Leaders have a responsibility to ensure that groups are informed of the expected conditions, and there is often a need to check the equipment carried or worn by each group member. Leaders must be satisfied that equipment is adequate for the trip and should not hesitate to refuse to take someone with unsuitable or inadequate equipment which could jeopardise the safety of the group. With experienced groups this may mean little more than a verbal check at the beginning of the trip to see that each has the required equipment (e.g. full wet weather gear and two litres of water). With beginner or inexperienced members it will often be necessary to physically inspect equipment, preferably well before the trip, so that any inadequacies can be remedied. With these groups it is advisable to give and explain an equipment list, and possibly demonstrate key items early in the planning stages.

Some equipment can be shared, particularly within a tent group (e.g. stove, billies, trowel). For longer trips there may be some whole group items (e.g. a spare fly for bad weather protection, spare ski tips or extra snow shovels for a ski trip). When day walking, group first aid is often the only shared equipment other than the extra items that you as leader may carry for emergencies.