Plans, great ideas and weather can all change on an adventure trip at the drop of a dime. Different leaders lead differently and there’s no right “way” to guide people through the wilderness. It takes years to develop the soft and hard skills to effectively teach and cohabitate in a natural environment, but here for you today are 6 tips to leading an adventure trip for you to keep in mind the next time you step into nature’s classroom:
Plan Ahead to Play Free
Make sure to take care of all the logistical information before stepping out onto the trail. It’s really hard to organize re-supplies or order maps from the wilderness. Plan ahead to play free, and all that work beforehand can be thoroughly enjoyed as you step away from it all.
Understand Your Expertise
If you’re leading an adventure rock climbing trip, you should probably be pretty well versed in climbing terminology, technique, and safety. Your ability levels should be on par if not a step better then all your participants. This will instill confidence in your actions and lend volume to the words you speak regarding effective outdoor skills.
Communication is essential on an adventure trip. From small things like chit-chat around a fire to safety talks and technical instruction. Every word you share opens lines of dialogue that can more often then not, solve any problem before it ever becomes a real problem.
Build a Team (Teambuilding)
Many hands can make small work. A lot of the physical labor of an adventure trip can be easily overcame by working as a group. Whether it is setting up a rain-tarp in the nick of time or positive encouragement and support for a struggling team member; if you work together, it won’t seem like work at all.
Use Free Time Effectively
Although schedules are busy, free time does pop up on trail. Sitting around the fire, on a long bus ride, or just taking a water break from the day’s adventure; use your free time effectively. Asses how the group is feeling, get them engaged in some thinking, and use the extra time to build on group dynamics. Sometimes free time should be just that, free, but a little push in a productive direction can go a long way.
Stop and Smell the Roses
A lot of the greatest memories from people’s trips are the small things. The wild blueberry patch you gorged on for an hour while backpacking, that funny sign on the side of the road, or the laugh attack conversations around the campfire; whatever it is, remember to have fun and enjoy the moments that keep bringing you out there.