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The Adirondack Mountain Club recommends the following guidelines to trip leaders. These guidelines are not hard and fast. Actual situations and conditions require good judgment, but the following are a good starting point for leaders:

  1. Group activities in the wilderness areas of the Adirondack Park and in the proposed wilderness areas of the Catskill Park should be limited to a total party size, including trip leader(s), of 12 individuals.Trips should be adequately described to potential participants prior to signing up.

  2. Descriptions should include:
    • Trip length (miles or kilometers)
    • Trip duration (hours)
    • Elevation to be climbed (feet or meters)
    • Mention of any special equipment or other factors
    • Brief description of the level of difficulty to be expected during average conditions.
    • Brief description of the trip plan, including parking and possible hiking options.
    • Participants should select activities well within their capabilities.

  3. Trip leaders should count the number of trip participants at the start of the trip, periodically throughout the trip, and again at the end of the trip to insure that everyone is accounted for. A trail "sweep" should be designated on hiking trips and the participants of the trip should be kept between the trip leader and the sweep

  4. Trip leaders and participants should carry equipment and supplies appropriate to the trip description and anticipated weather conditions. For significant, all-day hikes, a small pack with reasonable food, water and clothing, including a hat, rain gear, suitable footwear and extra garments suitable to the season are recommended. Participants in significant, all-day hikes might also carry insect repellent, sun screen, a whistle, matches, a knife, small flashlight, compass and trail map. A basic understanding of the use of map and compass is suggested.

  5. Trip leaders volunteer their time in order to help those less experienced or less familiar with a region to enjoy an outdoor experience. Cheerful cooperation with the leader is the best appreciation a participant can give a trip leader.

  6. Standard safety procedures, appropriate to the type of trip, and good common sense should be observed by trip leaders and participants at all times.

  7. Under no circumstances should individual participants should go off alone during an organized trip. A minimum party size of three (four during winter conditions) is recommended at all times in wild land regions.

  8. The trip participants should share with the trip leader the responsibility of making a trip safe and enjoyable and must respect the trip leader's advice and final judgment.
* Adapted from Taking a Hike? Leading a Hike?, an educational brochure published by ADK and available through Headquarters. 2/96, 12/09, 1/11