About Massachusetts Chapter Outings

Massachusetts Chapter Outing Program

Sierra Club Outings were started by our founder, John Muir, in 1901. He was convinced that the best way to persuade people to fight to save valuable wild areas was to take them into the wilderness so they could experience for themselves the beauty that needed preserving. He wrote: "Keep close to Nature's heart...and break clear away, once in a while, and climb a mountain or spend a week in the woods. Wash your spirit clean." Outings fulfill the Sierra Club's mission to "explore, enjoy, and protect the wild places of the earth." Advocacy and public education are core purposes of our outings.

Outings are open to Sierra Club members and non-members alike. The Sierra Club does not charge a fee to participate in our outings. All are welcome - your income, religion, race, disability, sexual orientation, gender, age, or political beliefs do not matter. However, some of our outings are geared towards adults while others are more family-friendly and child-oriented.

Participating in Outings

Participating in a Sierra Club Outing is a safe and fun way to experience the beauty and variety of the terrain in Massachusetts: mountains, beaches, woodlands, and rivers. Our priorities are (1) safety of participants (2) having fun, and (3) getting there and back while feeling inspired. Participating in outings is also a way to meet other people who are enthusiastic about exploring, protecting, and enjoying the exceptionally beautiful place in which we live. Our outings will be listed on our chapter calendar. If you don't see outings listed in your area or aligned with your interests, please consider training to become an outings leader!


Outings officially begin at the trailhead. Often, participants carpool from a local and agreed upon gathering spot to the trailhead for the outing.. The Sierra Club (a) does not provide insurance for carpools and (b) assumes no liability during the carpool process. Carpooling, ride sharing, or anything similar is a private arrangement among the participants, and participants assume the risks associated with this type of travel. It is appropriate that participants who ride in another person's vehicle contribute to the costs incurred by the driver (at least enough to cover fuel costs).


Are you a Sierra Club member yet? If not, consider becoming a part of our community by becoming a member today. Your Sierra Club membership support allows the Club to continue its important work of protecting the environment. By becoming a Sierra Club member you will also have an opportunity to join one of our members-only outings, which are also noted on our outings calendar.

Other Information

Ten Essentials

The Ten Essentials are survival items recommended for safe travel in the backcountry. The list and number of essentials can vary, though, among hiking and scouting organizations. In the Sierra Club Trip Plan, participants are asked to consider bringing with them the following "ten essentials":

  • Compass
  • Extra clothing
  • Extra food
  • First-aid kit
  • Flashlight
  • Map
  • Matches
  • Sunglasses
  • Water bottle
  • Whistle

Of course, during cold weather additional items become appropriate. A pocket knife is always handy, and sunscreen and even a camera could be viewed as essential.

An article in a recent Sierra Club magazine included the following items in a "new and improved" survival kit: cell phone, lighter or flint & steel (as alternative to waterproof matches), duct tape, parachute cord, signaling mirror, garbage bags, space blanket, water-purification tablets, and pictures of loved ones.

Leave No Trace™

Sierra Club suggests that participants follow these Wilderness Manners, and espouses Leave No Trace™ principles. Outings Leaders should become familiar with these principles and adopt them during outings.