Guide (Print for Your Reference)
The purpose of
this guide is to assist both potential and
experienced trip leaders in selecting and
organizing Adventuring trips. The recommendations
listed may not cover all situations and may not
apply to all trips. While this guide contains
information from the "Articles of
Incorporation," it is not intended as a
complete source of Adventuring policies. If you
have any policy questions contact any member of
the Adventuring Operations Committee. Comments
and suggestions for future editions are welcome.
No one person or
committee in Adventuring organizes trips. The
success of the group depends on the willingness
of individuals to plan and lead trips. If you
think there are not enough trips offered, or that
a particular type of trip should be offered more
often, perhaps it is time to consider leading
can be gained from organizing a successful trip.
Participants appreciate your efforts and you get
to know them better than if you were just one of
the group. You also have opportunities to learn a
leaders are considered members of the Advisory
Council. This group meets at least twice a year
and advises the Operations Committee on matters
of Adventuring policy and practice.
something simple and familiar, then work up to
more involved trips. Before scheduling your own,
you may want to co-lead a trip with a more
Coming up with
ideas for trips isnt difficult. You need
not be original. Some of our most popular trips
are done year after year.
Remember that not
every participant is interested in hurling his or
her body at planet Earth with nothing more than a
flimsy piece of cloth strapped to his back. There
is considerable interest in easier trips that
dont require a high level of skill or
physical condition. Just make sure trips
involve some form of physical outdoor activity.
Some resources for
trip ideas are:
havent been offered recently. Look through
some old issues of the newsletter or call the
particular Program Coordinator (in Adventuring,
these are divided up as WOODS, WHEELS, WATER, or
have been done recently or are already on the
Calendar of Events. Activities like skiing and
skating can be repeated in the same season, even
at the same location. Activities like hiking and
canoeing can have completely different
perspectives when led at different times of the
trips usually led by someone else. Some trip
leaders enjoy leading the same trip every year.
Others may be ready to move on to a new
challenge, so a popular trip might not have a
leader. Ask these leaders about adopting their
that you have done on your own, with family, or
ideas: rafting through the Grand Canyon, skiing
in the Rockies, biking across the Netherlands and
hiking in the Alps are some of our successful
extended Adventuring trips.
groups activities: consult the members,
newsletters, websites, and publications of the
Sierra Club, the Potomac Appalachian Trail Club,
Once you have an
idea for a trip, you have to work out the
details. Do as much research and planning as you
can before letting others know about the trip, so
that you may answer questions about it.
Decide when the
trip will take place. Know what kind of weather,
insects, water levels, crowds, etc., are expected
at that time of year. Some facilities are
seasonal and are subject to being closed when you
may want to use them; always check before
Select a route
using available maps, guidebooks, etc. If the
trip will be a long one, make sure there are some
"escape routes" if a participant
becomes exhausted or injured.
If the trip is a bicycle ride, then
you should have pre-ridden your route recently to verify the
accuracy of the queue sheet and to be aware of road conditions,
construction areas and other changes. Some of our established
queue sheets were developed years ago. Neighborhoods change and
construction projects alter routes. You should make every effort
to pre-ride your route before leading others on the route.
If the trip is not
a circuit, beginning and ending at the same
location, you must arrange for car spotting. This
can add time and complexity to the trip. Some
Meet at the
ending location, load participants and gear into
half of the vehicles, leave the other half of the
vehicles there, and drive to the beginning
location. This keeps all participants together
for the entire trip, but will require up to twice
the normal number of vehicles at twice the cost.
Meet at the
beginning location, leave all passengers and gear
there, drive all vehicles to the ending location,
and return with only enough vehicles to hold the
drivers. This option requires only enough
vehicles to hold participants and gear, but part
of the group is kept waiting during the car
Make copies of
maps and/or written directions for the drivers. A
good way to handle this is to incorporate driving
directions and maps into a single detailed trip
description sheet(s) along with equipment lists,
detailed itinerary, etc. that should be
considered by all trip participants. Dont
plan to travel in a caravan--it is difficult to
maintain and can be unsafe.
Decide if the trip
should be limited to participants with a certain
level of skill or physical condition. If
beginners are welcome, say so in the trip
Set any limits on
the minimum and maximum number of participants.
Pick a range that will be large enough for safety
and small enough for you to maintain control.
