Guide to Managing Risks in Wilderness Education
Why Read This
Because of their nature, wilderness education programs pose unique risks such as the unexpected illness of a leader during a trip, a transportation breakdown en route to a trail head, or a flood that threatens a campsite. This guide covers risks unique to wilderness education and ways to mitigate them. It addresses:
- How to choose effective, responsible wilderness education leaders
- Strategies for developing emergency and medical protocols, including effective emergency communication and crisis management
- Selecting and hiring appropriate staff
- Ways to identify and mitigate transportation risk
- Risk management is an essential component of all wilderness experiences and should be incorporated every time an expedition occurs.
- Four main ways to address risks include: Avoid a risk because it occurs too frequently, or when it occurs, the consequences are too severe; mitigate risk to an appropriate level through the use of controls; retain the risk because it is unlikely to occur, isn’t severe, or is at an acceptable level; and transfer the risk to someone else.
- The process of becoming an outdoor leader generally requires a dedication to learning technical and interpersonal skill.