The Crooked Canes

~Traditions, Etiquette And Practices ~
The Crooked Canes is an informal, loosely connected group of individuals whose interest, physical condition, skill, experience and expectation vary widely, their common connection to one another the enjoyment of group outings that generally involve outdoor activities following a generally predictable schedule proposed and led by anyone interested in doing so. We refer to those who participate in Crooked Canes outings as "Attendees."

There is only one rule: that every Attendee must read, agree to and be knowledgeable of the information on our Advisories page and submit a completed Acknowledgement of Risk Form before participating in an outing. In addition to accepting responsibility for themselves, Attendees must be aware of and follow generally accepted, fundamental practices and etiquette. Found in many publications by many authors and organizations) pertinent to the types of outings they participate in including.

#1   All participants understand that outdoor activities in a natural environment are subject to infinite variables and are in stark contrast to an amusement park ride with a specific and known duration, characteristics and an identical experience every time. Outing end times are an educated guess. The nature of an outing may change once underway. It could be longer, shorter or altogether different from the trip description per the leader's discretion, prevailing conditions and group decisions. One with post-outing intentions or obligations can assume only that there is a possibility of being back at a particular time and does not burden or inconvenience the group, nor compromise safety with a personal agenda. Firm obligations after outing projected end times should be considered one's first priority and preclude participation in that day's outing.

#2     On land or water, we wait for everyone to catch up at intersections or where there are major direction changes that may not be noticed by participants not in visual contact with people ahead of them.

#3     If an individual or group wishes to do anything other than stay with the main group, it is done only in collaboration with, and approval of, the group leader under specific conditions and instructions that should not be violated in any way. One who desires not to continue on an outing may choose to stay where they are and wait for the return of the main group or return to the point of an outing origin and either stay there or leave. Either of these actions must involve a group of not less than three people who are able to provide one another necessary assistance as required. The arrangements made vary by outing type, location, individual preparedness, available gear, skills, conditioning, knowledge, weather, time of day, individuals comprising the main and break-away groups and may be subject to many other conditions.

#4     Before attending an outing, one assures themself that their participation is realistically possible without compromise to the safety or convenience to one's self or others. For everyone's enjoyment and safety, it is critical one becomes as familiar and prepared as possible for every conceivable aspect, hazard and contingency, expected and unexpected as may present itself by carefully and thoroughly reading the outing description, reading available information, getting quality advice from others and evaluating one's own abilities against the conditions the outing may present.

#5     One does not bring pets on outings. As much as almost everyone loves them, difficulties they can present are preempted by their absence.

#6     Personal flotation devices (aka PFD, life preserver) are always worn when on the water.

#7     Attendees MUST carry emergency contact information, including their own name and birthdate, on all outings.

#8     At the time schedules are planned, written and published, it is impossible to anticipate all conditions as may be present at an outing location and how they may change. One must stay attuned to all conditions affecting one's entire day afield from home to the outing and return home.

#9    Crooked Canes can easily communicate information with one another, multiple individuals or the entire group by using the Attendee List.  The list provides the opportunity for an individual to list their name, residential address, email, home and cell phone information or as little of that information as they choose. A step by step, printable set of instructions for including oneself on the list and editing or deleting existing information are HERE.  Anyone can add themselves to the list, change information or remove their presence on the list at any time.

Individual Crooked Canes can communicate using any or all of the methods available via the list.  Communication to the entire group is done almost exclusively by email.  Some folks without email or who choose not to include their email address in the list make arrangements with someone who uses email to call them when important notices are issued.

How each individual chooses to transmit or receive communications is up to them.  However, it is unrealistic to expect that anyone contact 150 people by phone, by mailing letters and cards, smoke signals or messages in bottles when, for example, an outing is postponed, cancelled or important outing details change the day before or day of an outing so ne must have email and pay attention to it for Crooked Canes announcements.    

As intended since its inception in 2011, the list is to be used exclusively by Crooked Canes to communicate with those on the Attendee List on internal matters. For matters external to Crooked Canes, one is advised to use their personal email account. Differentiating internal matters (IT'S OKAY to use the Attendee List) from external matters (IT'S NOT OKAY  to use the Attendee List) is quite simple:

Internal matters include most everything the List has ever been used for including, but not limited to, topics that could be useful to all such as hike, bike or kayak opportunities and our normal communications including topics such as scheduling, outing information, outing information updates and changes, our web site and the Gear Exchange.
External matters include topics such as, but not limited to, political matters, solicitations, blogging, debate, personal communication and, in general, any other matters involving ideas, individuals, parties, organizations, beliefs, opinions, unrelated to the regular and normal affairs of the Crooked Canes. In case of uncertainty regarding conformity to Tradition when using the Attendee List, contact Peter or Kurt  for clarification.

#10   Every Attendee occasionally volunteers to lead outings. The more leaders we have, the stronger the group becomes. First time and novice leaders or those leading a particular outing can count on help, coaching and assistance by experienced outing leaders.

