Guidelines for Trip Organizers / January 2021
Due to Meetup features, only individuals designated as Meetup “Organizers” can post trips on the SMSKN Meetup home page. Organizer status is open to all SMSKN members and is conferred to individuals who request it by the President or Board members. While we encourage all who are interested to become Organizers, we ask that Organizers comply with the guidelines below when posting and conducting trips to help ensure the safety of our members and the viability of the Club.
- Post a clear and accurate description of the trip and required equipment on Meetup description. This is important so that people don’t sign up for trips for which they are not prepared or equipped. Specify trip length (NM) and duration, any known hazards, gear requirements (drysuits, helmets), and trip level per the chart on page 2. A pdf and sprayskirt are required on all our trips and specifying boat length (usually 16 ft+) is recommended to prevent the 12’ rec boats from showing up, which happens.
- Know the weather and tide forecast for the day of your trip. Attendees may not check. Be cautious about describing weather in the announcement, since conditions can change significantly over a few days. If conditions worsen and trip level changes, amend the writeup and if necessary notify attendees, which can be done through the Meetup page.
- Check the Meetup page regularly before the trip and respond to communications from participants. You can change your profile settings on Meetup to get emails of these.
- Be specific about departure time. Traditionally, the trip start time is the launch or “butts in boats” time for SMSKN trips.
- Make sure everyone has signed the online Participant Agreement and have some hard copies for those who haven’t. Hang onto hard copies and give them to club leadership, either in hard copy or electronically.
- Discuss the planned route with the group before setting out. Describe the latest weather forecast and tides, find out who has radios and confirm the channel, and discuss any safety concerns. Remind everyone that they are responsible for their own safety and ask that the group stays reasonably close together, particularly in areas of boat traffic. Ask participants to notify you if they want to split off from the group.
- Leave a Float Plan in a visible place in your car and with a party on-shore.
- Keep an eye on the group during the trip, and make sure you come back with everyone you left with.
- Have fun!
Guidelines for Trip Participants / January 2021
Welcome to SMSKN! To ensure a fun and safe paddling experience for all our members, we ask that those who sign up for our trips follow the guidelines below.
- Understand that SMSKN has no prequalification criteria of any kind for Organizers or participants, and that even the individual(s) who have volunteered to organize a trip may be less experienced than you. You are responsible for your own safety.
- Make sure you have electronically signed the online SMSKN Participant Agreement on smskn.net/Club Documents.
- Read the trip description closely and be honest about your equipment and abilities before signing up. Know your limits and comfort zone. It’s your decision whether or not to paddle that day depending on conditions and your paddling abilities, and don’t go out or follow if you’re not comfortable. See the Trip Level designations on page 2 of this Guideline.
- Make sure you have the appropriate equipment – ocean-ready kayak (16 ft. recommended) with sealed bulkheads, spray skirt, PFD, pump, paddle float, clothing suitable for water temperature, at a minimum – before signing up. Shorter boats may be suitable on some trips; check with the organizer. Recreational boats less than 14 ft. are typically not suitable for ocean conditions.
- Please don’t sign up for a trip unless you really intend to go and amend your response promptly if your plans change.
- Please be on time. Note that on SMSKN trips, the posted trip time is usually the launch, or “butts in boat” time. Arrive early enough to get your boat ready and check conditions.
- Let the Organizer know of any limiting health conditions or other concerns that you may have.
- Stay with the group, especially in areas of high boat traffic. Likewise, keep track of other paddlers and let the group know if someone is falling behind. Let the Organizer know if you wish to leave the group and go off on your own. That’s okay.
- Have fun!
All criteria are approximate and are intended for general categorization only.