Saturday, April 9, 2011

Not all Outfitters are Created Equal - Questions You Should Ask of Your Guides

The story “Falling in the Footsteps of John Muir” in my book Lost Angel Walkabout, describes the scariest situation I’ve experienced in my travels. I tripped and fell upon a splintered log that broke two ribs. This would not have been so horrific, but I was in the heart of the High Sierras at about 10,000 feet surrounded by even taller granite spires that blocked cell phone transmissions.

The total medical arsenal of my guides consisted of one sleeping tablet. I was told the assessment of my medical situation was up to me. My young, inexperienced guides asked me what I wanted them to do! I told them I could not ride or walk five hours from the campsite to a hospital, and scribbled authorization for a helicopter on a paper bag.

This accident took place before I was a professional travel writer, and the experience taught me many lessons—most importantly that not all outfitters are created equal! When you are considering an outdoor adventure with an outfitter, ask them questions before putting your life in their hands.

Read the questions you should ask at NAABW

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