Q. What are the benefits of being a member?
A. Members are notified of short-notice outings through an email group. These outings are not advertised anywhere else. They often take place on weekdays to avoid the crowds, and can be led by any member. You can lead an outing yourself, if you have a favorite that’s not on the calendar. Plus, you are supporting the oldest outdoor club in Bellingham. All this for $20 a year!
Q. Do I have to be a member to go on outings?
A. No, everybody is welcome, though we would like you to join. All participants should fill out an electronic ‘Signup and Liability Waiver’ form before each trip. The form can be accessed by clicking here.
Q. How do I join?
A. See the Membership page on this web site.
Q. What happens after I sign up?
Our Membership Chair will usually respond to your online application within a couple of days. Response to mail-in applications might take a week or more. Our response will include the password to the “Members Only Page’.
Q. What should I wear?
A. Layers are always appropriate. Consider that you may be warm while hiking,
but that you are likely to cool down during lunch or other rest stops. Also keep
in mind that temperatures and wind conditions in the mountains can be quite different
than they are at our gathering point in Bellingham. It is always wise to carry a
windbreaker/raincoat and a hat on all outings. For footwear, you need shoes with
good tread and ankle support for walking on rocks and slippery surfaces, hiking
boots or sturdy athletic shoes, not flat-soled street shoes.
Q. I would like to go on hikes but I don’t know if I could keep up with the group. What about bringing kids?
A. Read the published description. If you are still concerned for yourself or your family, contact the trip leader and discuss it with him or her. We have outings at all levels from easy to strenuous.
Q. What do I need to bring on a hike?
A. For most hikes, you will need (at least) a pack containing lunch, water, and spare clothing. Experienced hikers will often bring a map, compass, GPS, basic first aid kit, emergency space blanket, some duct tape, a whistle, a head light (The ‘Ten Essentials’)… the list goes on, but don’t load yourself down. Someone else in the group will probably have something if you don’t. Make sure you have filled out an electronic ‘Signup and Liability Waiver’ form before each hike. The form can be accessed by clicking here.
Q. Can I bring my dog?
A. Usually, yes, but always check first. Dogs should be on a lead at all times. They are prohibited in some reserves. Also, some hikes are unsuitable for dogs because of the trail conditions. The trip leader has the ultimate say as to whether a dog is allowed on their hike.
Q. I’d like to snowshoe and ski, but I don’t have any equipment.
A. Snowshoes and skis can be rented from shops in and near Bellingham. The club has a limited number of snowshoes that can be loaned for a day. Contact the trip leader for availability and to make arrangements for use.
Q. Do I need a 4 wheel drive to get to the trail head?
A. Nearly all activities do not require a 4 wheel drive vehicle. High clearance vehicles are needed for many Forest Service Roads. Those special conditions should be mentioned in the trip announcement. You may be able to car pool with others that have appropriate vehicles for a nominal fee. That information should also be in the trip report.