Intrepid Northern California Hikers
"Less talk, more walk!"
Frequently Asked Questions
We are the Intrepid Northern California Hikers. Most of us live in the
south San Francisco Bay area (Silicon Valley), and we like to hike.
How often does INCH hike?
We hike at a different location in the Bay Area every Saturday, rain or shine.
We only cancel a hike if most of the regulars plan to be out of town, such as
for Christmas week, so we typically do 50+ hikes a year. Once or twice a
year, we'll plan a long weekend at Lake Tahoe or at one of the national parks,
such as Yosemite, to do some "real hiking".
Who chooses the hikes?
take turns organizing the hike. We're always looking for suggestions and
recommendations for new places to hike.
How do I get notified about the hike?
The hike organizer sends out a notice to the mailing list and
posts the hike details on the schedule page,
typically on Wednesday or Thursday of each week.
OK, then how do I get on the mailing list?
To be added to the mailing list, just drop
Steve (pick your favorite from
the very old pictures two questions up). Only mailing-list members can
read the hike notices posted on schedule page, so if you want to get the
details, be sure to sign up for the mailing list.
When do we meet?
Details are sent out in
the weekly notice, but the meeting time is
usually 9-10 at the trailhead. For some longer hikes we
may start a couple of hours earlier.
What should I bring?
Food, water, sunscreen (summer), rain gear (winter), and most
importantly, hiking boots. For a long hike in the back country,
a first-aid kit and flashlight are also a good idea. In the old
days, we used to stop for food somewhere along the way to the hike,
but these days we bring our own food in order to save time
for hiking. If you're catching a ride with someone, it's good to bring
a change of shoes and fresh t-shirt to change into after the hike so
that you don't stink up their car!
How much water should I bring?
A good rule of thumb is 1 liter every 4 miles (or one 12-16 oz. bottle
every 2 miles), but as they say, your mileage may vary. Some folks
hike all day with just a small bottle of water, but it's best to
hydrate frequently, especially in hot weather. Yeah, it's a pain
to carry gallons of water, but it's better than getting heat stroke.
Plus, we don't want to drag you back.
Are there membership fees?
Nope. Just show up and hike! Bring a few bucks for park entrance
What is the typical length and difficulty of the hike?
An average hike is around 15 miles, moderate-to-strenuous difficulty,
at a 3 mph pace (i.e. around 5 hours). We schedule a few 30+ mile
day-hikes a year, which are balanced with some easy sub-10-mile hikes.
You can get an idea about the hikes by reading the
diary of previous hikes. Hike statistics, like average lengths and
difficulties, can be found on the statistics page.
Will the hike be canceled due to rain/snow/100°F heat?
No way! Otherwise, we would be just be NCH.
What is the typical mix of people on the hike?
We get all kinds--from age 17 to 70, with the mean age toward the higher
end of that scale. On average, about 20 or so people show up each
week, declining as the hike difficulty increases or the weather
worsens. Most INCHers are single, some are married, and we have
about an equal number of men and women. You can see pictures of
some of the gang on the hike write-ups
(look for the ones with a in the picture
column), or just look at some random pictures.
If you successfully compete a hike with us, you get a prestigious INCH
leaf and will be immortalized on
the INCH Leaf Page.
What does INCH provide?
Nothing! Check our disclaimer. We
schedule the hikes; you are responsible for yourself.
I can't read the hike details on the schedule page and/or I deleted the original mail. Now what?
The hike details are visible on the schedule page if the page knows who
you are. This happens the first time you sign up for a hike. However, if
you are on a different computer or otherwise lost the information,
and deleted every hike mail we've ever sent, fear not! We can
send you a temporary link to re-establish
your identity, which will allow you to see the hike details on the schedule
How do I get off the list?
OK, no one has ever asked this question, but at the bottom of every hike
notice is a link to sign up for the hike. Click it, and you will see the
option to remove yourself from the list at the bottom of the subsequent
web page. No worries--keep on hiking!
How can I change my e-mail address?
If you are logged onto the site, there will be an
update option on the top menu of any
page. From there, you can change your e-mail address and other
What's the Hardcore Hiker Score?
The Hardcore Hiker Score is the sum of (difficulty - 1)2 for all hikes done. It rewards those who do harder hikes.
What's the Endurance Score?
The Endurance Score is the percentage of 25+ mile hikes someone has done, as a percentage of all 25+ mile hikes they could have done. It represents an attraction or revulsion to longer hikes, particularly when compared to the hiker's underlying percentage attendance from their first to last hike.
Who is Savitz?
He's the semi-official INCH historian! Read all about him. Here is an artist's rendition.
We hope to see you on an INCH hike soon!
Back to the I.N.C.H. Home Page.