#11   A "Bonus Outing" is an outing to which everyone on the Attendee List is invited, with or without much advance notification, by any Crooked Cane. Here are some guidelines you should follow:
A.    Bonus Outings are never scheduled for the same day as a regularly scheduled outing (Thursdays) showing due respect to the efforts of outing leaders, whose efforts are on your behalf.  Bonus outings can be scheduled on any day except Thursday, but be aware that Thursday outings often are changed to Wednesday or Friday if Thursday weather forecasts appear unfavorable and potentially, but this would be EXTREMELY rare, even to Tuesday or Saturday if forecasts are bad for Wednesday through Friday.  Regularly scheduled outings can move to the same day a Bonus Outing has been scheduled and Attendees can pick which outing they would like to participate in.
B.    To schedule a Bonus Outing, use the Attendee List to send an email with all the details to "All Attendees."  Or, if scheduling at least a week in advance, click HERE to send an email with details.  At least a few days are needed to assure an outing is posted to the web site before the outing date. Completing a schedule form and submitting it sends an email with your information to Peter and Kurt but it does not post your information to the web site. We like to review details before posting.
C.    Bonus Outing stories and photos are welcome in the Crooked Canes Journal.
D.    No one objects to outings being privately scheduled at any time and not announced to the group but Journal entries are not welcome.

#12     The Crooked Canes Journal is used to record memories of Crooked Canes regularly scheduled events, scheduled A-TEAM! and Bonus Outings.

#13    Outings are posted in the Crooked Canes Journal ONLY by the outing leader OR someone authorized to do so by the outing leader.  DO NOT initiate a Journal posting simply to post your pictures unless authorized by the outing leader. If you are authorized to initiate a Journal entry and add your pictures, use the following procedure:
  1. When creating the entry, use the outing leader's name in the "Your Name" box
  2. In the "The Story (optional)" box type in something such as "The story will be coming soon, please feel free to post your pictures."
  3. Click the "No Photos/Save" button at the bottom of the page.
  4. On the "Final Thoughts" page, click "Continue."
  5. On the "Your Entry Has Been Created And Saved" page, click the "Finished" button.
  6. On the "Sending Announcements" page, DO click the "No" button. Then click continue
  7. Re-open the page from the main Journal page, click the "Add Photos" button and proceed to add your photos in the usual manner.
  8. After clicking "Done Adding Photos," exit WITHOUT clicking the "Send an announcement of your entry to all members" button.
#14    All participants in an outing are encouraged to post photos to the Journal entry for an outing they have participated in.  Posting photos that are near duplicates, whether your own or photos already posted is not welcome (even if a better photo) nor is posting more than 10 photos - UNLESS - sufficient time has gone by (several weeks) when posting a few more is not a problem.  We encourage all participants to post at least a few photos.

#15    We understand that not everyone finds it easy to post photos the first time or two that they do it.  However, it really is not difficult and almost everyone can do it.  Try it yourself and if you run into problems, don't hesitate to reach out for help.  It is unfair for one to routinely ask others to post photos for them.  If you can email photos to someone and ask them to post them, you have the skills to post them yourself and just need to learn how.

#16     Car pooling helps us arrive at outing start points together, on time and provides additional socialization opportunity. Over time, everyone should offer to drive their vehicle unless for some good reason they precluded from doing so. Without exception, drivers are due compensation based upon distanced traveled and they should not have to ask for it. How much? "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you" might be the only guideline most folks need but we all know opinions relating to money vary.
Crooked Canes have generally been comfortable with a rough calculation of fuel cost for the trip divided by the number of people in the vehicle, driver included, rounded to a slightly higher number that does not generally require making change and gives recognition to gas not being the only expense in owning and sharing a vehicle. The driver and passengers can easily work this out among themselves. Below are some roughly workable 'Rule of Thumb" examples (the total cost shown gets divided equally among people in the car):
Short trip (e.g. CTL to Moreau State Park, 30 miles RT) $5 - $10
Medium trip (e.g. CTL to Schaefer TH, North Creek, 60 miles RT) $10 - $15
Long trip (e.g. CTL to Cascade TH, High Peaks area, 150 miles RT) $15 - $20
At its root, expense sharing is a complex subject in which many assumptions and personal considerations are inherent and since money is involved, one that can be contentious. Some factors, but surely not all, one may wish to consider regarding fair payment follow:
  1. The cost of one mile of travel could be considered the sum of the cost of a vehicle from purchase through sale including vehicle price/lease, taxes, financing, insurance, fuel, maintenance/repairs, modifications/upgrades, tax, title, registration, inspection, cleaning, and may include investment income potential on money spent rather than invested, divided by miles driven during ownership.
  2. Federal mileage rates for 2018 are 54. cents/mile for business, 18 cents/mile for medical and moving and 14 cents/mile for charity.
  3.  In Glens Falls during 2018, the price of regular grade gasoline has floated between $2.65 +/- and $3.00.