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Frequently Asked Questions


There is a saying, "One travels fastest who travels alone."  Perhaps.  But one might consider a corollary saying, "One travels farther who travels with others."  We have club members who had never before peak bagged, or backpacked overnight, or day hiked more than three miles.  But, thanks to trip leaders who showed them the way, taught them the skills, and gave them the confidence, these club members are now sleeping in self-built snow caves, handling a GPS with ease, and bushwhacking with, if not smiles on their faces, at least the certainty that this obstacle will be overcome ... just like all the others. 

Our meetings are held on the 3rd Tuesday of every month, from September through May. They are held at the MK Nature Center, just behind Idaho Fish & Game offices at 600 S. Walnut in Boise, Idaho 83712 USA. Meetings start at 7pm, and are free and open to the public.

 

Meetings feature a speaker who will provide either a slideshow or video about various outdoor topics (Idaho Centennial Trail, Exploring Idaho's Mountains, Botany of Idaho, etc etc). We'll also bring people up to date on upcoming hikes or activities, new member-only training classes we'll be sponsoring, etc. And, there will be time for participants to 'network' and meet potential new hiking/biking/camping/etc friends.

 

June, July and August we hold informal socials in Veterans Park adjacent to Idaho Fish & Game.

In general, anyone who likes the outdoors will like what we offer, but IMR may not be for everyone. For example, there are family-oriented clubs in the area (ie, Families Hiking Idaho), our club focuses more on those people without small children. We expect the 30+ age crowd will find us most appealing, since those are the people who have told us they'd like to see a little more structure in their outdoor activities, and that they'd like to see some training courses. There is an annual fee of $30-$40 (see IMR Member Application and Waiver), which covers our startup costs, member-only discounted training programs, speakers, website development, postage/marketing, meetings, and starts an investment fund for future member benefits.

The IMR Founding Members saw an opportunity to help outdoor-oriented people enjoy the outdoors safely and responsibly. Additionally, the club wishes to provide Idaho outdoors enthusiasts with ways to connect face-to-face with other fellow enthusiasts before having to joining. The Club has it's roots in long-standing, respected clubs such as Colorado Mountain Club (cmc.org), The Mountaineers (mountaineers.org), and the Adirondack Mountain Club (adk.org). We have 4 ways to help members meet others, learn new skills or just plain hike. We provide scheduled trips with Trip Ratings/Classifications, have Trip Leaders that meet basic experience or training requirements, offer monthly meetings that highlight interesting speakers, and offer training classes (such as Wilderness First Aid) that help people be safe out there.

Simply print out our application (IMR Member Application and Waiver). Fill it in, and make sure to sign the waiver/release of liability. Send the 3 pages, along with a check to the address listed on the application. You will get a notification after your application is processed. Unfortunately, we cannot accept applications without a signed release of liability.

Yes. IMR has a fairly low-cost membership fee (Singles-$30, Household-$40) that covers web costs, postage/marketing, member-benefit investments (future items such as highly discounted Life Flight annual fees, training program, etc), and the like. Rest assured, IMR is operated as a non-profit, but does not have non-profit 501(c)3 status at this point (we're new afterall).  This was originally intended to be an annual fee, but at this time there is only a fee to become a member of Idaho Mountain Recreation.
 

A trip calendar will be posted on our website (idahomountainrec.org). You may also receive trip information via "snail mail" depending on how you filled out the member application form. Each trip has a description and a contact name so you know the details.

IMR uses a trip classification system to help members decide which trips are suitable for their abilities. The trip classifications are listed on the IMR Activities Page. Please review them, and know your abilities. If you are interested in doing a 'C' or 'D' activity, expect the Trip Leader to ask you some questions about your fitness level, past experience and recent trips. We do this so that not only you enjoy the trip, but that your co-participants do too. We don?t leave people by themselves on our trips. However, if a person overstates their abilities and ends up being a detriment on an IMR activity (a 'C' trip for example), then they are probably making the trip miserable for the rest of the group. As a result, that person may not be eligible to join another 'C' trip until they have proven their ability to do so.

