Course description


In our programs we concentrate 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 parts of the USA,  including Alaska.

Download: International Wilderness Guide CSWI


Canadian  Survival and Woodstravel Instructor

CSWI origineel

This Wilderness Guide Course is the result of a collaboration between Inroads Mountain Sports (Canada), the Interpretive Guides Association (Canada), Mahikan Trails (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. Only the IGA Basic Knowledge cours is always included in our program (Level 1).

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

logo IGA

Mahikan Logo01


WGA Guide

CSWI Level 1: Wilderness Guide
(Semi-Remote or Remote, depending on Skills, Experience and Knowledge)
WGA Wilderness Guide Level 1

CSWI Level 2: Advanced Wilderness Guide with Winter Travel / Arctic Specialization (Semi-Remote or Remote, depending on Skills, Experience and Knowledge)
WGA Wilderness Guide, Boreal Forest Level 2 and Specialization Winter Travel & Survival.

CSWI Level 3: Professional Wilderness Guide with 4 season qualifications (Remote)
WGA Wilderness Guide, Boreal Forest Level 3 and Arctic Level 2

Google Maps

We use the same Standards as the Wilderness Guide Association. To become a WGA guide a student must teach and/or guide under supervison of a WGA Level 3 Guide after the course(s).

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- Ecology, history, geology, park management, interpretation

7- Wilderness First Aid ( 20 hours course)

8- Search & rescue

9- Knots, lashings and Basic rope rescue (Level 3 Advanced)

10- Rules & regulations

11- Canoeing

12-Risk & Emergency Management


14- Snowshoeing (Level 2-3)

15- Dogsledding (Level 2-3)

16- Wintertravel & survival (Level 2-3)

17- Avalanche Awareness (Level 2-3)

Participant logbook:

 Wilderness Guide Logbook Skill Training

Wilderness Guide Logbook Day hike

Wilderness Guide Logbook Backpacking



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. Predators


-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. Ungulates


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

4. Rodents

jc 4

-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.

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

Dog Sledding.

1. Dog Handling
” Dog Care and handling
” Harnessing and attaching dogs for sled  


2. Sledding
” Sled Handling
” Out on the Trail!

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
Basic Rope- and rescue techniques ( WG Level 3 Advanced)
Search & Rescue.


IGA Courses:


Geology, glaciology and climate

Ecology of the Rocky Mountains


Park management Group management


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: