Whether you’re running adventure experience tours as a pro, or are just the person your friends trust to bring an adventurous holiday together, your tour group will expect you to be in control of every detail. That means knowing your stuff and having the right equipment to make things run smoothly – especially if you’re being paid to coordinate and guide the trip.
Develop a Packing Checklist for Yourself and Your Guests
Your guests will expect you to be well-organized, so even if you’re sure that you can pack your trailer blindfolded, have a checklist. An electric trailer jack supports your trailer while loading and hitching, so that’s a handy extra to have when loading, unloading, and hooking up your trailer. Be methodical about packing so that you always know exactly where everything is.
Have you ever led a group that seems to have absolutely no idea about what to wear and what to bring for your adventure? Make sure they know how to prepare themselves and pack. For example, on most adventures, a spare set of clothing is good to have in case of mishaps. State the obvious, even if that means telling them to bring hiking boots to a hike!
Take a Few Extras Just in Case
In any group, there’s almost sure to be someone who comes ill-prepared, even if you let them know what they need to pack. While you can’t cover every contingency, a few spare items like lightweight towels and blankets or necessary utensils could come in handy when one of your group has to admit that they “forgot” a basic instruction.
Coordinate the Meetup
Make sure that your group members know when and where to meet up. Set time limits and allow half an hour or so for them to muster at your meeting point. If it looks like you’ve got latecomers or no-shows, call them to see whether they’re on your way and whether it’s worth waiting for a late arrival.
Have a Backup Plan
We can’t tell nature how to behave, and inclement conditions could mean that you have to put off the trip for safety’s sake. As a seasoned adventurer, you’ll be tracking risk factors in the leadup to your excursion, but guests will expect you to have alternatives lined up.
If it’s possible to do a modified version of your trip, explain the changes you’ll need to make to ensure everyone knows what to expect. If you have to cancel, or your guests don’t like the idea of alterations to your plans, you can always offer a new embarkation date and leave it up to them to decide if it suits them.
Brief Your Group Thoroughly
You probably already know how important briefings are. But even if you do them regularly, ensure that you have an agenda that lists all the topics you have to cover. Safety measures will be among the most important things to highlight. Make sure your briefing covers all contingencies so that your group doesn’t panic when rapid reactions and purposeful behavior are required. A quick pop quiz at the end of the briefing will help you to reinforce your message while ensuring that your group is paying careful attention.
As group leader, you’re responsible for the safety of everyone in your group. Don’t allow yourself to be browbeaten about your decisions, even when these err on the side of caution. While certain members of your group might like to encourage you to take risks, you’re still the one who has to answer for any unpleasant incidents that might occur.
However, if all goes well, you’ll have a well-prepared group that sets off on time, enjoys a wonderful adventure, and returns home, tired but happy.
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