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How Do I Become an Adventure Tour Guide?

Rock climbing guides will need to have extensive knowledge of climbing and safety techniques.
An adventure tour guide may lead clients on a rafting trip.
A man leading a mountain bike tour.
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  • Written By: Dan Cavallari
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 12 October 2014
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In order to become an adventure tour guide, you will need to decide what type of activities you are qualified to lead, or what activities you are willing to learn proficiently enough to guide others safely through them. Consider your current interests and skills when making this decision, as it will have a significant impact on the process by which you will become an adventure tour guide. Regardless of the specific type of tour guide you want to be, you will need to become CPR and first aid certified, and you may need to take part in a wilderness first responder course.

A wilderness first responder course is a series of classes both in the classroom and in the field that will prepare you to become an adventure tour guide by teaching you the skills necessary to perform backcountry medicine. This means you will be prepared to treat minor to moderate wounds, transport patients, and be prepared for backcountry mishaps that are likely to occur throughout your career as an adventure tour guide. If you choose to guide with a specific adventure company, that company may have additional requirements you will need to fulfill before you can be considered for a position.

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It is likely that you will need to learn as much as possible about the specific activity in which you intend to participate while guiding. Mountain bike guides, for example, will need to have exceptional riding skills that they can teach tour participants, but they will also need to have knowledge and skills pertaining to bicycle repair and maintenance. Rock climbing guides will need to have extensive knowledge of climbing techniques as well as in proper anchor setting and safety techniques such as belaying. If necessary, take classes or workshops that will help you develop the skills necessary to become an adventure tour guide in your specific area.

Tour guides will also likely need to have extensive knowledge of the wilderness or other habitat in which the tour will take place. This is necessary not only for the education and entertainment of tour guests, but also for safety: a guide operating in the desert, for example, will need to have a working knowledge of plants and animals to educate tour guests, and also to help guests avoid plants and animals that can hurt them. The guide will also need to pay special attention to keeping himself and his guests properly hydrated throughout the trip.

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