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\ \ ![]( **RESEARCH**: "[Results suggest that accessible natural areas may be vital for mental health in our rapidly urbanizing world. Participants who went on a 90-min walk through a natural environment reported lower levels of rumination and showed reduced neural activity in an area of the brain linked to risk for mental illness compared with those who walked through an urban environment](" \ ![]( VIDEO On Group's Activities: Gikers: Canada & USA - Song: "Good Life" []( \ We are a relaxed *"**No Attitude**"* group of **LGBTQ Hikers, Bikers & Friends** who enjoy being outdoors year-round, whether hiking, snow-shoeing, or at blended events: Hike & Bike, Jazz & Walk (Montreal Jazz Festival), Art Walk & others. Group is made up of all the letters of LGBTQ, all levels of hikers and bikers - from beginner to very advance, and of all ages from 20s to 80s. IMPORTANT: While LGBTQ+ Families are welcome to all events, NO MINORS on their own are allowed as members of the group. This is a group for adults LGBTQ+ & Friends only. Thank you. There is ***"no fee to join group"***, but for some of the national parks and trails we visit, there may be entrance fees and those will be posted on the event listing. \ ![]( \ **Spring Hikes** []( **Urban Hikes & Art Walks** []( **Winter Snowshoeing** []( \ We try to keep events to a manageable size for hiking or snowshoeing, but also a size that tries to encourage community en route. For that reason, some of the events may get filled up and have a waitlist - but as spots open up, waitlisted members will be automatically added. Profile Photo: Please include a photo of yourself to facilitate group events. \ Meetup/Group Respect & Etiquette: As a courtesy to other group members; including LGBTQ Families who are part of this group, all membership requests with nude or inappropriate photos as profile photo will be declined automatically by the filters. If you receive an unsolicited - offensive message here from another member that is discriminatory, or sexual in nature - please copy message and meetup handle name & send directly to us. This is private group and we have and will continue to ban and block any member that does not respect other members or the meetup/group etiquette. \ \ **MEDICINE & Hiking**: "*[Scottish GPs to begin prescribing rambling and birdwatching. Shetlanders with chronic and debilitating illnesses could be given ‘nature prescriptions’. NHS Shetland is not suggesting that nature prescriptions will replace conventional medicines. “There are millions of different ways of doing medicine but we very much try to involve people in their own health, and people really like being empowered](*” \ \ Attempt at French Translation: Nous aimons la randonnée et sommes membres de randonnée d'autres groupes gays, mais n'avons pas pu trouver un à Montréal ou des Laurentides, alors j'ai commencé à celui-ci. Ceci est un groupe de randonnée discret, et les randonneurs de tous les niveaux sont les bienvenus. ![]( \ **Group's Annual "Hike Year" iBook and eBook using photos by members from each of the hikes/events of the year available thru:** **- [Amazon "Hike Year" eBook]( \ ** **- [Apple "Hike Year" iBooks]( \ ** **- [Blurb "Hike Year" eBooks](** **- [HARDCOVER "Hike Year" Blurb Books](** "Hike Year™" is a Year in Hikes Photo Book For the LGBTQ Community, Families and Friends by the Gikers: Montreal Gay Hikers Group. For some of us, part of evaluating the success of the past year is by the times we were able to get out, admire, breathe, hike, snowshoe and appreciate the priceless outdoor treasures that mother nature has entrusted to all of us, and our hope in sharing our Hike Year photos in this book is to get more of us to make each year our Hike Year, and a year where we each do more to preserve these living treasures. \ \ **[GIKERS Shop](** **[](\- \

** **This is a free group to all, but we do have annual meetup membership fees that keep going up (including to hikes in the past year) and other monthly administrative, events costs associated with running the group - so all profits from the sale of any Gikers Shop Merchandise goes to help cover those costs.