Each trip description in the calendar has a contact name/Trip Leader. All you need to do is a) assess if your fitness and ability are in line with the trip demands and b) call or email the Trip Leader to sign up. Most trips are limited to 12 or fewer people so that you and your co-participants aren't literally tripping on each other, or damaging a fragile trail with too many feet.

IMR Leaders will have researched a given trip, they will have briefed you on what to expect when you signed up for the trip. They will provide a meeting place/time to drive to the trailhead (TH), and will have instructions on getting to the TH. For IMR purposes, the trip 'officially' begins at the TH. The Leader will likely provide some historical or comments of interest about the particular activity at the TH, to help participants understand their trip even more. The Leader likely ask the group to stay together somewhat (usually within voice or sight distance), and will provide rest stops along the way. For day trips or half-day trips, a lunch break provides a longer rest to take in views and build camaraderie.

You can expect to meet some pretty interesting people along the way, learn something about the Northern Rockies and/or desert, enjoy a challenging outdoor activity and feel good about accomplishing a goal. The trip is officially over back at the TH.

First, you need to be fit enough for the trip requirements. IMR offers relatively easy outings such as 'A' trips to challenging 'D' trips. Know your limits and ask your Trip Leader questions if you are in doubt?before you sign up for the trip! Refer to IMR Trip Classifications for more information.

Second, participants should be prepared with Trip Essentials. Your Trip Leader will probably ask you some questions about your fitness level (depending on the trip classification) but perhaps also tell you extra things to bring. For longer day trips, you should carry some simple Trip Essentials (check out IMR Trip Essentials - What to Bring for some insight). Our philosophy is that prepared hikers are safe ones. Even if you don't end up needing that First Aid kit on your big hike, someone else on the trail might. And you might make the difference between some injured person having an uncomfortable day versus a disastrous day.

Third, we ask that you understand that your Trip Leader has volunteered their time to share their anticipated trip with you and several others. Trip Leaders have a destination/goal they have planned for and the entire group is now a team. We ask that participants respect the plan if you wish to explore another side trail or peak, then we encourage you to plan a trip separately from your Leader's activity. The Leader determines what the team will do, but may take input from participants too. For example, if someone is having a bad day, the Leader will try to be in tune to this and people are not left behind alone. This means the Leader may ask for a couple volunteers to remain with that person for safety reasons. If the weather turns bad suddenly, the Leader may decide to turn around and the entire group will need to do so for their safety. Suffice to say, the Leader may need to make an unpopular decision, even if the group is near their intended goal and we expect participants to respect this. Who knows? You may feel fine today, but you will appreciate the fact that Leaders do their best to ensure safety of the entire group if you are injured or having a bad day the next time.

Fourth, if you are carpooling, be prepared to give some money to the vehicle owner. IMR asks that non-drivers provide the driver/vehicle owner with a reasonable amount of money to cover fuel and other vehicle costs (we also ask vehicle owners to not be greedy). Car-pooling is an important element in IMR activities, since many TH?s have room for only a few vehicles, and it is silly to have everyone drive separately.

Fifth, be positive and flexible. Trips sometimes don't turn out as planned, even with the best preparation. When participants are flexible, it will help everyone enjoy the trip even more when adjustments need to be made due to trail conditions, weather, injury, etc. But good preparation often allows people to have more options and in the backcountry that's a great thing!

Dogs are allowed on Idaho Mountain Recreation trips at the discretion of the trip leader.

Several of our trip leaders regularly lead hikes with dogs. If the trip does not explicitly say "no dogs" ask the trip leader, and in most cases canine companions are welcome.

Snowshoe trips with dogs are less common. For one, a number of the local nordic facilities do not allow dogs on the trails. Second, dogs have a penchant - especially in deep snow - for stepping on the backs of snowshoes. While I personally don't mind because I love their company, I haven't taken my dogs on group trips for this reason. Dogs or no dogs is always at the discretion of the trip leader.

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