The Hiking Camp Committee (HCC) is responsible for coordinating the planning, preparation and the follow-up for Hiking Camps. No remuneration, compensation, or preferential treatment is provided to the members of the HCC.
- Determines camp dates.
- Selects a site for hiking camp by January of each year.
- Selects leaders for each camp from among those who will attend camp and assists the leaders in organizing their camps.
- Selects cooks for each camp giving priority to club members.
- Provides/maintains camp planning/organization, policies and information in the form of a manual.
Note: The camp committee does not undertake the organization of each individual camp. Camp leaders are responsible for organizing food purchases, transportation, home cooking, propane pickup, etc.
The HCC Director is elected at the KMC Annual General Meeting for a two year term.
- Calls HCC meetings as required. (January, March Lottery, Fall windup before AGM)
- Develops an agenda for each meeting and chairs the meetings.
- Attends KMC executive meetings and provides the executive with a report on the committee.
- Reports back to the HCC about relevant information discussed at the KMC executive meetings.
- Prepares and provides report at the KMC Annual General Meeting.
- Refers inquiries to appropriate committee member.
- Retains possession of electronic copy of Hiking Camp Manual, reviews it annually and edits, updates or revises it as needed.
- Emails a reminder notice to the KMC membership that club dues must be paid before the end of January to ensure eligibility for lottery participation.
- Prepares an annual budget for the hiking camp and recommends a camp fee to the HCC.
- Maintains an account at a local bank/credit union to hold funds.
- Ensures there are 2 additional signing authorities from the HCC for the bank account.
- Deposits camp fees and issues refunds as required.
- Obtains receipts for all expenditures.
- At the conclusion of the camps, reviews invoices, receipts, and reimbursement forms, and follows-up on any that appear to be inconsistent with agreements, quotes, etc.
- Sends payments to suppliers, cooks, campers, etc (helicopter company, camp cooks’ honorariums, and campers who have submitted receipts).
- Maintains current and accurate records of revenue and expenditures that includes a break down for each camp.
- Retains financial records for 7 years.
- Completes a financial statement for the KMC Annual General Meeting.
- Using information provided by the site coordinator, updates the previous year’s information sheet and registration form with the camp description and location, map numbers, camp fee, and lottery and camp withdrawal policies.
- Emails notice of camp location, dates of camp to the membership and then has the camp information and registration form posted on the website.
- Receives completed registration forms and fees.
- Upon receipt of registration forms and camp fees, ensure both are completed as per Hiking Camp Manual instructions. Contact applicants to obtain missing information or request resubmission. No changes will be made to applications or cheques received after the registration deadline.
- Responds to requests for information about camp registration and the lottery.
- Ensures that Registration Rules are strictly adhered to.
- Maintains previous year’s waitlist, and if previously waitlisted people have met requirements, places them in the camp of their choice prior to the lottery.
- Contact the Hiking Camp Chair one week after the registration deadline to confirm that all is in order for the lottery to proceed.
- Organizes and conducts with HCC members a lottery of registrants to determine who will attend camp.
- Notifies all registrants by e-mail of complete lottery results including waitlists
- Maintains lists by camp of participants and those on the waiting list.
- Contacts those on the waiting list immediately when vacancies in camp occur.
- Distributes information to campers in a timely manner.
- Provides camp leaders with wine and juice amounts from information provided on the registration forms as well as transportation information.
- Ensures that the camper’s information package is updated and sent out to campers in a timely manner.
- Notifies cook’s & leader’s coordinator of campers who have indicated a willingness to be a leader and or cook (on registration form).
- Leaders may bring their partner, which means one less spot in the lottery process for that particular camp. Leader and partner do pay the camp fee.
- Recommends a site to the hiking camp committee. Area selected must have a water source and a variety of terrain (i.e. peaks, ridges).
- In January, develops a description of the camp location for the website and forwards this information to the camp registrar.
- Contacts helicopter companies to obtain quotes and select the most appropriate helicopter company for the job. Obtains a firm price in writing. Ensures that the helicopter company has the correct camp dates.
