Before the trip begins

Must be done

  • learn all you can about the area—from maps, photos, publications, other walkers or locals
  • plan the route to be followed and consider alternatives in the event of trouble
  • specifically research campsites, water, tracks, shelter, times and likely hazards
  • learn all you can about your party and be sure that all are capable of doing the planned trip
  • obtain permission from the appropriate authority if entering a restricted area
  • ensure that you have sufficient numbers in the party—normally a minimum of four
  • have no more than five or six beginners to every experienced group member on the trip
  • see that transport is arranged for every member
  • plan for the possibility of an emergency—arrange contacts and see that all interested persons know of your arrangements
  • leave your planned itinerary and composition of the party with some responsible person or persons appointed as emergency contacts so that authorities will be notified if your party does not return as planned
  • ensure that all party members are fully informed on all details of transport
  • arrange meeting places and times, itinerary, and any special requirements in equipment or food.

Should be done

  • organise pre-trip meetings for major trips; show slides, discuss maps with all members
  • arrange food groups and supervise distribution of group food (if appropriate)
  • see that any party equipment is shared fairly among the group—the stronger can carry more of it
  • notify interested authorities (e.g. land management authority or police) if appropriate and tell them where and when you plan to enter areas under their jurisdiction
  • make last minute checks on likely weather conditions
  • check that every member has all the necessary equipment and food—all in good order.

Might be done

  • put out a trip news sheet for pre-publicity and for information of prospective starters, possibly followed by a final bulletin with all arrangements detailed— including research references, car numbers, party membership or any other details
  • make any special appointments such as deputy leader, first aider or caterer
  • arrange lectures or practical training sessions for beginners and help with equipment selection or the making of some equipment
  • advise on food planning and purchase.