The Characteristics of Good Outdoor Training.

Taking the outdoor training course is one way to become a professional outdoor instructor.
How to choice a good outdoor training program? Here is the advice of our Chief Consultant - Dr. Benjamin Rush.

Dr. Benjamin said "I think a good outdoor program needs 4 things."

C: Classroom size

If your program or a program you are considering, its important that your class size needs to be small. Many programs require a 1:3-5 teacher/student ratio. That means that for every instructor you have around 2-5 students. The difference in the ratio number depends on the discipline learning. You will need a smaller ratio for mountaineering or rock climbing compared to hiking.

E: Experience

Either before or after your class is over, you need to spend quality time practicing what you have just learned. There is a Chinese proverb, “Repetition is the mother of learning”. You need to practice something over and over again, to really understand it. If you are a rock climber, and you need to be able to tie a perfect knot on the first try. Before you work for many programs, they want you to have as the very minimal of 20-30 weeks in the field before they would even consider hiring you.

R: resident. 

Is your training international accepted or only in Taiwan? Better outdoor programs are from western organizations. If you are going to learn a skill, learn it so you can go anywhere in the world. International certifications are great, because you can go anywhere in the world and show your certification and more than likely, they will accept it.

T: time

If you want to be trained in a certain discipline it takes time. It’s impossible to learn a skill and be proficient in 2-3 days. If a program says they can certify you in a few days, yellow lights should go off in your head. I do teach an instructor certification class for the American Canoe Assocaition. This is class is designed for those who are already proficient in kayaking. It would be impossible for someone knowing little about kayaking to pass the instructor class.

F: fee

International training programs cost money. For those who have taken a wilderness first responder course, you know that it cost around 700-800 USD for a 7-9 day course. Why so expensive? Programs need to charge a fee for their time, books and administration. Usually instructors who teach these classes are more senior and they are paid more. It is cheaper taking Ben’s kayaking course, but if you are serious and want your training to go further, you need to spend more money. "