1. Hikers should be aware that they themselves are responsible for their own individual safety and well-being. You should immediately alert the leader if you feel the situation is getting beyond your capabilities, if you are unwell or injured, if the pace of the hike is too fast or if you have any concerns whatsoever.
2. You should be aware that leaders are volunteers like yourselves. While leaders will do their best to ensure a safe hike they cannot be expected to have professional skills, such as wilderness first aid and wilderness rescue training.
3. If you are injured or unwell and a rescue has to be organized it will be on a best effort basis, but you should be aware that cell phone communication may be impossible and that it may be some considerable time before a rescue can be organized and carried out.
5. You should do your best to inform yourself of the nature of the hike and verify that it is within your capability and experience. You should also ensure that you’re suitably equipped for the conditions and have sufficient food and water. If in doubt - ask.
6. Leaders have to ensure that the group as a whole remains safe and stays together. At the same time, they have to look after their own individual safety and well-being just like any other hiker. It can be very stressful for leaders and dangerous for the whole group if hikers flout common sense rules of safe hiking. So please play your part:
- Never get in front of the leader or the designated navigator.
- Always keep the hiker in front of you within sight and within earshot.
- Alert the leader or the person in front of you if you are dropping behind, having trouble keeping up, or if you need to stop or go off-trail for any reason.
- If anyone alerts you that the group needs to stop or slow down, make sure to pass the message to the person in front of you, and up the line to the leader.
- Use your whistle if necessary.
- One blast means "Stop" in a group, or "Where are you?"
- Two blasts mean "Please come here now!"
- Three blasts mean "I need help, this is an emergency!"
- In each case the reply is one whistle blast
- Always stay in front of the sweep