- Contacts the Ministry of Forests to determine the condition of access roads, and if there is any activity planned which might prevent access.
- Completes the recce and related duties prior to the end of June.
- Determines road access and a suitable parking spot for the cars and the landing spot for the helicopter.
- Updates leaders of any changing road conditions.
- Keeps track of mileage and expenses for reimbursement.
- Calculates the amount of time needed for travel to the helicopter rendezvous point and for the organization of food, equipment and car protection. Adds sufficient time for these tasks to determine the time at which the helicopter should arrive. Ensures allowances are made for time differences between East and West Kootenays.
- Informs helicopter company of rendezvous location and pick up times.
- Gathers information regarding lodging/camping, vehicle fuel points, etc. for campers.
- Composes a description of how to get to the helicopter rendezvous point and information regarding lodging/camping, vehicle fuel points, etc. for campers. Gives to registrar for distribution to campers.
- Contacts the helicopter company in late June/early July to reconfirm bookings for the helicopter.
- At the end of camp 3 the site coordinator receives and reviews the helicopter invoice for accuracy and forwards the invoice to the treasurer for payment.
- Obtains the names of people from Registrar who have indicated on registration forms that they are interested in the leader or cook positions. Contacts past cooks to determine interest. Discuss with potential cooks their experience, qualifications, etc.
- Cooks are paid an honorarium of $200.00 but they need to fill out a registration form and send it prior to March 15 to the registrar. They need not enclose a camp fee cheque for the $500 unless they wish to participate in the lottery process for a camp spot if they are not selected as a cook.
- In February, send email to the KMC membership encouraging people to apply for the cook position, emphasizing the information above.
- In May, ensures each leader and cook has accessed the KMC website and read the manuals. If necessary, holds a meeting with new cooks and leaders to review job description and procedures.
- If a cook cancels just prior to camp, the coordinator is to secure a replacement.
- Reminds camp leaders that a gas allowance ($100) will be shared for the transport of the two camp boxes and other equipment.
- All camps must have a truck to transport camp boxes and equipment.
- Arranges with camp 1 leader to pick up the satellite phone from the KMC Hut Director.
- Arranges with camp 3 leader to return satellite phone to KMC Hut Director.
- Camp 3 leader returns the camp binder to the leader/cook coordinator.
- Reviews comments in camp binder and forwards to applicable committee members for review at fall HCC meeting.
- Purchases kitchen items as suggested by cooks.
- Ensures that camp gear is returned to the designated equipment storage location.
- Tents need to be erected and thoroughly dried and inspected for damage and repaired if needed before packing away for the winter.
- In the fall checks over all the camp equipment. Replaces or repairs anything that is worn out or broken. Ensures everything is clean and in working order.
- In June, checks the condition of the portable radio:
- Checks the battery compartments for loose/broken contacts, corrosion, etc. and clean/repair as required.
- Replaces batteries (they will have been used the previous year).
- Labels the batteries with the year so that people know there are fresh batteries installed.
- Ensures that the batteries make good contact in the battery compartment.
- Ensures that the radio is programmed with the frequencies used in the area of camp: helicopter company, forest companies, others.
- Places a label on the battery case with a list of the programmed channels.
- Ensures that a spray can of waterproofing is made available for spot waterproofing as necessary during camps. (Tents are completely re-waterproofed every 2-3 years).
- Maintains first aid kit by checking medication expiry dates and adequacy of other supplies.
- Ensures equipment etc. described above goes into 1st camp and is returned after 3rd camp.
When a member of the hiking camp committee steps down, resulting in a position becoming available, the HCC chair or his/her designee will advise hiking camp participants of the opening(s) and request that persons interested in serving on the committee contact him/her. If no takers, the opening(s) will be advertised to the club membership.
- Check form to see if:
- Applicant has included all required information and and it is initialled and signed where required.
- Contact registrants if forms are not completely filled out to obtain the missing information. Registrations should be checked immediately upon receipt by the Registrar. No further revisions to the application or the cheque will be made after the March 15 deadline.
