The Hiking Club easy day hikes for beginners

Frequently Asked Questions

Q.Do you accept beginners on your trips?

The Hiking Club was created for beginners. No previous experience or special equipment is needed.

Q.Where do you hike?

We mostly hike locally within driving distance of the Greater Vancouver area. This includes the North Shore Mountains, the Fraser Valley, HorseShoeBay-Squamish-Whistler corridor, and the Gulf Islands.

Q.How do I get on the Email list?

Send your Name, phone number, and email address to...

Q.I'm an international exchange student, can I join?

Yes, international students can join. We have many members who are attending language schools in Vancouver for 6 weeks and want to visit areas outside of the city. Also, if you are a traveler passing through you too can get on the email list.

Q.Do you go on any overnight trips?

We do mostly day trips and one overnight trip a month if the weather forcast permits. We also do a few longer trips, such as the West Coast Trail, Juan de Fuca Trail, Cathedral Park, if and when interest is expressed.

Q.Do you hike all year round?

We hike from approximately March to November on weekends. From December to February we are cross-country skiing and snowshoeing.

Q.Do I need special equipment?

No special equipment is required. But sometimes hiking boots are recommended and/or required for some trips.

Q.How are trips organized?

Trip details are sent out via email on a closed email list. You will only receive at the most 2-3 emails a week and will not be flooded with junk mail.

Q.When are trip details posted to the email list?

Details of trips are sent out via email on Wednesday or Thursday depending on the weather forecast. If you are interested you reply back to the email.

Q.What if I do not have a car and need transportation?

If you need a ride, you mention it in your sign up email response, or if you have a car you list how many empty spaces you have. The next day an email is sent out and people are assigned car spaces in the order that people sign up on email.

Q.Where does the group meet for the weekly trips?

We all meet at a central location, like the McDonald's at Hastings and Cassiar, at the meeting time listed in the email. At the meeting place, trail and road maps with driver directions are handed out, people are assigned car spaces, and we then carpool to the start of the trail.

Q.When carpooling, should I pay the driver a donation for gas?

Drivers should stop at a gas station on the way. Passengers make a donation for gas that is then put into the gas tank at the gas station. This donation should cover the round trip. This is because sometimes passengers switch cars on the return trip. 10 cents a km is the average donation split between all the passengers.

Q.If I have no overnight equipment can I still go on an overnight trip?

For overnight trips there are a few items to loan out. But equipment is limited and thus those first to sign up get priority to borrow equipment.

Q.Is there a membership fee?

We do not collect a membership fee. We do ask for a voluntary donation of $2 per tri-semester for students, and $5 per tri-semester for everyone else. Semesters are from January-April, May-August, and September-December.

Q.Why don't you schedule trips further in advance?

Because we are a beginners group the most dangerous part of the trips is the weather. The forecast determines our weekly destinations. What is a beginner's trip in good weather can change quickly into an advanced trip if the weather changes. Thus, destinations are dependent on the weather forecast and the time of year. Some areas still have snow on the ground until mid-July. However, we do have a trip almost every weekend from March to November. We try to pick the day with the best weather forecast.

Q.If I own a dog can I bring him on trips?

The answer is usually no. Most Provincial Parks that we hike in have a ban on dogs within the park boundaries. Never assume you will be able to bring your pet on a trip to be on the safe side. We have had members in the past who, after being warned, received $500 fines for bringing their pets into Provincial Parks.

Q.What book do you use to plan your trips?

103 Hikes in Southwestern British Columbia by Authors: Jack Bryceland , Mary Macaree , David Macaree

Q.How come the Hiking Club never plans a trip for the Grouse Grind?

There are several reasons why the Hiking Club does not go to the Grouse Grind. The most important reason is that the Grouse Grind is the most dangerous hike in the Vancouver area.

This is because of it's easy access. As a result, most who use it are inexperienced, unprepared, and have a false sense of security. What makes matters worse is that beginners do the Grouse Grind and are given dangerous advice by tourists and recent arrivials who have moved to Vancouver who are unfamiliar with the climate and dangers of the local mountains.

Beginners see others on the Grouse Grind without enough drinking water, only running shoes, and wearing the wrong clothing. As a result they think if everyone else here is hiking like this then it must be ok - which is wrong. Also, many people treat the Grouse Grind as a gym - a place to work out. This is also dangerous. While being in good physical condition is preferable, it is dangerous to push yourself to you limits when hiking. You should always, in case an emergency arises, be physicaly prepared to handle it. If you want a workout and push your physical limits, stay in the city and go to a gym. Hiking is not the place to do this. In fact, it is downright dangerous to do so.

The best place to pick up dangerious habits while hiking is to go to the Grouse Grind. Our recommendation, stay away from the Grouse Grind, especially if you are a beginner, or have recently moved to Vancovuer in the past few years. Join a club like ours or one on our links page instead.

Q.What if I'm looking for a more advanced hiking club?

If you are looking for something more advanced there are plenty of other clubs listed in our links section. The hiking club is a beginners club and we limit our trips to a beginners and/or intermediate level.

Q.Do members have to go on every single trip?

Members do not have to go on every single trip. You read the emails as they come in, and you choose which ones to go on. It is recommended that you go on a beginner's trip first before attempting an intermediate trip.

Stawamus Chief trip -  from Saturday May 17th 2008

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