Cabin and Trail trip size protocol

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Cabin and Trail seeks to establish a protocol for when small trips should go out and when they should be canceled. For some types of trips, like longer backpacks, 6 people represents an optimally-sized trip, not a small one. Furthermore, in most cases, the club agrees that it is better for smaller trips to go out than no trips at all. Therefore, the chairs and leaders will determine minimum trips sizes for particular trips based on the following criteria:

  1. Safety. For most hiking trips, it is risky to have fewer than four people. In other cases, other safety considerations and the judgment of the leaders may suggest that a certain trip should have a certain minimum number of people.
  2. Involvement of co-leaders. For co-leaders to gain the experience necessary to lead trips in the future, there need to be enough other people on the trip who are being led. On the other hand, that experience can come from appropriate smaller trips, which are sometimes necessary to enable heelers to complete the entire leadership development process
  3. Budgetary constraints. The cost of a given trip, both to Cabin and Trail and to OPO, through its subsidy of van mileage should be considered—is a particular trip the best use of resources? Is it going out at the expense of future, larger trips? This is especially significant for small trips that travel long distances. On the other hand, smaller trips should try to use smaller vehicles, which could save money.
  4. OPO processes. To minimize the burden on the OPO staff and the expense of reserving unnecessary vehicles, the decision whether to cancel a trip or to let it go out with a smaller a number of people should be made as early in the week as possible and clearly communicated by the trip leader to the OPO staff.
  5. Leader preferences. Leaders will decide whether or not particular trips are likely to be large enough to be worth the time they spend leading them.

Last revision

November 2008