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  Washington Kayak Club
Fun and safe kayaking through trips, education, skill development, and conservation
HomeTrip Responsibilities

Trip Participant Responsibilities

Great!  We'd love to have you but please remember the trip leader is just a volunteer.  This is a group effort, and you have some responsibilities.

Before the trip:

Remember that the trip leader is not certified or in any way pre-qualified by the club. Although leaders, like participants, want everyone to have a good time, they cannot guarantee the happiness or safety of trip participants. That's why you're responsible for the things below.

  1. Ensure your WKC membership is current at the time of the on-water event. Questions about WKC guests should be directed to the trip leader.  Make it easy and consider joining online! Refer to the WKC website for details or ask your trip leader for more information.
  2. Try to register for the trip no later than the Wednesday night before a weekend day trip. For overnight trips call a week or more in advance to allow time to arrange car pools, potlucks, etc.  It is up to the leader to allow late registrations, and the leader may cancel the trip if there aren't enough people signed up in advance or if the weather is bad.
  3. Make sure you have the skills for the trip.  These should be spelled out in the trip description.  If not, contact the trip leader.  It's your responsibility to determine that you have the skills necessary for the trip, although a good trip leader will interview trip participants that they are unfamiliar with.
  4. Familiarize yourself with the details of the trip, such as ferries, tides, and charts. If you have questions, please ask the leader!
  5. Be absolutely sure you have signed a waiver!!  If there was not one for you to sign, let the trip leader know right away!!  They are required for our trips for insurance and liability purposes.


Talk in advance to the trip leader about:

  1. Your experience and equipment, and that of any friend you want to bring along.  Good things to let your trip leader know are how fast you can paddle (SK), how far, wind/water conditions you are comfortable in, your knowledge of rescue techniques, and the extent of your training or experience. Describe the equipment you have (boat, immersion wear, safety equipment).  Realize that if the trip leader feels uncomfortable about some aspect of you or your friend’s abilities, he/she does have the right to suggest you select a different trip.
  2. Any medical or other problems that may affect you during the trip. It’s easier to plan ahead than to react to an emergency.
  3. Whether the trip leader would like assistance with the trip planning, or volunteering any special skills you might have, such as first aid or music making.

During the trip:

  1. Be on time at the put-in! Time and tide wait for no one! If you're late the leader may have no choice but to leave without you.
  2. Bring your best and most positive attitude and support decisions made by the trip leader. Encourage other trip participants to cooperate with the leaders request's, such as helping to keep the group together, assistance with towing, etc.
  3. Remember that return times are estimates. Weather, group paddling speed, and unexpected delights may affect the time. Be prepared to be flexible on more difficult trips and overnight trips. Your life may depend on it! Remember to make the appropriate arrangements at work before you leave!).

Final notes for participants:

  1. The leader may cancel the trip at any time due to weather or other safety considerations. They will contact you if this is the case.
  2. If you decide to cancel after signing up you must call and let the leader know! People who simply "don't show up" quickly make themselves very unpopular!

And last but not least:

Trip leading is an often a thankless job, but you as a trip go-er can change this! A simple "Hey, thanks for the trip!" goes a long way to remind them their efforts are appreciated. 

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