Safety: The most important thing to keep in mind on the hike is safety.
- Be careful when leading the group across streets – if the entire group cannot cross before the traffic signal changes, wait where they can see you. If they become anxious about being separated from the group, they may decide to dart across the street against the light.
- Point out any potentially dangerous spots like potholes or slippery surfaces.
- When turning corners, make sure everybody sees that you’re turning, so they don’t get lost behind you.
- When you reach a fork in a path, be sure the hikers know which way to go.
- Check every once in a while, for people falling behind and give them a chance to catch up.
- If you want to share information, it’s best to stop and let the group gather around you, rather than talking as you walk – the hikers may get distracted and not watch where they are stepping. Stopping to point out a view or historical site is also a way to allow the slower hikers to catch up to the group and to allow everybody to take a rest and have a drink of water. On hot summer days, find a spot in the shade to stop and talk.
- Always obey traffic signs and signals; do not let impatient hikers goad you into unsafe action.