River Permit/Trip Expenses/Trip Lead Ethics? - Mountain Buzz

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Old 08-20-2013   #1
Lakewood, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2000
Join Date: Jun 2008
Posts: 88
River Permit/Trip Expenses/Trip Lead Ethics?

Always wondered what the ethics on trip fees might be. What would Martha Stewart do here? Thought the best way to see would be to through it out there on the Buzz.

How do you divide up trip costs? Less for the permit holder that does loads of work organizing the trip? Do captain's with all the gear pay less than tag alongs? I've always divided equally but after this last trip where I had massive hours on planning, 1000s of cash out on food, permit, flying in gear, shuttles....I'm starting to scratch my head and wonder if this is fair. Thoughts?

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Old 08-20-2013   #2
kayakfreakus's Avatar
Steamboat, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1999
Join Date: Mar 2006
Posts: 1,036
Even steven, TL should be delegating out all the work as well. Meal costs are the responsibility of the cook crew assigned to it, and gas for travel the responsibility of those in each car are the only exceptions I have seen. Everything else is split evenly and people should have no issues paying ahead of time for anything the TL does - works on our trips without issue.
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Old 08-20-2013   #3
pocatello, Idaho
Paddling Since: 1991
Join Date: Feb 2010
Posts: 471
To play strictly by the rules on Idaho rivers everything has to be shared equally. No TL discounts.

But there are strong arguments for not sharing equally:

I typically drive my truck pulling my trailer and take my own raft plus loan a raft to someone else. I make sure I have good tires, oil changes, greased hubs...etc. I have dry boxes, coolers, oars etc. Then some dood comes along and gets to be chauffeured to the river, chill in camp because he doesn't know how my stove works and generally get a sweet week of vacation for $200. Is that fair? no. But I get to go on rivers and he is never coming back with me so I win in the long run.

If someone wants to row but needs to rent a boat I don't split that cost.

How it should work:
If your vehicle goes you don't pay gas. Everyone else does. They owe you a car wash and oil change too.
If you organize, plan and purchase food you eat for free, plus you keep any salvageable leftovers.
If you plan the trip, collect money and spend endless hours shaking down people for cash you should get at least a discount.

A little too far:
figure out what if would cost to rent everything. Everyone pools big $$$ the group rents everything from everyone. Those with the gear end up going pretty Cheap. if you bring no gear bring $$!
This is not legal BTW
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Old 08-20-2013   #4
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Bellevue, Idaho
Paddling Since: 1991
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 2,831
I consider all my hours and gear and sweat and precooking multiple meals and shoveling out snowy passes and driving to the put in road four times in the 10 days before launch an investment.....to the future. When I am too old to deal with 4 am shopping trips to Winco, and all night shuttle drives, and trying to cook a meal for 27 on a single blaster burner cuz the other hose is lost - that all the newbies and slackers and wannabes that I nurtured will help me to get down my favorite rivers.
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Old 08-20-2013   #5
Jenks, Oklahoma
Join Date: Oct 2004
Posts: 1,774
It is not fair when the TL or certain individuals do most of the work

but the rules say expenses must be shared equally.

Trip Leaders put in hours of work to set up the trip, people who buy and pack the food plus make the menus do the same. Maybe they get a thank you from the group.

Raft owners and group gear owners put thousands of dollars into gear for the trip and maybe they get a thank you from the group.

People who provide the vehicles and trailers to get people and gear to and from the river may get shared gas costs from the folks who ride with them but nothing for wear and tear.

The rules say all costs must be shared equally and generally most groups will consider permit costs, food costs and sometimes shuttle costs as shared. I have seen some groups try to give a bonus for those who provide gear rafts and drive trailers to the river - but this is rare and I suspect is in violation of the rules.

My thoughts are the same as Carvedog, I think any work I do for a trip or gear I provide then I am building good Karma for future trips when I am limited on what I can do. Also there is a lot of self satisfaction on being able to do what it takes to pull off a multi day trip on say Middle Fork or the supreme test 21 days on the Grand Canyon.

Bottom line tho, the way I read the rules, all costs are to be shared equally the question is there an official definition on exactly what is considered trip costs.

Would be interested in what the old hands at organizing private trips have to say.
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Old 08-20-2013   #6
TriBri1's Avatar
Tigard, Oregon
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Join Date: Nov 2011
Posts: 784
We split everything on the river evenly: Food, permit, camps, wood, camp fuel, TP, SCAT machine, etc. Gas to and from the river and shuttle is covered by those riding in the vehicle. Rentals are paid by those who need to rent stuff or split between those who do not bring their own gear. Booze is paid individually.

If we had a trip were one person was hauling all our stuff, we would chip in cash to cover a portion of gas and shuttle.

In the end it really comes down to splitting things in a way that feels fair and equitable for those on the trip.
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Old 08-20-2013   #7
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Mesa, Arizona
Paddling Since: 1993
Join Date: Dec 2008
Posts: 266
IMHO? Trip equality? Sure! Some boats/gear are rented, some are owned and brought? Those with save money, those without split rental gear costs. The cost for each person is equal but not the same. The people bringing gear are reducing the costs for those that rent. Someone has a fire pan? No rental saves money for everyone....
Whether U Think U Can, or Think U Can't; U R Right!
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Old 08-20-2013   #8
Stiff N' Wett's Avatar
Evergreen, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2003
Join Date: Feb 2010
Posts: 457
Group costs all split...gas and rentals your on your own...the hours you spend planning logistics and getting ready are what it's all about if you don't want to do it appoint someone else trip leader. That's my opinion.
Pool and a pond... Pond be good for you.
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Old 08-20-2013   #9
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Golden, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2005
Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 354
This is a very interesting topic. I suspect most people will say to share equally. This is how I've always done my trips. But equal really isn't fair. Not to the people that plan, cook, and provide all the awesome group gear that makes the trip work well.
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Old 08-20-2013   #10
Bellingham, Washington
Paddling Since: 2004
Join Date: Sep 2009
Posts: 151
We generally keep a ledger of what everyone spends. People get assigned a dinner and desert to provide so that no one person shoulders the entire food costs. Breakfast and lunches are up to the individuals to provide for themselves. Shuttle and gas costs are shared between vehicle passengers. If the permits are not too expensive I normally eat those costs. As much as possible gets paid up front.

Gear rental depends. If it is a group item it is a trip expense. If it is a individual item it is up to the person who needs it.

There are exceptions to every rule. Like the time a bunch of people dropped all their gear off at my buddy's house unannounced to be loaded into his big truck, and then clown car-ed into a Prius to save on gas and shuttle expenses. There was a a hard talk about teamwork and trust in the camp before launch day. Then money was collected up front.

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