Stay safe and have fun!
Guided hikes are a wonderful way to disconnect from the stress of your day-to-day life and improve your health while connecting with the natural world and like-minded people. When participating in these hikes, your health, well-being, and safety are my top priority. While I cannot eliminate all of the risks that come with outdoor group activities, I have done my best to create policies that will ensure that you stay safe while having fun.
As a participant, I ask that you take responsibility for your own experience as well as the experience of others. Please follow the instructions of the guide and show respect for the activity, yourself, others, and nature.
As it pertains to COVID-19, I am committed to following the safety procedures set forth by the state of Minnesota. I reserve the right to update my company’s policies at any time. If I need to cancel a hike due to safety concerns, you will have the option to receive full credit toward an upcoming hike or a full refund.
Come healthy—stay healthy: If you have been sick or exposed to someone with a contagious illness, I ask that you reschedule your hike for another time. Please contact me at least 24 hours before the scheduled hike to receive full credit toward an upcoming hike.
Group size: For the foreseeable future, guided hikes will be limited to 12 paid participants. I may at times enlist the help of a second guide for your safety and to help facilitate connections.
Face coverings: I will select trails that allow us to physically distance with ease. For your comfort and enjoyment, face coverings are optional in outdoor spaces and during our hike. Please follow the state guidelines for indoor spaces. I ask that you respect the choices of others as it pertains to this matter. We all have different circumstances and are doing the best we can.
Plan ahead: Since the start of the pandemic, the availability of facilities has been inconsistent. Please plan ahead and bring anything you may need. Some items you may consider bringing are toilet paper, hand sanitizer, water, and snacks. In case of an emergency, I will carry these items in my daypack.
Be kind: Please be respectful and courteous, not only to hikers within our group, but other hikers using the trails. Step aside for faster groups to pass. Do not block overlooks or trailheads. And feel free to share lots of warm smiles.
Stay Safe Outdoors
Like all activities, there are inherent risks that come with the great outdoors. Please read these tips to ensure your upcoming hike is safe and memorable.
Injuries: While uncommon, hikers experience injuries from time to time. The best way to prevent the most common injuries is by wearing proper footwear, keeping your eyes on the trail, and practicing good foot care. In some situations, accessories like trekking poles and foot traction will not only improve your safety but make your hike more enjoyable. Check out this article to learn more about preventing and treating injuries.
Creepy crawlies: Insects are part of the outdoor experience. While we’re fortunate to not have life-threatening insects here in Minnesota, you may want to take caution to prevent tick and insect bites. A best practice after spending time outdoors is to do a tick check. Here’s a handy guide from the Minnesota DNR. Since I spend so much time outdoors, I treat my gear and clothing with Permethrin to prevent ticks. During the summer months, I always have one or two of these mosquito repellent wipes in my pocket.
Sun: After a long winter, our northern skin is especially sensitive to the spring and summer sunshine. Consider covering yourself with sun protective clothing, hats, and/or sunscreen.
Poison ivy: The best way to prevent poison ivy is by staying on the trail and covering your skin with long sleeves, pants, and socks. Learning to identify plants will also help to prevent contact. If you find a questionable plant while on our hike, feel free to ask your guide for assistance.
Dehydration: Make sure you drink enough fluids leading up to and during our hike. On really hot days, I love to add these electrolyte tabs to my water.
Nutrition: Your body needs fuel to operate at its best. Make sure to eat enough calories leading up to our hike and feel free to bring a snack if you think you might need one.
Practice Leave No Trace: To ensure your safety, and the safety of others, our communities, and outdoor spaces, please review the Leave No Trace Guidelines.
Minimum Age: For your safety and enjoyment, all participants in outdoor activities guided by Holly Scherer, must be 18 years of age or older.
Pets: I love your furry friends! But to ensure our human friends with allergies are safe, please leave pets at home.
What to Bring
You’re sure to have an enjoyable hike simply by showing up and being present. But these items may provide a bit more comfort for your day on the trail.
- Appropriate footwear
- Comfortable clothing and warm layers when needed
- Moisture-wicking socks
- Personal prescription medications
- Sun protection
- Insect repellent
- Day pack
- Trekking poles (rarely needed in the Twin Cities and central Minnesota)
- Rain gear
- Hat or buff for sun protection
- First Aid Kit (Guide will carry basic first aid. Feel free to bring additional supplies specific to your needs.)
Feel free to review this list of the Ten Essentials. In addition to the items listed above, your guide will carry all of these items as well as a personal locator beacon in areas where wireless reception may be limited.
Please sign the Guided Tours and Instructional Activities Waiver and Release of Liability form prior to participating in any tour or instruction. Please contact me at [email protected] if you have any questions about the physical requirements or the risks associated with the activities.
That should cover all the safety details and then some. If there’s anything I missed or you have further questions, please email me at [email protected].
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