It’s no secret that getting out and adventuring is fun, and that you double your fun when you do it with other people. Most people’s first few adventures were probably organised and led by someone else who had done a lot of that sort of thing before. Stuart Nicol takes a look at how can we can pass on the love by helping others go bush and maybe even make a career out of it.
There are several ways in which you can take others outdoors and enjoy it yourself. If you’re like me, only a small proportion of your mates are into outdoor stuff and they’re always busy, so you’re going to need to look elsewhere for people to go with or take.
The most common ways to find adventure buddies are clubs, youth organisations, paid work or more recently, Facebook groups like ours where you can post your planned adventures and invite people to tag along or arrange meetups.
Clubs that specialise in outdoor activities are common in all parts of Australia, they’re often focussed on the local area and what’s available. Clubs also generally have introductory activities so you can join in and see if it suits you.
If you join a club you can expect an annual fee that covers things like printing, gear maintenance, facilities and potentially insurance. They’re a great way to meet others in your area who like the local activities and typically they provide information and training for you to be able to safely participate in new activities.
You don’t have to commit to one straight away either. You may need to visit a few different local groups to find one that suits you best.
Some (but definitely not all) of the great organisations in Australia can be found below:
Get Trained Up
Beyond being a participant, you can also become an outdoor activity guide either professionally or as a volunteer. The leaders of these activities need a higher level of training, either internal and unofficial, or official.
The official and accredited training is the Cert III or Cert IV in outdoor recreation. There are heaps of specialties available including abseiling, bushwalking, canoeing, caving, climbing, ropes courses and kayaking.
The training provides those who run activities, either as volunteers or professionals, with the knowledge and tools to successfully run sessions for participants. This includes skills like group management, risk management, planning, rescues and of course, practical skills.
You’ll also gain knowledge on the theory behind running these activities, such as group formation and ‘flow’. This training gave me the skills to to organise trips for 10+ young people on 4 day expeditions, both canoeing and bushwalking, successfully and without accidents.
Most volunteer outdoor organisations are aimed at improving people’s lives through the outdoor experience.
One of the better known organisations is Scouts, which runs activities for youth from 6 to 26 (the 18 to 26 sections is called “Rovers”) and offers cheap or free accredited training for active members.
By helping out in these organisations, you will typically learn soft-skills and management, meet like-minded people in your local community, obtain a sense of achievement and have a heap of fun.
Some organisations in Australia include:
Volunteering, although it sounds like heaps of work, is actually heaps of fun. Working with youth and doing activities you enjoy is both rewarding and a great laugh. You can expect to make friends with other volunteers and enjoy experiences that others aren’t offered.
People who volunteer in the outdoor industry do activities both locally and interstate either cheaply or for free. Unlike paid work, you can focus on the things you enjoy doing and only help out when it suits you.
There are also a large number of paid jobs available in outdoor recreation. This is typically as a tour guide, training others and instructing, or in a school camp type role.
The activities available for you to do will depend on the supply/demand for roles in your area and the local environment, so if you’re really keen to work in a particular activity, you might have to move to where the action is. These roles can be seasonal and might not pay as much as an office job, but waking up every day to do what you love outdoors and level up your skills might just be worth the trade off.
Whatever it takes and whichever approach floats your boat, you can make your adventures more fun for yourself by finding a way to share the outdoor stoke with others.
Feature photo by @aronhailey
Share the stoke