Hike Leader Manual
Instructions for hike leaders What to take on a hike Symptoms of Heatstroke, Heat Exhaustion, and Hopothermia Emergency numbers Membership form Sigh up sheet What to do in case of an emergency (Not yet written) Information, schedules, and downloadable forms are available on the club website. www.cvhikingclub.net
How to Screen on the Phone
1. Explain the difficulty and conditions of the hike. Explain that the possible conditions might be hotter or colder than expected. 2. Ask them how much experience they have, “When was the last time you went on a ten mile hike? What was your last club hike? Where have you hiked in the last two weeks?” 3. If they are not sure, gently suggest that they might want to try an easier hike first. 4. Explain what they need to bring along, for example, hiking boots, two quarts of water, extra clothes, lunch, and that these are required.
5. Explain that while some people say that they drink very little water (crazy), the water they carry may be needed in an emergency situation; hurt hiker and attendant having to wait for rescue; it could be a long wait, even over night.
6. Inform them of meeting place, departure time, and any costs involved.
What to do with the group of hikers-before you start hiking
1. Form a circle to introduce yourself and to briefly outline the day’s hike. Inform group of any “club news” e.g., pot luck social, annual party. 2. Go over release from liability statement (sigh-up sheet) Make sure everyone has signed it. Remember, minors can’t sign such a statement. Only their parents can. Keep the sign-up sheet with you on the hike. If anyone leaves the hike make sure they sign out. 3. Ask if anyone needs a club brochure. 4. Ask if anyone is interested in leading hikes. Let them know where the next hike leader meeting is. 5. Detail the hike route, difficulty, and discuss rest periods. 6. If car pooling, give directions, mileage and discuss gas donation. (.10 per mile is recommended). Count cars. Let people find their own ride. For liability reasons, we usually do not organize car pools. 7. Ask hikers to inform you immediately if they encounter any problems on the hike (e.g., hot spots, accelerated heart rate, or cramping).
8. Make sure that everyone is carrying two quarts of water, sun protection, good hiking shoes and a snack if necessary. No boots, no water, no hike. 9. Make sure they know that the group is to stay together, If they wander off, they do so at their own risk. Make sure no one goes back alone. If someone needs to go back early, make sure someone who knows the trail goes with them. 10. Appoint a sweep to bring up the rear of the group during the hike. 11. Have each member of the group introduce themselves. Count off. Take count for breakfast, lunch or dinner. 12. Count off, by numbers, to establish precise size of group.
What to do with the group of hikers—during the hike
1. At the start, make sure everyone departs from the trailhead together. 2. Check your hiking pace regularly to keep the group together. 3. Maintain contact with the sweep. 4. Stop for a water break as needed ( More often at steep elevations). 5. At lunch break, check in with individuals to see how each is doing. 6. If the group has spread out, stop at any actual or apparent trail intersection. Wait until everyone is together and rested before proceeding. 7. Do not be afraid modify the hike or to turn back and cancel the hike if the situation calls for it. Exhausted or ill hikers, weather conditions (too hot, too cold, too wet, trail conditions) all might mean that the best idea could to cut the hike short and return to the trailhead. Do not be influenced by peak fever and remember that everyone does not have the same fitness level. Avoid problems before they start.
What to do with the group of hikers at the end of the hike
1. It might be nice if you kept extra bottled water in cooler in car to offer at the end of hike (often people won’t say they need more water, but will eagerly accept.). 2. Count off again to make sure everyone has returned. 4. Make sure everyone’s car has started before leaving the parking lot.
Basic Gear Checklist
There are several sources for this list but they all say about the same thing. 1. WATER! – The club minimum is two quarts (64 ounces) More for longer, hotter hikes. Some of us have taken four quarts on a hike and almost run out. 2. Compass & Map - especially useful when traveling in unfamiliar locales. The catch is that you have to learn how to use them. 3. Daypack - lightweight pack to store water, food, and basic necessities. 4. Food - something lightweight but nutritious, high in carbohydrates. 5. Extra Clothing – At least take one of those disposable ponchos and a Mylar blanket. We don’t get much rain out here but we all hike in the mountains where conditions are much different. There have been hikes that were snowed on and there were people on the hike that wished they had at least a sweater, windbreaker, and gloves. It happens. Also in hot weather, a light shirt for protection from the sun. 6. Matches - keeps you warm at night. Someday something will happen and someone will have to spend the night out there. Matches weigh almost nothing and turn a dangerous situation into something that is only uncomfortable. Some places you can’t safely start a fire. Do not start a forest or brush fire for attention. That is just plain stupid. 7. First Aid Kit - keep it simple, when you need it you’ll be REAL GLAD you brought it. 8. Flashlight – This could be the difference between spending the night beside a trail waiting for enough light to get down and sleeping in a warm bed at home. 9. Sunscreen & hat – 10. Whistle – used for signaling. One toot = Where are you? Two toots = Here I am! Three toots = Help! Saves your voice. Always tell someone else where you are going. If there is an emergency no one will know whether or not to look for you. On some of these trails we hike, it might be days or even weeks before someone comes along.
Things that you might wish you had brought on a hike as well.
