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Do you have a responsibility for Group?
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David Stanhope
(stanhope2003) - F

Locale: New England
Do you have a responsibility for Group? on 01/10/2010 10:45:40 MST Print View

I'm just wondering what everyone's take is on your responsibility to your group your going out with? In terms of gear etc.

I am thinking of buying a bothy bag for winter hiking/climbing but am I responsible for just myself (get the 2 person version) or am I responsible for the entire group (get the 4 person version).

This idea doesn't just apply to the bothy bag but other gear as well.

I don't know if responsible is necessarily the correct word to use but I think you get what I am saying.

Doug I.
(idester) - MLife

Locale: PNW
Re: Do you have a responsibility for Group? on 01/10/2010 10:52:43 MST Print View

I think it depends. Are you organizing the trip? Is everyone new to this, or is everyone experienced? If there's 4 people, why not get two 2-person bothys so you split the weight if you think you need them?

I personally think everyone is responsible for themselves, unless I've agreed to take out a bunch of newbs. But, since patience is not one of those virtues I've been imbued with, I don't ever agree to do that!

That's not to say we don't watch out for each other. But I don't generally carry extra gear for others, I expect everyone to be prepared and have the right gear for the conditions. FWIW.

Ben 2 World
(ben2world) - MLife

Locale: So Cal
Re: Do you have a responsibility for Group? on 01/10/2010 12:01:09 MST Print View

Methinks that as soon as we join any group, we have "some" responsibility to that group. Just how and how much ought to be discussed and agreed to upfront.

EDIT: I would also add that you should discuss with the group before buying any 'group' gear (e.g. a four-person bothy bag).

Edited by ben2world on 01/10/2010 15:36:14 MST.

Sarah Kirkconnell
(sarbar) - F

Locale: In the shadow of Mt. Rainier
Re: Re: Do you have a responsibility for Group? on 01/10/2010 12:15:54 MST Print View

Ben's advice is solid.

In our group for example everyone is responsible for themselves first and foremost. That isn't to say we would not help another out - but rather that no one gets to slack and mooch off the others if they don't feel like being prepared. We wouldn't let you freeze to death but you wouldn't be invited back ;-) Hehheh!

SO I say...prepare for yourself and know you are good to go - and have that discussion with everyone else. Now though...if a 2 man isn't much heavier or bigger, well it never hurts to be prepared to help 2 people or just have more room!

Mark Verber
(verber) - MLife

Locale: San Francisco Bay Area
Re: Do you have a responsibility for Group? on 01/10/2010 14:38:40 MST Print View

e Ben said... this is something to be discussed and isn't fixed. My rule of thumb:

If you are leading the trip then you have responsibility for the group. It's up to you to make sure everything is taken care of. That doesn't means you have to supply or carry everything... but you are responsible to make sure there is a plan that everything agrees to, and it's up to you to find (or delegate to willing participants) the appropriate shared gear. This is why I own more gear than I use... so I don't have to hunt for gear.

If you aren't leading a trip then it's your responsibility to make sure that a plan has been made that you agree to play your role. Of course you can contribute whatever is welcomed by the leader (wisdom, equipment, hauling, etc).


David Stanhope
(stanhope2003) - F

Locale: New England
Good replies on 01/12/2010 10:14:24 MST Print View

Thanks everyone for the insight. I'm organizing the trip and have the most experience so I will outline what I bring and my plans for turn around times etc. Also will go over gear/etc. with other ppl. to make sure they have proper gear. I think I will go w/the 2 man bothy bag as well. Thank you again

Roger Caffin
(rcaffin) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
Re: Re: Do you have a responsibility for Group? on 01/12/2010 14:25:34 MST Print View

> If you are leading the trip then you have responsibility for the group

Does depend on what 'leading the group' means. This is the bit which needs prior discussion and agreement.

We have many 'Bushwalking Clubs' here in Australia. Trips do have 'Leaders', but every participant is responsible for their own conduct and safety. The trip leader is just the person who thought the trip up and helped coordinate the transport. We actually have this in the Club Rules and participants sign a document agreeing to this. All very explicit and clear, and works very well for us.


David Olsen

Locale: Steptoe Butte
Re: Do you have a responsibility for Group? on 01/12/2010 15:19:09 MST Print View

This is what can happen if you don't look out for each other
well enough.

Very sad. Likely the others in the group didn't realize the
extent of her hypothermia.

Bob Gross
(--B.G.--) - F

Locale: Silicon Valley
it depends on the trip on 01/12/2010 15:34:36 MST Print View

In some organizations, you might have three levels of trips. First is a beginner trip. There will be a leader and perhaps some co-leaders to offer assistance to the typical idiot mistakes of the beginners. Possibly they can even loan gear to a beginner. There are always some problems on beginner trips. Then there are intermediate trips, and there will be a leader. However, intermediate travelers are expected to be somewhat experienced, and they know their own limits, and they don't normally have any severe problems. Nevertheless, somebody should have a first aid kit, etc. Then there are advanced trips. Normally there is a leader, but often that is more the role of organizer, because the advanced participants know what they are doing anyway, so the leader/organizer isn't trying to herd cats or something. There are few services expected of a leader on an advanced trip. Advanced participants are normally pretty self-sufficient, although arrangements for gear sharing happen. You just have to be clear about the level of the trip, and then participant expectations will go out from there.

Nick Gatel
(ngatel) - MLife

Locale: Southern California
Re: Do you have a responsibility for Group? on 01/12/2010 15:45:35 MST Print View

Seems to me that in case of an emergency, then a group leader needs to surface in case members are not prepared, or require life saving advice. There are many other circumstances that someone needs to assume responsibility for the group.

One more check mark for going solo IMO.