FAQ

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

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    • Membership

      What does membership in the Hiking Club mean?

      Tahoe Donner Hiking Club  offers a lifetime membership with two classes of memberships.

      Full Members include  Tahoe Donner residential property owners  or their immediate family members (holders of amenity-access member identification cards).  All Tahoe Donner residential property owners are eligible for membership in the Club.  Full members must make up at least sixty percent (60%) of the Club’s membership at all times.

      Associate Members include all others.  Depending on the mix of full and associate members, the Club may only accept Full Members (i.e. Tahoe Donner residential property owners). 

      What the rights of the different members?

      Full Members shall be entitled to make motions and vote at Club membership meetings and serve as a coordinator and on the Board.

      Associate Members may not make or second motions, vote on motions or serve as a coordinator or on the Board, but are welcome to participate in all other Club activities.

    • All Club Members are encouraged to serve as hike leaders.

      How can I become a member?

      Membership is open to adults 18 years of age or older.  Full membership is open at all times to Tahoe Donner residential property owners.  Depending on the mix of full and associate members, Associate membership may be open to non-owners sponsored by a current member of the Club.

      Applicants  need to submit a one-time fee of $25.00 with their Membership Application to become a lifetime member.  The application along with the Release of Liability is to  be mailed to the Membership/Communication/Financial Coordinator.  Address listed on application.

  • How do I update or change my membership?

    • Members are responsible for notifying the Board of any change in address, e-mail address and/or phone numbers.

      A member may ask to be removed from the club roster at any time.

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      Guests & Minors

      Are guests able to participate in a hike?

      Until COVID restrictions are lifted, NO GUESTS.  Invited guests may join two hikes per season free of cost.  Uninvited guests (those interested in learning more about the club) may join two hikes per lifetime, free of cost.

      All guests needs to complete a Release of Liability to be given to the hike leader at the start of the hike and a Medical Information Form which each guest carries while on the hike

      Are Minors (under 18 years of age) able to participate in a hike?

      Minors may hike free with an adult member until the age of 18.   The responsible adult member assumes full responsibility and liability for the minor.  The adult needs to complete for the minor a Release of Liability to be given to the hike leader at the start of the hike and a Medical Information Form which the adult carries while on the hike.

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      Medical Information Form

      Every hiker (i.e. member, minor and guest) must carry on their person or in their pack on every hike a Medical Information Form along with a copy of their medical insurance card.

      Guidelines for Hikers

      What do I need to do before joining a hike?

      Hikers should first read the hike description for the hike by going to Monthly Calendar and click on the hike day and follow the links to the hike’s description.

      Hiker should  then ascertain whether they  are fit enough to complete the hike at altitude.  (A hike leader has the ultimate authority to decide whether a hiker can join an hike.)  It is  always better to join hikes at a lower  level and then move to the next hiking group level as you gain fitness, skill and confidence in your hiking.

      The last step is to sign up for the specific hike as listed in the Monthly Calendar section by clicking on  the desired hike’s “Sign Up/Cancel”.  Unless otherwise noted, hike sign ups ends as of 6 pm of the day before a hike.

      What if I signed up and need to cancel?

      In an event of having to cancel after signing up for a  hike, hiker must notify the hike leader.    If cancellation is known before 6 pm of the day before a hike, hiker can cancel by  again completing the hike’s “Signup/Cancel”  and check “I need to cancel”.  If it is after the time cutoff, contact hike leader directly.

      What should I bring on a typical hike?

          • Comfortable, lightweight hiking boots (Don’t forget to trim your toenails. Do not wait until the last minute, just in case you trim too much. Over-trimmed nails can be painful.)
          • A light pack with plenty of water. It’s always better to have too much water than too little. A lightweight day pack with a water reservoir is recommended. Or, plan 20 oz (a typical water bottle) for every four miles, depending on difficulty level and temperature. Longer and more difficult hikes will require more water. Gatorade and like-products that help replace electrolytes are also recommended for long hikes on hot days.
          • Comfortable hiking clothing, a windbreaker/rain jacket additional warmth and a bandanna – avoid cotton and wear materials that wick moisture away
          • Blister kit for anyone prone to blisters or with new hiking boots
          • Whistle (three blasts means you are in trouble and need help) and Cell Phone (reception is good in many areas, not so good in others)
          • Sandwich, snack foods, energy bars etc. – based on personal preference and length of hike
          • Hiking poles (Your hands won’t swell and the poles take the pressure off knees and hips.)
          • Bug repellent, sunscreen, lip screen, sunglasses and a hat
          • Trowel (you must bury your poop) and toilet paper
          • Medical emergency information form and first aid supplies. Allergy medications.
          • Pocket knife, map, compass and/or GPS
          • Dog owners must bring a leash and  poop bags.
          • Extras may include a camera, headlamp, matches and money in waterproof bag, notebook with pencil/pen, duct tape, space blanket for emergencies business card, etc.

