The SOAR Act will make your life as a guide easier. At least, that's the hope. As we know, federal land management agencies require guiding businesses and outfitters to get special recreation permits so they can operate on public lands and waters. Even though this is a legal requirement for professional guides, they aren’t easily obtainable. Not only is the process totally convoluted, a lot of businesses ask agencies about available permits to only be told there aren’t any available. Because of this, guiding companies can’t take their clients out on public lands and their businesses suffer. I. What’s the...

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The shift to online booking has seen significant changes from pre-pandemic levels. While many guiding companies are making the move to online booking, there are still too many putting it off and gripping too tightly to the pen and paper. Those who don’t jump on board now will be left behind and lose out to their competitors. Here are 25 online booking statistics showing the shift to online booking, travelers’ habits and interests, and how important it is to adopt reservation technology now. Travelers’ Search Windows 40% of travelers have a search window of 31+ days, a 15% increase from...

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“I realized guiding was another path in the industry and a blend of passion, sense of purpose, and being in nature,” said Jeff when we asked him why he wanted to become a guide. Smile Mountain Guides was founded on trust, caring, and respect for climbing. It’s a small but mighty team and we got the chance to hear from Meg, Michael, and Jeff about their experiences as guides.  Why did you want to become a guide? Michael: I think at first it was seeing a lot of the people I looked up to in the climbing community working as...

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Becoming a fishing guide is more than some certifications and a day on the water doing what you love. Being a fishing guide means you’re not the one fishing. Instead, you’re helping your clients catch fish. We asked Stephen Balough, of Riffletrip Outfitters, to share his experience and what you can expect from life as a fishing guide. Why Did You Want To Become A Fishing Guide?  I became a fishing guide in college. I always had a passion for fishing since I was a little guy. Now, after nearly 14 years of guiding, I have realized that I am...

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Becoming a ski guide through the AMGA certification program is no walk in the park, but it’s the best way to become a certified Mountain Guide—and a legit one at that. We had the opportunity to chat with Jake Gaventa, ski guide and AMGA’s Partnership Manager, to learn more about what it really takes to become a guide, and what it’s like once you’re certified and employed. What kind of outdoor guide are you? There's a very strict term on the international scale. So, I'm not a capitalized “Mountain Guide.” It would be best if I was referred to as...

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Becoming a Climbing Guide sounds like the perfect job, right? Having the chance to climb routes all over the country, or heck, even all over the world? Waking up on the side of a mountain and peering out your portaledge to see the sunrise. Getting paid to do what you love. It sounds amazing. And it is. But there’s a vast amount of work that goes into earning your certifications, making enough money to survive, finding enough work throughout the year, mitigating risks for yourself and for your clients, and creating a solid reputation as an expert Climbing Guide.  We...

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The guiding season is non-stop. There’s always an adventure to go on with an expert guide, but some guiding companies only operate during a specific season or two. For those preparing for their upcoming season, here are eight tech aspects to have dialed before you take clients on their next adventure. Review Or Update Your Liability Waivers Have liability waivers for your guided trips? It’s a good idea to review your liability waiver text and make sure they’re up-to-date. If you have a new trip that requires an additional waiver, it’s important to upload that before the season. Origin users...

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If you’re looking for adventure grants and scholarships for guides, then you came to the right spot. Below, you’ll find a list of all types of adventures (in alphabetical order). We’ll continue to add to the list as we find more opportunities for guides. If you know of one, send Jessica a message: jessica [at] exploreorigin [dot] com Adventure Guide Scholarships American Alpine Club An organization committed to providing climbers with the opportunity to engage with each other in respectful discussion and debate on our platforms. Catalyst: A Grant For Change Its Purpose: To provide BIPOC, LGBTQ+ individuals, and people...

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Online resources for outdoor guides are few and far between. Either it doesn’t exist or it’s so dispersed that it’s easy to give up to find all the information you may need to know what’s happening in the outdoor industry, and more specifically, what’s impacting guides presently. This isn’t a final version of the best online resources for outdoor guides and tour operators, but it’s a start. We’ll keep adding to this list as we find more online resources. Outdoor Organizations & Associations Organizations and associations that cover all sectors of the outdoor industry.   America Outdoors Association (AOA) The American...

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The outdoor guiding industry, like other adventure travel sectors, has seen its fair share of dramatic changes over the past two years. We don’t expect that to level out any time soon. Instead, consider going into 2022 with your pivoting feet because there’s sure to be a consistent change in guiding (and travel in general).  So, if there’s anything we’ve learned since 2020, it’s that “the only constant is change” for tour operators. Here are 9 outdoor guiding and adventure travel trends coming our way in 2022: Outdoor Guiding Trends Coming in 2022 1. End of Reserve With Google But...

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October may be one of the funnest months — if you like exploring the scariest outdoor spots, that is. There are a lot of haunted bridges, battlefields, and of course, houses. If you’re like us and enjoy scaring yourself silly by snaps of twigs in the woods, odd orbs floating by, or blood curdling screams, then this post is for you. We’ve found everything from haunted roads to mines to trees. Check out 50 legends of the scariest outdoor spots in the United States. Alabama: Nancy's Mountain Trail While Nancy's Mountain Trail at the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Haines...

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Avoiding the crowds along the front range in Colorado to do some honest mountain biking is everyone’s MO nowadays. We scoured the front range and found some legit trails ranging from easy to difficult, from chunky to smooth, and everything in between. If you explore any of these trails, tag us on Instagram. We’d love to hear how it went. Red Mountain Open Space  powered by Singletracks.com Distance: 12.1 miles Difficulty: Beginner/Intermediate Elevation Gain: 1,403 feet Elevation Drop: 1,401 feet Average Grade: 4% Notes: It’s in a pretty remote location, so bring everything you’ll need with you (water, snacks, etc.)....

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Online booking software is better for adventure providers. First, it makes it easier for customers to book trips. It also benefits tour operators because it automatically collects, organizes, and centralizes important information needed to run a business. What is Online Booking Software? Online booking software is used for managing reservations. It is a self-service portal that allows for a customer to book and pay for an activity or service through a website. Customers can book trips that have open time/date slots suggested to them by the system. Origin’s simple online booking software easily integrates into your website. It doesn’t need...

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As we all know, tour operators are a resilient bunch. The travel industry has gone through crises before COVID-19. Everything from terrorist attacks to disease to depressions to wars and we’ll do it again. What this crisis has shown us is how innovative tour guiding companies are. To regain confidence in returning (and new) customers, tour operators must be willing to change and adapt. We found four ways companies are improvising to persevere and even make the travel industry better than before: collaborating with other businesses, personalizing tours, practicing sustainability, and staying flexible. Tour Operators Collaborating With Other Businesses When...

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Attracting local tourists will be key for the rest of 2020 due to COVID-19-related travel restrictions in the United States (especially internationally). Some states require travelers to self-quarantine for 14 days when visiting. Others don't. As a tour guiding business, it's important to know your state's guidelines.

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