Frequently Asked Questions

How can I join MCM and pay with a credit or debit card?

You do not have to have a Paypal account to pay your membership. Paypal also serves as our payment process for credit and debit cards as a Guest Checkout option. The Paypal process is confusing to some persons, so we have prepared the attached document with screen shots to explain how to pay your membership without having a Paypal account.

How do I access the Hike Schedule?
Go to the main menu, hover over Hike, and click Schedule. You may also access this from the link on the home page.

How do I renew my membership?
You will receive an electronic message in advance of when your membership renewal is due.  Follow the link.

I lose the tabs across the top of the home page. How do I fix that?
Your laptop or PC screen should be at 100% or smaller. Tabs automatically resize for mobile devices.

Where are maps of hikes that I may use for my own hike?
Members have added detailed maps. Go to Hike and view the drop-down boxes. Trail Maps are at the bottom.

How do I add a hike to the hike schedule?
Scout your hike. Go to the “submit a hike” tab. Follow the prompts. Your hike will be reviewed by the appropriate hike coordinator and posted. Note: Send a message to Tirzah Rom if you would like to become a Hike Leader. Email tirzahrom55@gmail.com.

How do I change my address or email in the Member Directory?
Go to your Account page by clicking Account in the top right corner. You will see two sets of contact information. The first set of contact information is only for site administrators and record-keeping purposes. The second set of information, the Member Directory section, will be visible in the Member Directory to MCOMD members with an active membership.

May I bring a guest on a hike?
Yes! It’s a great way to get someone interested in joining MCM. Remember to let the hike leader know you are bringing a guest.

How do I join the email listserv for MCM members?

Participating in the MCM listserv is a good way to stay informed of last-minute changes to the hike schedule, as well as more general news. New members are automatically added to the MCM listserv after they join the club. However, if for some reason you have been left off the email, here is how you can sign up: To join MCM’s listserv on Google Group, go to accounts.google.com and create a Google account (or, if you already have one, log in). Then go to Google Groups, search for “Mountain Club of Maryland,” and, once on that page, click on the “Join” button. If you don’t have a Gmail address, you can still join Groups, but you will need to associate your email address with a Google account.

If you have difficulty signing up, or would prefer to be removed from our listserv, you can send a note to email.list@mcomd.org.

What do I need to know as a new MCM hiker?

  • Don’t be over-ambitious when you sign up for your first hikes. Be aware that the speed of the group hike may be faster than the speed you are used to when you hike by yourself. If you are unable to keep up, it delays everyone else on the hike. So consider signing up for a more moderate hike the first time, then moving up gradually to harder hikes.
  • See the separate FAQ entitled “What should I bring on a hike” for a list of what you should bring on a day hike.
  • We hike in bad weather unless the hike leader deems the conditions to be unsafe. If there is a chance of rain, bring a poncho or rain jacket.
  • Dehydration and deficient sugar and salt meltdowns are totally avoidable. Bring plenty of water and snacks, more in hot weather.
  • Don’t arrive late—arrive at the trailhead or carpool site before the time stated in the hike description. The time listed in the description is the departure time, not the arrival time.

Trail Etiquette

  • Hikers vs. Hikers: Hikers going uphill have the right of way. You may see uphill hikers let others come downhill while they take a breather, but remember that’s the uphill hiker’s decision.
  • Hikers vs. Bikers: Mountain bikers are generally expected to yield to hikers. However, because mountain bikers are usually moving faster than hikers, it can be easier for hikers to step aside and yield the right of way.
  • Hikers vs. Horses: Horses get the right of way. If you’re sharing the trail with equestrians, give them a wide berth when you’re passing each other and don’t make abrupt movements. It’s generally recommended to step off the trail to the downhill side while yielding to a horse.