      What are the code of conduct once on a trail?

          • If you leave the trail to attend to personal business you MUST leave hiking poles or some personal item in the middle of the trail to alert those behind you that someone has left the trail. The sweeper will wait for you.
          • Hike with a buddy or two.
          • On one-way hikes with car shuttles, if anyone chooses to turn around mid-hike or reverse the hike after reaching the intended destination, he/she has to have a hiking buddy and must notify the leader or sweeper before their departure from the group.
          • Dog owners must bring a leash and a poop bag and use both, as needed. You are responsible for your dog at all times and you need to respect the wishes of others that concern your dog.  See TD Hikers FAQ-Dogs
          • Always adhere to “Leave No Trace” principles while on the trail.

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      Backpacking

      Are there any additional requirements than those in Guidelines for Hikers for joining a backpacking trip?

      Prospective backpacker should backpack at least once with the group on a shorter trip before signing up for a long trip. The trip coordinator has the authority to say “yes” or “no” for an individual to go or continue on a trip.  Prospective backpacker must have researched the trip and attend a pre-trip meeting

      Backpacker needs to know their own capabilities (esp. how much weight one can carry over 10-12 miles on uphill terrain)

      What is expected of backpackers on a trip?

      Backpackers must carry all their own gear (a limit for pack weight should be determined – anyone over weight jettisons some weight or doesn’t go.)

      Backpacker  needs to be prepared to carry the first-aid kit

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      Lightning Safety

      Lightning storms in the mountains is always a possibility. The chance of being hit by lightening is slim but regardless it is important to know what to do in its event.

      Find helpful lightening information on http://www.hikingdude.com/hiking-lightning.php

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      Snake Safety

      With the coming of warmer weather conditions, the chance of snake and human encounters increases.  Although most native snakes are harmless, knowing what to do in the event you come across one is important.

      Find helpful snake safety  information on https://www.wildlife.ca.gov/News/Snake

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      Hike Leader’s Role

      What is a hike leader responsible for before a hike?

          1. After volunteering to lead a hike, review the hike description found in the Hike Library for accuracy or any changes you want to make. Be sure there are accurate directions to the meeting points. If there isn’t a description available, create one and forward to hike coordinator. This needs to be done preferably a month in advance of the planned hike.
          2. It is always good to pre-hike a hike that you are going to lead in order to anticipate any potential problems such as snow, trail closures, road work etc.  This is especially true if you are new to the hike, if it has been a while since hiking it or if it is early in the season.
          3. Pick up the hike box from the clubhouse at least a day before the hike. Check to make sure the walkies-talkies are fully charged.
          4. Review these guidelines and if you have agreed that dogs are allowed on the hike, review rules regarding dogs.
          5. The evening before hike (after hike signup cut off  which is typically 6 pm),  print out the list of registered hikers with their cell phones, where they are meeting etc.
          6. If possible, bring a map, whistle, paper/pen, compass or GPS unless it is a well- established and marked trail

      What does a hike leader do on the hike?

          1. Meet the hikers at agreed upon meeting point. If the meeting point is Northwoods Clubhouse, meet on path outside of tennis courts and swimming pool. Encourage hikers not to stand near parking lot entrance for safety reasons.
          2. Check off the names of hikers as they arrive
          3. Remind hikers that everyone must carry their Medical Information forms and have on file with the club a completed Release of Liability. If not, have them complete it before departing even if they are one-time guest.
            Invited guests may join 2 hikes per season and uninvited guests (those interested in learning more about the club) may join 2 hikes per lifetime, without joining the club and paying for membership.
          4. Until COVID restrictions are lifted, NO organized CARPOOLS please.   Organize carpools reminding people to carpool with others who will hike the same hike and at a similar pace as them.
          5. Wait no more than five minutes at meeting points for late arrivals.
          6. At trail head, make sure everyone introduces themselves and their dogs.
          7. Ask that all dog owners bring a leash and a poop bag and use both, as needed.  Remind them of the rules of conduct for dogs.   Address with owners any problems of dogs not under control.
          8. Reinforce the club philosophy of hiking one’s own pace.
          9. Organize the hikers in groups not exceeding 15 based upon destination and pace e.g. short option or long
          10. Appoint a leader for each group. Leaders carry  walkies-talkies (see #13 below) and either wait at trail junctions or mark with trail tape (depending on hiking group type). Leaders need to stop periodically to make sure group is together. See Weekly Hike Comparison for expected frequency of stops and leader’s pace.
          11. Each group needs a sweep-typically someone will volunteer at the start of the hike. Sweep needs to carry a walkie-talkie and first aid kit. Sweep is to remain at the back of the group and wait for anyone attending to personal business in the woods. Last sweep is to remove the tape left by first leader. Sweep should have a buddy.
          12. Walkie-talkies are typically set on channel 7. Make sure all leaders and sweeps knows how to use them and test before starting.
          13. Give an overview of the proposed hike and advise of any unusual trail features. Allow time between groups departing to prevent a long line of hikers.

