I had a blast in my Wilderness First Responder training with Danny Peled and Boreal River this year. Danny has founded a first class company that offers a mix of training and guided trips.
He asked me to write something based on my guiding experience, and I chose to talk about the soft skills that I believe are so important to develop. It’s a list.
In the guiding world, there’s a lot of emphasis on hard skills including first aid and rescue techniques. This makes good sense—we need to know what to do when things go south—but it’s critical to remember that we want to prevent problems from developing in the first place. That seems obvious, but prevention sometimes takes a back seat to the sexy stuff like z-drags and femur splints.
We forget that staying safe also takes skill and practice.
Being a great guide has a lot to do with soft skills. It’s not only what you do with people but how you do it that will increase your safety margin and improve everyone’s experience. Be someone your guests can trust and relate to, and your job just got easier.