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Level 1

Wilderness Guide Level 1

CSWI Level 1 = WGA Wilderness Guide Level 1 (Front Country) or WGA Boreal Forest Level 2 (Back Country). If you want to apply for WGA Level 2 Boreal / Nemoral you need to participate at least two times in the 6 days wintertraining in the Jura, before or after Canada.

Participants need the Wilderness Leader or Hike & Survival Instructor course or Outdoor Instructor Course (or an equivalent) to start the CSWI course.

For equivalents in Canada contact our partners Mahikan Trails and/or Painted Warriors.
The IGA Interpretive Hiking Guide Course can be done in Canada and in the Netherlands before or after the training in Canada.

Course description:

Training and knowledge of survival techniques, Wilderness First Aid, navigation, flora, fauna and tracking, gear and wilderness living skills. The IGA course is part of the program. Check the other pages for the complete course discription and information. Next to the course in Canada the course includes training in the Netherlands and an optional training in France, where the participants will be prepared for the training in Canada.

The Wilderness Guide specialization course (CSWI Level 1) takes place during 18 days in Canada and preparation in the Netherlands OR in Canada. The Canada location is impressive. The home base camp is located in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains. We have access to the Foothills, Jasper National park, Switzer Provincial park, Banff National park, Kananaskis, and the Wilmore Wilderness park.  Incredibly beautiful areas with unlimited possibilities


For the testing, an overall exam will be conducted at the end of the program, including a 24 hours solo skill challenge.

Subjects solo skill challenge.
– Orienteering and Route finding
– Flora and Fauna species identification
– Shelter building
– Fire lighting
– Leave no Trace
– Mental and physical fitness
– Time management

Practical skills standards:
We use the Wilderness Handbook ‘Tracks of the White Wolf’ as guideline.

Theoretical Exams:
– IGA apprentice Interpretive Guide exam (If you don’t pass the IGA exam, there is still the possibility to earn your Level 1 certification)
– Mountains 101 Online course and exam (mandatory from 2020)
– A Theoretical exam conducted by Voshaar Outdoor

Length and duration of the course:

– 18 Days Canada
Pick-up in Cochrane at noon on day one, drop off in Banff 17.00 day 18 (so you can fly home on day 19)
–   Preperation in the Netherlands
– Optional training in France, Jura (winter) or the Alps (summer)

Course participation qualifications

-Participants must be in good physical and mental health.
-Participants must speak English.

Wilderness Guide Level 1, CSWI program € 3390,-
€ 300,- discount if the IGA AI or PI Interpretive Hiking Guide course is done before (or after, only in Canada) at own expenses.

If you live in Canada, I suggest contacting Raoul Kluivers at (cc . Rates are different for Canadadians (due to several reasons, like car ownership and preparation in Canada instead of Europe)

Overnight accommodation
Course study materials
Transportation in Canada
IGA membership
IGA Interpretive Hiking Guide Course in the Netherlands
WRFA course and exam

Not included:
Wilderness Manual Tracks of the White Wolf
Meals, food, beverages
Travel insurance
Return ticket Netherlands/Canada
Transportation from and to the airport to Cochrane or Banff
Accommodation upon arrival and departure.
WIN card and Public lands Camping pass. These are mandatory.
Mountains 101 course and exam (about CAD 60,-)

Payment due upon registration : € 1000,-

The CSWI level 1 course is organized every year

Included course (digital) study material
– Manual Wilderness First Aid.
– IGA Handbook
– Reader Tracking
Not included, but mandatory:
– Handbook of the Canadian Rockies, Ben Gadd
– Bushcraft, Mors Kochanski
– Tracks of the White Wolf Wilderness Handbook (soon also in English)