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Mt. San Jacinto Hiking Club Message Board › getting people to bring the right equipment for snow

getting people to bring the right equipment for snow

A former member
Post #: 53
The last two weekends I've been on two hikes with this group involving snow travel ( http://www.meetup.com...­ , http://www.meetup.com...­ ), and on both hikes there were folks who showed up without the right gear.

The first hike was one that I posted, and I didn't spell out what gear was required. That was clearly a mistake. We ended up changing plans and doing a different hike that we thought would be safer for the person who showed up without snow-travel gear. On the return leg of the hike, he took off ahead of the group by himself and exited early.

The more recent one was posted by Kathryn, and she wisely spelled out what equipment was needed, but a couple of people showed up with only one person's worth of gear to share between them. They left the group and hiked at their own (slower) pace, so when we got back to the ranger station at dark, we had to explain to the ranger that there were two people on our permit and we didn't know where they were.

I'm not trying to put these people down. I'm not mad at them, just slightly annoyed. They're nice people, and I'd happily hike with them again -- but I'd be more wary and try to manage the situation carefully.

I guess what I've learned from this is (a) to spell out what gear is needed in the hike description, and (b) to state explicitly in the description that if you don't have the gear, you're not hiking with me.

One of the great things for me about hiking with meetup groups has been that I've been able to learn from people who are more experienced than I am. I still remember when John lent me gloves when I didn't bring my own on a cold day on San G. But I'm worried that if we take people out and babysit them when they aren't properly equipped, psychologically they'll start to think of it as reasonable and routine to do things that are actually unwise and risky.

One common denominator in both summer and winter cross-country hiking is that large groups become unmanageable. Personally, I don't feel comfortable with more than about 6 or 8 people on this type of hike.
Bill
user 10578155
Rancho Cucamonga, CA
Post #: 61
Ben,

The best way to handle winter meetups is to limit the group size to one and make the waiting list manual. Next, place in bold bright red letters that a question or two has to be answered prior to them making their way onto your RSVP Yes list. Lastly, make the question skill level, gear and clothing related...something like If I have not hiked with you in the winter please answer the following...do you know how to self arrest and belay? and/or Do you have the required gear and when was the last time you used it?

I have had people sign up without answering the question and answering it flippantly, these folks never make it onto one of my meetups. People can lie to get on your trips but it ends up being there last trip with you if they screw up in a manner that revels their true skill level.

There is a certain level of baby sitting that is ok, especially if you want more winter partners. It all depends on the trip the level of baby sitting you are willing to do.

Take a look at any of my winter trips at Peakbaggers last winter.

Bill
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