Essential Eligibility Requirements

Essential Eligibility Criteria

Learn about Wildland's Essential Eligibility Criteria ("EEC") for the various trip types and activities we provide.

Introduction

Wildland Trekking, Inc. (“Wildland”) does not discriminate on the basis of disability. Wildland has developed the following Essential Eligibility Criteria (“EEC”) which are applicable to all participants on Wildland trips.

The purpose of EEC is to help potential Wildland participants identify the skills and abilities necessary to participate on a Wildland trip. The EEC for a specific trip, if not met, will disqualify a person from participating in that trip.  The EEC are applied uniformly to all potential trip participants, irrespective of the presence or absence of any disability. The criteria exist for your own safety and that of all trip participants.

If you identify an EEC that you are unable to meet, please contact Wildland, and we will discuss with you the potential for providing a reasonable modification or accommodation for a specific trip. A reasonable modification or accommodation is one that does not fundamentally alter the nature of the trip or the services that Wildland provides, pose a significant health or safety risk to the participants or trip leaders, or that would cause an undue burden or hardship on Wildland, including financial or administrative burdens.

If you plan to use an assistive device, please notify Wildland at the time of registration or as soon as practicable.

Universal EEC:

For ALL activities offered by Wildland Trekking, each participant must:

  • Be in reasonably good health and fitness.
  • Be able to breathe independently without any assistance from medical devices and/or trained professionals.
  • Be able to perceive, understand, and recall the inherent risks and hazards of the activity, including but not limited to those previously identified by the leaders.
  • Be able to stay alert and to focus attention for several hours each day for the duration of the trip and during instruction and trip activities.
  • Be able to independently perceive, understand, and follow both verbal and non-verbal instructions given by the trip leader(s) in all situations and to effectively communicate with trip leader(s) and other participants. During stressful, dangerous, or emergency situations, participant must be able independently to immediately and quickly perceive, understand, and follow both verbal and non-verbal instructions given by the trip leader(s).
  • Be able to effectively communicate with trip leaders and participants including in challenging or high stress situations (such as medical or environmental emergencies) or in challenging environmental conditions which may include conditions of limited visibility, inclement weather, and conditions which require one to overcome loud background noise such as high wind or roaring rovers.
  • Be able to perform self-care and participate in all activities of daily living such as eating, hydration, personal hygiene, toileting (including bladder and bowel control), and dressing, either independently or with the reasonable assistance of a companion who accompanies the participant.
  • Be able to manage all personal medications, including dosing and administration, either independently or with the reasonable assistance of a companion who accompanies the participant.
  • Be able to remain adequately fed, hydrated, and properly dressed so as to avoid environmental injuries such as heat-related illness and sunburn and other injuries such as hypothermia and dehydration, either independently or with the reasonable assistance of a companion who accompanies the participant.
  • Be able to remain active and manage personal care for extended periods of mobility and exertion of potentially over 10 hours per day, either independently or with the reasonable assistance of a companion who accompanies the participant.
  • Be able to enter and exit a multi-passenger vehicle, which may include a bus, van, SUV, or mini-bus, either independently or with the reasonable assistance of a companion who accompanies the participant or assistance of a fellow participant or trip leader.
  • Be able to stay balanced and seated in a multi-passenger vehicle transporting up to 14 passengers, while the vehicle is moving, up to eight hours in a single day, either independently or with the reasonable assistance of a companion who accompanies the participant.
  • Be mentally and physically able to participate in a group setting without negatively impacting or jeopardizing the health or safety of the other participants or trip leader(s).
  • Be able to maintain self-care in an environment where allergen exposure and cross-contamination may occur.
  • Be able to effectively notify or communicate with a companion who accompanies the participant, trip leaders, or other participants of personal distress, injury, illness, or the need for assistance, including in adverse or challenging weather or environmental conditions.
  • Be able to properly wear and use all required protective gear and clothing.
  • Be able to meet the demands of the trip within the time limits set by the trip itinerary and trip leaders.

