7. Listen To The Slowest Member

 

If someone is not steadily keeping up, or isn’t feeling well, or gets injured, or is expressing concern or discomfort, listen to that person. Try to communicate that his or her safety and comfort is more important than pressing on ahead and ask what it is that (s)he would like to do. Turn around? Rest? Press on? Let that person make the decision for the group and that it’s okay. This way (s)he know that they are supported. An effective practice is to have the slowest member lead the group. That way (s)he can comfortably set the pace without worrying about being left behind. Listening to the person who is struggling the most will help to ward off problems further down the trail, like hypothermia, anxiety, injury, upset, etc., which then may endanger the entire group.

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