Attending hikes

What’s involved in attending hikes?

It is our mission is to encourage you to get outdoors and go hiking, to meet like minded people, to provide a central source of trails information and to support you in discovering your next adventure.

Members, attending hikes are asked to agree to abide by the following Code of Conduct and Risks and Waiver of Liability. These guidelines are designed to enhance members’ enjoyment of events, keep attendees safe, and preserve the natural beauty of the trail for all to enjoy.

Occasionally, we will update these guidelines. It is important that you check back occasionally to ensure you still agree to these terms and conditions.

All members must display a ‘REAL HEAD SHOT OF THEMSELVES’ and use your ‘REAL FIRST NAME’ rather than a random photo, avatar or alias name. This is in the interest of member’s safety for you personally. We conduct serious adventures at times and identification is therefore important if any real trouble were to occur.

So what is an acceptable profile pic?

The following is an example of what is acceptable

Attending hikes

Anything other than a clear a close up photo of you will not be accepted. Images of animals, artistic impressions, group shots with your friends or scenery will not be accepted.

Should you have any queries or concerns please contact us to discuss.

Personal Etiquette

Always be polite, courteous and respectful of other members. No profanity or rude behaviour. Be considerate of other hikers and their experience. Bring a positive and enthusiastic attitude. Make sure you express your gratitude to your organisers and their assistants, people you carpool with, and anyone else who makes the experience possible. They are all volunteers! Pitch in yourself and help out if you can or better still, organise your own hikes.

  • Anti-social, dangerous or reckless behaviour endangering yourself or others whilst on an adventure will not be tolerated b y any member.
  • Do not discriminate on age, gender or race. We do however require you to be physically capable and aware of the risks with the activities you have RSVP’d for.
  • You are responsible for providing PPE (personal protection equipment), first-aid and other medicine. Please let the organiser know if you do suffer from any medical conditions that could effect you on the adventure (asthma, diabetes, pre-existing physical ailments etc.)

RSVP Etiquette

All of our activities are limited attendee events. Not showing up to events or pulling out of events at the last minute prevents other members on the waiting list from coming along. To minimise this occurring our policy will be as follows:

  • Members RSVP’d YES to events are obliged to change their status if they are no-longer able to attend. This should be done at least four days prior to the event so that other members have the opportunity to attend.
  • If you are on the wait-list it is your responsibility to keep an eye on your attendance status as you may be automatically moved to the attending list.
  • Members changing their status AFTER RSVP’s have closed for events will be marked as No-Show unless extenuating circumstances can be explained to the host(s).
  • Late notice pull-outs – Many of our hiking events are no phone coverage areas. You must SMS the event organizer if you are feeling ill or unable to attend on the day as soon as possible. If you fail to notify the event host before the hike commences you will be marked as a No-Show and you will need to contact the host to explain why you failed to attend. Failure to do this or an unsatisfactory reply (such as ‘something came up’) will see you removed from future hikes or the group.
  • Members who are marked as No-Show’s on more than three (3) occasions will be removed from the group. But you may be removed earlier than this should you only have ‘no shows’ in your history.

Hiking Etiquette

Always stay together with the hike organiser and follow their directions, do not wander off and/or splinter the group. If the group is going too slow, you should slow down too. Yielding to the pace of the person in front is the nature of group hiking. If the group is going too fast, let the organiser know and they will slow down and/or take more breaks. If you need to leave for an emergency let someone know so they don’t think you’re missing or lost! Yes, it has happened.

Leave No Trace Etiquette

Always practice the principles of Leave No Trace. Make sure you familiarise yourself with this outdoor ethic in detail. However, there are some main points for hiking. The first would be to never litter or leave behind anything. All garbage, even biodegradable things like food or fruit peels take a long time to decompose in our climate, they must be packed out. Do not damage or disturb wildlife, either animals or plants or your natural surroundings. Much of what you see is fragile and/or endangered and takes a long time to recover. Stay on the designated trail. Follow any additional rules required by the preserve or park you are entering.

Gear Etiquette

Always bring appropriate footwear, clothing, and supplies for each particular event. Give due consideration to the distance, duration, weather, and activity you will be pursuing. If you’re not sure, contact the organiser or other attendees. Bring extra supplies in case the event lasts longer than predicted. Bring first aid and any other equipment you might need in the event of an emergency. Bring a flashlight or headlamp to events held at night.

