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Modeling Best Practices

The list on this page was created by Mike Cherim, a Class One Leader, for the Appalachian Mountain Club (AMC) and was immediately and unanimously adopted by the New Hampshire Chapter. It is believed that this list is now part of the New Leader’s Welcome Packet. It was felt that the AMC, as an outdoor group, should ensure its leaders always strive to model the best possible behavior during excursions and outings. Also, it was felt that the AMC must strive to set a good example for other groups, and to anyone who may observe the AMC’s practices.

Being this is Mike’s list, it is also in effect here at Redline Guiding… on a daily basis.

  • 1. Screen and prepare participants fully so “our” people will be ready for the excursion at hand. We are modeling not just ourselves but those who join us. A ill-prepared participant indicates we haven’t done our job well as leaders.
  • 2. Keep groups sizes to ten or fewer, including leadership, even outside of Wilderness Areas. There can be some exceptions depending on the area and its ability to safely accommodate more people, where appropriate, while not impinging on the enjoyment of others. Some people hike to get away from crowds.
  • 3. Insist on a 4:1 Participant/Leader Ratio. We must be able to handle our group and at ratios thinner than 4:1 this becomes more difficult. Of course this might be excepted if dealing with participants who have extensive experience.
  • 4. Those ascending the trail have the right-of-way and it is the responsibility to those descending to yield and allow passage. Those ascending may choose to step aside, taking in a microbreak, but it is their choice. We should ensure all participants are aware of this and act accordingly.
  • 5. Leaders should ensure groups take breaks off trail in spots able to accommodate them without impacting the environment. Stopping in the trail, blocking passage of others, simply isn’t fair to others on the trails.
  • 6. LNT. Carry-in, carry out; take photos, leave footprints. It doesn’t matter how you frame it, groups must ensure they reduce environmental impact. This includes taking nature breaks. Carry out or bury as appropriate any human wastes, excepting urine (which should be done off-trail in the winter or covered with snow).

Could this list be used in your outdoor organization? Is it needed? Based on what we see in the mountains fairly regularly, a handful of organized groups could use the help.

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