Organizer Guide

A step by step guide to plan and execute your Callout…

Anyone may organize a trip whenever they feel like it (no approval is required). In other words, everyone who subscribes to the mailing list is entitled to send “callouts” to the list.

For tips on how to organize a hike, please read the following steps:

1. Choose and research your hike

Local hikers know that outdoor destinations are endless in the Lower Mainland and it can be challenging to narrow down your choices to a specific trail. Also, hikers new to the Vancouver area may not know where to start looking. Luckily there are many resources available to help you.

Guide books usually provide the best information including how to get to the trailhead, what route to follow on the trail, the length of the hike and how long it usually takes, what the elevation gain is, and, most importantly, the months that the trail is accessible.

But don’t stop there!

Once you’ve chosen a hike, a quick Web search can give you so much more: current trail conditions (snow, water levels, etc.), recent updates to the trails/routes, road/weather conditions, as well as trail reviews from other hikers.

Check out Wanderung recommended resources for further information.

2. Fill out the Callout template and email it to

All hikes start with an email from you (a Wanderung subsciber) to the mailing list, and it’s easy when you use the template provided. Select your hike, then decide how many people you want to hike with, and where and when to meet. Meeting spots are now easier than ever to find with a dedicated page listing a few tried and tested locations.

Once you’ve filled in all the required fields, just email your Call-out to

Your posting will be mailed directly to all Wanderung subscribers inviting them to your hike! As such, please check carefully for accuracy of dates and details before posting.

Please note: Other than a “callout” message, the only other types of messages that subscribers may send to the list are as follows:

“Hike Full”
“Hike canceled”
“Driver Needed”

Please note that “Almost Full” or “I need more people” type messages are not permitted. If you don’t have enough people for your trip, sending your callout to the list again is NOT permitted. The “driver needed” message should be used only as a last-minute measure if your whole trip plan is about to collapse due to lack of drivers.

3. Respond to email replies from list subscribers

Hikers interested in your hike will email you directly to sign up. No hiker is guaranteed a spot on the hike until you, the organizer, confirm it. Once you’ve accepted as many hikers as you specified in the Callout, your hike is full and you’re ready to go.

Some useful hints & tips:

  1. Be sure to check your email as frequently as possible, especially if your hike is getting full. A speedy response can give rejected hikers the opportunity to try to sign up for a different trip instead. Please respond to everyone who contacts you. It is not fair to leave people in the dark, preventing them from making alternative plans.
  2. Should your hike fill up quickly, you have the option of sending a HIKE FULL posting to the mailing list to discourage further response.
  3. Some organizers also like to keep waiting lists. That way, if someone cancels, they can then call or email the first person on the waiting list to see if they still want to join. Again, this is personal preference and not a requirement on the part of the organizer.
  4. If you are getting close to your hike date and are still lacking drivers, you also have the option of sending a DRIVERS NEEDED posting to the mailing list. If you have hikers on hold waiting for drivers, be sure to give them the option to join a different hike if they so choose.
  5. Be cautiuos about “I’d like to bring a friend…” requests. All participants MUST be subscribers (and have agreed to the Wanderung waiver). If you want to hold respondents accountable for turning up on time with the right equipment and not bailing at the last minute, it is best to deal directly with everyone. Direct communication avoids mis-communication.
  6. Unless you are uncomfortable doing so, provide signed-up hikers with your cell phone number so they can contact you should they need to cancel last minute or have problems getting to the meeting spot on the day of the hike.
  7. Resist the impulse to allow more than 1 meeting spot or to meet people at the trailhead. Trust us: this gets complicated fast and makes it very difficult to figure out timing.
  8. Resist the tempation to make complicated financial arrangements regarding equipment rentals, accommodation, etc.
  9. Tip: Hang on to all email correspondences for future reference, or in case an incident occurs on the trip that requires a paper trail.

4. Meet at the pre-designated location and head to the trailhead

It is each hiker’s responsibility to get to the meeting spot at the designated time. However, there are a few things you can do to make it easier to get everyone to the trailhead.

Some hints & tips:

  1. Don’t wait more than 10 minutes for tardy hikers. It’s their problem if they are late, not yours.
  2. If possible, try to divide people equally between the cars. This will make it easier to calculate gas costs per car. However, regardless of how the passengers are spread out over the cars, please ensure each driver is equally compensated. Examples of compentation costs can be found in our FAQ (11th question from the top).
  3. Don’t assume drivers will know how to get to the trailhead or even how to get out of the city. Bring a copy of the driving instructions/map for each driver and where possible, have a knowledgeable passenger in each car. Don’t rely on the “why don’t you just follow me” approach as this doesn’t always work due to traffic, different driving speeds, lights, etc. On long or tricky journeys it may help to meet up at an obvious place along the way (such as a cafe or gas station).
  4. Where possible, have a cell phone in each car and make sure the numbers have been exchanged. Keep in mind, some areas will not have cell coverage so don’t rely on this.
  5. While waiting for people to show up, it may be a good idea to remind people of the gear they should be carrying, particularly that they have enough water.

5. Hike the trail

Ultimately, every participant is responsible for themselves while out on the trail. However, again, there are a few things organizers could do to help make the hike as smooth as possible. We strongly encourage all hikers to carry the 10 essentials. However, as organizer, you should also be sure to bring along whatever trail guides/maps are needed for the trail.

Additional hints & tips:

  1. Where possible, try to encourage the group to stay together. Sometimes this is difficult as different people have different hiking paces but some trails can be quite tricky and if those charging ahead are not familiar or don’t have the maps, they could get lost quite easily. One suggestion is to bring an extra copy of the map/guide and if the group is starting to split, you can provide both groups with a copy. Just remember though, ultimately each hiker is responsible for their own safety and you cannot force them to do anything they don’t want to do (unless they are endangering the group).
  2. People may look to you for answers about navigation and route-finding but don’t feel bad if you get a little lost or turned-around. Often organizers choose hikes specifically because they are new territory. Also, though you, as the organizer, will likely be in a good position to contribute valuable information, decisions should be made as a group wherever possible.

6. Provide feedback post-hike (optional)

You’ve just finished a fantastic hike with a great group of people. After a shower and a long nap, you think to yourself that it would be great to share details from your trip with the rest of Wanderung. Well, there are several ways you can do this.

  1. Trip Report: We encourage all organizers to send a quick snapshot of your hike to for inclusion in the weekly newsletter. These should be brief (no more than about 150 words) and usually include details about the trail and anything of interest that may have happened during the hike. Trail conditions can be the most valuable feedback so be sure to report any noteworthy features such as wash-outs, snow levels, or driving obstacles. Check out recent trail reports.
  2. Trip Photos: Have some great photos from the hike to share with the rest of the group? Have a look at the Wanderung Flickr page to find out how to add your photos to the Wanderung Flickr group.
  3. Incidents:If any unfortunate injuries or incidents should occur, please contact

Note: These are purely optional and can come from anyone on the trip, it doesn’t have to be the organizer. In fact everyone is encouraged to contribute their photos to the Flickr group.

Disclaimer: The information provided in these pages should not be taken as accurate, complete or up-to-date. You should check this information yourself. The reader is warned that it is unreasonable to rely solely upon the information contained in these pages. By providing this information, Wanderung does not assume any liability for the use of this information by our readers. Terms & Conditions