Outside Takes Us Into the Secret Life of Guides

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The life of a mountain and travel guide seems so glamorous to those of us on the outside. After all, these dashing men and women get paid to take us on grand adventures. Who wouldn’t want to lead a group of climbers to the summit of some remote mountain, or take them on a journey down a beautiful river? But shockingly, it turns out that these experiences aren’t always a bed of roses. In fact, they can be quite challenging in many ways, straitening with the clients.

Outside Online has posted an article that takes us into the Secret Lives of Guides. The story collects the testimonials of a number of different professional guides to give us an idea of the the kinds of things that they have to deal with while leading us into the wilderness.

Some of the stories talk about the difficulties they have being able to lead a normal life when they are away from home for extended periods of time. Some are about the grueling schedules that the must sometimes keep. Others are simply humorous anecdotes about lessons they learned along the way, while the worst tales of all typically center around some client who is not necessarily behaving in the best possible manner. No names are used to help protect the innocent, but in some cases we’ve all probably experienced a fellow traveler who is not unlike some of the characters described here.

If you’ve ever had thoughts of becoming a guide yourself, you’ll certainly want to read this story. It’ll open your eyes to what their life is really like, and may serve as a cautionary tale for you as well. But if you read it, get a good chuckle out of the mishaps that are shared, and still want to pursue a life as a professional guide, than you probably have the disposition and demeanor necessary to be good at that job. It certainly isn’t an easy one, but many of us appreciate those who are very good at it.

Kraig Becker