:
Hot swinging singles group - not what we are about.
Hikes based on age - choose based on your ability instead. It's safer for you.
Walking. Hiking is NOT THE SAME as walking. It involves variable terrain, trails full of rocks and roots, and sometimes no trail at all. Most hikes involve climbing hills, as well as descending them - there are no truly flat trails in the wilderness. Many of our hikes also involve significant elevation change, wide temperature ranges, and/or exposure to inclement weather. We do not always cancel for rain!
Guides - you're not going to get it without paying for it, and we don't do that! Socializing with like-minded people is what we are really for, not showing you the sights and herding you around.
Medical advice - if you have concerns about being physically able to hike or backpack, please consult your physician.
Guarantees - we are as subject to Circumstances Beyond Our Control as you or anyone else. We don't have crystal balls. All the risks inherent in wilderness activities apply equally across the board to everyone on our hikes, and we are all individually responsible in assuming the risks on our own behalf - no one is going to take responsibility for your safety. But, as friends, we stick together and work things out when the unexpected happens, and we do our best in all circumstances to look out for each other.
If you want to have a horrible group experience:
Ignore the event description. Just RSVP for everything, never pay any attention to the details.
Ignore the organizer's emails.
Ignore the "no show" policy. Fail to update your RSVP and waste a spot on a hike instead of letting someone on a waiting list take the spot, as soon as you know you aren't going. This will result in your being at the bottom of waiting lists, even if you get a spot the minute the event is posted. People who communicate get first dibs.
Double and triple book yourself then forget you did it, and waste two or three spots!
If you want to get banned from the group:
Send creepy emails to people you haven't met yet.
Spam us with your business information.
Suggest in comments that we start a second group on the same day (this is often against wilderness regulations and not something we do), do something dangerous, illegal, etc and generally disrespect your host's efforts and the regulations of parks and wilderness areas.
Be a stalker.
Demonstrate anti-social, inappropriate behavior on the website or on a hike.
Repeatedly come on hikes unprepared and expect to be bailed out. We take care of the unexpected things that sometimes happen as friends; treat us like friends you want to keep.
Demand things of event organizers that they are not willing to provide, even after you are warned to stop.
Check out REI's website on the 10 Essentials at http://www.rei.com/expertadvice/articles/te...
Check out http://reconn.org/ - if you are a backpacker this is a very important page! created by backpackers in memory of backpackers who have been lost in the wilderness, to help future backpackers return safely - never trust electronics with your life. Never trust the poor memory of others with your life. Never go without leaving an itinerary with someone you trust to call in the event you aren't back on time.
If you have questions after reading more about a hike, please email the person who organized that hike.
If you have questions regarding the group you can email one of the organizers.
And, if you have difficulty with the software - can't change the rsvp, sent messages and never got a response - comment on the event, or email me. Often we post our email address within the event description in recognition that meetup's software sometimes gets glitchy, or the messages from it end up in a spam folder.
Hope to see you on the trail soon!
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