Finding Your Niche in the Outdoor Industry as a Guide

Posted by Aimee Gunn on February 19, 2024

Finding Your Niche in the Outdoor Industry as a Guide

Pull up a log around our virtual campfire as the Avid4 Adventure Expeditions National Manager, Aimee Gunn, sparks a conversation about navigating the complex landscape of guiding in the outdoor industry. Aimee's diverse professional background across the globe offers a lighthearted and raw perspective of the rewards and challenges associated with making the outdoors your office. Learn about the "Backcountry Day Camp" program she helped Avid pilot, aimed at providing mentorship and hands-on experiences across a plethora of guiding disciplines. 

Feeling curious about guiding or lost on your path in the Outdoor Industry?  Browse our open opportunities, or reach out to our Talent Acquisition team about your path!

Aimee Gunn, Avid4 Adventure Expeditions National Manager
Aimee Gunn, Avid4 Adventure National Expedition Manager
Breaking into the outdoor industry and deciding on a professional path is undeniably complex. Personally, I grappled with the choice between leading expedition-style trips that required extended periods in the wilderness, and facilitating day camp experiences tailored to experiential leadership development. Both options tugged at me, so I tried a little bit of everything. I taught at an outdoor leadership camp, led wilderness therapy expeditions, guided backpacking internationally, and threw myself at various seasonal gigs until I figured out where my passions and skill sets best intersected. It took me years to decide what I truly wanted to pursue. 
Frankly, this experience is incredibly common — the outdoor industry often presents limited opportunities for professional growth, as individuals are hired for specialized, short-term positions. Recognizing this, Avid4 Adventure introduced the Backcountry Day Camp (BCDC) initiative two seasons ago. Our innovative program equips seasonal staff with training and hands-on experience in both the Day Camp Model and the Expedition Model, fostering professional development across multiple guiding contexts. The result has been quick cultivation of skilled guides, higher retention rates with pathways for career advancement, and a motivated professional environment where staff take greater ownership of their experiences. Guiding is simultaneously the most rewarding and hardest job you’ll ever have. Uncovering your niche in the industry makes the journey even more fulfilling.
If you're intrigued by diverse experiences in the outdoor industry, we encourage you to connect with one of our Talent Acquisition team members ( to explore potential opportunities for the 2024 season
  • Instructor Leaping Amidst Campers
  • Raft guide and campers crash through a rapid on an Expedition Program
  • Alpenglow lights up the mountains behind tents and basecamp on a trip
  • Climbing Instructor Works 1:1 with Camper
  • Instructors and Camper in a 1:1 Lesson

Topics: Avid4 Adventure Jobs, Summer Camp Jobs, Working for Avid4 Adventure, professional development, Outdoor Industry & Guiding