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Hike Guiding 101: Everything You Need to Know for a Career Outdoors

Do you live for the outdoors? Perhaps you’re already on your way to becoming a certified guide. If you’re an outdoor enthusiast who’s passionate about bringing unique outdoor experiences to people’s lives, then outdoor guiding might be the career you’ve been dreaming of. 

To help you break into the outdoor guiding industry we want to give you an overview of what it means to be a guide and introduce you to our newly listed Outdoor Council of Canada’s (OCC) program designed for hike guiding.

Read on to discover if this is the career for you and how the OCC program can help you confidently get started!

What is an outdoor guide?

First off, what does it mean to be an outdoor guide? An outdoor adventure guide is someone who organizes and leads a group on technical outdoor activities! They connect people with outdoor experiences such as hiking, climbing, kayaking, skiing, snowshoeing, mountaineering, and the list goes on. 

You might be surprised to hear that being an outdoor adventure guide is not a career reserved for extreme sport enthusiasts. While skill in the area of guiding you go into is necessary, there’s more than technical skills needed to guide. If you’re considering outdoor adventure guiding you should also have leadership, communication, and people skills as well. Afterall, you’re the one the group will look to for guidance!

How do you become an outdoor guide?

If you have a passion and love for the outdoors then that is a great start! While the certifications you need depend on the company and the kind of activities you want to lead, Wilderness First Aid training is a good place to start. This course will teach you how to prevent or treat injuries that can occur in the outdoors. 

From there, depending on the area of guiding you want to get into, there are many different specific outdoor guiding courses and certifications to take, such as:

If your passion for the outdoors leads you to becoming a hiking guide, the OCC Field Leader Program might be the best one for you to choose!

What is the OCC Field Leader Program?

The OCC Field Leader courses provide prospective guides and outdoor leaders with the foundations for sound judgement and decision-making, ensuring a safe and enjoyable outdoor experience for all explorers. The course is designed to empower students to meet the challenges found in leading others outdoors including:

  • Ensuring physical and emotional safety
  • Managing logistics
  • Solving problems as they arise
  • Providing meaningful experiences for all explorers

The Field Leader (Hiking) curriculum not only teaches you how to schedule and manage a one-day hiking activity in a systematic way but also empowers you to feel confident in other areas, such as:

  • Motivation
  • Visioning
  • Pre-event planning
  • Last minute checks
  • Group Management
  • Debriefing

Whether you’re preparing to host your own adventures as a Yervana Local, or lead outdoor activities as part of a community organization, outdoor club, camp or school, an OCC Field Leader course will prepare you to organise those low-risk terrain outdoor trips.

Become an Outdoor Hiking Leader with Yervana

Ready to dip your toes in the adventurous career of outdoor guiding? It’s 100% everything it’s cracked up to be, and so much more. If you would like to learn more about dates and details, check out these two course options in either Vancouver and Canmore, taught by certified Yervana Locals. 

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