The Ramblers Association
Trail Leaders Procedure
All hikes, treks, snowshoeing events and walks sanctioned by the Ramblers Association shall be run by two Ramblers Association approved and appointed leaders.
All leaders shall meet the following requirements:
- A complete comprehension of the trail to be hiked
- An understanding and acceptance of the Ramblers Association Emergency Protocol
- An understanding of the Mission and Vision of the Ramblers Association
- Wear a Ramblers Association Supplied High Visibility vest
Preparation to be completed two weeks before hike
One leader should select an appropriate trail and write a brief article to be used as an announcement of an upcoming event. This notice should contain the following:
- The level of fitness required of the participants (advanced, intermediate or novice)
- Date and time of rendezvous
- Place of rendezvous, ensuring there is adequate parking at the selected location.
- Brief description of trail with specific highlights
- Outline of any difficulties that might be encountered.
- Distance to be hiked and estimated time of arrival at destination
- If not a circular tour, where is the destination
- Any additional cost involved
- A reminder to all to wear adequate footwear, carry water and apply sunscreen.
- A mobile telephone number to be used on the day
One of the leaders shall carry the following equipment on all hikes
A Federation Quebecoise de la Marche approved first-aid kit*
- A cellular telephone
- A compass
- A list of emergency telephone numbers*
- A copy of The Ramblers Association emergency procedure*
- A map of the region to be hiked whenever possible
- A whistle
- A notebook
- A walkie-talkie*
- Matches or a lighter
*These items are supplied by the Ramblers Association
Procedure to be followed at the beginning of a hike
- Both leaders shall be at the rendezvous point 10 minutes before the appointed departure time.
- Leaders must ensure that all participants carry current Ramblers Association issued identification. Guests will be issued with a guest pass and their names and email addresses recorded. After one free hike ALL guests are expected to become members of the Association or pay a $10 hiking fee. All non members should be encouraged to complete the application form and pay the membership fee. The Membership Committee representatives will record all fees collected and ensure this report along with completed application forms and monies collected are handed to the Accountant as soon as possible.
- The leader should outline the route to be followed, pointing out any areas of specific interest, areas where facilities are available and places where the route is confusing and where people could get lost. They should also give the final destination, length of hike and estimated time of arrival.
- If there are more than 25 people participating, the leader shall deputize one of the hikers to act as a third leader who will walk in the middle of the group.
- All participants should be told that if they want to leave the hike or stop for any reason they must tell another hiker or, preferably the tail leader who will advise the head leader who will act accordingly to ensure the individual does not get left behind.
- All hikers should be advised that at times they may be passing over muddy, slippery or rocky terrain and that caution should always be exercised.
- The leader shall give his/ her cell phone number to everyone.
- The two leaders should count, agree upon and record the number of participants.
- Whenever possible the leaders should have someone designated to keep a GPS record of the hike
- If a non-circular linear trail is being followed, the leaders should ensure that adequate vehicles are available at the end of the hike.
- The leader shall ensure that the group leaves 10 minutes after the designated starting time.
Procedure to follow by leaders during the hike
- The leaders shall ensure that the hiking group stays together and that visual contact be maintained at all times with all hikers.
- The leaders should insist that all hikers stay within the bounds of the trail and that private property is always respected.
- The leaders should ensure that no damage is done to the countryside or the environment and that no litter is left behind.
- The leaders should give help as outlined in the emergency protocol should any hiker become ill or injured.
- The leaders should assess the physical state of all the hikers on a frequent basis and order breaks as the need arises.
- If a hiker decides to leave the hike or wants to stay at a specific place en route they should notify the leaders who should make a record of the time and location where the hiker left the group.
- The leaders should do frequent headcounts to ensure everyone is accounted for especially after a break or in an area where many trails intersect.
- On trails, one leader should wait at an intersection for the whole group to arrive before proceeding on. In very confusing areas, the second leader should take a position at the back of the group to ensure everyone is accounted for.
Procedure to be followed by leaders at the end of the hike
- Leaders must ensure that all hikers arrive at the final destination point.
- Leaders must ensure that all hikers are healthy and not in need of assistance.
- Ask participants what they enjoyed and/or disliked about the hike.
- On a linear hike leaders must make sure that all hikers have transportation back to the starting point and that no one is left behind without a ride.
The Ramblers Association,
December 6, 2016