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Hike Leader Classes

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Trail Patrol offers a hike leader class for hikers who are learning new skills as well as formal hike leaders of outing groups who are updating their group leadership skills. The 2 day course provides essential skills for leading safe, environmentally responsible, and enjoyable hikes. It includes 2 co-led hikes with an experienced hike leader

Course Information

The course covers how to handle basic first aid, leadership development, trip planning, standard procedures, emergency procedures, gear and clothing, map reading and navigation, and Leave No Trace outdoor ethics. The training includes lectures with hands-on applications and trail-based scenarios. The course is open to all levels, from novice to experienced hikers.
Fee: $50 for PATC members; $85 for non-members. Pre-registration is required & limited to 10 students.

What to Expect:
 • This is a two day class that starts on Saturday and ends Mid-day on Sunday.
 • PATC will provide dinner on Saturday and breakfast on Sunday
 • You may either bunk inside or camp outdoors
 • Students will be expected to attend both days of the class.
 • Prior to being certified as hike leaders, students will be required to co-lead 2 hikes with experienced PATC hike leaders.
Topics Covered

Day 1
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. This section is designed for group hiking in particular
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.

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 classroom instruction dealing with typical medical emergencies.

Personal Equipment
Having the right gear during a hike is important. It’s even more important when you are leading. Students will discuss gear and personal equipment during this section. A seasoned hike leader will go through their pack and discuss the various items it contains.

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.
Maps and Navigation
This section 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. You will also learn how to use a GPS while hiking as well.
Day 2
Hike Planning

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.

Orienting Activity
PATC’s GPS rangers and map experts have designed a hands on activity designed to get students comfortable with orienting using a compass and map.

Hike Scenarios
Students will break up into groups along with an instructor to discuss various hiking scenarios
Q&A + Review