The costs must
be divided equally among all
participants, including yourself. You
may not profit in any way from the trip. You
may accept commissions (e.g., free transportation
or accommodations) only if the full value of the
commission is used to defray the cost of the trip
for all. Some of the costs you need to calculate
as of 1 January 2012, the Adventuring trip fees
are: $2.00 per participant for a single-day
trip; $4.00 per participant for a multiple-day
trip. Trip leaders must pay the trip fee.
Transportation costs. See the chapter at the end
of this guide.
Relatively inexpensive accommodations are usually
Determine whether to have individual meals, group
meals, or a combination. Group meals help bring
everyone together but may create more work for
you. Try asking a participant to organize a meal.
Alcohol should be calculated separately from
food; note that in some areas such as many
National Parks and state parks, the consumption
of alcohol is not permitted.
fees, registration fees, entrance fees, etc.
postage, photocopying, etc. done in preparation
for the trip. Decide if a deposit is necessary.
Make sure you ask for enough to cover your
pre-trip expenses. State the amount, what it
covers, the deadline for receiving it, and the
refund policy. Scout out the trip beforehand.
This is strongly recommended. It will let you
determine or verify map information, mileage,
landmarks, parking areas, regulations, and much
more. If this is going to be a "common
discovery," say so.
Now that the trip
has been planned, let others know about it, since
many people plan ahead for their weekends, give
as much advance notice as you can.
Write a trip
description using the following guidelines:
much information as possible--the basic plan,
skill level required, limits on number of
participants, costs, deposits, deadlines, etc.
pre-registration, leave out the meeting time or
dollar amounts for all costs. If an amount is
estimated, state so.
like "easy," "moderate," and
"strenuous." Elevation changes,
distances, etc., by themselves are not very
meaningful to the average participant.
this is a ride, is it a group ride or an individual ride ending
in a predetermined place? This is a matter of ride leader style.
Do you intend to ride as a group for the duration of the ride
and deal with mechanical failures or rider difficulty as a
group, or do you think of the ride as an individual trip with
everyone responsible for following a queue sheet and completing
the ride on their own resources? Tell the group what style ride
they are on to eliminate misconceptions.
• If you lead a group oriented ride
consider the following recommendations: Discuss how you will
deal with group fragmentation during the ride. For example, what
will happen if part of the group is stopped by a red light or
someone has a flat? Possibilities: The lead group will wait for
the trailing group, the lead group will wait at a predetermined
location along the ride for the trailing group to catch up, or
consider using an experienced rider as a “Sweep” making sure the
Sweep and the Leader are able to communicate.
to the facts, include something to make the trip
sound interesting and enjoyable. If possible,
announce a trip at a trip planning meeting. These
meetings, called 3-4 times a year by all Program
Coordinators, give you the opportunity to work
with other trip leaders and allow you to avoid
calendar conflicts. At other times, notify the
Program Coordinator of your plans by using the
"Suggest A Trip" feature on
Adventurings website at
<www.adventuring.org> or by phone; he/she
will advise you of any conflicts or possibly a
more desirable schedule.
the Program Coordinators go-ahead, get the
trip description published through
Adventurings website. The Program
Coordinator will issue the Trip Leaders
access web page address; fill in all pertinent
information and click! It is very important that
contact information such as a phone number and if
possible email address are included; incomplete
postings will not be displayed on the Adventuring
If mailing your
trip description is preferred, send the
description directly to your Program Coordinator.
The deadline for mailed newsletter publication is
usually near the middle of the preceding month,
though this varies. This allows for the timely
printing and sending to those who prefer a mailed
version. There is a subscription charge for the
mailed version; it is currently $20, but is
subject to change without notice.
After a trip is
publicized, you will receive calls from
interested participants. If you took time to
write a good trip description, this should not
require much effort. You may want to keep a
record of a participants name, phone
number, car pool information (driver, car size,
reservations, remember that Adventuring
trips are open to everyone on a first-come,
first-serve basis. You may not exclude
someone because of gender or mere personality
conflicts. The only reasons for excluding someone
must be clearly related to group safety and
participants know the level of difficulty, ground
rules, costs, sleeping arrangements, food
arrangements, etc. Advise them on what to bring
on the trip (e.g., clothing, rain gear, food,
shelter). If necessary, send them a trip
information sheet(s) which offers more detail;
this may also include maps and driving
If this is a ride, be aware of the riding
experience level of individuals in your group. Have they
participated in an Adventuring ride previously? Do they have
experience riding in a group? Tell them what to expect related
to traffic, navigation, etc. Remind them to think for themselves
and to always consider the safety of those behind them. Note the
navigational and vehicular challenges of the route. Where are
you leading the group? Does the route follow multimodal trails
or will the group be expected to ride in traffic?