 

Hiking/Day Hiking EEC

In addition to meeting the Universal EEC, each participant on a trip that includes hiking/day hiking must:

  • Be able to travel over backcountry trail terrain that may be narrow, uneven, rough, rocky, muddy, icy or snow-covered, has loose soil, or is cactus or sagebrush covered, and which may also have exposed cliffs or ledges, either independently or with the assistance of a companion who accompanies the participant.
  • Be able to travel over backcountry trail terrain for at least the mileage figures noted in the itinerary for the trip you join, carrying personal gear and equipment as described below.
  • Be able to carry personal gear and equipment for a day hike, either independently or with the assistance of a companion who accompanies the participant. Such gear and equipment may include a day-pack, at least two liters of water per person, extra clothing, rain gear, sunscreen, food and snacks, and other supplies.
  • Be able to travel for up to one hour between rest breaks and longer if the conditions require it.
  • Be able to endure exposure to diverse and changing weather conditions, including temperatures potentially below freezing (32 F/0 C) and potentially above 85o F/29o C or even above 100o F/37o C degrees, extremely dry and/or humid environmental conditions, high altitude, intense sun exposure, and potentially rapidly changing weather conditions such as dry, hot conditions to intense or extreme rain, wind, lightening, and thunderstorms, including monsoons and flash floods.
  • For trips with stock (i.e., horses, llamas), be able to adapt to the mental and emotional challenges of being near or around horses or llamas.

 

Tent Camping EEC

In addition to meeting the Universal EEC, each participant on a trip that includes tent camping must:

  • Be able to navigate and travel around a designated camp area which may include physical hazards such as uneven ground, tent stakes and lines, rocks, and other natural and man-made hazards, including in darkness, with a flashlight or headlamp, or with limited light, either independently or with the assistance of a companion who accompanies the participant.
  • Be able to enter and exit a tent pitched on the ground, including in darkness, with a flashlight or headlamp, or with limited light, either independently or with the assistance of a companion who accompanies the participant.
  • Be able to sleep on the ground (with a pad designed for ground-sleeping).
  • Be able to get down to, up from, and sit on the ground, either independently or with the assistance of a companion who accompanies the participant.
  • Be able to consume water from backcountry sources.
  • Be able to maintain personal health and hygiene in a backcountry setting which does not include running water or flushing toilets, either independently or with the assistance of a companion who accompanies the participant. Backcountry toileting may include the use of pit-toilets, “wag-bags,” and “cat holes.”

 

Backpacking EEC

In addition to meeting the Universal EEC, the Hiking/Day-Hiking EEC, and the Tent-Camping EEC, each participant on a trip that includes backpacking must:

  • Be able to independently carry a backpack weighing 25-50 pounds, or even more on some trips. Trip-specific pack weight ranges are noted in your trip information packet.
  • Be able to travel over wet and dry, sandy, rocky, uneven and/or unstable ground over a distance of 10-plus miles per day including elevation differential (gain and/or loss) of +3,000 feet per day, for a period of up to 10 hours per day, while carrying a backpack as described above.

 

Lake/Sea Kayaking EEC

In addition to meeting the Universal EEC, each participant on a trip that includes sea-kayaking must:

  • Be able to stay balanced and seated inside the cockpit of a sea-kayak in general and while simultaneously paddling the sea-kayak unassisted and while traveling over potentially rough and moving water and waves.
  • Be able to enter/board and exit/disembark a sea-kayak four to ten times a day, either independently or with the reasonable assistance of a companion or trip leader. Entering and exiting a sea-kayak which is partially in the water requires a measure of personal flexibility and requires being able to bend over the sea-kayak and to grip the sides (gunwales) of the sea-kayak, holding the sea-kayak steady and balanced while stepping into the sea-kayak, sitting down in a low seat with legs outstretched and into a comfortable position. Participant may also need to be able to position one’s thighs under and around thigh-braces under either side of the sea-kayak.
  • Be able to safely navigate shoreline terrain on foot including maneuvering around or travelling over boulders rocks, trees, low branches, vegetation; travelling over slippery, uneven, steep, sandy, rocky, or muddy surfaces; and maintaining balance on ledges and cliffs.
  • Be able to manage and control a paddle and to pull it through the water in order to steer and propel the sea-kayak forward.
  • Be able to swim 100 yards independently while wearing a PFD, clothes, sandals, or other shoes.
  • Be able to tolerate water temperatures below 50 degrees Fahrenheit (10 degrees Celsius) for 10 minutes or more.
  • Be able to endure exposure to diverse and changing weather conditions, including temperatures potentially below freezing (32 F/0 C) and potentially above 85 F/29 C or even above 100 F/37 C degrees, extremely dry and/or humid environmental conditions, high altitude, intense sun exposure, and potentially rapidly changing weather conditions such as dry, hot conditions to intense or extreme rain, wind, lightening, and thunderstorms, including monsoons and flash floods.
  • In the event of a capsize, be able to exit from the watercraft and participate and assist in your own rescue, including being able to
    • keep your airway passages sealed while underwater
    • regain control of your breathing when being submitted to repeated submersion under waves or currents
    • orient yourself to new water surroundings
    • position yourself in the water to different swimming positions
    • swim aggressively to a boat or to shore in rough water
    • receive and grip a rescue rope, paddle, or human assistance, and possibly let go of the same
    • get out from under an overturned sea-kayak.
  • Be able to re-enter or re-board a sea-kayak following a deep water capsize either independently or with the reasonable assistance of a companion who accompanies the participant, trip leader, or other participant.
  • Be able to carry personal gear and dry bags which may be as heavy as 20-30 pounds to and from sea-kayaks on shoreline terrain described above.
  • For multi-day lake/sea Kayaking trips that include camping, each participant must also be able to meet the EEC for tent camping, above.

