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7/24/2018 10:59 am  #1

Park Guides...

Thankfully, I'm gainfully employed but I've often considered moonlighting as a guide, mainly because I'm close, can carry a conversation and usually in there on my free time anyways....
Is there anything officially required to anoint myself a guide?  I assume registering as a business but anything specific from the park's perspective?  My 10-second google search came up with nothing....


7/24/2018 4:42 pm  #2

Re: Park Guides...

Kurt -
I got curious about your topic and did a slightly different 10 second google search.  Part of what I do for a living is review terms and conditions for development/production contracts (I have head-bobbed badly at my desk as I fight off sleeping), so it got me thinking.  Your results may vary with local ordnances, etc., but I looked up what was required to be a fishing guide in general, and I bet either by law or "it makes sense" that a lot of the same things would apply.

In some locations, a fishing guide has to be certified in CPR and first aid, and to demonstrate that they can handle water and health emergencies.  Basically the safety of clients is on you, and I would think some personal liability insurance would be in order.  If somebody snaps a leg, is it because they were wearing inappropriate shoes or behaving foolishly, or it doesn't matter because you didn't insist on them wearing appropriate shoes or to stop behaving foolishly.  Those are the kinds of things that'll cause you problems.  I was thinking about life jackets.  What are the ramifications if you offer to provide versus telling a client you need to provide them.  Maybe an outfitter can help fill in some of those blanks for you. 

You can be selective in whom you take, and you can certainly take steps to address those kinds of things with a couple of pager that says here's what you need to bring, here are the expectations, here's what I'll provide in terms of gear and assistance and like that, and that would help for sure, but even on a part time basis I'd think you want pretty broad personal liability insurance.

I guess that's all I've got.  I do think it would be a lot of fun, you'll just want all those ducks lined up first.  Or maybe all those mergansers lined up.  They are far more organized than ducks.


7/25/2018 1:26 pm  #3

Re: Park Guides...

Thanks for the reply, the liability aspect would be the biggest hurdle for sure.  I know from traveling that there are lots of countries that allow locals with knowledge to run backyard guide businesses but of course, these are often developing countries with loose regulations.  Along with first aid, I would imagine SWR and a few other safety certifications would help.  Something to look into I guess, thanks for the input!

     Thread Starter

7/26/2018 3:31 am  #4

Re: Park Guides...

Maybe try and PM Markus of Mark in the Park fame.  Looks like he has started to do some guiding in the park.  I'm sure he could point you in the right direction.  


7/26/2018 6:27 pm  #5

Re: Park Guides...

Kurt, there isn't much to found by searching because there is no definitive answer, in Ontario at least. You could just put up a web site, call yourself a canoe trip guide and have at it. That said, you might not get any business and might be opening yourself up to some liability issues if something went horribly wrong.

In Ontario, there are no official standards, but most people offering their services as canoe trip guides have valid first aid/cpr certification (preferably at at an advanced level like WFR), some type of ORCKA cert and a solid resume of canoe tripping and outdoor leadership experience. You also have to want to do it, since guiding is hard work, not for everyone, and is very different from going on a trip with your buddies.

I hire guides for AO and look for people who have the above qualities but who mostly love working with people, have a strong commitment to safety and responsible wilderness travel, and above all, enjoy sharing their knowledge with others. Other companies probably have the same outlook.



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