Joining Our Group
How to Join
There are no special steps to join our group. Just stay tuned on our web site, or FaceBook group, for the next event. Show up if you are able to attend; if not, no need to let us know! There is no need to RSVP or register. There are no fees to join on the free group hikes.
All adults that are 18+ are welcome to join! Hikers must bring appropriate clothing, boots/shoes, and water. A small first aid kit and trail snacks are highly recommended.
We leave promptly at departure time and cannot wait for late arrivals. Please always arrange to be 10 minutes early to allow for traffic and delays.
All adults 18+ are welcome to register on our web site, host and attend events, participate in our forum, and contribute in any way. Children under 18 must be accompanied by a guardian. Absolutely no children under the age of 10 at any of our events unelss specified.
By following these hiking etiquette guidelines, including the specific emphasis on fire safety in the Okanagan, you can help protect our natural resources and create a welcoming environment for all trail users.
- ABSOLUTELY NO FIRES
- In Kelowna and the greater Okanagan area, avoid starting open fires on trails unless they are in designated fire pit locations established by the parks department.
- Regional bylaws in Kelowna and the Okanagan area prohibit fires in official parks, even if you feel you have created what you believe to be a safe stone ring around the fire area. We actively report to the local fire departments when we notice hikers lighting up fires where prohibited, and we encourage you to do the same.
- Initiating fires on hiking trails is almost always unwise due to the heightened wildfire risk in the Okanagan, particularly during the summer months when the risk is at its peak. Preserve the park for future generations instead of accidently burning it down.
- Insufficient water to thoroughly douse a fire while at higher elevations on a trail can exacerbate the danger, so always be aware of the availability of water sources before considering starting a fire in a designated area.
- Windborne sparks can easily ignite nearby vegetation, rapidly escalating a small fire into a widespread and destructive inferno; be mindful of weather conditions, especially high winds, when using designated fire pits.
- Undetected underground root fires can smolder and potentially resurface in future years, causing extensive harm to the ecosystem. Be cautious when using designated fire pits, and ensure the fire is completely extinguished before leaving the area.
- Fire bans and restrictions may be in effect during periods of high fire danger. Check with local authorities or park officials for up-to-date information on fire restrictions before your hike.
- Leave No Trace
- Pack out all trash, leftover food, and litter.
- Stay on designated trails to avoid damaging vegetation and wildlife habitats.
- Leave natural and cultural features undisturbed — notably, please do not pick wild flowers as pretty as they may be!
- Avoid creating new trails or shortcuts.
- Properly Dispose of Waste
- Use designated restroom facilities when available.
- If not available, bury human waste at least 200 feet from water sources, trails, and campsites.
- Pack out used toilet paper and hygiene products in a sealed plastic bag.
- Bring a puppy poop bag, and take it with you instead of leaving it on the trail. Often hikes are spontaneous adventures, and a change in plans could mean a stashed poop bag gets left behind on a previous route or forgotten.
- Be Considerate of Other Hikers
- Keep noise levels low, especially in quiet and remote areas.
- Use headphones if listening to music or other audio.
- Greet fellow hikers with a smile or a friendly "hello."
- Respect the privacy and tranquility of others by maintaining a reasonable distance.
- No smoking, vaping, or cannabis on trail. Fire risks aside, it is often unpleastant for other trail users looking for a fresh air escape.
- Respect Wildlife
- Observe from a distance; never approach or feed animals.
- Keep pets on a leash and under control. Even friendly dogs may provoke dangerous animals and bring them back to you, or be an unwelcome visitor to other trail users who are not looking for a puppy-hello.
- Avoid sensitive wildlife habitats, such as nesting or breeding areas.
- Store food and trash securely to avoid attracting wildlife.
- Yield to Others
- Uphill hikers have the right of way.
- Step off the trail when taking a break, allowing others to pass.
- Allow faster hikers to pass by stepping aside and yielding the trail.
- Follow Trail Signs and Regulations
- Adhere to posted signs, such as trail closures, no camping, or pet restrictions.
- Obtain necessary permits and follow designated camping and fire regulations.
- Respect private property and land boundaries.
- Be Prepared and Self-Sufficient
- Carry a map and compass or GPS device, and know how to use them.
- Bring adequate food, water, clothing, and equipment for the conditions.
- Know your limits and be prepared for emergencies.
- Inform someone of your planned route and expected return time.
- Unless otherwise stated, most listed hiking events are higher-intensity and fitness-orientated. We often do not host slower sight-seeing treks.
- If you feel a trail may be beyond your fitness level, please skip the event and work your way up to it for next year.
- We must maintain a constant pace to ensure we are safely back on time. While we never leave anyone behind, and will always take various breaks at forks and after various intervals, it is important to respect other's safety and time.
- Share Trail Updates and Report Issues
- Inform us as well as park rangers or trail managers of any hazards, such as downed trees or damaged trail sections.
- Share trail conditions and updates with other hikers through our online forums or social media.
- Stick Together
- Stay with the group the best you can.
- Never travel too far behind or ahead of the group; we will wait for you to catch up at various landmarks and intervals.
- Hiking solo can be dangerous and easily lead to disorientation with the vast number of forks in local trails.
- If you do plan to separate or turn around, ensure you notify the hike leader by relaying the message to the front of the group.
- Practice Good Campsite Etiquette
- Choose established campsites or camp at least 200 feet from lakes, streams, and trails.
- Keep noise levels low and respect the privacy of other campers.
- Leave campsites clean and free of trash or debris.
- Use a camp stove for cooking instead of making a fire, as open fires are often prohibited and always unwise in Kelowna and the surrounding area due to the high risk of wildfires.
- Be an Ambassador for Responsible Hiking:
- Educate others about hiking etiquette, Leave No Trace principles, and fire safety in the Okanagan.
- Encourage fellow hikers to follow these guidelines and respect the natural environment.
- Set a positive example by practicing responsible and respectful hiking behavior.
All of the events on our web site are hosted by volunteers, and are done so year-round. Please try and arrive 10 minutes prior to an event at the trailhead and ensure you have brought a signed copy of our waiver.
Becoming a Volunteer
We are ALWAYS looking for more volunteers to host hikes or other related events. If you are interested, you must demonstrate a clear awareness of the trail and the contents of this entire FAQ. When you feel you are ready, feel free to login and schedule a hike at any time! If you are no longer able to host a hike, please ensure you cancel the event with a good amount of notice. If you no-show when hosting an event, you will no longer be able to schedule events. No exceptions.