Adirondack Mountain Club, Inc. A-19

Guidelines for ADK Chapter Outings


The outings program of ADK Chapters is a principal means by which members and their guests learn about, enjoy and become proficient in outdoor recreational activities. Each Chapter should strive to ensure that its outings are conducted in a safe, enjoyable and environmentally sound manner.

The following guidelines are for the practical assistance of Chapters and their outings leaders and participants. These guidelines do not attempt to deal with all the varied situations and decisions with which trip leaders are presented. Each Chapter and each leader must therefore use their best judgment in adapting these guidelines to the individual circumstances of their trips.

Planning, Trip Size and Leadership

It is recommended that Chapters establish procedures to screen and authorize Chapter outings. Trips approved by such procedures and announced via official Chapter communications such as Chapter meetings, newsletters, hotlines (as long as hotline messages cannot be made by the general membership) are considered official Chapter outings. “Pick up trips” or “meet-up group” trips that have not been authorized in advance by the Chapter’s Outing leaders(s) will not be covered by ADK’s liability insurance.

Every Chapter sponsored trip must have a designated leader who is an ADK member. A co-leader or assistant leader may also be appropriate on trips with a large number of participants.

It is recommended that trip leaders familiarize themselves with applicable private and State regulations governing individual and group activities on lands and waters to be traversed in the course of the outing, and that leaders should also communicate those which are most relevant to outing participants and secure all applicable permits required for access and/or camping.

It is recommended that trips to environmentally sensitive areas, such as the Adirondack Forest Preserve, be limited to a total party size, including the leaders, of no more than 12 individuals. Habitats of rare or endangered species should be visited with great care, if at all.

A minimum party size of three (four during winter conditions) is recommended. A minimum party size of three boats is recommended for white water trips. Life jackets should always be worn on any ADK paddling trip.

It is recommended that trip plans and expected return times be communicated to a household member or with local authority.

Chapters should consult with the ADK Headquarters before scheduling any trips outside the contiguous 48 states.

Trip Classification and Participant Qualifications

It is recommended that a trip description be communicated to potential participants prior to the trip and that it include trip type, level of strenuousness and any special skill or equipment required.

It is recommended that trip leaders screen participants for appropriate skill, equipment and fitness for the proposed outing. Leaders have the responsibility to decline participation in a trip by any individual who, in their judgment, may impair the safety of participants or the objectives of the trip.

A basic understanding of the use of map and compass is strongly recommended.

Participant Conduct

Participants are expected to have a realistic knowledge of their own ability to select activities within their capabilities and to carry clothing, food and equipment appropriate to the trip.

Participants must be willing to accept the authority of the trip leader and to cooperate with him or her and other party members to make the trip safe and enjoyable.

Participants should inform the leader if they feel unduly tired or if the trip is exceeding their capability. Concealing such information to avoid embarrassment or other reasons endangers the safety of all participants.

Participants must not leave the party at any time without permission of the leader. Participants must not leave the trip area until all party members have safely returned, unless given permission by the trip leader.

Party Coordination


It is recommended that leaders establish procedures to ensure the cohesiveness of the group.

Making a Trip Report

It is recommended that a report of the trip and list of participants be provided to the appropriate Chapter committee.

Any injury on a Chapter trip requiring medical attention must be reported to the Executive Director of the Main Club.

Safety Considerations

It is recommended that trip leaders and participants observe reasonable safety precautions and that all trip decisions be made with such safety precautions in mind.

A leader may curtail further participation by an individual and amend trip objectives if, in the leader's judgment, the safety of the individual or group requires such action.

It is recommended that if a trip participant is unable to continue with the trip and must turn back that he or she be accompanied by at least one other person.

Firearms and Other Weapons

Activities involving the use of firearms and/or other weapons are not permitted on Chapter trips.

Liability Release Forms

It is strongly recommended that Chapters have participants sign liability releases for all Chapter outings. Technical rock and ice climbing and white water activities on rivers and streams containing sections rated at Class IV or greater are not covered by ADK’s liability insurance A Class II or III river may be run if an occasional Class IV or higher drop is portaged.

Supplemental Chapter Guidelines

Any supplemental guidelines established by individual Chapters must be submitted to ADK Headquarters for approval.


Original BoG 9/19/92
Revised BoG 6/21/97
Revised BoD 12/1/07

PC/Policy & Procedures: Guidelines for ADK Chapter Outings.A-19 - sel
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Steven Tryon,
Jan 24, 2011, 4:27 PM