Trip Participant Guide
HASK wants you to have an enjoyable safe trip on the water. The best way for you to achieve this is to select trips that are within your capability, monitor the weather, and cancel if you are not comfortable with the expected conditions.
Trip leaders will do their best to lead a fun, safe trip, but ultimately safety is the responsibility of each and every person on the trip.
Read the trip (event) description on the HASK website. Make sure you have the required equipment and skills for the trip. Check our Trip Ratings page for a guide to conditions and required skills. Actual conditions may vary with wind and other weather. Please do not attempt a trip that is beyond your capabilities, as that will put you and the entire group at risk. If in doubt please contact the trip leader (event contact) to ask questions before signing up for a trip.
Register for the trip on the HASK website. The trip leader may contact you to understand your skill level. He or she may approve your participation or recommend another trip that's more suitable for your skill level or equipment.
Before taking a HASK trip we highly recommend that you have done and are confident in performing a wet exit. The club has taught many folks how to confidently execute a wet exit, so if you haven't done one we can help you to learn.
If you're not confident in doing wet exits you shouldn't wear a spray skirt. Please note that some of our trips require the use of a spray skirt. For level 1 and 2 trips this requirement is based on weather conditions and is at the discretion of the trip leader. Typically level 3 trips and above require a sprayskirt, but occasionally a level 2 trip can turn into level 3 due to wind. It’s always good to bring a sprayskirt to the put-in and be confident of your wet exit.
You must provide your own sea kayak, gear, food, water, transportation, and camping equipment, etc. You must always wear a PFD on club trips. During the colder months you must dress appropriately for water temperature and the expected weather. Check the gear list for required equipment.
At the Put-In
Arrive at the put-in early and be ready to launch at the put-in time. Allow time to unload and pack your boat, get ready, and participate in the mandatory safety talk at the launch site. In the safety talk the trip leader will discuss the route, hazards, expected weather, staying together as a group, etc.
Talk to the trip leader if you feel uncomfortable with the trip, conditions or have safety concerns,. If enough people feel the same way an alternate trip might be taken instead of the planned trip.Also notify the trip leader privately of any medical or physical issues or time constraints you may have.
On the Water
Paddlers should stay in a tight enough formation that they can communicate by sight or sound (whistle). Tight formations facilitate on-water communication, rescues, and handling boat traffic. How tight is dependent on the conditions. A group can be a lot looser on a flat-water trip without motorized boat traffic than a bay trip in rough conditions. Paddlers may be split into groups based on desired paddling speed, group size or other interests at the discretion of the trip leader. Each group will have a lead and sweep paddler. The trip leader will communicate initial expectations, but be prepared to change the tightness of the formation and management of the group as conditions change.
Notify the trip leader of any concerns and issues that arise during the trip.
Respect the rights of property owners. Leave the environs cleaner than you found them.
Be prepared to render assistance to any other participant whose personal safety is at risk. If you are not qualified to provide the assistance then raise the alarm.
Remember that Safety is Your Responsibility
Trip leaders are not responsible for the individual safety and well being of trip participants. The trip leader is not responsible for deficiencies in the trip participants' equipment or skills. Your safety is your responsibility. Of course, the trip leader will make every effort at leading a safe trip.