Arizona Trailblazers Hiking Club, Inc.
Guidelines and Policies for Members
Including Application for Membership

 annual dues: $25 individual or $35 family 

The following guidelines and policies are a set of common sense rules to ensure a quality experience for all participants of day hikes, camping trips, and backpacking trips organized by the Arizona Trailblazers Hiking Club, Inc.

Radios, Walkmans, Boom-boxes:
For reasons of personal safety, we ask that you please refrain from bringing radios or Walkmans on day hikes. One of our primary reasons for hiking is to enjoy the sights and sounds of nature, as well as talking with one another. Radios are obviously not conducive to either activity and can lead to inattention on the trail, which could potentially result in a disastrous situation for all. On camping trips you are welcome to enjoy your radios and Walkmans — with the use of personal earphones. Please do not bring boom boxes on any camping trip.

Children:
Children accompanied by a parent are welcome on camping trips and some "C" hikes. But know your child’s ability and please check with the hike leader, especially if your child is under the age of ten. Certain trails are too rugged or too dangerous for a small child to navigate safely.

Dogs:
Dogs and other pets are not allowed on any outing of the Arizona Trailblazers Hiking Club.

Guns and Other Weapons:
Guns, knives (other than pocket knives and those for normal camping use), and other deadly weapons are not allowed on any of our hikes, camping or backpacking trips.

Alcohol:
Please use good judgment and discretion in the use of alcoholic beverages. It is never a good idea to consume alcohol immediately before or during any hike, and we ask that you refrain from doing so, since you will become dehydrated much faster, not to mention being a potential hazard to yourself and others on the trail. Water is always the best trail drink. We also request that you limit your alcohol use to beer, wine, and wine coolers while on camping trips. Hard liquor is okay in small quantities, but please do not overdo it. Also keep in mind that use of alcohol is strictly prohibited on reservation lands, such as Havasu Falls or Monument Valley. Always check with the hike leader concerning alcohol use on camping trips.

Pre-Payment of Camping Trip Fees:
When campground fees or other fees are required on a camping trip, each participant must pay them to the leader at the time of signing up. The leader then makes the required payment to the campground owner (typically, the National Park Service). A person who cancels or doesn’t show up will be given a refund only if replaced by a new participant from the waiting list.

Early Departure:
Hikers are expected to stay with the group. If you decide to leave the group, please notify the leader before you leave. This is essential for the safety of the other hikers, who would otherwise assume that you are lost or injured and need help. After notifying the leader and being dismissed you are on your own: the club is no longer responsible for you.

Guidelines and Policies for Hike Leaders
•  Leaders must be paid members of the Arizona Trailblazers Hiking Club. We encourage our leaders to attend Hike Leader Training, which the club offers every year.
As a hike leader, it is always your responsibility to be familiar with the trail you are hiking. It is a good idea, although not really mandatory, to pre-hike the trail first so that you are at least somewhat familiar with it, especially if there are a lot of potentially confusing trail junctions, or if the trail is not very well defined. Exploratory hikes, where the leader has never been before, are permitted; however, the leader must explain in the announcement that the hike is exploratory.
Hike announcements and hike descriptions should be as accurate as possible, especially on distance, elevation change, and estimated hiking time. If you are unsure, it’s better to over-estimate the distance, elevation change, and hiking time.
The club allows more than one hike on the same day. However, if there is already a hike scheduled for that day, any other Trailblazers hike the same day must be in a different geographic region.
A hike leader may offer options, in which the leader plans to split the group and give participants a choice of routes. A trusted deputy leader is then appointed for part of the group.
The hike leader has absolute authority to question any participant concerning their equipment, experience, and overall conditioning before and during the hike.
Some locations have a group size limit, and in any case there shouldn’t be more people than you can keep track of. More than 20-25 can be difficult. State the limit on the number of hikers in your hike description.
You need a minimum of four hikers. If someone gets hurt, there will be one to stay with the injured person while two go for help.
Before the start of the hike, you must have all participants sign the Trip Release Form. Within a couple of weeks of the hike, we ask that you write a short trip report on the highlights of the hike, including enough trail information and any problems encountered during the hike (confusing trail junctions or signs, etc.) that the next person leading the same hike can use your report as a reference.
Also before the hike, distribute the Motorola TalkAbout radios — one to the person or group most likely to be in the lead, one to the person or group most likely to bring up the rear, and the remaining radios for those in the middle. The hike leader should have a radio on at all times to communicate with the other participants.
Unless you are meeting at the trailhead, make car-pooling arrangements at your meeting place. Give clear directions, and if possible, a map, to all of the drivers. Make sure all the drivers have your cell phone number, you have their cell phone numbers with you on the signup sheet, and they keep their cell phones and 2-way radios turned on. If you stop some place before the trailhead (for example, to meet additional hikers), don’t leave there until all the cars are present and the drivers have clear directions or can follow you in caravan to the trailhead.
It is always a good idea to assign someone as a “sweep” to ensure that slower hikers don’t get left behind. In a group of twelve or more, assign an assistant hike leader to help manage and keep track of the rest of the group, since larger groups are more likely to get scattered on the trail. Get the whole group back together at each trail junction, so you don’t have some of them going off the wrong way.
If possible, carry a cell phone with you during the hike, so you will be able to get a call out in the event of an emergency. It could save a life. As the hike leader, you must also carry a First Aid kit. All hikers are encouraged to carry them.
If any hike participant becomes ill or is unable to complete the hike for any reason, try to assign someone to stay with that individual and see to it they make it safely back to the trailhead. Never, under any circumstances, leave anyone who appears to be sick or disoriented or is injured on the trail by themselves. Use your own judgment, since every case is unique, but always remember that safety comes first.
If a participant insists on leaving the hike early, for whatever reasons, make sure they understand they are no longer part of the group and are essentially on their own at that point. If they have their own radio, try to maintain contact until they are safely back at the trailhead.
Always remember, as the group’s hike leader you are the most responsible person in the group and all other participants will look to you for guidance and leadership, especially in the event of a problem or an emergency on the trail. You are the foremost representative of the Arizona Trailblazers Hiking Club, and your conduct and behavior should be exemplary at all times.

The Arizona Trailblazers Hiking Club, Inc. does not practice, tolerate, or condone discrimination or harassment of any type or nature. If you feel that you have been the victim of any type of discrimination or harassment from any participant on a hiking club event, it is your responsibility to immediately bring it to the attention of the hike leader or any of the club’s officers, who will discuss it with you, take down all of the details, and contact the individual involved.

Application for Membership    [read, print and sign].


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updated January 28, 2017