Outdoor Adventure Guides

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becoming a outdoor adventure guide outdoor adventure guide salary

When you hear the term or phrase outdoor adventure you quickly envision people climbing steep precipitous cliff faces and eating a meal out of a tin can, suspended thousands of feet above the ground. However this is not what outdoor adventure is all about. The real adventure of being outdoors is just simply being outside, in the wilderness. Many people sit in an office and dream about that other job, the one where there is a challenge and adventure. The job that allows the wanderlust to flow free and the bonus is that you can get paid for this.

What is a guide?

The term outdoor adventure guide defines somebody that likes to work outdoors whether it is hiking canoeing fishing, hunting, mountain biking, skiing or just about any adventure pursuit that is too had outdoors. The type of person that decides to become an outdoor guide normally faces seasonal work as most trips outdoors are done in the balmy weather of summer. They tend to be an expert in their field which can take years and many trips in the field to obtain the experience. They are a group of dedicated individuals that by the very nature of the work they do defines them. The best guides are the ones that have established a solid reputation for dependability and reliability and experience and tend to get hired year in and year out. They will normally do all the planning organization for an expedition. If it is a canoeing trip for example they will plan how many canoes are needed, food, permits, equipment ,the location and all the other details that is vital to an expedition.


To become an outdoor guide there are certain requirements that have to be met depending in which state they intend to work. However up-to-date there is no formal qualification needed in most states. However the following guidelines and courses/licenses are recommended, depending of course from state to state and the type of guiding to be done.

• A comprehensive first aid course( very important)

• Fishing and hunting licenses( fishing and hunting guides)

• Boat captains license(fishing guides)

The type of person who decides on wanting to become an outdoor guide has to have a passion for the outdoors. They also need to be able to work outdoors in all types of weather and very importantly enjoy working with people.


The typical guide can earn between $75 to $150 per day and per year it can be $30 000. However this is not a set rate, as very often the experience of the guide will make him or her more marketable, and thus be able to ask a higher daily wage. In Africa where there are premium guides available the rates can be as high as $500 or more per day. But then again there are formally recognized courses and qualifications in Africa. Because this is a seasonal job many guides will do other work in the “low” season (winter) to supplement their income. This is a wonderful choice of career for the person who likes the challenge that every day brings and is independent minded with a lust for adventure.


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