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PATC Trail Patrol: Leave No Trace

Leave No Trace


What difference does it make if you toss a cigarette butt or drop an orange peel or pick a flower? Imagine 300 million cigarette butts or 300 million orange peels or . . . no wildflowers. Sound like a place that you would like to visit?

Leave No Trace is an outdoor ethic — a way for all of us to understand the impact that our actions have on our backcountry areas and a way for us to think about ways we can modify our behavior to minimize our impact on the areas we love and want to keep wild. At the heart of Leave No Trace are seven principles for reducing the damage caused by outdoor activities. Leave No Trace practices and principles extend common courtesy and hospitality to other backcountry visitors and to the natural world of which we are all a part.


Trail Patrol offers a number of Leave No Trace classes throughout the year that teach the skills of Leave No Trace and how to share this information with others. Our Leave No Trace Trainers Courses meet The Leave No Trace Center for Outdoor Ethics standards and certify participants as national LNT Trainers. These courses are designed for those who want to better understand Leave No Trace (LNT) skills and outdoor ethics and to help others understand their impact on the backcountry. Students have an opportunity to learn about the impact of their choices when hiking and camping, to practice minimizing impact and gain confidence by helping others understand LNT skills and ethics. All classes use hands-on skills as we teach each other about LNT principles and practices.

After completing the course, students will be certified as Leave No Trace Trainers, and it is our hope they will be willing to give LNT presentations to community groups when and if their schedules permit.

When you register for a class, you will be asked to verify that you have read, understood and agree to the following waiver:
Some Leave No Trace Trainer Courses involve backpacking. Backpacking is a strenuous activity and involves a certain amount of risk. Backpacking involves travel on uncertain surfaces, camping in primitive conditions, and exposure to the forces of nature. There is a possibility of injury or illness in locations where there is no quick or easy access to medical facilities. It is up to you to make the final judgment as to your ability to undertake a class that involves backpacking and your willingness to take any risk of injury or illness that may result from participating in the class.
Your participation in this class amounts to your agreement to assume all risks and liabilities related to or resulting from this class. By participating in this class your are agreeing not to hold the Potomac Appalachian Trail Club, or any of its leaders, officers, employees, or representatives, liable for any injury, loss or damage to yourself, to members of your family, or to your property arising from the class.


Cancellation Policy

The course tuition includes a $20 non-refundable application fee. In the event that you cancel your participation 14 or more days prior to the course you may choose to transfer your enrollment to a future course or to receive a refund, less the $20 application fee, postage costs if course materials were mailed to you, and the cost of any advance course materials that you choose to keep. Any course materials that you choose to return must be in the same, new condition as when you received them in order to be refunded.

No refunds will be offered for cancellation within 14 days of the course however, you may choose to transfer your enrollment to a future course. The option to transfer to a future course is offered to each student one time only.

If you have transferred your enrollment to a future course and you cancel your participation 14 or more days prior to that future course and you were eligible for a refund when you chose to transfer your enrollment, then you will be offered a refund, less the $20 application fee, postage costs if course materials were mailed to you, and the cost of any advance course materials that you choose to keep. No refunds will be offered for cancellations within 14 days of a course you have transferred to.

Sometimes we have to cancel a course due to low enrollment, dangerous weather or an unforeseen circumstance. We normally require a minimum of six students to enroll before we will conduct a Leave No Trace Trainer Course. However, individual instructors may choose to hold the course even when we do not meet minimum enrollment. In the event that we should cancel the course, you will receive a full reimbursement, including the $20 application fee, less the cost of advance course materials that you choose to keep, or you may transfer your enrollment to a future course.


For More Information

To learn more about Leave No Trace or how you can join Trail Patrol’s efforts to spread the word on the safe and responsible enjoyment of our backcountry resources, contact Trail Patrol’s Leave No Trace Committee Chair.

2020 Leave No Trace Master Educator Course (NOLS hosted by PATC)

The Leave No Trace Master Educator Course expands on the skills and ethics covered in the Leave No Trace Trainer Course (prior attendance in a Trainer Course is not required). In addition the Master Educator Course teaches you how and qualifies you to conduct Leave No Trace Trainer Courses.
Instructors from both NOLS and PATC will conduct this backpacking format course. The first day of the course is a classroom session taking place at a park cabin where you will also spend your first night in a bunk. The second through fifth days are spent backpacking in beautiful Shenandoah National Park.

August 30 - September 3 – Shenandoah National Park – 1 classroom day, 4 days backpacking
PATC Trail Patrol is hosting the National Outdoor Leadership School (NOLS) to teach this course.
Pre-registration is required. Participants must be at least 16 years old. Class size is limited to eight students.
Tuition: $865, includes all course materials, meals, and use of NOLS group backpacking equipment (discounts available for government employees and NOLS alumni).

Registration is directly with NOLS at https://www.nols.edu/en/coursefinder/courses/leave-no-trace-master-educator-LNT/
For more information on any of the Leave No Trace courses contact Cindy Kelly