Refer to the calendar at the bottom to find a course near you
Whether you are brand new to trail walking/hiking and want to start off ‘best foot forward’, are ready to step up to become an outing leader or want to ’upgrade’ your family walks, the Safe Hiker full-day foundation course will get you there. We will introduce you to the skills and benefits of hiking and walking, and build awareness of hiking opportunities in Ontario with special focus is placed on safety, planning, sustainability and enjoyment for personal outings.
Hike Ontario developed the Safe Hiker Program to:
- Provide the novice hiker with the knowledge necessary to keep themselves safe while hiking
- Provide hikers with the knowledge to make this a sustainable activity (environmentally and socially)
- Assist novice hikers in developing the confidence to join hiking groups and/or go on their own hikes
- Deliver the ‘best practices of hiking’ so that students can become confident, self reliant hikers and walkers
The Safe Hiker Program is also a prerequisite for the Certified Hike Leader course unless exempted by demonstrated previous experience.
Safe Hiker Program Course Outline
This course will take students through the process of planning a hike in a safe manner. It will start with an Introduction to Hiking, including the Joys of Hiking and Types of Hikes. Students will then be guided through the steps of planning and going on a hike including:
- Preparing for a Hike - including collecting the necessary information, using that information to collect a route, making sure someone knows where we are and our hiking plans, and finally knowing the risks involved so that we can properly prepare for the hike
- Packing and Outfitting - including what to pack in a first aid and safety kit, how to properly hydrate and feed ourselves on a hike as well as how to dress and what gear we should bring along
- Hitting the Trail - once the planning is done, we can determine how we will get to the trail, how to follow the route, monitor hiking conditions to ensure safety; we will also look at some what-if scenarios, and learn about Leave No Trace and trail etiquette.
Please see our public schedule below for upcoming courses, or we can set up a private course for your organization (minimum 6 participants). Click HERE to set up a private course.
If you don't see a course near you right now, join our waiting list and we will alert you to courses in your area.
Become a Safe Hiker instructor! Find out more here.