Academic Catalog


Foothill College Course Outline of Record

Foothill College Course Outline of Record
Heading Value
Effective Term: Summer 2023
Units: 1
Hours: 3 laboratory per week (36 total per quarter)
Advisory: This course is included in the Cardio Fitness family of activity courses.
Degree & Credit Status: Degree-Applicable Credit Course
Foothill GE: Area VII: Lifelong Learning
Transferable: CSU/UC
Grade Type: Letter Grade (Request for Pass/No Pass)
Repeatability: Not Repeatable

Student Learning Outcomes

  • Identify the components of fitness and create a hiking program to meet personal fitness goals.
  • Demonstrate efficient hiking technique, use of 10 essentials (gear) and leave no trace principles.


A hiking course that prepares healthy, fit individuals for a final 8-12 mile hike on established trails over moderate to steep terrain.

Course Objectives

The student will be able to:

  1. Identify and explain fitness components related to day hiking
  2. Name common hiking injuries and explain prevention, symptoms, and care of common injuries
  3. Describe equipment needs and list the "10 essentials" every hiker should carry
  4. Recognize the health benefits of hiking
  5. Discuss components that affect pace on flat, uphill, downhill, uneven terrain
  6. Explain environmental concerns, both ethics of minimum impact hiking and health hazards for a day-long hike
  7. Navigate on marked trails
  8. Incorporate planning, preparing, and day hiking as a lifestyle choice for enjoyment and health benefits
  9. Recognize the value of minimum impact by also participating in a one-day trail maintenance, park clean-up, or related park volunteer project

Course Content

  1. Fitness components and day hiking
    1. F.I.T.T. principle
    2. Strength (leg and core) for climbing moderate to steep elevations
    3. Cardio and muscular endurance for sustained pace for up to five hours with several short rest periods
    4. Core strength for packing required essential gear without strain or discomfort
    5. Flexibility for negotiating overgrown trails, rocks, water crossings, downed trees
    6. Body weight management and nutrition/hydration needs for day hike
  2. Common hiking injuries and care of injury
    1. Ankle sprains and strains and blisters
      1. P.R.I.C.E.
      2. Basic splinting and square knot
    2. Dehydration
    3. Hypothermia/hyperthermia
    4. Sunburn
    5. Allergies to poisonous plants and insects
  3. Equipment needs and 10 essentials
    1. Equipment needs depend on hike location (e.g., mountains, ocean, desert, altitude, wilderness, open space), length of planned hike, time of year, fitness level of hiker, weather patterns
    2. 10 essentials: extra food, extra clothing, map and compass, water, sunglasses, flash light, first aid kit, pocket knife, waterproof matches, candle or fire starter
  4. Pace
    1. Fitness level
    2. Pack weight
    3. Elevation gain or loss
    4. Level vs. uneven terrain
    5. Weather and trail conditions
    6. Individual energy level, hydration, nutrition on the day of hike
  5. Minimum impact
    1. "Leave no trace": pack it in, pack it out
    2. Stay on marked trails even when trails are muddy; spread out if cross country hiking
    3. Respect and expect to share trails with other park visitors, plants, animals, environment
  6. Navigation
    1. Basic map skills for marked trails
    2. Identify topographic symbols and describe a "virtual hike"
  7. Planning a day hike
    1. Determine park(s) and type of hike: loop, out and back, or one-way "through" hike
    2. Set a date for hike
    3. Create training hike schedule and choose hiking partners
    4. Determine equipment needs, fees, transportation for day of day hike

Lab Content

Lab content may include but is not limited to:

  1. F.I.T.T. principle
  2. "Leave no trace"
  3. Planning a day hike

Special Facilities and/or Equipment

1. Day-pack, 10 essentials, first aid kit.
2. When taught as an online distance learning or hybrid section, students and faculty need ongoing and continuous internet and email access.

Method(s) of Evaluation

Methods of Evaluation may include but are not limited to the following:

Hiking skills, minimum impact, safety techniques, and preparation will be assessed by direct instructor observation and one-on-one as well as group discussions
Two take-home assignments; students choose from list of various worksheets
One group project: plan and lead a day hike; small group of 3-4 students work together to complete project

Method(s) of Instruction

Methods of Instruction may include but are not limited to the following:

Group discussions
Take-home quizzes
Group project

Representative Text(s) and Other Materials

McKinney, John. Hike the South Bay. 2019.

Lanza, Michael. Day Hiker's Handbook: Get Started with the Experts. 2003.

Rusmore, Jean, Betsy Crowder, and Frances Spangle. South Bay Trails. 2007.

Although some texts are older than the "5 years or newer" text standard, they remain seminal texts in this area of study.

Handouts and current website links will be provided each quarter.

Types and/or Examples of Required Reading, Writing, and Outside of Class Assignments

  1. Take-home worksheets and quizzes


Physical Education