Benefits of a Guide

why should I take a guide?

  • #1: Safety. While the Boundary Waters may not have poisonous snakes or man-eating cats, there are a myriad of risk factors in the wilderness. Situations can change dramatically and have very real impacts if ignored. You are, as they say, “beyond the golden hour” in which a phone-call to a rescue squad could quickly bring medical help. Wilderness Wind guides provide you with a safety cushion of experience and Wilderness First Aid training that, combined, can help you prevent emergency situations before they even happen. If, however, a real emergency is at hand, your guide will have training and resources to respond quickly and appropriately.
  • #2: Get the full impact of your Wilderness Wind experience. Wilderness Wind is not an outfitter; it’s a community of real people, committed to building relationships with others, the Earth, and our Creator. Regardless of your group’s prior wilderness background, a  Wilderness Wind guide is your link to the wealth of history and discovery that have been percolating at Wilderness Wind’s Pine Ridge for decades. Inviting a WW trip leader into your wilderness experience opens the door for sharing insights and ideas on environmental and faith-related themes. As a bridge between your group and Wilderness Wind camp, your guide can help shape your wilderness adventure into the beginning of life-impacting relationships.
  • #3: For your enjoyment. Simply stated, having a WW trip leader along will help  you relax and enable you to spend less timeworrying and more time enjoying your wilderness experience. This is particularly true if you are new to the Boundary Waters or canoe camping. Your trip leader will be familiar with orienteering,the equipment, wilderness living in general, and northwoods flora and fauna and will be a handy resource for you. Plus, they’re pretty handy at carrying lots of heavy stuff…
a few other points to ponder
Specific things to seriously consider when debating the benefits of a taking a guide:
  • Wind: knowing strategies to safely approach a lake in strong wind…or when to stay put
  • Making last-minute route changes
  • Maneuvering on tricky portages
  • Carrying your heavy stuff
  • Freedom from being the one to worry:  “Did we remember the recipe cards? How far are we going to go tomorrow? How do we get Andre to paddle faster and stop arguing with Jessie?” Should we stop at this campsite or keep going?
  • Dealing with dehydration / hypothermia / heat exhaustion / water safety – drowning or near drowning
  • Lay-over days: when and where to take them? A guide will help you discover how to make the most of each day.

Of course, taking a guide will not ensure that the weather is perfect or the inevitable toothbrush will not be forgotten. Rather, it will allow you greater freedom, safety, and ability to engage with others and the amazing world around you.