Arizona Paddlers Club
A word about responsibility:
Arizona Paddlers Club is a small organization with low dues and
few resources. We regard ourselves as a networking club – we do
not have official “events”; we provide our members the
opportunity to meet and interact with like-minded paddlers so
they may share time on the water together. The following thoughts
on personal responsibility were shamelessly plagiarized from the
Bay Area Sea Kayakers organization, with their permission, as
these guidelines express our position admirably. See you on the
On any SAPC
trip, each and every participant is responsible
for his/her own safety:
Use your own judgment. Never blindly follow anyone into
a situation you are unsure about.
prepared to take care of yourself:
not mean that the other members of the group won't assist anyone
who needs it; but such assistance should never be taken for
granted, especially in difficult conditions. Be aware that,
despite all good intentions, there is always a possibility of
being separated from the group.
sure your skills are adequate for any given trip:
There is nothing wrong with bailing out at the put-in; everyone
has done it.
is up to each and every participant to know the trip agenda:
map, carry a compass, and consult with the trip initiator if you
are not familiar with the area. Approach the trip as if you were
planning it. Trip initiators have been known to screw up or bail
at the put-in; don't be over-reliant on them.
that benign conditions will deteriorate and be prepared for the
worst possible scenario:
prepared to take advantage of conditions that turn out to be
better than expected.
sure you have the appropriate equipment for the trip:
be sure your boat and other equipment is fully functional and in
good repair. In cold water, wear appropriate clothing. Wear a
helmet if conditions warrant. Any chance you'll need a spare
paddle? If unsure, consult others on the trip.
trip initiator is the trip organizer, not a tour guide:
Commercial outfitters get paid to be responsible for their
customer's safety. SAPC is a club, not an outfitter, and does
cooperative, not guided, trips. Trip initiators are no more
responsible for the safety of others than anyone else in the
group. Everyone has to paddle their own craft; a
"leader" can't do it for them.
initiators are not responsible for evaluating participants'
However, they have the right to eliminate anyone who is not
prepared. Participants should evaluate their own skills. Try to
be realistic; it might save embarrassment later when you become
the subject of a safety talk.
trip initiator can organize (or not organize) the trip in any
way he or she wants:
Feel free to talk to the initiator beforehand to find out how
the trip is to be structured. If you don't like the way a trip
is organized, initiate your own trip and do it your way.