Kelsea DeFilippis 4/26/2020
The Guiding Industry Is Hurting
Before these times, we heard about the dirtbag lifestyle of guides and the glamour behind living in a tent part season while leading groups down rapids, trails, and up vertical walls of rock. These are the people that teach us, give us experience, and help us safely grow as outdoor enthusiasts. These people show the best sort of stewardship to the planet and share their take on how to recreate sustainably.
You may think that you have never used a guide before, but have you ever picked up a Guide book, watched YouTube videos, or read forums? Guides share their knowledge and experience not just in education but via policy and help create that culture of stewardship. We use so much wealth of knowledge from guides to get us outside safely.
Today, we should recognize how much the guiding industry is hurting.
Back in college, I was a kayak and surf guide while also working in my school's climbing gym and teaching classes here and there. You don't get paid a whole lot for guiding, that's for sure, but the benefits health-wise of teaching outside, connecting with people, and sharing your knowledge makes up for it. Oh yeah, and tips. Tips are pretty much the best bonus and pretty much how guides can be guides. The expenses that go into being a professional guide, such as medical training (Wilderness First Responder or Emergency Medical Technician), are typically paid for the Guide themselves and can be quite spendy. To be re-certified, a cost between $350 - $4,000 is average, which is typically renewed between one and three years. This is only on the medical side. I'm sure there are a lot more expenses that go into different variations of guides.
The outdoor industry is currently sleeping, as it should be through this crazy time, but the people who are freelanced/gig or worked off of tips are hurting a little extra with unemployment confusion and waits. Supporting local businesses right now is a significant push in today's society, and it might be a turning point to reach out to those who are hurting, sick, and dealing with issues outside of the pandemic and financial crisis (such as natural disasters).
From now until the end of May, we are foregoing 100% of our proceeds and sending them towards our Guides to help them through these times. We encourage you to look at our areas found here: GUIDEGAP
By purchasing an Activity in your dream location, or even in your backyard, you will also be donating to a guide in need.
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We encourage you to look at all of our 14 state offerings: GuideGap Destinations