SELECTED BYLAWS OF THE BACKPACKING CLUB
The Backpacking Club, founded in1994, is a non-profit co-op run entirely by unpaid volunteers and dedicated to the enjoyment of nature and wilderness through hiking, backpacking, snowshoeing, and educational programs.
The Backpacking Club is not an outfitter or a guide service. It is not a charitable service nor a fee for service organization. It is a co-operative for hiking and backpacking. In return for being led on outings, you are expected to reciprocate by leading a hike or overnight backpack, hosting a party or dinner, or helping to schedule the newsletter by phoning or e-mailing members. You need to be experienced and prepared appropriately for any event in which you participate. The club conducts a Backpacking Course in April & May. Instruction for snowshoeing and building snow caves/shelters are done in the winter. This is a private club and we do reward our trip leaders and graduates of our Backpacking Course with special trips that other members are excluded from attending.
The leader leads. She or he is not merely a facilitator or coordinator. The leader of any outing may deny your attendance before or during an event. The leader may consult or monitor the group, but the leader alone has the right to make any and all decisions, even if the majority of the group disagrees. Do not expect decisions to be made by group consensus. Your dues entitle you to receive the newsletter only. The leader is not paid and owes no obligation to any participant or potential participant. As a participant, your role is to let the leader lead the trip the leader’s way, not your way. Hikes and backpacks should be cooperative, not competitive. The group should hike at the leader’s speed, not the fastest nor the slowest participant’s pace. As a participant, you may choose to leave the group and return on your own, unless you have made agreements to carpool or share gear. If so, you are obligated to fulfill your agreement. As a participant, you need to defer to and co-operate with the leader.
If you feel you have been treated unfairly, either as a leader or participant, contact the President at 467-8099. If there is a legitimate grievance, it can result in restrictions, sanctions, or even expulsion.
On any hike or backpack, everyone should bring the “essentials”, which are listed under “Calendar of Events” along with the definitions of relief, distance, trail surface, speed, hike, backpack, traverse, & car-camp. Cotton clothing is inappropriate for hiking or backpacking in the Northwest.
All participants must sign the group release and waiver of liability and indemnity, including leaders, for each outing. In addition, each member renewing their membership must complete the membership application each year.
Unless it is specified that the trip is starting with a restaurant meal , assume you will eat at home before starting the trip. Always bring food and water to eat during your outing.
All firearms are prohibited on club trips. There is a greater danger from a firearm than from an animal or snake.
No dogs on club hikes and backpacks unless the leader specifically writes in the Calendar of Events that dogs are ok to bring. If so, keep your dog on a leash.
Pack out used toilet paper as well as trash in your garbage bag. Bury your feces at least several inches. Never use soap, not even biodegradable soap, in a stream or lake. Use soap only in a pot, bucket, or basin and dump it over land well away from water sources.
Children (anyone under 18) must be accompanied on a hike or any activity by a parent who must sign the release and waiver of liability and indemnity with the child.
All dayhikes will meet at the arranged time and place regardless of the weather. The leader may modify the distance or difficulty of the hike considering the weather or nature of the group. Dayhike leaders are responsible for finding a substitute leader if for any reason they cannot show up. On dayhikes only, a non-member is welcome to participate one time, and one time only.
For backpacks and all overnight trips such as car-camping, all participants must be members for liability reasons. Generally, those participating in overnight backpacking trips need to be graduates of our Backpacking Course or demonstrate comparable backpacking experience by doing a long dayhike with the leader. It is mandatory to phone the leader, preferably well ahead of time. The leader may limit the size of the group, set minimum requirements for experience and conditioning, determine if bringing children is appropriate, and make any restrictions the leader deems appropriate.
Drive carefully. Driving is the most dangerous part of any trip. If you choose to carpool, the driver determines how carpooling will be done. Generally the driver rides for free and the riders pay for gas. The Backpacking Club or its leaders take no responsibility related to carpooling or results thereof. Note that if you carpool, either as a driver or passenger, you limit your ability to leave a hike or backpack early. You are obligated to fulfill any agreements you made at the start.
It is up to each individual to make arrangements for sharing tents, stoves, cookware, water pumps, and so forth, although the leader may facilitate this.
Note that for planning and submitting trips for the Calendar of Events, a leader cannot double list their trip with another club or organization. This includes electronic internet listings or e-mail as well as newsletters. Therefore, leaders must choose to list their trip with our club or the other group but not both.
New members will receive the current newsletter at the time when they join and the following newsletters to complete their initial membership year, which can vary from 9 months to over a year. Any additional people living at a member mailing address that aren’t members may join for free by signing the release and waiver (membership application form) and sending it in. Members may place free want ads or announcements in the newsletter. If you lose your newsletter and want another one sent to you, you must first mail a check for $3 made out to The Backpacking Club at P.O. Box 9142, Spokane, WA, 99209-9142.