First of all, you fly to Vancouver International Airport and spend a night in a local hotel or hostel. The next morning an Express Shuttle brings you from Vancouver to your accommodation: a ranch a few hours north of Vancouver amidst the untouched wilderness of southwest British Columbia. After you had lunch on the ranch you will be introduced to the field of outdoor and adventure tourism and get a suitable horse – your companion for the next days.
You spend the following days acquiring essential skills about horse husbandry and horse care: you practice saddling, bridling, and hoof care. You also learn special techniques for packing, guiding and leading your horse and you practice bareback riding. Furthermore, you get to know important safety rules and acquire cooking skills for living in remote wilderness settings. On the fourth day (one-week course) or respectively on the seventh day (two-week course) you leave for your packtrip adventure for several days that leads you through ancient forests, wild flower meadows, wide open valleys and impressive mountain landscapes. The following few days you ride from camp into the wild while getting acquainted with essential outdoor skills like starting a fire, building a shelter, supplying for water and food, as well as first-aid measures and wilderness survival strategies. An experienced guide accompanies you and shares his experiences and knowledge about horses, outdoor, and nature with you. On the last day you ride back to the ranch to have a farewell dinner and start your return trip, packed with many new skills and impressions.
Each participant receives a certificate after successfully completing the course.
During your Wilderness Experience you'll deal with:
During the first days of your Wilderness Experience you live on a horse and guest ranch amidst the wild nature of southwest British Columbia together with other participants of the course where you sleep in tents. On the ranch you get breakfast, lunch, and dinner every day. There is also a ranch library; and you can use deck chairs to relax in the large garden. The wilderness area that surrounds the ranch measures 5000 square kilometers, belongs to the ranch itself and is the setting for your upcoming ride.
After a couple of days – in the one week course on the fourth day; in the two weeks course on the seventh day – you leave for the Canadian wilderness and sleep in a wilderness camp. These are located far away from the usual tourist trails and can range from big canvas tents to rustic mountain huts. All necessary food items are carried by you and your group and are either prepared in one of the camps or on the way.
Everybody interested in a Wilderness Experience abroad should be able to adjust to entirely unfamiliar standards of living in their future host country. Therefore, we would like to point out the importance of being flexible and adaptable regarding the accommodation and sanitary facilities provided by the project. Those are very basic and – depending on the project – cannot be compared to European standards. The equipment and furnishings are limited to a minimum; air conditioning is not available. Depending on your host country occasional power blackouts or water outages are quite common. Please contact us if you have further questions about your accommodation. We are pleased to provide you with comprehensive information since we would like you to feel entirely prepared for your time abroad.
You have successfully completed the one- or two-week horseback training or participated in another course in which you’ve acquired essential horse and wilderness skills? Then you are ready to take your wilderness adventures to the next level! The advanced wilderness guide training enlarges your knowledge and skills concerning the handling of horses, leading guests in remote settings, and life in the wilderness even more. Just like the preceding course, the intensive training starts on the ranch and lets you use the newly acquired knowledge in the midst of remote nature areas a few days later. The focus is put on:
The goal of this course is to provide you with a greater understanding of the Canadian backcountry and its unique nature, which is especially important for living and surviving in the wild nature, and which makes you an even more confident outdoor guide. You not only get to extend your practical skills, but you also test your limits, gain new confidence, broaden your horizon and develop a deep bond with Canada’s flora and fauna. After completing the course you possess the necessary knowledge and experience to be a second guide on wildlife tours, camping trips and other outdoor guest tours and work your way up to be a lead guide.