Leave No Trace

While most of us don’t intend to harm our natural surroundings, we may not know how to preserve them, or we’re simply overlooking a few important behaviors. The principles of Leave No Trace include: plan ahead and prepare; travel and camp on durable surfaces; avoid shortcuts that create erosio;n don’t litter–take your trash with you; leave what you find; minimize campfire impacts; respect wildlife; and be considerate of other visitors.

What should I bring on a hike?

When you hike with MCM, you can rely on your hike leader for navigation and directions. The items you bring will vary depending on the type of hike and your personal preferences. However, in general we recommend the following items:

  • Hiking backpack
  • Weather-appropriate clothing (think moisture-wicking and layers)
  • A jacket or poncho if rain is possible
  • Hiking boots or shoes—don’t try to hike in sandals or street shoes
  • Food for a lunch or snack break
  • Plenty of water
  • You may wish to include minor first-aid supplies such as bandaids, Neosporin, benadryl
  • Some of our female hikers recommend hair ties and chapstick as important additions to this list
  • Trekking poles are not a necessity, but some hikers find them helpful for stream crossings, muddy or rocky trails, or steep terrain.

What can I do to reduce the risk of tick bites when I am hiking?

Here some suggested steps to prevent tick-borne illness from the American Hiking Society at Ticks – American Hiking Society:

  • Determine risk: Spring and early summer are high-risk for ticks because ticks are in an earlier stage of their development, called “nymphs.” Nymphs often carry heavier loads of disease-causing pathogens, and are smaller and harder to spot. Tall grass and brush are higher-risk, too, because ticks can easily climb on to hikers.
  • Wear long and wear light! Wear long-sleeve shirts and long pants of a light color. Lighter colors seem to attract fewer ticks and make the ones that do end up on you easier to spot. Lightweight nylon or polyester garments are almost as cool as shorts and protect from the sun as a bonus!
  • Seal the cracks. Tuck your shirt into your pants and tuck your pants into your socks. Gaiters can add an additional level of protection and keep small rocks and dirt out of your shoes too.
  • Repel invaders! Consider treating your clothing with a persistent repellent chemical called permethrin. This substance, applied to clothing, repels ticks and biting insects for up to 2 weeks. Some clothing comes already coated with this deterrent. Apply a additional repellent to all exposed skin.
  • Wash your hiking clothes. As soon as you get off the trail, wash your hiking clothes and dry them in a hot dryer for an hour. The heat will kill any ticks.
  • Tick check. Showering within two hours of leaving the trail will help wash off any ticks which haven’t latched on. Using a hand-held or full length mirror, take this time to check yourself for ticks, especially checking armpits, hair, ears and behind the ears, belly button, behind the knees, and groin. Be sure to also thoroughly check your children and pets.
  • Remove any ticks. If you do happen to find a tick on yourself, do not use the old trick of poking the tick with a hot match head until it comes out. Do use tweezers and grab the tick as close to the skin as possible and slowly pull it out. If you can’t grab the head in the first go, make sure to pull it out before washing the bite with a disinfectant. View the CDC’s easy-to-follow tick removal instructions and pictures.
  • Stay vigilant. If you develop a fever, rash, muscle and/or joint aches, flu-like symptoms or become ill, be sure to mention to your doctor possible tick exposure. Lyme disease is very serious and can cause permanent damage in bones and the nervous system. Tick bites that develop a bulls-eye ring are infected and should be treated immediately.

What Types of Topics are Appropriate to Discuss on the MCM Listserv?

The PURPOSE of the MCM listserv is to provide a method for Club members to communicate with each other on topics germane to the interests of the Mountain Club of Maryland; e.g., hiking, backpacking, canoeing, biking, trail maintenance, conservation, and the environment. These types of messages are allowed.  Messages by individual members wishing to buy or sell items owned by members and related to MCOM’s activities are allowed.  A member’s announcement of personal participation in a hiking/walking/running fund-raising or charitable event is allowed so long as a link (URL) is provided  to another site that gives full particulars or asks that private communication (off the listserv) be used for full particulars. For more details, you can view our listserv policy by clicking here.