Give riders the basic rules for using
multimodal trails: alert pedestrians before passing, do not ride
double, pedestrians have the right of way.
Give riders the basic rules for street
riding: Discuss the traffic conditions, consider establishing
mid-ride waypoints to wait for those left behind by red lights
or changing traffic, and there is safety in numbers when riding
in traffic—consider holding the group together and taking the
from participants, if applicable to your trip.
Allow sufficient time for checks to clear.
send deposits, and obtain permits.
records of the income and expenses for the trip.
At its discretion, the Operating Committee may
request these records.
pooling. Participants willing to serve as drivers
should have cars that seat at least four people
comfortably for day trips; allow for less if the
trip requires extensive equipment and/or an
overnight stay. Put drivers and passengers in
touch with each other to complete arrangements.
Make sure any
special equipment is available, and know who is
Print out a copy
of the Adventuring Request & Release form from
the Adventuring website or request a mailed copy
from the Program Coordinator. For mailed copies,
you need to allow two weeks before your trip.
At the last
minute, confirm reservations, check the weather
forecast, and leave an itinerary and emergency
phone number with a responsible person.
The big day has
arrived. If you have planned everything well, the
trip itself should go smoothly. Dont forget
to enjoy it yourself! The trip can be run
informally, but you should maintain control at
all times. You may set any reasonable guidelines
as long as everyone knows them in advance. If
someone refuses to follow those guidelines, you
may tell them that they are no longer a part of
At the beginning
of the trip:
participants sign the release form.
everyone and make any newcomers feel welcome.
participants know that it is their responsibility
to obtain the consent of anyone they wish to
participants who are interested sign up for a
of your car mileage if you have not already
calculated transportation costs.
If this is a ride, pay particular
attention to the physical demands of the route. People have
varying physical abilities. Monitor the comfort level of your
group. Slow down if necessary or take more frequent breaks.
Ride Leaders also need to be especially
aware of the implications related to the size of the group.
• If the group is large the ride becomes
much more complicated. It will fragment into groups because of
traffic, lights and rider abilities. Consider how you will
manage the group.
• Consider establishing gathering spots
along the route for the group to reform.
• Ask experienced riders to lead subgroups
or act as sweeps.
• Distribute cell phone numbers so the
group can communicate.
Be prepared for
happen, and have happened, even on a simple day
trip. Some safety ideas are:
first aid kit. If you do not have one of your
own, borrow one from another trip leader and be
sure you know how to use it.
special equipment needed for your activity.
participants provide an emergency phone number.
participant who may require medication should let
you know. Be sure you get specific instructions
as to its use and dosage; this is especially true
of those persons who have allergies to insect
stings, asthma, etc.
accident occurs, stay calm and assess the
situation. Send someone (more than one person if
possible) for help, making sure they know the
exact nature of the emergency, where you are, and
where they are going. Write it down. Dont
try to perform emergency procedures you are not
qualified to do. First aid and CPR courses are
strongly recommended for all trip leaders.
On some trips,
like those to commercial ski areas, it is not
necessary to keep everyone together. On other
trips it may be very important for the group to
remain together at all times. Among the precautions you should
consider are: Appoint someone
familiar with the route (not necessarily you) to
take the lead, with instructions to stop at any
points where someone is likely to get lost.
Appoint another person as a "sweep" to
bring up the rear. Count heads frequently.
Be considerate of
those who are not as experienced or not in as
good physical condition as others. For example,
the last ones to arrive at a rest stop should
have enough time to rest. They probably need it
A final note on Adventuring Ride Leader
Few of us will sit at a red light or
unclip and come to a complete stop at a stop sign when it is
obvious no cars are near the intersection. You should slow
enough to be seen as responsible. A comment heard from a DC
police officer in Haynes Point concerning bicycles and stop
signs, “You don’t have to unclip, but you do have to slow down
and look for traffic or you will get a citation.”
