Host a Safe Hiker Course

What: Hike Nova Scotia’s Safe Hiker Course aims to teach new and inexperienced hikers how to have safe, low-impact and enjoyable hiking experiences.
Why: Hike NS envisions more Nova Scotians and visitors enjoying a broad network of places for hiking, walking and snowshoeing and doing so in a responsible manner. To realize this, we need to give hikers the skills and knowledge to do it safely, with minimal impact and with confidence.
: The course targets new and inexperienced hikers, especially youth (13 to 18) and seniors (55 and up). The minimum age for participants is 13 years old. Hike NS offers the course to organizations that can recruit between 10 and 20 participants. Course hosts may include schools, scouting/guiding groups, youth-serving organizations, seniors groups, trail groups, hiking/walking clubs, naturalist clubs and others. The course is a resource for such groups to build skills, knowledge and capacity in encouraging healthy and safe physical activity among their target audiences.
When & Where
:Courses will take place in the fall of 2011 (Sept. to Dec.). There are a limited number of courses available, so potential course host organizations are encouraged to contact Hike Nova Scotia as soon as possible. It is a half-day course (3.5 hours).
: $20 per participant, including a manual and certificate of completion. The fee may be paid by individual participants or covered by the host organization. Host organizations must recruit between 10 and 20 participants in order to run a course.

Find more details about the course here.  Contact Hike Nova Scotia for more information at

Leave No Trace Tips: Plan Ahead and Prepare

As part of our regular feature on the seven Leave No Trace Principles, we’re featuring Principle #1: Plan Ahead and Prepare.

Adequate trip planning and preparation helps backcountry travelers accomplish trip goals safely and enjoyably, while simultaneously minimizing damage to the land. Poor planning often results in miserable campers and damage to natural and cultural resources. Rangers often tell stories of campers they have encountered who, because of poor planning and unexpected conditions, degrade backcountry resources and put themselves at risk. Why is trip planning important?

  • It helps ensure the safety of groups and individuals.
  • It prepares you to Leave No Trace and minimizes resource damage.
  • It contributes to accomplishing trip goals safely and enjoyably.
  • It increases self-confidence and opportunities for learning more about nature.

There are seven elements to consider when planning a trip:

  1. Identify and record the goals (expectations) of your trip.
  2. Identify the skill and ability of trip participants.
  3. Select destinations that match your goals, skills, and abilities
  4. Gain knowledge of the area you plan to visit from land managers, maps, and literature.
  5. Choose equipment and clothing for comfort, safety, and Leave No Trace qualities.
  6. Plan trip activities to match your goals, skills, and abilities.
  7. Evaluate your trip upon return and note changes you will make next time.

Learn more at Leave No Trace Canada.

Leave No Trace Tips: The Seven Principles

A new feature to the Hike NS E-News Bulletin is our Leave No Trace Tips section. Each month, we’ll highlight some aspect of one of the seven Principles of Leave No Trace, which build awareness, appreciation and respect for our wildlands. If we all try to keep these seven Principles in mind as we enjoy the outdoors, it will help to conserve and protect our natural environment. Leave No Trace Canada is a national non-profit organization dedicated to promoting and inspiring responsible outdoor recreation through education, research and partnerships. Hike Nova Scotia is a member and endorses and promotes the Leave No Trace Principles when hiking, walking and snowshoeing:

1.    Plan Ahead and Prepare
2.    Travel and Camp on Durable Surfaces
3.    Dispose of Waste Properly
4.    Leave What You Find
5.    Minimize Campfire Impacts
6.    Respect Wildlife
7.    Be Considerate of Other Visitors

Learn more about these Principles here.