- An acceptable registration form and properly dated cheque, made out to KMC Hiking Camp, for the complete fee were received, or envelop postmarked, on or before March 15.
- Confirm membership (resident, non-resident).
- For the purpose of meeting the resident membership requirements, the Kootenay’s shall be defined as that area of south-eastern British Columbia Bounded on the west by the Granby River Valley, on the north by the Trans- Canada Highway, on the east by the BC–Alberta border, and on the south by the Canada-U.S. border.
- Add name(s) and particulars to registration list and be sure to document:
- Applicant’s KMC annual membership fee was paid on or before January 31st.
- An acceptable Camp registration form and properly dated cheque made out to KMC Hiking Camp for the full camp fee were received on or before March 15th.
- Confirmation of a withdrawal needs to be provided by the person who is withdrawing unless there are exceptional circumstances. If two people are withdrawing then both people normally need to provide confirmation.
- When a person withdraws from camp, regardless of the circumstances, there is a $50 admin fee deducted from their refund.
- A $50 administrative fee will be retained by the KMC from any refund. If a substitute camper can be found, a full refund less the administrative fee will be given. If a substitute camper cannot be found, and the camper withdraws between May 1 and June 1 inclusive and no substitute is found, a 50% refund less the administrative fee will be charged. If the camper withdraws after June 1 and a substitute camper cannot be found, no refund will be given.
- Cancellation vacancies must be filled from the waitlist first. Once the waitlist and the list of post March 15 registrants are exhausted, the withdrawing camper is responsible for finding a suitable replacement before a refund will be issued.
- Camp leaders have the absolute discretion to exclude any camper from camp participation if they judge that the camper is likely to cause harm to themself or to other campers. In this instance the excluded camper is not eligible for a refund. You are urged to consider the purchase of travel insurance.
- If there are more applicants than spots available, their names will be on one of three waitlists : Group A, B, or C.
- In the event of a cancellation, the first person on the Group A waitlist will be contacted by email and offered the spot. S/he will have 48 hours to advise of his/her decision. If the person does not take the available spot, or does not contact the registrar within 48 hours, the registrar goes to the next person on the same waitlist. If a second cancellation occurs for that camp, the spot gets offered again to the first person on the Group A waitlist.
- (b) should a waitlisted person decline a second opportunity to go to a camp, he/she will be dropped from the waitlist.
- When a person/couple accepts a vacant spot they should ensure there are sufficient funds in their account as the cheque will be deposited within two days of their acceptance and the cancelling camper would then be issued a refund (less administration fee).
- When a cancellation occurs close to the camp date, then the 2nd and 3rd person on the waitlist may be contacted and advised of the opening if the first person on the waitlist has been offered the spot but has not yet confirmed. This process continues until the Group A waitlist is exhausted. The Group B through Group C waitlists will then follow the same process.
- If a couple is on the waitlist and a single spot becomes available, then the couple is bypassed and the name of the first single registrant is contacted about the spot.
- If a couple wish to be considered as singles on the waitlist, confirmation of this change must be received from both members of the couple.
- A non-resident member or non member may only be placed in camp if no resident members fill an available spot. This would not occur prior to June 1st. A non-member would have to become a member to be able to go.
- Switching by mutual agreement between 2 campers assigned to any of the three camps will be allowed up to noon of June 1st. The switch is to be accompanied by immediate email advice to the two camp leaders affected as well as the Registrar.
- Start process after the last camp.
- Use list of past camp locations.
- Use local knowledge, maps and past site selection coordinators & hikers.
- Use Google Earth.
- Use budget information for helicopter - obtain from Treasurer – Complete by December 31, or soon after.
- Contact BC Forest Service for info on road conditions, possible logging in the drainage and helicopter companies.
- Contact helicopter companies, begin negotiations (see chartering helicopters in the manual).
- Budget Ok?
- Develop description of camp for February email notice and posting on website – Complete January 31.
