KCKA TRIP POLICY
I. General Policy
Club outings [KCKA Trip] are cooperative adventures among Kansas Canoe & Kayak Association (KCKA) members/participants. The group is collectively responsible for the conduct of the outing, and each participant is individually responsible for judging his or her qualifications and for his or her safety on the river.
The trip coordinator may refuse to allow a participant, based on reasonable grounds, but the responsibility for judging one's own qualifications lies solely with each trip member. By participating in a club outing, you release the club, its members, trip coordinators, and fellow paddlers from any injuries due to any negligent act or omission or to any intentional act intended to promote your safety or well being.
II. River Hazards
You must understand and accept that recreational boating exposes you to various hazards, for example boulders, strainers, undercut formations, cold, high water, and other hazards. Injuries and deaths occasionally occur due to these hazards, among other things.
You are responsible for learning to recognize river hazards and for learning and practicing the techniques for avoiding these hazards. You are also responsible for acquiring boating safety and rescue skills commensurate with the level of difficulty you are paddling.
Don't endanger your life and the lives of others by trying to boat on water beyond your ability. Most good paddlers develop by very gradually increasing the difficulty of rivers they run over a period of several years.
III. River Decision Making
You, as trip participant, are solely responsible for the following decisions at all times.
- The decision to go on any trip.
- The decision to put on the selected river (which may or may not be the scheduled
river) under conditions existing at the time of the launch.
- The decision as to what equipment to take.
- The decision whether to scout any rapid.
- The decision whether to run any rapid.
- The decision whether to participate in any rescue or recovery of any equipment.
- The decision to pass up any take-out opportunity.
IV. Other Trip Participant Responsibilities
- Notify (by phone, mail, or email) the trip coordinator well in advance of the trip in which you are planning to participate.
- Ask the trip coordinator about his or her training and experience, if these considerations are significant to you.
- Inform the trip coordinator of your skills, experience, training, and rivers run.
- KCKA trips are open to KCKA members only. Do not bring unexpected guests to the trip.
- Bring appropriate equipment and making sure it is in good repair. This equipment could include: PFD, canoe or kayak, helmet, footwear, clothing, throw bag, etc.
V. About the Trip Coordinator
Trip coordinators are volunteers and receive no pay. Their functions are to get the group to the same river at the same time, to help coordinate shuttles, and to respond to inquiries to the best of their knowledge. However, the trip coordinator may never have run the scheduled river or not have run it under the conditions encountered on the day of the trip. Indeed, the scheduled river may not be runnable on the day of the trip and it may be switched to an unfamiliar river on the spot.
The trip coordinator may not have had any organized or formal training in boating skills, first aid, or CPR. If you prefer to go on a trip only with a trip coordinator who has had organized or formal training in these areas, or who has had a lot of experience, it is your responsibility to ask him or her about his or her training and experience. Bear in mind that you trip coordinator is not responsible for judging your qualifications or for your safety on the river.
VI. Trip Coordinator Responsibilities.
1. Find a substitute trip coordinator if you are unable to go on the trip or unable to go on a scheduled river section. The trip coordinator should notify participants as early as possible of changes or cancellations. Familiarize yourself with the put-in, take-out, shuttle, major river obstacles, and major rapids on the scheduled river. An exception to this includes an exploratory trip, to be clearly promoted as an "exploratory trip".
2. Determine the rendezvous place and time.
3. Respond to participant inquiries to the best of your knowledge. You have the authority to refuse a particular trip participant for any reasonable ground, but it is not your responsibility to determine whether any participant is qualified for the trip.
4. Decide if you want the participants to sign a Resume/Liability Waiver form available from each Trip Leader and soon on the Kansas Paddler Home Page(KPHP).
VII. Optional Group Responsibilities
The group may wish to consider the following suggestions. Which of these suggestions is adopted is solely a group decision and is not the responsibility of any particular person.
1. Obtain river stage or flow data. Links to gauges on the KPHP
2. Obtain knowledge of the difficult parts of the run and locate emergency take-out routes.
3. Determine necessary equipment: Throw bag in each boat, first aid kit, extra cold water protective gear, carabiners, prusik loops, maps, guide book, etc.
4. Keep group compact enough for communication, but not so compact as to interfere with each other.
5. Consider dividing a large group into smaller groups or using "buddy system" boating.
(See the KANSAS PADDLER Home Page for the most current trip/event schedules) www.kansas.net/~tjhittle
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