The Montreal – Laurentides Gay Hikers & Friends (“Gikers”) Group Organizers are volunteers, not professional guides and we do not have any type of certified training. Organizers are going on hike and/or other outdoor/recreational activities and inviting others to join.** \ **Participation in any event with the group is at your own and your guests' risk. Hiking safety is your responsibility. Make sure that you and any guest you may bring are in good physical condition to participate and you have all the required equipment.** \ **\ ** **CARPOOLS LINK PROVIDED WITH MOST EVENTS** **Carpool link is strictly provided in response to members requests to include in every event, but please know that the carpool link is strictly populated by and for group members and not managed or overseen by any of the group organizers or event coordinators.** **ALWAYS be extremely careful before getting into anyone's car and** **Please pay close attention and follow the CARPOOL/RIDE SHARE SAFETY TIPS suggested by Kijiji Central in their note below:** **"Car pool and ride share safety tips"** **[](** **"-If you can, meet the other people involved in the ride share before hand. If this is not possible, ask for their Facebook profile ahead of time, and the contact info of others participating in the ride share. Take a look at their social networks, google their name if you like, and make sure they seem like someone you would be comfortable on a long drive with.** **-Get references. Preferably from someone who has ride shared with them in the past. If there are any inconsistencies, consider it a red flag.** **-Take a picture of driver’s license and the license plate and email to a friend before you leave. If you feel uncomfortable asking for this information, say something along the lines of “I have a mother who is always worrying about me, she feels much better if she knows who I am with.”** **\- Make sure someone you trust knows when you will be leaving\, and arriving\.** **-Agree on rules for the road. Music preferences, whether food, coffee, smoking, or perfume will be permitted, who will be sitting where – it will cause less tension on the ride if everyone has agreed ahead of time on what is and is not permitted.** **-Don’t give too much information about yourself in your ad. Keep it minimal, listing only the need to know details such as when and where you are going,** **\- Ask questions about driver\, car\. Agree on details like cost\, payment\, and whether any side trips will be permitted beforehand\.** **\- Exchange important numbers\. Get the main contact details as well as emergency contact numbers beforehand with all who will be traveling with you\. You never know when a medical emergency will strike\, or if you will need to alter plans at the last minute\.** **-Make sure your phone is fully charged before you leave.** **-Go with your gut. If the other person says something that makes you uncomfortable, don’t go with them. If they put you on edge before you even get in the car, you will likely be in for an unpleasant ride!"** **Please review the Statement of Responsibility below in detail and if you do not agree with any part of the statement of responsibility, please do not sign up for the group and/or delete yourself from the group asap.** ***RESPONSIBILITY WAIVER:*** **By requesting to become a member, accessing the group's site or mobile app, and/or attending any of the events myself, and any guests that I may bring,** **I, and any guests that i may bring to the events, fully understand that outdoors and other events/activities of the group may be dangerous and, by becoming member, I acknowledge and accept all the possible risks of injury, loss, or damage to me and any of my guests arising directly or as a consequence of any Montreal – Laurentides Gay Hikers & Friends (“Gikers”) Group activity.** **I, and any guest that I may bring to the events, hereby release the Montreal-Laurentides Gay Hikers & Friends Group (“Gikers”) and all the activity/event organizers from all responsibility for any injury, loss, or damage to myself or any of my guests and release the said Group and organizers from any and all claims including any claims which may be made in my name, or in the name of any of my guests, by my or their heirs, successors, administrators, and executors of my will.** **I, and any guest that I may bring to the events, hereby understands, agrees, and accepts that the Gikers: Montreal-Laurentides Gay Hikers & Bikers Group (“Gikers’) reserves the right to use any photograph/video taken at any event sponsored by Gikers, without the expressed written permission of those included within the photograph/video. Gikers may use the photograph/video in publications or other media material produced, used or contracted by Gikers including but not limited to digital or print: brochures, invitations, books, newspapers, magazines, television, videos, websites, apps, tweets, social media, and others. By participating in a Gikers event, you are agreeing to release, defend, hold harmless and indemnify Gikers, its organizers, leadership team, its affiliates and all its members from any and all claims involving the use of your picture or likeness. Any person or organization not given written, signed and verifiable approval by Gikers organizers - may not use, copy, alter or modify any Gikers photographs, graphics, videography or other, similar reproductions or recordings at any time. \ ** If you do not agree to any of the above, please do not request approval to join the group and/or remove yourself from the group immediately. \ Merci!