We get it. You like the outdoors. You are awed by the wildlife, flora and unspoiled waters in the wilderness. Being an adventure enthusiast in Canada or the United States means that you would have gone on at least one such expedition or wish to do so in the near future. Before you decide if a guided trip is right for you, here’s what you need to know.
What is a Guided trip?
If you (and your friends/family) would be responsible for planning each detail of the adventure, including choosing the routes and navigating them, then that’s an independent trip. Some however prefer to embark on a self-guided trip, with all the equipment, tools, food, itinerary and maps provided for them (and their crew) by an outfitting company like MHO Adventures. In this case you would only be responsible for yourselves during the trip, and not for the logistics.
The third option is guided trips, which take off the burden of planning your expedition and finding your way through the wilderness by yourself.
At MHO Adventures, we go beyond simply outfitting you. We love arranging guided expeditions in different parts of Canada.
Here are some of the reasons guided trips are great for everyone:
Checking out new places
The beauty of taking a guided trip is that you can go to a completely new place instead of being restricted to routes that you are already familiar with. You also won’t need to do a recon trip or spend lots of time researching to figure out the technicalities and required arrangements. This way, you can have truly new and enthralling experiences in the Canadian wilderness of your choice.
Backcountry wilderness expeditions in Canada require a great deal of local knowledge, logistics and coordination. A major part of this involves getting the right type of equipment and gear for paddling, eating, camping, sanitation, safety, medical, repair and so on. You also need to know things like the best routes and access points, where the best campsites are, whether to walk or run already scouted rapids, and which swimming holes or fishing holes are the best.
In addition to these things, MHO Adventures guides also know how to make unbelievably amazing gourmet meals from our own heavily requested cookbook. We prepare highly nutritious meal plans so that you don’t waste time figuring out food before and while on your expedition.
Meeting new people
There is no better way to make new friends than while participating in activities of common interest. Rather than force a reluctant relative or friend to make the trip with you, why not go with a group of other wilderness enthusiasts? We love seeing the incredible friendships formed during our MHO adventures!
Indeed, nothing beats spending time with people who understand the language of the outdoors and share your passion for nature.
You can share your knowledge with others and learn from them as well. While you may not be able to wander off completely on your own terms, there will be avenues for you to have time to yourself too.
Your money’s worth
Some feel that guided trips are rather pricey. However, if you take into account all of the direct costs of backcountry travel as well as the stress and worry— not to mention the sheer time and work involved in planning a wilderness expedition in Canada, it is well worth it. By planning for groups regularly, experienced guiding companies have lots of local connections and relationships that you might not have access to. Apart from this, they follow a process/protocol that eliminates trial and error.
Having the right information also helps avoid many unnecessary expenses that even seasoned canoeists often encounter. By choosing a reputable company that values you and your experience, you are certain to get your money’s worth! MHO Adventures has excellent reviews on TripAdvisor, and has been recommended by a number of magazines like The Northern Ontario Travel Magazine.
Guided trips are safer
The wilderness offers breathtaking scenery, lush vegetation and pristine waters but also has inherent dangers. Your guides will have trip logs totalling hundreds of days and thousands of kms in the field. They know the classification of rapids in the river and are aware of how these change, even within the same season. They are also aware of the locations of other potential hazards on the river and with wildlife. In addition, they have a lot of training and certifications.
Guides are trained to cater to different experience and fitness levels, and also make accommodations for persons with disabilities. Even extremely strong and experienced adventurers can become exhausted. It is easier to rest and recover faster when you’re not the one directing the trip. Your guides will look out for the general health and safety of the team.
Medical emergencies Handled
It is our goal not have to respond to emergencies while in the wilderness but rather to prevent them from occurring. All wilderness travel contains elements of risk. Our intent is to use our training and experience to calculate and minimize the risks that you are exposed to while in the wilderness with us.
Though all of our guides are trained and certified in first-aid and cultural sensitivities, our preference and goal is to avoid any incidents by mitigating risks using our professional judgement and experience. In fact, MHO Adventures has been sponsoring Wilderness Medical Associates International (WMAI) trainings for some time. It is part of our training and certification courses for the outdoors.
Equipment and outfitting
Buying quality equipment is a huge investment that is hard to justify if you are only doing a handful of trips on your own.
We believe strongly in buying top of the line gear that performs well in all conditions, keeping you warm, dry and safe.
This can greatly lower your level of responsibility and stress during your adventure. Not only this, we also know how to quickly fix issues and we carry necessary supplies/tools with us.
No rookie mistakes
Sometimes, things change suddenly and you may not be prepared for these changes—but your guide will be! This is what their organization does, daily! So permits are booked well in advance; licences are secured; tickets are booked. Nothing will delay your fun. Again, the guides are familiar with the park authorities, campsite rules, fishing laws and have all the information to make the trip run smoothly. They also have backup plans if for any reason last minute changes need to be made.
Learn new skills
One of the best ways for a beginner to get into canoeing and/or camping is to take a guided trip. A guide takes you on gentle rapids, where you can practice your paddling in a fun way. Our Noire River and French River are examples of family adventure trips that are perfect for this, as they are suitable for even younger kids.
This is not to say that more experienced folks cannot benefit. You may have grown up canoeing, camping, teaching first aid, but there is always a new technique or trick to learn—or to share with others.
Learn about local history
Can you imagine going to Italy on holidays without getting a tour guide? It is the same with wilderness expeditions. Our guides at MHO Adventures, have a lot of stories of their own to tell but they also know the history. Due to our excellent relationships with a number of First Nation communities in Canada, you will learn about the people who first traversed the wilderness. Reading about these places and people is no substitute for a knowledgeable someone pointing them out to you. In addition to learning about and identifying key flora and fauna, you will get to know numerous fun facts about the region.
Enjoy the adventure
Our expeditions are ALL INCLUSIVE!
Having someone else take care of the arrangements and navigation gives you less to worry about before and during the trip. You can focus on making new memories with your loved ones and capturing them, instead of being completely preoccupied with preparations and planning.
Also, you are on VACATION! The time and energy saved from focusing on the logistics and planning, cooking, camp chores, etc can be spent relaxing and enjoying! Also, you have less work to do on your return. You are able to go home and simply unpack. You would not even need to hang up your equipment or return gear to the outfitters.
The MHO Adventures experience
There are so many benefits to taking a guided trip in Canada and MHO Adventures has all you need. Let us take both planning and execution off you by giving you an all-inclusive five star experience.
Make next year’s vacation memorable, outdoorsy, healthy and so much more, sign up for one of our scheduled adventures and you will not be disappointed. If you do not find a date that works for you or you want more flexibility, contact us to plan a custom trip!