- Confirm location by reconnoitre road trip.
- Report driving times, distances, directions, and conditions to Registrar and Camp Chair.
- Confirm any changes with helicopter company and confirm all contracts – Complete prior to end of June.
Reimbursements will be made for two individuals undertaking a recce. Receipts must be submitted and reimbursements will be made to the following maximums:
- Dinner: $15
- Lunch: $12
- Breakfast: $10
Reasonable motel costs will also be reimbursed.
Mileage for one vehicle completing a recee will be at a rate of .30 per km.
*Any changes to these rates must be made by way of motion in hiking camp committee minutes.
Camp cooks do not pay the registration fee and will be paid a $200.00 honorarium after camps are concluded.
Helicopter transportation is the most cost sensitive part of hiking camp and any problems can very quickly cause budget overruns. It is very important that all arrangements for the helicopter be confirmed and reconfirmed. It is necessary to be aware of potential complications and to have alternative plans available.
The following companies may have helicopters available in the areas that camps are normally located. Contact the B.C. Forest Service office in the area you are considering for current info on Helicopter companies. Ask about road conditions.
|Company||Location||Phone||Fax or Email|
|Selkirk Mt Helicopters||Revelstoke||250-837-2455|
|Bighorn (main office)||Cranbrookfirstname.lastname@example.org|
|Bighorn (base office)||Fernie||250-423-4118|
Once the camp location has been selected, contact the helicopter companies in the area to obtain quotes (normally those companies further away from the area will not be competitive) and provide information on the camp, a sample of which follows:
“The Kootenay Mountaineering Club (KMC) Hiking Camp Committee organizes wilderness hiking camps each year which consist of three (3) week long camps with twenty (20) people in each camp, for a total of sixty (60) campers over the three weeks. Campers usually drive to a helicopter staging or rendezvous area, normally on a logging road fairly close (5-10K) from the proposed camp location, which is usually at the 6500-7000ft elevation. On occasion we have been able to fly directly from the airport, but this is rare.”
Then describe the proposed location for this year, giving map number, coordinates, etc. All helicopter companies now use google earth. This is the most efficient method of communicating the camp site and pick up locations. Indicate the closest forest service road that would likely be used. Indicate when the recce is likely to take place, and that the Hiking Camp rep will be in touch after that to confirm the rendezvous location and go over logistics and other details.
Give dates. ( consult with the camp committee ), the schedule of flights for each trip and the approximate weight of each sling load going into camp. Give an indication of the contents of slings, particularly noting the two boxes (2' x 2' x 4') and that camper day packs contain mostly soft items. What goes into slings and the cabin will be determined by the pilot at the rendezvous site.
Request an estimate that includes type of helicopter to be used, ferry time from base, time of day for flights, number of camper and sling loads for each camp, duration of each trip, policy regarding forest fire fighting, cost per hour, total estimated cost and method of payment preferred. Include any other relevant information for that year and area. Request a firm quote and if possible obtain a performance guarantee for dates and times indicated in the quote.
It is important to emphasize that the helicopter company will need to use slings given the nature of the gear we take into camp.
It is desirable to shop around as different companies may have very different rates and costs. Large helicopters ( Bell 205, 212 or 214 ) are cost effective only if the ferry time from the base to the rendezvous location is very short (6-10 minutes). Check with Forestry in the area to ensure the road to be used is passable all the way to the rendezvous site (Logging Companies and the Helicopter pilots may also have this information. It is also necessary to check on any logging in the area to determine if logging trucks and/or other vehicles may be encountered during the three Saturdays of camps).
Do not pay in advance and indicate that payment is usually made within a month after receiving the invoice(s) from the company.
The budget for helicopter services should be in the neighbourhood of $20,000.00 or less and allow for 1 – 1.5 hrs flying time in reserve. Anything greater may necessitate a camp fee increase.
We have experienced some complications with the helicopter transportation. Listed below are items to keep in mind.
- The change of location option. When roads wash out or forest fire closures force a change, an alternate site should be available.