      What does a hike leader do after a hike?

          1. Make sure all hikers are back and have rides.
          2. Recharge all walkie-talkies and then return hike box to clubhouse or coordinator no later than a day following the hike
          3. Please communicate to hike coordinator any issues or problem including:
            Hike supplies running low.
            Unusual number of no-shows i.e. hikers who did not cancel
            Dog incidences or problems
            Anything else of concern or question

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       Weekly Hike Coordinator’s Role

      What are the responsibilities of a weekly hike coordinator before the start of the hiking season?

          1. Organize meeting of hikers to plan the new season’s hikes
          2. Create a schedule of hikes, dates and leaders from annual hike planning meeting
          3. Coordinate publishing schedule on TD Hiking Club website
          4. Have all hike leaders review the description of their hike as shown in the Hike Library  and confirm that it is accurate.  Make changes as appropriate.
          5. For any hike not already listed in the Hike Library ,  have the hike leader prepare a description in the same format as show on web page and forward to individual responsible for updating website
          6. Make sure hike documents and equipment (liability release and medical information forms, first aid kits, walkies-talkies) is stocked and up to date. For the green and blue groups, this is kept in a box at Members Services at the clubhouse.
          7. Review with any new hike leaders Hike Leader’s Role

      What are the responsibilities of a weekly hike coordinator and/or assistant before a hike?

          1. Preferably a month in advance, if not previously done,confirm with hike leader that hike description and meeting points and time in Hike Library is correct. If not, have web description updated.
          2. Encourage hike leader to pre-hike the trail especially if they are new to it or if it is early in the season.
          3. Two weeks in advance of a hike, open the appropriate hike Google Docs sign ups to “Accepting Responses”.
          4.  Make sure club members know that weekly hikes are open for sign up
          5. Periodically review sign up response spreadsheet for problem responses or questions.
          6. Remind hike leader to print off a copy of the signup sheet after 6 pm the evening before to be used in checking in hikers

      What are the responsibilities of a weekly hike coordinator and/or assistant after a hike?

          1. Check with hike leader as to how hike went noting any issues for follow up including any unusual number of no-shows
          2. If needed, update sign up responses for any unusual number of no shows from hike leader and change sign up form to NOT accepting responses
          3. Update master list of hiker participants

      What is expected of a weekly hike coordinator for annual meeting?

          1. Prepare summary of year’s hikes including number of hikes, number of attendees and unique hikers by reference to the hike sign ups
          2. Review any issues or questions for hiking group (submit to Membership/Communication/Financial coordinator in advance of meeting)
          3. Recognize group’s hiking leaders and support team expressing appreciation for their efforts

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      Dogs

      Are dogs allowed on hikes?

      Dogs will be permitted on hikes when it is allowed by the governing authorities in the area where the hike is being held and if the hike leader(s) designates it as a dog friendly hike.  This will be noted on the hike description.
      On long hikes that involve a car shuttle or spousal pick up/drop off dog owners need to arrange their own transportation if they wish to bring their dog.
      The Hike Coordinator(s) has the  final authority to determine if a dog is not permitted to attend hikes.

      When a dog is allowed on a hike, what rules of conduct apply to the dog owner and dog?

      Dog owners must carry a leash and be willing to leash their dog if asked by the hike leader(s) or the sweep(s).

      Dogs must be under voice/whistle control if unleashed.   If in doubt, call or whistle your dog to “come”.  If your dog does not come to you, your dog is not under voice/whistle control.

      Dogs should be leashed while hikers are stopped for snacks or lunch.

      Dogs should be leashed or left in the vehicle while hikers gather for briefings in parking lots and trail heads. This is for safety concerns of dogs, hikers, and the public.

      Dog waste on or close to the trail must be removed using biodegradable bags.  It is the dog owner’s responsibility to bring the bags on a hike.

      Dogs not in compliance with the above will be banned from future hikes.

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      Club E-Communications

      TD Hiking Club uses Google Groups for it large group e-mailing.  This is to avoid the problem of looking like the club is spamming.  To be part of a Google Group, you must positively opt into the group by accepting the invitation that you will receive from the group.  You can opt out any time that you want.   After you have accepted the invitation, TD Hiking Club emails will show up in your inbox just like any other email you receive.

      By using Google Group, you email address will not be available to the general membership i.e. it is similar to emailing bcc.  If you respond to an email, it only will go to the author of the email and not to the entire membership.

      Questions? Email questions@tdhikers.com

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      Documents

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