What does it mean to be a backcountry guide?

  • Returning from Costco, again, with a 4Runner full of granola bars
  • Fumbling in the garage for a screw for a pot lid knob that’s missing
  • Cleaning out bear cans,
  • Washing plastic baggies out of guilt for using so many
  • Buying new boots every two years
  • GoogleEarth shows gear drying on your driveway
  • Being asked at Walmart if you’re on a tuna diet when you buy up their entire stock of tuna packets
  • Wearing the same thing every weekend
  • Keeping a nail brush in your purse
  • Having dog pads on the bottom of your feet
  • Being asked if you’re having a party when you show up at the Sams Club register with 10, 2 lb. salames in the cart
  • Watering the lemon tree in the backyard for 2 days because you forgot about it
  • Encouraging those that need encouraging and honoring those that decide not to scale the dome
  • Modeling self-care
  • Reading body language
  • Telling stories that teach backpacking lessons as well as life lessons
  • Listening… LOTS of listening. Everyone has an amazing story
  • Having the best pictures at the end of summer
  • Hanging with the best of folks, which are your hand-picked crew of guides
  • Making new friends every weekend
  • Having your guides bring you hot chocolate in your hammock at 9500 feet
  • And having a “job” that you love, even though you’re tired and cranky sometimes.

3 thoughts on “What does it mean to be a backcountry guide?

  1. LOL. In one of my courses I have a tuna packet and a can of tuna to make the kids think about which one they should pack. I try to put a lot of things out to really make them think. Love what you’re doing.

  2. Hi Karen,

    You may not remember me, but we met this weekend while Reza and I were about to go for a short hike at Hetch Hetchey.  Anyway, It was very nice to meet you.  I hope to see to see you again sometime.  I sense you have a great connection to the outdoors and all the nice things that come with it.  I think I’ve met your husband once on a hike to 1000 lakes.  He actually carried a small inflatable boat 12 miles to the lake :))  Amazing…  

    Thanks for for the news letter.   It’s great.

    Milt Rayford, one of Reza’s hiking buddies


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