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Hike Leader Classes

For 2015 dates and to register, click here.


The Trail Patrol offers a one day training course for people who are interested in improving their hike leader skills. The course provides essential skills for leading safe, environmentally responsible, and enjoyable hikes.

Course Information

The training includes lectures with hands-on applications and field based scenarios. The course is open to all levels, from novice to experienced hikers. 

Participants must be at least 18 years old. Classes are limited to 20 students.

Fee: $35.  Pre-registration is required.

What to Bring

Pen or pencil for taking notes. Lunch if preferred (there are restaurants within walking distance).

For more information: please contact the Hike Leader Chair.

Topics Covered

Wilderness Medical Emergencies

Participants receive an overview of many of the most common medical emergencies you are likely to encounter on a hike. While not a certificate course for wilderness first aid, the class provides both classroom instruction and hands on training in dealing with typical medical emergencies.


The hike leader is ultimately responsible for leading a safe and enjoyable hike with minimal impact on the environment. The course addresses the leader's responsibilities in achieving those ends. It touches on the many roles a leader must assume and how he or she effectively executes those responsibilities.


The most important part of a hike is the preparation prior to the hike. Planning entails a range of activities that are covered in the class, from choosing a trail and researching the area of the hike to preparing for unforeseen emergencies.

Standard Procedures

Certain procedures remain the same for every hike. This section addresses such procedures, particularly for leading PATC hikes, such as required documentation, screening participants; trail-head briefing; assigning a sweep; and post-hike activities.

Leave No Trace

An important aspect of a hike leader's responsibility is to design and conduct an enjoyable hike that minimizes impact to the environment.

Emergency Procedures

Dealing with emergencies starts with the planning phase. But even with the best-laid plans, emergencies can occur. The course describes how to be prepared for those emergencies and how to deal with them when they occur. We'll look at two of the most common emergencies encountered by hike leaders -- medical situations and lost hikers.

Maps and Navigation

The course provides a foundation for learning about maps and navigation. It covers the essential topics for leading safe hikes. How to read maps, including contour lines; common symbols; elevation gain; and estimating time. How to use a compass, including taking a bearing, following a bearing, and orienting a map.

For 2015 dates and to register, click here.