In Arlington, Alexandria and DC drivers
routinely give bicycles the right of way even if this right of
way is against a traffic light. This can lead to confusion on
the part of inexperienced riders in the group. Do not assume the
right of way or assume the the right of way granted to you was
meant for everyone in the group.
Inexperienced riders or even experienced
riders who are exhausted and riding head down have a tendency to
blindly follow the rider in front of them. This makes it
incumbent on all riders to consider the safety of everyone in
the group who is behind them.
As a ride leader you should set a good
example by being a role model for others. You represent
bicyclists in a fashion that should make us proud. You do not
have special privileges over cars because you ride a bicycle.
The safety of pedestrians is your responsibility even if this
means you have to stop and dismount. Don’t be that bicyclist
others talk about in a negative context.
groups impact on the environment.
The number of
times an individual has done an activity is not
necessarily an indication of their environmental
knowledge. Washing dishes in a stream is an
example of a common, but harmful, process. Set a
good example for the rest of the group; use Leave
No Trace methods when possible.
participants share equally in the work of the
trip (e.g., washing dishes, cooking, cleaning).
Use your camera.
Slides and photos are useful in promoting
Adventuring activities; always get written
permission of those you photograph.
At the end of the trip:
the transportation costs. Use the formulas on the
transportation fees from all participants,
the drivers. Remember that all drivers get
the same amount. You may have passengers directly
pay drivers only if you make adjustments for
uneven numbers of passengers. Using the example
on the last page, you would have each passenger
pay their driver $6. You would then take $4 from
the driver with three passengers and give $2 each
to the other two drivers.
If there is
a large amount of money left over, it should be
refunded to the participants. If the amount is
small, suggest that the group donate it to
Write a brief
report about the trip for the newsletter. Trip
reports offer people an idea of what happens on
Adventuring trips. One to three short paragraphs
will suffice. This can be done on
Adventurings website through the Trip
Leaders page where you originally posted
If you prefer to
mail your trip report, include it with the
complimentary newsletter request form, the
release form, and a check made out to
"Adventuring"; a pre-addressed stamped
envelope is available by mail from Adventuring
upon request. The check should include trip fees
plus any money left over after expenses and
refunds. The release form must be returned even
if the trip did not take place. Just write
"CANCELED" across the form. Return the
forms as soon as possible; if you are leading
more than one trip per month, return the forms
after the last trip.
borrowed equipment such as first aid kits to the
information that may be useful the next time you
or someone else leads the same trip.
The current rate
for reimbursement of drivers is 20¢ per mile.
to calculate the driver reimbursement:
Total Cost = number of round-trip miles x 0.20 x number of drivers.
Passenger Cost = Total Cost ÷ total number of people
on trip (drivers + passengers).
Driver Reimbursement = (Passenger
Cost x number
of passengers) ÷ number of drivers.
Round-trip distance is 200 miles. There are 3
drivers and 7 passengers for a total of 10
Total Cost = 200 round-trip miles x $0.20 per mile x 3 drivers =
Cost = $120.00 Total Cost ÷ 10 people on
trip = $12.00
Driver Reimbursement = ($12.00 Passenger Cost x 7
passengers) ÷ 3 drivers = $28.00
Adjustments may be made if there are exceptional
circumstances such as:
- Tolls. If
significant, these may be added to the
vehicles. If someone prefers to
take his or her vehicle when it isn't
needed, that person and vehicle may be
left out of the calculation and
vehicles. An adjustment may be made
for a vehicle that is needed but which is
especially expensive to operate (a van or
- Varying departure
points. If participants are
arriving at the beginning of a trip from
diverse points, each carpool can
determine its own method of driver
compensation as mileage will vary.
You can always
reach Adventuring through its website at
<www.adventuring.org>. Various options are
available on our website that allow you to see
the current calendar, suggest or post a trip, and
a listing of current members of
Adventurings Operations Committee as well
as its Program Coordinators (WOODS, WHEELS,
WATER, and WINTER).
All completed trip Request &
Release forms, checks for trip fees, and any written
communications should be sent to.
PO Box 23655
Washington DC 20026
(This document was revised
April 25, 2013. Comments and corrections
should be directed to the Operations Committee.)