The following guidelines and policies are a set of common sense rules
to ensure a quality experience for all participants of day hikes,
camping trips, and backpacking trips organized by the Arizona
Trailblazers Hiking Club, Inc.
Radios, Walkmans, Boom-boxes:
For reasons of personal safety, we ask that you please refrain from
bringing radios or Walkmans on day hikes. One of our primary
reasons for hiking is to enjoy the sights and sounds of nature, as well
as talking with one another. Radios are obviously not conducive to either
activity and can lead to inattention on the trail, which could potentially
result in a disastrous situation for all. On camping trips you are
welcome to enjoy your radios and Walkmans — with the use of
personal earphones. Please do not bring boom boxes on any camping trip.
Children accompanied by a parent are welcome on camping trips and some
"C" hikes. But know your child’s ability and please check with
the hike leader, especially if your child is under the age of ten. Certain
trails are too rugged or too dangerous for a small child to navigate safely.
Dogs and other pets are not allowed on any outing of the Arizona Trailblazers
Guns and Other Weapons:
Guns, knives (other than pocket knives and those for normal camping use), and
other deadly weapons are not allowed on any of our hikes, camping or
Please use good judgment and discretion in the use
of alcoholic beverages. It is never a good idea to consume alcohol
immediately before or during any hike, and we ask that you refrain
from doing so, since you will become dehydrated much faster, not to
mention being a potential hazard to yourself and others on the trail.
Water is always the best trail drink. We also request that you
limit your alcohol use to beer, wine, and wine coolers while on camping
trips. Hard liquor is okay in small quantities, but please do not overdo
it. Also keep in mind that use of alcohol is strictly prohibited on
reservation lands, such as Havasu Falls or Monument Valley. Always
check with the hike leader concerning alcohol use on camping trips.
Pre-Payment of Camping Trip Fees:
When campground fees or other fees are required on a camping trip, each
participant must pay them to the leader at the time of signing up.
The leader then makes the required payment to the campground owner
(typically, the National Park Service).
A person who cancels or doesn’t show up will be given a refund
only if replaced by a new participant from the waiting list.
Hikers are expected to stay with the group. If you decide to leave the group,
please notify the leader before you leave.
This is essential for the safety of the other hikers, who would otherwise
assume that you are lost or injured and need help.
After notifying the leader and being dismissed you are on your own:
the club is no longer responsible for you.
Guidelines and Policies for Hike Leaders
Leaders must be paid members of the Arizona Trailblazers Hiking Club.
We encourage our leaders to attend Hike Leader Training, which the club
offers every year.
As a hike leader, it is always your responsibility to be familiar with
the trail you are hiking. It is a good idea, although not really mandatory,
to pre-hike the trail first so that you are at least somewhat familiar with
it, especially if there are a lot of potentially confusing trail junctions,
or if the trail is not very well defined.
Exploratory hikes, where the leader has never been before, are permitted;
however, the leader must explain in the announcement that the hike is
Hike announcements and hike descriptions should be as accurate as possible,
especially on distance, elevation change, and estimated hiking time.
If you are unsure, it’s better to over-estimate the distance,
elevation change, and hiking time.
The club allows more than one hike on the same day.
However, if there is already a hike scheduled for that day, any other
Trailblazers hike the same day must be in a different geographic region.
A hike leader may offer options, in which the leader plans to split the
group and give participants a choice of routes.
A trusted deputy leader is then appointed for part of the group.
The hike leader has absolute authority to question any participant
concerning their equipment, experience, and overall conditioning before
and during the hike.
Some locations have a group size limit, and in any case there
shouldn’t be more people than you can keep track of.
More than 20-25 can be difficult.
State the limit on the number of hikers in your hike description.
You need a minimum of four hikers. If someone gets hurt, there will be one
to stay with the injured person while two go for help.
The leader can survey members for the interest in the trip, but spots
can’t be reserved or held in the pre-announcement. Actual
signups must not begin until the trip has been posted on the AZHC web
site or announced in an official AZHC email.
Before the start of the hike, you must have all participants sign the
Trip Release Form. Within a couple of weeks of the hike, we ask that
you write a short trip report on the highlights of the hike, including
enough trail information and any problems encountered during the hike
(confusing trail junctions or signs, etc.) that the next person leading
the same hike can use your report as a reference.
Also before the hike, distribute the Motorola TalkAbout radios —
one to the person or group most likely to be in the lead, one to the
person or group most likely to bring up the rear, and the remaining
radios for those in the middle. The hike leader should have a
radio on at all times to communicate with the other participants.
Unless you are meeting at the trailhead, make car-pooling arrangements
at your meeting place. Give clear directions, and if possible, a map,
to all of the drivers. Make sure all the drivers have your cell phone
number, you have their cell phone numbers with you on the signup sheet,
and they keep their cell phones and 2-way radios turned on. If you stop
some place before the trailhead (for example, to meet additional hikers),
don’t leave there until all the cars are present and the drivers
have clear directions or can follow you in caravan to the trailhead.
It is always a good idea to assign someone as a “sweep” to ensure
that slower hikers don’t get left behind. In a group of twelve or more,
assign an assistant hike leader to help manage and keep track of the rest of
the group, since larger groups are more likely to get scattered on the
Get the whole group back together at each trail junction, so you don’t
have some of them going off the wrong way.
If possible, carry a cell phone with you during the hike, so you will
be able to get a call out in the event of an emergency.
It could save a life. As the hike leader, you must also carry a First
Aid kit. All hikers are encouraged to carry them.
If any hike participant becomes ill or is unable to complete the hike
for any reason, try to assign someone to stay with that individual and
see to it they make it safely back to the trailhead. Never, under any
circumstances, leave anyone who appears to be sick or disoriented or
is injured on the trail by themselves. Use your own judgment, since
every case is unique, but always remember that safety comes first.
If a participant insists on leaving the hike early, for whatever reasons,
make sure they understand they are no longer part of the group and are
essentially on their own at that point. If they have their own radio, try
to maintain contact until they are safely back at the trailhead.
Always remember, as the group’s hike leader you are the most responsible
person in the group and all other participants will look to you for
guidance and leadership, especially in the event of a problem or an
emergency on the trail. You are the foremost representative of the
Arizona Trailblazers Hiking Club, and your conduct and behavior should
be exemplary at all times.
The Arizona Trailblazers Hiking Club, Inc. does not practice, tolerate,
or condone discrimination or harassment of any type or nature. If you feel
that you have been the victim of any type of discrimination or harassment
from any participant on a hiking club event, it is your responsibility to
immediately bring it to the attention of the hike leader or any of the
club’s officers, who will discuss it with you, take down all of the
details, and contact the individual involved.
Application for Membership
[read, print and sign].