 

Whitewater Rafting EEC

In addition to meeting the Universal EEC, each participant on a trip that includes whitewater rafting must:

  • Be able independently to stay balanced and seated in a raft on a raft tube or equipment with significant jostling and motion while simultaneously being able to grip and hold on to the raft with at least one hand.
  • Be able to enter/board and exit/disembark a raft four to ten times a day, either independently or with the reasonable assistance of a companion, other trip participant, or trip leader. Entering and exiting a raft, which is either partially beached or in the water, requires personal flexibility and balance in a shifting and moving raft and requires being able to step over the side of and into the raft from land or the river, the raft floor being soft, uneven, and flexible, as well as stepping over raft tubes and other equipment before being seated on a raft tube.
  • Be able to safely navigate shoreline terrain on foot including maneuvering around or travelling over boulders rocks, trees, low branches, vegetation; traveling over slippery, uneven, steep, sandy, rocky, or muddy surfaces; and maintaining balance on ledges and cliffs.
  • Be able to swim 100 yards independently while wearing a PFD, clothes, sandals, or other shoes.
  • In the event of a capsize, be able to exit from the watercraft and participate and assist in your own rescue, including being able to
    • keep your airway passages sealed while underwater
    • regain control of your breathing when being submitted to repeated submersion under waves or currents
    • orient yourself to new water surroundings
    • position yourself in the water to different swimming positions
    • swim aggressively to a boat or to shore in rough water
    • receive and grip a rescue rope, paddle, or human assistance, and possibly let go of the same
    • get out from under an overturned sea-kayak.
  • Be able to tolerate water temperatures below 50 degrees Fahrenheit (10 degrees Celsius) for 10 minutes or more.
  • Be able to endure exposure to diverse and changing weather conditions, including temperatures potentially below freezing (32 F/0 C) and potentially above 85 F/29 C or even above 100 F/37 C degrees, extremely dry and/or humid environmental conditions, high altitude, intense sun exposure, and potentially rapidly changing weather conditions such as dry, hot conditions to intense or extreme rain, wind, lightening, and thunderstorms, including monsoons and flash floods.
  • Be able to assist another participant who has fallen out of the boat by helping to pull him or her back into the boat from the river.
  • For multi-day raft trips that include camping, each participant must also be able to meet the EEC for tent camping, above.

 

Cross-Country Skiing, Snow Shoeing, Glacier Walking EEC

In addition to meeting the Universal EEC, each participant on a trip that includes skiing, snow shoeing, or glacier walking must:

  • Be able to properly put on and take off equipment and clothing required for the winter activity (e.g., show shoes, ski boots, skis, crampons, gloves), either independently or with the assistance of a companion who accompanies the participant and following a reasonable amount of instruction. This skill will be taught to beginners at the beginning of the trip.
  • Be able independently to travel and negotiate varied snow conditions, depths, and densities.
  • Be able to move safely on skis or snowshoes over a variety of level-appropriate terrain conditions including flat, uphill, and downhill without hindering the experience of other participants or causing a risk to personal safety.
  • Be able to get up after falling, either independently or with the assistance of a companion who accompanies the participant.
  • Be able to endure exposure to diverse and changing weather conditions, including sustained temperatures below freezing (32 F/0 C), extremely dry and/or humid environmental conditions, high altitude, intense sun exposure, and potentially rapidly changing weather conditions such as cold, icy, and wet conditions to intense or extreme snow, wind, lightening, and thunderstorms, including blizzards and white-outs.
  • For multi-day cross-country skiing, snow shoeing, glacier walking trips that include camping, each participant must also be able to meet the EEC for tent camping, above.