We can never have enough of nature. We must be refreshed by the sight of inexhaustible vigor, vast and titanic features, the sea-coast with its wrecks, the wilderness with its living and its decaying trees, the thunder-cloud, and the rain.
Henry David Thoreau
Whether you are hiking with experienced hikers or first-timers, it's always important to stay together from the hike start to the finish.
If you or your child is part of a group hike, here are some questions you should ask prior to setting out:
- Are the group leaders experienced? What kinds of outdoor experience and group leadership training have they had? Do they have the knowledge and gear necessary, including a first aid kit? Are there enough leaders for the size of the group? Will they turn back if the situation changes? Have they left a complete hiking plan, including the trail(s) being hiked and the emergency plans?
- Will the hike be paced to the slowest hiker? You should start as a group, hike as a group, end as a group.
- Are all members of the group required to bring at least a minimum of gear, including warm clothing, appropriate footwear, extra food and water, a whistle, rain gear, and a flashlight? (For more on this, see the Gear List page.)
- Are group members, especially those who are inexperienced, told what to do if they become separated from the group or there is an emergency?
- Are the leaders aware of any medical conditions of each group member?