Inactivity Policy

We encourage active attendance at all events. If you have not visited the actual Trail Hiking Australia Meetup website for a period of time the Meetup website flags you as inactive. If this inactive period reaches 4 months you may be removed from the Trail Hiking Australia group at the discretion of the organisers. This is to ensure that the group size is reflective of those members attending Meetups and so that people who are not active are not receiving unnecessary emails from the group. If you are removed from the group for inactivity you can re-join at any stage if you wish to be an active member.

Membership and Attendance Fees

Trail Hiking Australia is free to all members as a not for profit initiative.

SPECIAL NOTE TO ORGANISERS OF OTHER MEETUP GROUPS: We understand that members are members of multiple groups and are often hike organisers on these groups. You may replicate, copy notes, GPX data and repost information on your own group only after permission is sort from the organisers of Trail Hiking Australia and approved in writing. You must not charge your members for any events posted based on replicating these events. Failure to comply with above conditions will have you banned from our groups.

More Information

The following links will help you with Preparation, Safety, Navigation, understanding the Skills and Gear required for an enjoyable outdoor adventure. Download a free copy of my Hiking Guides for additional information.

Group Sizes

We are well aware that other groups allow 30 and sometimes 40 people on their hikes. We DO NOT. Our cap is set at 16 for any hike and we do this for some very good reasons.

  1. Trail Hiking Australia follows the national bushwalking code of conduct which clearly stipulates that group sizes should be capped at 16.
  2. Land managers also request that we cap group sizes at 16.
  3. Leave No Trace also request that we cap group sizes at 16.
  4. We respect the code of conduct, the land managers, the environment and the safety of all members and for this reason we will not be increasing the sizes of our groups. I have had discussions with the land managers and if they continue to see large groups on trails they will be legally enforcing smaller group sizes and potentially fining those who do not comply.
  5. If something were to happen to a member of the hiking group, whilst on a hike and the incident ended up in court, then the first thing the courts will do is refer to the code of conduct and the land managers for their recommendations and hike organisers could see themselves slapped with a hefty law suit or prison time for placing the group and members at risk.

What to expect on a hike

If you’re new to hiking, you’re probably wondering what to expect during our events. For our regular hikes, we try to keep the time between 4 and 6 hours depending on the particular trail. Our average hikes range from 10 to 18 kilometres in length and there can be some substantial elevation change, anywhere from 200 to 700 metres. Some hikes are longer or higher. You may underestimate the difficulty of hiking uphill; flat hikes are completely different than uphill ones!

If you haven’t hiked before, try walking 5 kilometres in your suburb a few times to get a feel for your fitness level. You should be able to walk that distance in a flat city street in about one to one and a half hours without breaks. The trails are even harder than city streets due to the hills and walking over rocks, etc. Try climbing ten flights of stairs (that’s only about 30 to 50 metres up) and see how hard that is. Then try twenty flights (60 to 100 metres up) and come back down, it’s not that easy is it? If you can do those things you’re ready to hit the trails with us! Start out on hikes labelled EASY before going on the more advanced trails.

Friends, relatives and kids are all definitely welcome to join. But they must be a member and agree to our Risks and Waiver of Liability! Children can handle these hikes with proper training and preparation. Occasionally we will post ‘Family Friendly’ events where your younger children do not have to be a member. We are not a baby-sitting service; all children must be supervised by a parent or guardian at all times. Ultimately you alone are responsible for your own safety and that of your companions. Make sure you can get everyone you bring back home happy and safe in the event of difficulty on the trail.

When you join us, make sure to bring half a litre of water per person, per hour you expect to be outdoors. You should also have sunscreen, or sun protection apparel (hats, sunglasses, etc). Bring snacks, (like Trail Mix!) Make sure you have sturdy hiking shoes, no tennis sneakers, sandals or flip-flops! We recommend a shoe with a solid thick sole. It should have good tread underneath for grip on the trail. Make sure your toes have room and don’t touch the front of your shoe. Try standing on a 45-degree incline with your toes facing downhill. Jump up and down and see if your toes bang inside your shoe. If they do you need a bigger size. Plus your feet tend to swell a bit during a long walk. E.g. you might want to get at least a half size bigger than what your normally wear.

Bring a camera! Although some animals are rare, we’ve spotted many forms of wildlife including kangaroos, wallabies, wombats, rabbits, deer, birds, bats, lizards, snakes, and even scorpions! Different seasons provide many opportunities for photographing beautiful flora too.

Finally, bring your enthusiasm and smiles. We love to have a good time! 

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