Category Archives: Before You Go: Tips and Advice

Advice, tips and guidelines for hikers at all levels.

List of Past Trips for Trip Leaders (or Anyone Else) to Re-Use

Trip leaders (or anyone else.) Looking for inspiration for your next trip?

Interested in leading a trip? You can do it! Contact David Hathaway.

Trip Ideas for Fall

Trip ideas for Fall: October, November, December Continue reading

Trip Ideas for Summer

Trip Ideas for Summer: July, August, September Continue reading

Trip Ideas for Spring

Trip ideas for Spring: April, May, June Continue reading

Trip Ideas for Winter

Trip Ideas: Winter January, February, March Continue reading

Bushwhack: Caught in a Winter ‘Spruce Trap’ (and how to save yourself!)

Continue reading

Outing Signup, Description & Report (for trip leaders and want-to-be trip leaders)

Interested in leading a GMC Burlington Section trip. Its easy! Let me know:

Outing Signup Sheet
This is a generic “trip sign up sheet” that can be used by GMC Burlington section trip leaders if needed. Use this to record the names, etc. those participating in your trip.(PDF file). Send email addresses of any new participants to me ( so I can add them to our mailing list.

Outing Description Form
This is the “outing description” form to be used when submitting your upcoming outings to the Outings Chair. (MS Word Document – this may automatically download into a folder on your computer. Or try right-click – save as.)

If you cannot open the above document, just copy and paste this template below into an email and send to

Outing Date:
Outing Title:
Outing Type – (hike, snowshoe, ski, boating, etc):
Outing Leader(s):
Leader phone:
Leader Email:
Distance Round Trip:
Total Elevation Gain:
Difficulty Rating – (Easy, Moderate, Difficult – select one):
(Easy – < 5 miles, <1000’ elevation gain; Moderate – 5-8 miles, <2400’
elevation gain; Difficult – > 8miles, >2400’ elevation gain)
Trip Pace – (Leisurely, Moderate, Strong – select one –
moderate assumed if not stated):
Call in advance? – (Y/N):
Group Size Limit – (if there is one):
Advance Registration Date – (if there is one):
All trips are published in Ridgelines, on our section website, and on our section calendar. Optionally, we may post it in Seven Days, and you may post it on meetup or have me post if there for you (you have to join the meetup group and have me add you as an event organizer). We have gotten a number of new folks on our trips from meetup, so we encourage but don’t require this option.
OK to publish in Seven Days (Y/N):
Want me to post on meetup (Y/N):
Describe Outing for Ridge Lines – (perhaps 10-20 words):
Email to

Outing Report
Please format your outing reports like this. To submit your report, please email it to These will be posted under “Trip Reports” as they are received.

Sample Report

11/7/10 Little River History Loop
This walk in Little River State Park (part of Mt. Mansfield State Forest) at the Waterbury Reservoir, was a blast. We walked past abandoned settlements, overgrown roads cemeteries and old farm sites. We had lunch at an old grave site. It is an easy hike about 3.5 miles, 900’ elevation gain. A good family outing. (This walk is written up on page 172 of your GMC 50 Hikes in Vermont – 6th edition). Showing maximum disrespect for their toiling trip leader, the photo below (taken by Uncle Phil hazen) shows trip participants watching a squirrel chewing a nut, while Ted read an educational passage about the abandoned farmhouse just behind them. Bob Stahl, Nate Eastman, Kathy Adams, Phil hazen, Dot Myer, Rute Hare, Shirley Coffin, Lenore Budd, and trip leader, Ted Albers.

Make your reports as long as you want! Provide details that will help inform hikers and future trip leaders. Email photos to me and I will post them:

“Dog Friendly” Hikes-Doo-Doo’s and Dont’s

If you’re going to bring your dog along on a hike, remember some basic rules. Continue reading

Advice From Experienced Winter Hikers

We asked Ridge Line readers to share lessons learned about hiking and backpacking during Vermont’s winter months. We got more ideas, recommendations, warnings and thoughtful suggestions than we have room to print – so here’s a summary of the most frequently mentioned tips. Continue reading

More Advice About Hiking with Children – Interview with Beth London

Beth London and her husband David run Poker Hill School in Underhill. Learning about nature is an important part of the school’s philosophy and curriculum. Beth, David and their staff have helped scores of children develop a life-long love for the outdoors. Continue reading

Some Nearby Places for Hiking with Small Children

Ethan Allen Homestead – Mostly flat trails take you through fields and marshland and next to the Winooski River. Take Route 127 out of Burlington, getting off at first exit (North Avenue and Beaches). Then follow signs. Continue reading

Hiking with Babies and Small Children

Successful hikes with little children require planning and preparation. Here are some suggestions from local parents and from several helpful web sites. Continue reading