Albuquerque Senior Centers' Hiking Groups (ASCHG)

The smiles say it all. By Ken Smith, 9/18/08.

Hiker's Responsibilities

The responsibilities given below are extremely important for the safety and enjoyment of all involved.

Know Your Physical Abilities And Limitations

Read the hike information carefully, particularly the class (A-E). Read the Cautions section for special considerations: altitude and trail conditions like rocks, roots and gravel, or a steep descent. Try easier hikes before trying harder ones.

  1. Easy, up to 5 miles and 200 ft. total uphill.
  2. Moderate, up to 7 miles and 700 ft. total uphill.
  3. Challenging, up to 9 miles and 1500 ft. total uphill.
  4. Difficult, up to 11 miles and 2300 ft. total uphill.
  5. Most difficult, over 11 miles and more than 2300 ft. total uphill.

Be On Time

Confirm the starting time for each hike. Please show up at the meeting time, not the leaving time. The fifteen-minute gap is necessary for sign-ups, check-in, and van loading.

Respect The Hike Leader's Authority

The welfare of all participants is taken very seriously. Your hike leader will be knowledgeable about the trail and current conditions, and will be the final authority on all decisions. Please respect the responsibility that the hike leaders and assistants have accepted on your behalf.

Stay With The Hiking Group

Trails often branch without warning and you can easily get lost. Don't get ahead of the leader or behind the sweep (designated hiker at rear of the group). If you are out of breath, out of water, scared of edges, or need a bathroom break, let your hike leader or sweep know about it, so you can be accommodated. If you have a serious problem, someone will be designated to stay behind with you or accompany you back to the trailhead.

Pack It In, Pack It Out

Put all your trash in your pack. Don't leave food, thinking it's biodegradable or some critter will eat it. It looks unsightly and attracts pests. If you have room in your pack and see trash, please carry it out.

Respect Artifacts And Historical Structures

It is against federal law to deface or remove artifacts or structures from public lands. In general, sites which are 100 years old or more are considered archeological sites. Examples are ruins of stone and ruins containing man-made materials like sluices, an old wooden bench, etc. Protected artifacts are items 50 years old or greater. An obvious example is pottery shards. A not-so-obvious example is an old rusty can which is 50 years old. Restrictions vary from location to location.

Respect Fossils

When fossils are considered as a past record of human activity, they are part of the local archaeological record and are protected on all public land. Collecting them is against federal law. When fossils are in the paleontology category, they are protected if they are in Wilderness Areas or Wilderness Study Areas. There are other types of areas where special restrictions apply, for example in a National Conservation Area. Vertebrate fossils are protected on all public lands. You may collect a reasonable amount of invertebrate fossils and/or plant fossils on most other public lands. Ask your hike leader before taking anything.

Respect Flora And Fauna

The plants and animals you see on a hike live there - you are a visitor to their home. Don't pick the flowers or poke at the snakes.

Be Courteous To Other Hikers

Keep in mind that you are with a group. Be aware of your voice, avoid controversial subjects of conversation, and try not to lag behind while talking or taking pictures.

Leave Your Pets Behind

No pets are permitted on senior center vans or on senior center hikes.

Be Prepared: What to Bring On A Hike

  1. Your lunch and snacks.
  2. Plenty of water. At least two quarts in the summer on long hikes.
  3. Adequate clothing for changeable weather, and a hat and sunglasses. Dress in layers, and keep a thin rain jacket in your pack. Heavy socks assure comfort and prevent blisters. Wool socks still retain heat even if wet. Wicking fiber socks are also good.
  4. Hiking boots with good ankle support and heavy tread for traction.
  5. A hiking stick (trekking pole) or a pair will greatly improve your stability.
  6. Optional mole skin patches for blisters, and other basic first aid items.
  7. Long pants are recommended.