Escaping Your Comfort Zone (EYCZ) is a community of body positive adventurers. We welcome women and non-binary people. No weight loss focus, slow paced and non-judgemental. Purely for fun. This group is for making new friends, and finding like minded people to get outdoors with. We are a not for profit bushwalking club, as part of Bushwalking Victoria.
Our hikes are generally quite short, being an average of 1.5hr – 2hrs in length, and are designed for total beginners, all fitness levels (including negative 10!), we walk slowly and stop regularly. In fact many of our hikes are more like walks at local parks, but it’s outside, with like minded friends!
All events listed are run by volunteer leaders. They have been trained in making sure everyone is comfortable, they lead from the back and no one is left behind, and the trails selected are well described, and suitable for the group. They are also covered by our Bushwalking Victoria insurance.
Please make sure you arrive 10-15mins BEFORE the start time. We understand that life happens, but it’s not fair on the rest of the group if you have underestimated your travel time (I personally always add 15mins to the Google maps estimate). We will wait till 10 mins after the start, but after that we will leave without you.
All EYCZ participants must have a clear image of themselves in their profile picture on Groups.Place and state their real first name.
What if I RSVP as yes, and don’t show up for an event?
As you know all of our leaders are volunteers who take time out of their days to lead our hikes, sometimes a few hours from home. They are what makes this group amazing, and without them we couldn’t exist. We want you to treat them like you would if you had made plans with your best mate, so please let them know with plenty of time that you can’t make it.
Almost all of our events fill quickly, and have a waitlist, so don’t hog a spot that could be offered to another participant. On this subject, please ensure you check your schedule before RSVPing YES to an event.
Last minute change of mind, or not showing up is not acceptable. Participants who do not show up, or cancel without notifying the leader directly within 48 hours of the event will be marked as a NO SHOW, and may be asked to leave the group if this is repetitive behaviour.
To make it easier to judge which hike is best for you we have created a rating system for our hikes. As always, we always walk at the pace of the slowest person, and we believe that the outdoors don’t care about your size, your speed or your fitness, and neither do we!
We have 4 ratings, First Steps (FS), Slow & Steady (S&S), More Challenging (MC) and More Challenging Plus (MC+). For the full description of each of these ratings, go to our Hike Ratings page.
As we are a Bushwalking Vic club, we have insurance, systems and membership costs. To make it accessible for everyone, we have a number of payment options (all include insurance).
First Hike Free – if you have never hiked with us before, you can come along to your first hike for free. You can select this option when you RSVP to a hike on Groups.Place.
$15 per hike, pay as you go. This credit can be applied to a future hike if the hike is cancelled, or you are unable to make it (and not marked as a no-show). This is paid by credit card when you RSVP to a hike. (Where you have paid a $15 casual event fee, but need to change your RSVP to “No” this credit will be applied to your account for a future hike.)
$14 per month recurring membership via PayPal – this allows you to come to as many hikes as you like, and the fee will be deducted from your account/CC each month. You can cancel this at any time. Go to https://escapingyourcomfortzone.com/home/become-a-member/
$120 per year – Allows you to come to unlimited hikes for the whole year. Includes a free Escaping Your Comfort Zone buff, a Bushwalking Victoria membership card which entitles you to a range of discounts on outdoor brands, and discounted rates for non hiking events that have extra costs, eg, kayaking, SUP. Go to https://escapingyourcomfortzone.com/home/become-a-member/
There may be some promotional hikes that will be free for all participants, this will be clear on the individual event.
Other pay as you go events – throughout the year we will have other events with varied prices, eg. Kayaking, Hot Springs, Weekends away. These will be priced separately, and will be charged for all attendees.
What to bring
It’s important that you bring the following to all hikes you attend:
- Water (at least 600ml, more may be suggested for some hikes)
- Hat, sunscreen, bug repellent
- Clothes appropriate for the weather (suggest always bringing an extra layer just in case). This is Melbourne, so recommend a lightweight waterproof jacket for most hikes!
- Backpack to carry your stuff
- Basic first aid kit, including any medications you may need (antihistamines for any allergies, ventolin for asthma etc). EVERYONE hiking in summer must read about what to do about snakes
- Your Emergency Contact and Medical Information form in the top of my backpack, in a plastic pocket. This must be carried at all times while participating in EYCZ activities. If you don’t have access to a printer, please just write the details on a blank piece of paper.
Code of Conduct
Every person leading or participating in the activities of Escaping Your Comfort Zone should strive to ensure:
- The inclusion of every person who identifies as a woman, or a non-binary person, regardless of their age, gender, sexual orientation, race, culture or religion. Using language that excludes, demeans or is otherwise discriminatory to club members based on these categories should be avoided.
- They demonstrate respect towards each other, and the broader community.
- There is a safe and inclusive environment for all and there is no violent or abusive behaviour.
- There is protection from sexual harassment or intimidation.
- There is a body positive environment, where members are free from judgement; with no weight loss or diet talk.
- There are opportunities for people of all abilities to participate in most of our activities, and make them as inclusive as possible.
Here’s the complete Code of Conduct, including the complaints process.
Acknowledgement of Risk
This Acknowledgement of Risk applies to all club activities I may undertake as a member of Escaping Your Comfort Zone Inc (EYCZ).
In voluntarily participating in activities of the Club which are described to me by the activity leaders, I am aware that my participation in the activities may expose me to hazards and risks that could lead to injury, illness or death, or to loss of or damage to my property. I also acknowledge that I may encounter weather conditions that could lead to hypothermia and being in locations where evacuation for medical treatment may take significant time.
To minimise risks, I will endeavour to ensure that:
- Each activity is within my capabilities.
- I am carrying food, water and equipment appropriate for the activity.
- I will carry any medications I may need to treat any medical conditions I may have.
- I will carry an Emergency Contact and Medical Information form in the top of my backpack, in a plastic pocket, at all times while participating in EYCZ activities. This includes the medical information for any children under 18 under my supervision
- I will advise the activity leader if I am taking any medication or have any physical or other limitation that might affect my participation in the activity.
- I will make every effort to remain with the rest of the party during the activity.
- I will advise the leader of any concerns I am having.
- I will comply with all reasonable instructions of the club admin and the activity leader.
- I understand that I am fully responsible for the cost of rescue or ambulance should the need arise during this event.
- I consent to the photographing and video recording of myself and the use of these photographs and/or recordings singularly or in conjunction with other photographs and/or recordings for advertising, publicity, commercial or other business purposes for Escaping Your Comfort Zone. (Where you do not consent, this must be specifically communicated to the activity leader at the time of the activity).
- I understand that any children under my supervision who are under 12 years of age will not be covered under the club’s personal accident insurance
I have read and understood the above requirements. I have considered the risks before choosing to accept this Acknowledgement of Risk. I still wish to join the activities of the Club. I acknowledge that I will take responsibility for my own actions and that the joining of Escaping Your Comfort Zone, or payment of my subscription or casual participation fee will be deemed as full acceptance and understanding of the above conditions.
Updated Escaping Your Comfort Zone Inc. August 2020.