Image Alt

Course description



In our programs we focus on guiding skills in the ‘Northern Wilderness’. International in this case means; the wilderness areas of Canada, Northern, Central and Eastern Europe, Russia and the Northern / Central parts of the USA, including Alaska.
Boreal, Nemoral, Montane and Subalpine areas are our specialism.



Download: International Wilderness Guide CSWI
Download: Traject Wilderness Guide Part-Time

Do it all???  > Level 1-2 and 3 in Three – Four Years (This course is in Dutch)
This longer Course includes al lot of specialization Courses and extra training.


Canadian  Survival and Woodstravel Instructor

This Wilderness Guide Course is the result of a collaboration between the Interpretive Guides Association (Canada), Mahikan Trails (Canada), Painted Warriors (Canada) and Voshaar Outdoor & Education (Netherlands). After completion of the course and certification, the participants are  qualified to guide individuals and/or groups in the wilderness (Remote and/or semi remote) , but also in the Mountain National Parks of Canada (eg. Banff, Jasper, Kootenay and Yoho) if the IGA exams are passed.

The certifications received after this course are recognized and honored by the Interpretive Guides Association, the Wilderness Guides Association, the Rocky Mountain Parks and Parks Alberta

This site is focused on the Part-time Course. For the Full-Time 3 year Outdoor College check the pages on our Dutch website
This Full Time study (3300 hours in 3 years) is by far the most complete Outdoorsports and Wilderness Education in the world.

We use higher Standards as the Wilderness Guide Association for our Level 1, 2 and 3.
Why we use higher standards? Higher standards means more skills, knowledge and experience in real Wilderness Areas. Our program is unique (since 2006), and we want to keep it unique. Take a look at the team page. All the Instructors and Guides are experts and have a lot of experience.


CSWI Level 1: Wilderness Guide
(Front-Country or Back-Country, depending on Skills, Experience and Knowledge)
WGA Wilderness Guide Level 1 (Front Country) or WGA Boreal Forest Level 2 (Back Country)
Includes IGA Interpretive Guide Specialization

CSWI Level 2: Advanced Wilderness Guide
(Front Country or Back-Country, depending on Skills, Experience and Knowledge)
WGA Wilderness Guide, Boreal Forest Level 2 (Back Country) , Training Level 3 (Guide Expert) and Specialization Winter Travel & Survival.

CSWI Level 3: Professional Wilderness Guide with 4 season qualifications (Back Country)
WGA Wilderness Guide, Boreal Forest Level 3, Expert Guide and Guide Instructor Training

To become a WGA guide a student must also teach and/or guide under supervison of a WGA Level 3 Guide

Google Maps

Our courses are focused on ‘hands-on’ practical training of skills, learning by experience and a high level of Nature Awareness.

Subjects Level 1, Level 2 and/or Level 3

1- Orienteering, route finding & route selection

2- Hiking & backpacking

3- Wilderness camping

4- Bushcraft & Survival / Wilderness living skills

5- Flora, fauna & tracking

6- IGA Ecology, history, geology, park management, interpretation

7- Wilderness First Aid

8- Search & rescue

9- Knots, lashings

10- Rules & regulations

11- Canoeing

12-Risk & Emergency Management


14- Snowshoeing (Level 2-3)

15- Wintertravel & survival (Level 2-3)

16- Avalanche Awareness (Level 2-3)

17- Hunter Education Course (Level 2)

Participant logbook:

 Wilderness Guide Logbook Skill Training

Wilderness Guide Logbook Day hike

Wilderness Guide Logbook Backpacking

> Wilderness Guides Association

Subjects Canadian Survival- and Woodstravel Instructor Level 1-2 and 3
To become a professional Wilderness Guide (Level 3) all these subject are well trained and tested.

For the testing, an overall exam will be conducted at the end of each program (Level 1-2 and 3).



1. Animal
-Species Identification
-Gait and Stride Pattern
-Gender Identification
-Ageing/dating Tracks (Winter focus in winter and summer focus in summer, but each season will be discussed)
-Finding tracks through difficult terrain (grass, hard mud patches etc)
-Other signs (scat, kill sites, food availability, terrain, season)

2. Human
-Height of human
-Approximate emotional state (calm, panic etc)
-Finding tracks through difficult terrain (grass, hard mud patches etc)


We will cover various animals, their habitats, behaviour and biology.


1. Predator

-Black Bear and Grizzly.
To include species identification, bear awareness  (staying safe in bear country), biology, behaviour, habitat and special considerations
-Wolves and Coyotes
-Weasel Family

   2. Ungulate

-Moose -Elk / wapiti
-Mule Deer
-White-tailed Deer
-Rocky Mountain Big Horn Sheep
-Mountain Goat
-Woodland Caribou

4. Rodents


-Snowshoe Hare

5. Birds


1. Food
” Plant Identification
” Uses of different plants for food sources
” Tea ” Poisonous Plant cautions.
” Determination of edibility of a plant
” Medicinal uses of plants. These will cover well known medicines.
2. Hardware Uses
” Making use of plants as tools.


Wilderness Living Skills.

1. Shelter
”  Lean To’s
” Quincy and Igloos
” Snow Coffins and Tree Wells
” Others


2. Fire
” Flint and Steel
” Matches and Lighters
” Bow Drill
” Fire Construction and Maintenance
” Signal Fires
” Material Gathering

3. Knife and Axe Craft 

4. Tools & Gear

5. Crafting


” Rules and Regulations
” Fish Identification
” Equipment
” Location
” Making Hooks
” Making use of materials on hand for fishing

Prepare Meals from the Bush & Outdoor cooking     

 Wilderness Navigation.

1. Modern Tools
” Map and Compass
” Terrain (Route Finding)

2. Primitive/Traditional Tools
” Sun (sun stick, sun compass)
” Celestial Navigation
” Various plants


 ” Flat water
” Rescue

  Snow Shoeing.

” Uses (terrain type)
” Technique on flat surfaces
” Hill Techniques
” Repair and maintenance

Avalanche awareness

Wilderness First Aid.


Hunting and Trapping.

Note: We won’t be hunting animals ‘for real’. But techniques will be learned in case of a survival situation.

1. Basic Hunting
” Ethics of hunting
” Traditional hunting weapons
” Making a Traditional Hunting weapon
” Learning about the animals we would be hunting and the techniques  for each one.

2. Basic Trapping
” Ethics of Trapping
” Various traps and snares
” How, where and why to set traps and snares
” Learning about the animals we would be trapping and the specific  traps and techniques for each one.
” Practice finding areas to set traps in
” Practice setting traps

Rope and rescue



Knots and lashings
Search & Rescue.

IGA Courses:


Geology, glaciology and climate

Ecology of the Rocky Mountains


Park management

Group management