Overnight Trip Coordinator Guidelines

This page follows on from ‘How to Coordinate a Trip‘ and specifically relates to overnight trips.
Don’t forget to have a look at the HWC base camping spreadsheet for location ideas.

The following information relates to the point following successful arrangement and notification of the trip.

At the meeting place for the trip

  • Check that all members are present and introduce them.
  • Check that all members have essential safety gear. If a person does not have the gear, food or skills for the trip – do not take them.
  • Arrange car groups, explain route to the start of the walk, rendezvous points.
  • Note the number of vehicles to be used, and their drivers.

Starting the trip

  • The venue may be changed to suit weather, access or fire conditions via party agreement; best location for pre-trip assembling. Report changes to the Club and return / safety contacts ASAP.
  • Inform members of the proposed route, lunch stops, hazards and type of terrain to be encountered. Show them the map.
  • Appoint a lead walker and ‘tail-end Charlie’. If the party is large split it and appoint a sub-leader.
  • Arrange meeting points for divided parties along the route.
  • Remind members to keep in touch with the person ahead of and behind them.
  • Ask members not to rush ahead or separate from the party.
  • Ask that if a problem arises it is to be reported immediately to the Coordinator.
  • Ensure everyone knows procedure to follow if separated from the party. See description in Safety in the Bush.
  • Register trip details / names in PWS or other registration book if appropriate.

During the trip

  • Be aware of the needs and welfare of every member of the party.
  • Count the number of members frequently, especially after stops, in mist and in difficult terrain.
  • Remind the party to keep together.
  • Advise the party to adapt the pace to suit members and conditions.
  • Rest the party periodically.
  • Discuss behaviour considered inappropriate with the group.
  • Constantly check your position on the map and check results with other experienced party members.
  • Keep a watch on the weather and adapt your plans accordingly.
  • Watch for signs of distress or fatigue in members of the party, particularly in the inexperienced or weaker members.
  • Advise the party to eat and drink well and frequently to sustain energy, especially in cold wet conditions. Take plenty of water on warm days uphill where water scarce.
  • Check on morale, especially in adverse conditions.
  • Change the lead walker regularly in thick scrub or in soft-snow conditions.
  • Alert members to potential difficulties and dangers along the route such as on scree slopes, or if scrambling on rock; hold back participants from people above them on likely rock-falls.
  • Watch for progress in difficult country – some are very slow and the party may have to wait a lot.
  • Discuss minimum impact on the environment with the group if required.
  • Discuss difficulties with other party members.

 At the campsite

  • Select a campsite considering: level area, water, wind, shelter, suitability for pegs, overhanging trees and drainage (no digging).
  • Stress the minimum impact policy described in Safety in the Bush and posted on the website here.
  • Explain bush hygiene, washing and toilet areas.
  • Assist others with tent erection if necessary. Inexperienced members may need help.
  • Be aware of fire policy in the area. Do not light fires in fuel-stove-only areas (unless to save life).
  • Before leaving, clean up campsite – leave it better than you found it.
  • Be considerate to other campers: e.g. allow use of common facilities, minimise noise.
  • In huts see that firewood and kindling are replaced and the hut left clean.

Cars and Home

  • Final check of numbers.
  • De-register with PWS if applicable.
  • Sign Prospective members’ qualifying walks forms if necessary. (Prospectives should remind you).
  • Ensure that all cars have started before leaving and arrange rendezvous at first main road.
  • If the walk has been in a Phytophthora infected area, ask the party to wash their boots thoroughly at the first opportunity, and certainly before their next walk.

Final Actions by the Trip Coordinator

  • Enter the details from the Trip Report form into the website. Write a brief report on the trip for the Circular – enter details into website.  If any Visitors attended the trip, email or post the signed Visitors Risk Waiver Risk Form (found on the reverse of the Trip Report Form) to the Trips Secretary.
  • Report any accidents, incidents or complaints promptly to the Trips Secretary. Download an Incident Report Form from the website and mail or email it to the Trip Secretary ASAP.
  • Discuss any problems and suggestions with the Trips Secretary or your Trip Programmer.
  • Arrange for a letter of thanks (via the Trips Data Officer) to landowners whose properties have been entered.

Visiting Nevada Peak, SW Tasmania.