We receive a lot of questions from our members, so before you write us please check here to see if your questions have already been addressed. If not, or you need a better answer, feel free to send an email to me (Organizer). Thanks!
Where do my dues go?
All the Organizers, including the Lead Organizer, are strictly voluntary and receive no funds for personal use. The money received from dues goes to pay for the meetup.com costs, hiking gear (2-way radios, ropes, first-aid kits, etc) that the Organizers carry, BBQ equipment (bbq, gas, canopy, etc), expendables (ie plates, forks, napkins, sodas, ice, and sometimes the meats). We also occasionally have a Leadership meeting in which pizzas may be provided so that we can focus on meeting topics rather than preparing dishes.
Truth is, we don't need a lot of funds to keep OHA active, which is why we only charge $10 for first year and $5 thereafter. Even though you see that OHA has hundreds of members at any given time, keep in mind that most of them are short-lived and they are dropped from OHA for non-payment after they reached their threshold. Please don't be one of them!
What should I bring for the hike?
The basics: Water, high-calorie snack. Don't ask how much, because everyone has different metabolism, cardio fitness, endurance, acclimatization, etc. Until you get to know your body's requirements, 2L water and a few energy bars are a good start - better to have too much than too little!
And shoes with good traction! Running shoes are not good for most of the trails, esp the muddy ones.
Nice to have: Microspikes, rain gear, hiking stick, hat, sunscreen, bug juice.
If you are new to hiking in Hawaii, start with the easier hikes so that you can become familiar with the terrain and conditions while you get to know your water/ food requirements and overall stamina. Don't sign up for a long/ dangerous hike for your first hike with us!
Why can't I bring my kid on this hike?
OHA has a wide variety of hikes, from Beginner to Expert. We understand that your kid may be very active and has done a lot of hiking with you, but if the Organizer for a certain hike feels that it isn't safe for kids then please respect that. Some hikes require climbing up and down slippery areas that may or may not have ropes (both cases are dangerous), have narrow sections that one could easily be thrown off balance with the strong gusts of winds that are common on the peaks, or just plain long. We have lots of kid-friendly hikes that we'd love for you to bring them along. But if you really feel that your kid can do a difficult hike, feel free to take them on your own.
Why can't I bring my dog/cat/goldfish on this hike?
Similar to the previous question, even though your dog is in great shape and can run for miles, he doesn't have opposable thumbs and therefore can't climb a rope! If an Organizer says that its not good for a dog - trust them. If you join the hike and think your dog could have done it, feel free to take him on your own another time.
How can I become an Assistant Organizer?
Glad you asked! The OHA Leadership Team is always looking for new organizers that can lead their own events so that there are several activities for the members to choose from throughout the week. However, since we're entrusting our members to the organizers, we also have some criteria for new organizers to ensure that they are good leaders, they won't get people seriously lost on the trail or put members in any danger that they're not prepared for, will uphold the spirit and intent of OHA, etc etc.
Sounds like you?? So we're looking for members that have been with OHA for at least a year and have been on at least a couple dozen hikes with the group so that the organizers and members know who you are and your style (hiking speed, willingness to help less skilled people, knowledge of the trails, etc). Those are the general guidelines... and there are exceptions for those that have been around the Oahu hiking community for a while and have a reputation already. So if you're interested, feel free to send a note to the OHA Organizer!
So I'm not ready to be an Organizer, but can I still host a hike that I'm familiar with?
Good question... thanks for the offer! Even though you may know a particular trail like the back of your hand and you want to share it with the group, its still the same expectations as being an organizer, even if only for the one day. So it wouldn't make sense to relax the requirements since there's still the issue of our members having the expectation that the OHA organizers have had some sort of vetting and they know what to expect.
But don't get frustrated yet! You still a couple of options to share your knowledge: 1) Ask one (or more) of the organizers that you know if they will be interested in hosting the event and letting you lead it; 2) Post your hike on the OHA Discussion Forum - people can post comments and coordinate the hike, but its understood that its just some members planning their own hike (it's not a OHA-led hike).
Can I host a non-hiking event (ie frisbee, SUP, scuba, go-carts, sky-diving, kayaking, etc etc) ?
Although OHA is primarily a hiking group, as long as there's some 'adventure' in it, its probably fair game ;) However, we prefer that you've been a member for a while and we know who you are, and if the event is more of a every-now-and-then type of event. For example, If you plan on hosting a kayaking event every Saturday, then that has the effect of creating a sub-group within OHA which is not what we want. But maybe a kayaking event every month would be a great option for those that want a variety and have a chance to experience another aspect of Oahu. So if you have an idea and want to host, send a msg to the Organizer! ;)