Welcome to the Salem Outdoors group! We are primarily a day-hiking group, but you may also find us biking, rowing, snowshoeing, or backpacking. Here is some information about our group and the ground rules members must follow. We require you to read and agree to these rules so you know what you are signing up for and so we know that you understand your responsibilities to the group.
This may look like nothing more than “fine print,” but the information below is important and essential to a smoothly functioning group. Please take the time to read it carefully, and contact the organizer if you have any questions.
1. We are friendly and respectful to each other. Our backgrounds are diverse, but we are united in our love for the outdoors. If you cannot come to an event with patience, humor, tolerance and friendliness, please reconsider whether this group is a good fit for you.
2. Our events range from easy to very difficult. We will provide a brief description of an event, but it is your responsibility to independently research the event and determine whether it is appropriate for you. You know your limitations; the group leaders do not. It is your responsibility to show up properly equipped with appropriate clothing, footwear, food and water. The failure to do so jeopardizes your safety and unfairly burdens the group. While we anticipate and welcome a wide range of experience and capabilities, we are not a “teach you how to hike” group. The event host has the authority and discretion to turn away anyone who shows up for an event not properly clothed or equipped, or if the host decides the event is simply too physically demanding for a member.
3. This group’s events are not lead by paid or trained guides. We are fellow explorers. By joining this group you are voluntarily participating in outdoor wilderness activities with a wide range of inherent danger. By joining this group you accept full responsibility for your own health and safety and the health and safety of your guests. By joining this group you agree that in no event and under no circumstances shall the group’s organizers, hosts, event leaders or drivers be liable for any injury or damage of any nature to yourself or your property resulting from your participation in the group or resulting from the negligence of any other member of the group. You accept all responsibility for, and agree to hold the hosts and organizers harmless from, any injury, harm or damage resulting from anything going wrong on an event.
4. We are a hiking group. If your goal is trail sprinting, you are a loner, or you are not comfortable hiking with a social group, please consider joining a different group. Although everyone hikes at their own pace, our practice is to periodically stop so that all can catch up. We pride ourselves on supporting each other.
5. We are not a “singles” group geared towards the dating scene. Please leave behind personal drama and visions of hooking up, and view the group as a haven from whatever clutter filled your head before your boots hit the trail.
6. We limit the number of event attendees for hiking to 12 people for several reasons. Designated Wilderness Areas have a legal limit of 12 to a group. A larger group is too unwieldy for your host to safely manage. We at all times strive to minimize our impact on the environment. We respect the solitude people seek on the trail. Do not hesitate to join an event's waitlist, but please respect the attendee limit. For more on that, see the following paragraph.
7. Do not RSVP as a “yes” unless you know you will attend the event, and do not RSVP simply in order to bookmark a spot. IF YOU BECOME UNABLE TO ATTEND, PROMPTLY CHANGE YOUR RSVP TO “NOT ATTEDING.” This allows those on the waitlist to attend and also allows the host to properly plan the event. Members who regularly "no-show" or who routinely sign up for events and then cancel may be suspended or terminated from membership.
8. As much as we love them, we do not allow dogs on our hikes unless the description specifically states the hike is dog-friendly. We understand that your dog is trail savvy, nicer, and better behaved than other dogs, but please leave Fido at home. Likewise, service or companion dogs are not allowed on our events unless the event is designated as a "dog-friendly."
9. This is an adult group. By joining this group you are confirming that you are at least 18 years old. Unless an event is labeled as family-friendly, please do not bring children under the age of 14.
10. A hike labeled as family-friendly means it is a hike that will be geared to a more leisurely pace and relatively easy and/or short, with the expectation that youngsters will slow things down. It does not mean the trail is child-proof. Even family-friendly hikes may involve steep drop-offs, swift water and slippery rocks. If your youngsters are not of the age and experience to be exposed to those risks, and if you cannot supervise their safety, do not bring them. It is solely your responsibility as the participating adult to independently research a hike to ensure it is suitable for your family and to make sure your family has appropriate clothing, footwear, food and water for the hike. We want to expose the next generation to all the benefits of experiencing the outdoors, but the safety of your family is your responsibility.
11. We strongly encourage and expect carpooling. An event description will include a carpool meeting spot. There is usually no need to try to arrange carpool details ahead of time – our practice is to show up and pile into cars. Riders are expected to pay drivers $5/hr of driving time for gas and vehicle wear and tear.
12. Finally - to sign up for membership we require a profile picture that is an actual picture of the actual you, sufficient to allow an event host to put a face with a name. If there is an emergency or somebody gets lost, we want to have a photo. Requiring a profile picture also helps ensure that our members are real people and not scammers, marketers, trollers or stalkers. It’s one of those pesky details that helps keep us all above-board and running safely and smoothly.
Thanks for working through the guidelines! If you have not done so, please go back to your profile questions and confirm that you agree to follow the group guidelines.