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The following points have been prepared for managing the Trail Hiking Australia Meetup Group so not everything will be applicable to community organised events. I though’t it would be useful to include anyway.
If you hike often, you will have seen groups that allow 30 and sometimes 40 people on their hikes. Our cap is set at 16 for any hike and we do this for some very good reasons.
- Trail Hiking Australia follows the national bushwalking code of conduct which clearly stipulates that group sizes should be capped at 16.
- Land managers also request that we cap group sizes at 16.
- Leave No Trace also request that we cap group sizes at 16.
- 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.
- 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.
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