Trailhead Talk

AMC Western MA Chapter
  • Assess footwear, other clothing
  • Check for water bottles; ask people if they have 2 liters water
  • Circle up, do introductions around the circle
  • Specific description of the hike – huddle to review the route on the map:
    • Review the route
    • Review the pace: slow, moderate, fast?
    • How long will we be hiking?
    • Describe when/where we'll break for lunch, etc.
    • Any special features (stone walls, cellar holes, caves, etc.) for which we should be on the lookout
  • Risks:
    • Trail may have sustained erosion damage; roots and loose stones may cause you to trip
    • Sunburn and insect bites
    • Foliage
    • Dehydration – make sure you have water
    • Temperature is a factor. Remove layers if you're getting too warm!
    • Remember: you are responsible for your own safety and wellbeing
  • Practices:
    • The group should not become separated on the trail.
    • Everyone waits at a trail intersection (or junction) for the last person to arrive.
    • Sweep – volunteers to be the last person in line, to ensure no one is left behind. Important job.
    • Separation break – when the genders go different directions to go in the woods. If you leave the group to go to the bathroom, make sure the Sweep knows you've left.
    • Leave No Trace – take nothing but photos, leave nothing but footprints.
    • Be mindful of other the physical condition of other participants
  • Does anyone know animal tracks? Trees and plants?
  • Who's carrying the first aid kit? Extra water? Other emergency gear?
  • Who has wilderness first aid training? CPR? Any other first aid or medical training?
  • Safety:
    • Every individual is responsible for having the appropriate skills, physical conditioning, equipment and supplies.
    • The safety of the individual assures the safety of the group.
    • Notify me privately of any condition or limitation which could affect your enjoyment of the trip, your safety, or the outcome of the trip.
    • Not speaking up when there's a problem jeopardizes the individual's safety, and that of the group.
Rule #1: BE SAFE
Rule #2: HAVE FUN
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