Imodium - speaks for itself. Plastic Shield for CPR – It’s going to happen folks, sooner or later. Hopefully, you or someone else will know CPR. Cell Phone – for calling in emergencies. Bright Orange Panel – good for signaling. Get a bright orange rain parka. Nylon cord. - for making repairs, rigging shelters, making splints. Climbing Rope – Ever get in a tight spot? Extra Water. Water purifying tablets. GPS – only useful if you know how to read a map. A hat A knife. A Chap Stick Tissue Paper Some quarters for the phone and money for cab fare. Are you sure you are going to come out where you think you are? This might come in very handy. Aspirin, Ibuprofen, and Tylenol (Possible liability issue with giving these to hikers) Pencil and paper - for leaving messages on the trail and for sending messages when there is an emergency. Comb – useful for removing cactus
Things a Hike Leader Should Bring
1. Two way radios. It is sure nice to call someone up who you are waiting for and have them tell you that everything is OK. 2. Cell phone. They don’t always work, but someone can be sent up a hill to find service. It might be a good idea to exchange cell phone numbers with people on the hike before you leave. Someone has disappeared? Call them up. 3. Larger first aid kit. Sam Splint 4. Elastic bandage for sore knees 5. Extra water. Powdered electrolytic replacement beverage. 6. Map and compass, GPS, photo copy of road map to give out.
Symptoms of Heatstroke and Heat Exhaustion Heat Exhaustion
Cause Excessive fluid loss leading to hypovolemic shock Warning signs Gradual weakness, nausea, anziety, excessive sweating, fainting, sudden loss of consciousness. Manifestations Pale, grayish, clammy skin; weak, slow pulse; low blood presure Management Patient positioned flat or with the head down; replacement of lost salt and water
Cause Inadequacy or failure of heat loss mechanism Warning Signs Headache, weakness, sudden loss of consciousness Manifestations Hot, red, dry skin with little sweating; forceful, rapid pulse: very high temperature Management Emergency cooling by wrapping or immersing in cold water or Ice; Immediate hospitalization Both of these can lead to death. Heatstroke is a genuine medical emergency and the victim must be taken to a hospital as soon as possible. This might require a helicopter.
Even though we hike in the desert, It gets cold and wet sometimes. We also hike in the mountains where there is a possibility of rain and snow. Severally times in the memory of the club, hike leaders have found themselves in the mountains with people dressed in shorts and tea shirts in rain, hail, wind, and snow.
Cold and wind. Unsuitable clothing (cotton kills) weather - windy
conditions speed heat loss (wind chill), getting wet, exhaustion, dehydration, alcohol consumption.
Warning signs Internal temperature below 96 F (35 C). Lack of coordination and mental confusion.
Initially, involuntary shivering, loss of complex motor skills
(but still able to walk and talk), shutdown of blood vessels in the hands and feet. As temperature falls below 35°C (95°F), violent shivering, impaired consciousness, loss of fine-motor coordination, especially in the hands, slurred speech, illogical behavior, loss of emotional cognition - an 'I don't care' attitude. This is a life threatening condition.
Replace wet clothes with dry. Get them moving. Get them
to eat. Start a fire to keep them warm and to dry clothes. Body-to-body contact is effective.
The basic principles are to stop heat loss and preserve the heat the person has, and provide body fuel to generate more heat. If a person is shivering, they can warm themselves at a rate of 2°C an hour.
Put on additional layers of clothing and replace wet clothes with dry. Get them moving to increase their activity and ensure their surroundings are as warm and still as possible.
Provide food, initially as hot liquids. Carbohydrates provide a rapid source of energy while fats can provide a prolonged source of fuel. Add warmth with a fire or heater, or by body-to-body contact.
Severe hypothermia needs urgent medical attention - call 911.
Emergency Phone Numbers
Joshua Tree National Park: Federal Agency Dispatch. 24 hours (909) 383-5651 In San Bernardino County to file an offical missing person’s report and activate search parties, contact San Bernardino County Sheriff. San Gorgonio Ranger District: Mill Creek Station (909) 794-1123 San Jacinto District Office: US Forest Service (909) 659-2117 Mt. San Jacinto State Park (909) 659-2607 Palm Springs Rescue (760) 323-8116 911 will get you the Highway Patrol in Riverside. They will hopefully transfer you to the right number.
INDIVIDUALS: $25 /Yr FAMILY: $35 /Yr. Make checks payable to: - CVHC, P O Box 10750, Palm Desert, CA 92255 For Hiking Information and Hiking classification call (760) 345-6234 Name: ___________________________________ Address: _________________________________ Telephone: ( ) ___________________________
HIKE: HIKE LEADER DATE: The undersigned (hereinafter referred to as “The Hiker”) understands that they have voluntarily joined a group hike wherein they will be exposed to non-paved, non-settled wilderness areas where there may exist: uncertain footing, loose rock and soil, elevated trails, steep inclines, sharp stone, running water, and that these areas are occupied by wildlife and plants all of which are or may be hazardous to humans. The hiker also understands that the hike may include areas subject to flash floods, extreme temperatures, inclement weather, lack of: water, food, shelter, immediate or regular medical assistance, communications to summon assistance, and that the cost for any medical assistance or transport for the hiker is to be borne by the hiker exclusively. The hiker agrees to hold harmless the Coachella Valley Hiking Club, its officers, managers, and hiking leaders including specifically the hiking leader today from any claim whatsoever which comes about directly or indirectly because of the hiker’s participation in the hike today, whether or not he completes the hike, including travel to and from the group meeting point and travel to and from the trailhead. Hiker states that their physical condition, ability to accompany the hike leader, equipment, supplies, clothing, food, water, and medication are the sole responsibility of the hiker and the hiker states that the hiker has determined them to be suitable for the hike whether or not the hike or hiker follows the route and time usually taken for such a hike I HAVE READ THE ABOVE STATEMENT AND UNDERSTAND IT LAST NAME, FIRST TELEPHONE
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