- Bad weather delays. If fog/clouds or other factors make flying impossible, it may be necessary to camp on the road. Camp one will have all the gear so there is usually no problem. Camps two and three must make provision to bring some emergency cooking equipment with them (eg. Coleman stove and pot to heat soup, tarp to cover food etc.).
- Non-performance by the helicopter company (due to bad weather, high winds, broken equipment, etc.). Make sure that the pilot or company representative offers solutions if they cannot complete their mission. Be aware of other machines that are available, but insist that the contractor make any arrangements. They must assume any extra ferry costs. Only the camp leader should speak for the group - no one else should offer comments or directions to the pilot.
- The number of trips the helicopter makes determines the cost. Make sure that loads are full to minimize trips. For a four passenger helicopter, five trips carrying passengers, and two carrying gear in a sling will normally be required. In addition, camp one (going in) and camp three (coming out) will require an additional sling load to transport camp gear. Make sure that this is fully discussed and understood by the contractor. Thirty years of experience has given the Camp confidence of what works. Camp has had pilots insisting on short loads due to being fully loaded with fuel to start flight operations. This should only be acceptable if the weather is extremely hot, humid or windy.
- Question the helicopter company specifically about fuel on board at the pick up site. In remote areas they should be bringing fuel in barrels to maximize flight efficiency. This is called 'working for the customer' and is a best practice in the industry . Insist on it. Slinging barrels does add to ferry time but is cost effective over all. Astar type craft with a ski basket travels slower but can carry small drums of fuel. An option Camp has used in the past is to bring 45 gal drums ourselves.
- Ensure that the pilot brings slings. In the unlikely event there are no slings, extreme caution is necessary to ensure that camp gear is stowed safely in the helicopter. Ask the pilot for direction in loading (see section on Loading Procedures). This condition has occurred when the original contractor has sent a subcontractor without notice. They showed up without slings and no knowledge of what was expected.
- Assign someone to record flight time to cross-check billing.
Altitude, temperature, humidity and turbulence all have a major impact on the performance of the helicopter, therefore Hiking Camp should take measures to record these conditions during flying operations. Load master perhaps? Operators use these variable conditions to justify slow times/speeds. Performance charts are available on line from the manufacturers of helicopters. Wikipedia has a very good explanation of helicopter performance.
After camp it is a good idea to clean and repair all the camp equipment prior to storing it for the following year.
- Set up tents to dry and clean them completely. Examine for wear and tear and repair as required. To set up and take down the tents, use the big white tarp to roll the tent out on to keep them clean.
- Tent Frames
- Frame couplers often lose their set bolts in transport. Check and replace as required. Extra bolts are in the tool kit.
- Tent Storage Bags
- Examine for holes and repair as required. Make sure they are clean and dry.
- Tent Pegs and Ropes
- Check and clean and replace as necessary.
- Wash and dry. Ensure drain holes are plugged to prevent moisture from entering.
- The cook table is in three sections for ease of handling. Each section is bolted upon itself. Fold and place shelving within bolt pattern to secure. These bolts with wing nuts are stored in the tool kit during camp.
- Ironing Board
- Needs TLC and is especially vulnerable during transport. Handle with care and it will continue to serve as the center of action for many years.
- Contains small hand tools and some supplies. Replace any materials used i.e., wire, staples, batteries, tape etc and emergency repair items (donated).
- Propane Tanks
- These tanks are exchanged / filled annually from WalMart.
- Cook Stoves
- Clean thoroughly, especially the tiny screens at the fuel valve which can be clogged with dust or debris. Prior to dispatching to camps, connect and operate fully to ensure that the regulators are working.
- Snow Fence
- Has hold-down staples which are in the tool kit, held together with duct tape. Store in tool kit.
- Replace any broken parts. Parts are available from Coleman.
- First Aid Kits
- Large kit has a list of supplies and medications inside and needs an annual update. Field kit has only dry goods, replace as necessary.
- Plywood Storage Boxes
- Currently work well but will require replacing before long.