How We Rate Trips
ALL RATINGS ARE INTENDED TO COVER ALL THE TRIPS ON THIS WEBSITE.
Everyone goes at their own pace and regardless of the pace you're on, you will never get left behind or be made to feel as though you’re slowing down your group. Whether you’re coming out for fitness or to just enjoy nature, the pace of the group can accommodate you.
Beginner trips and activities are for anyone physically active at least one to three times per week, including kids ages 5+. Beginner hiking trips, for example, may cover 1 to 4 miles in distance where you will be walking across unpaved, natural terrain anywhere between 2 to 4 hours with plenty of breaks or an experience will include basic training. And you may be required to use your hands for leverage, balance, and even getting up or down some features or heights which may be a difference of a few feet in elevation change. Beginner trips are generally labeled "Easy" and in the case of water-based trips (i.e. kayaking), will be on calmer lakes and slow moving rivers. Regardless of the pace you're able to keep, you will not be left behind and will be supported with demonstrations or other instruction until you're comfortable performing the basic activity. These trips are recommended for anyone who no experience in a particular activity, who wants to get more acquainted with the outdoors.
Intermediate trips are a bit challenging, but completely doable for people active three to five times per week, including pre-teenagers. Trips may involve one or more activities, may cover 5 to 10 miles, during which you'll be moving anywhere between 4 to 8 hours with short breaks. You will be expected to have had some basic experience with this activity. Terrain and weather is unpredictable, but manageable with the right gear. You will be required to use your hands to support you to move through challenging, non-technical features. (If your knees or ankles are an issue, knee/ankle braces are recommended. You will receive gear recommendations for any trip you book.) Total elevation gain/loss throughout a trip may be hundreds of feet, so your calves, quads, hams, shoulders, back, and arms may get a good pump. You will need to focus and stay alert at all times for your safety. And you may be asked to support your fellow trip goers as a leader, sweeper, or expert throughout the trip. When you’re done, you may say to yourself you’ll never do a trip like that again, but afterwards, you’ll look forward to the next one. Intermediate water-based trips (i.e. kayaking) generally assume you're comfortable in open water and/or with fast-moving water. You may even be asked to support other Beginners. These trips are recommended for anyone interested in stepping up their outdoor game or anyone about to start a training program.
Advanced is intended for people who are active almost every day (including teenagers) and could probably put together their own adventure, but are interested in going on said adventure with friends instead of solo. Trips may incorporate multiple types of activities (aka multi-sport). They may cover 10 or more miles over 1 or more days over technical terrain and weather. This may require more technical gear, which you should already have and probably need to dust off. Advanced water-based trips (i.e. kayaking) generally assume you can swim in most type of water. You should expect to be asked to support others less proficient than yourself. These trips are recommended for anyone thinking about DIY trips and need some additional guidance, anyone training to do epic, multi-day treks, and/or anyone interested in mixing up their normal weekly workout.
Scouting trips are meant for us to "test the adventure" (like breaking gadgets on purpose to see if they'll hold up to regular use) and figure out all the risks before planning a safe adventure for everyone else. That said, since we won't always know what to expect, sometimes these scouting trips are very easy and even boring or very challenging and extremely dangerous. But either way, they're fun with people who are open to anything and don't mind the unexpected inconveniences (weather, car issues, whatever) that come up on the way to a new experience. These trips are intended for everyone, but easier for people with advanced skills, experiences, and gear.