General Guidelines

Generally speaking, an outdoor guide is someone who is supposed to lead, protect, instruct, guide and train any individual in any outdoor recreational activity. 

Wilder is not currently directly partnering or affiliated with any of the guides we present on the site. We are simply a curated marketplace allowing guide companies to share their adventures, and you, the adventure seeker to easily find your next outdoor excursion. All the outfitters listed are independent. In the (very) near future we will heavily focus on highlighting the best outfitters based on certain criteria such as – certifications (when applicable), insurance, reviews, conservation efforts, etc…

How do you choose the best guide for your adventure? Here are a few guidelines on how to properly choose a guide that is best suited for your needs. Remember, the most important thing is your safety. While you should go and explore and learn and have as much fun as possible, the key thing is coming back safely. 

The general advantages of having an experienced guide (the why):

  • First of all – Safety! Nothing is more important than your safety. Having an experienced guide minimizes your risk level allowing you to maximize your enjoyment. 
  • New Skills – Starting something new can often be daunting but learning the fundamentals with a guide can fast-track that process for you. Your path to independence is through those ABC’s. You don’t become a boxer or a tennis player without a good coach, you trust the coach to give you the skills necessary to become the best you can be in that niche. The same goes for rock climbing or kayaking or mountaineering – there is a wealth of knowledge you must absorb from your guides in order to learn and harness these newly acquired skills. 
  • Enjoy Good Company – A good guide should be very friendly and someone you would happily spend a few hours or days with. Furthermore, many programs involve joining a group, which allows you to interact with different people with similar interests and make new friends as you share the adventure. On long mountaineering trips, you will be able to swap stories, help each other out and enjoy meals, fires and sleep under the stars together. When sharing some such deep transformational experiences you are bound to make some lifelong friends. 
  • Knowledge & Experience – Knowing the safest route, the most scenic trail, or spots that are not on the map are only part of the advantages of using an experienced guide with a wealth of knowledge. A great guide should be able to educate you and give you the history of the region, the culture of the area, and the cool insider stories. 
  • Greater Access – Many guide companies have access to places you don’t. Private lands, National Parks and other places where you either have to reserve in advance, pay or simply can’t enter. 
  • Local Insight – Nothing better than a local’s insight. 


How to choose a guide (again, we are not affiliated with the guides so choose them wisely!):

  • Ask your guides if they have the required certifications. For example, when looking for a mountaineering guide, make sure they are IFMGA or AMGA certified. Although not required by US law, it is best to go with a guide company that requires their guides get certified. 
  • Read reviews! One or two bad reviews isn’t the end of the world, but if you see consistently bad reviews that’s a red flag. Read a good number of reviews to get a well rounded idea of the company.
  • Check that they have business insurance
  • Ask questions! Don’t be afraid to email or call and ask all the necessary questions. If they are elusive about answers, that should raise concerns. 
  • Most outdoor guides must follow good conservation practices
  • Customer service! The best guides are extremely professional and ensure their customers have an exceptional experience from the first call to returning safely back from the adventure.