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7 Tips for Aspiring Female Outdoor Adventure Guides

International Women’s Day is an opportunity to celebrate inspiring women, both in our lives and around the globe. Since Yervana has many inspiring female locals who host unique adventures, we wanted to celebrate by giving these exceptional women a space to share what inspired them and how to follow in their footsteps.  

1. Nathalie found inspiration through seeing other women tour guides succeed in the industry

Nathalie is dual citizen, Swiss-Canadian, who loves taking people to discover the great outdoors and mentoring women to leadership roles.

She pursues her outdoorsy lifestyle any time of the year: in the summer you will find her biking, hiking, rock climbing or mountaineering. In the winter, you can find her cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, and even ice climbing!

“When I was 16, I had that fantasy of becoming a mountain guide but in Switzerland it’s a multi-year intense program that seemed very remote to my life with no connection to the mountain guide world.

I gained connection to it through the alpine club there then here in Canada which led to where I am now. A pivotal moment was when I saw on SM a female alpine club friend had become ACMG hiking guide.. I called her right away to know all about it.

What inspired me really? Observing and taking courses led by women guides who made it look possible for my world.”

Her bucket list Adventure

“So many on my list but definitely a multi-day trek across along the alpine spine of Corsica, hiking, adventuring and eating amazing food in the Spanish Pyrenees, hiking & horse-back riding in Mongolia and trekking in Patagonia!”

2. Shauna on how it is okay to pivot your career choice 

Shauna grew up in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains in Alberta and has been exploring the National and Provincial Parks since her youth. When she’s not taking explorers hiking, snowshoeing, or skiing, you’ll find her rock, ice and alpine climbing and sharing her passion for the outdoors with others.

While being an outdoor guide wasn’t her initial plan it’s safe to say after she pivoted her education she has never looked back. Here’s what she had to say on her journey to finding her dream career of outdoor guiding:

I went to University to study Anthropology but was side tracked when I took Intro to Mountaineering, with Allan Derbyshire who was a very charismatic instructor that likely converted many students into the University’s Ecotourism and Outdoor Leadership program.”

Her bucket list Adventure

“I would like to climb the Carstensz Pyramid, if not for the climbing for the cultural experience; or I’d settle for some beautiful granite of the High Sierra!”

3. Melody shares the importance of creating your own path

Melody is Canada’s first Certified Nature Connected Coach and is very passionate about helping others connect, heal, transform and grow. She helps guest connect with nature and experience forest bathing in Chilliwack, BC!

When it comes to getting started in outdoor guiding, here is advice from Melody:

Be authentic and true to who you are and that will shine through in your work. Don’t be afraid to make your own path to create what you want to see in the world. People need more fun and nature in their lives, so do it!”

Her bucket list Adventure

“For me it’s always about the trees, so I’d love to get to the Carmanah and Walbran valleys and see the amazing old growth trees there firsthand, under the norther lights. And then the California Redwoods.”

4. Claire on challenging the stereotypes by following your passion

After taking a mountain bike skills session to work on her own skills, it was then and there that Clare realized that this was her passion. Since then she has been mountain bike guiding all over North America and coaching in the Bow Valley.

Clare shares advice for other passionate mountain biking women:

Fact: Mountain Biking is a male driven industry. Ladies, we CAN change that. You just need to show up. Don’t let a statistic detour you from your passion. “

Her bucket list Adventure

New Zealand and Tasmania for a year, enough said!

5. Sanne on the importance of having safety and certifications in the outdoor area you want to pursue

Sanne was born and raised in the Netherlands, where the landscape often gets compared to a flat pancake. This made it easy for her to completely fall in love with the scenery in British Columbia. After realizing the feeling of freedom she could gain from exploring the local BC mountains she became an active travel tour guide and enjoys taking guests on overnight hikes.

Except for being excited and sharing your passion, what I believe would be most important is to gain experience. Safety and Knowledge of the Areas is probably the main thing that you’d want to educate yourself on if you haven’t done so yet. Check out Guiding Courses for as well winter and summer and start looking into Wilderness First Aid Courses. And educate yourself on Leave No Trace is another one that is very valuable.”

Her bucket list Adventure

There are so many adventures on my bucket list, but if I had to mention one it would be The GR20 in Corsica. GR 20 is a long distance trail that traverses Corsica diagonally from north to south. It is considered to be the most difficult of all the GR routes and one of the most beautiful mountain trails in Europe. It’s 180km long with variation in height of about 10 000 metres and can be walked in about 15 days.

6. Laura on the possibilities to create your perfect role

After teaching phys ed. for a number of years, it seemed like the perfect combination of an outdoors lifestyle and educating in a fun, relaxed environment.”

Laura came to Canada from Ireland, she has a background in Fitness and Physical Education. When she first arrived in Canada she spent some time travelling, which is how she stumbled across Canmore in the Canadian Rockies. That’s where her journey in guiding started, taking guests on guided walking tours became the perfect combination for her active lifestyle and teaching background.

Her bucket list Adventure

Living in the Canadian Rockies means there are many adventures on my doorstep that I still haven’t completed. My bucket list is getting longer but the Rockwall trail in Kootenay National Park is hopefully one I can tick off sooner rather than later.”

7. Paula shares inspiration for anyone who’s considering trading in their day job for the great outdoors

From a career in nursing to running her own businesses as nature walk tour guide in Jasper National Park, Paula knows a thing or two about how it’s never to late to make your dreams a reality.

I have lived in Jasper most of my life the outdoors has always been a big part of my life. When I decided to no longer be a Registered Nurse, I became a guide in Jasper National Park.

Her bucket list Adventure

My next adventure is I plan to ski Tour up Upper Basin with my new Touring ski gear and make some awesome turns on the way down.

Inspired by this year’s IWD theme, Choose to Challenge, we want to remind you to be bold and choose to challenge your biggest fears. Whether that is turning your passion for the outdoors into a business or heading out on an adventure you’ve been putting off. If what you choose to challenge is in the outdoor space we want to help you you get there!

Turn your passion for the outdoors into a business!

Yervana can help turn your passion for the outdoors into a business (or side hustle!). We provide you with the tools and guidance you need to turn your passion into your livelihood including:

  • Resources for getting certifications
  • Insurance and permits to run your Adventure
  • Promotion of your Adventure
  • And a user friendly booking platform

If you have a perspective on the outdoors and a desire to connect others to nature — we can help with the rest. Learn more about joining Yervana’s community of female Locals. 

Thank you to our female locals for taking the time to share with us their advice in hopes to inspire future female tour guides.

Happy International Women’s Day!

From Team Yervana


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