Comprehensive Outdoor Guide training course
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Outdoor Essentials Foundations Program

Online essentials for epic outdoor adventures


8 Weeks




This great 8-week program will give you all the important foundation skills that outdoor hikers, bikers, skiers and climbers should have on lock-down.

OR you can complete one or more of these modules on their own!

The program is based around the core syllabus of our residential Adventure Guide Program and can be accompanied by an epic 4-week practical month to complement and complete your skill base.




Resources available online at a time that suits you

What it's all about

Our online programs offer an inclusive and affordable way for students to be introduced to the epic world we at Pure Ex immerse ourselves in... adventures and the outdoors! 


There are certain times in life though, where getting to epic locations around the world is difficult... maybe due to finances, or a global pandemic! Even though now is not the time to complete the practical elements of adventure training, you can of course, start challenging, inspiring, building confidence yourself. 


Our Outdoor Essentials Foundation program seeks to introduce you to the theoretical components of guiding and instructing. These skills, knowledge and attitudes will be a powerful tool for driving your own personal adventures and taking the step outdoor recreationally when that time comes. 


The topics we have chosen are what we use as the foundation skills and knowledge we require all our instructors to know. This means, if you want to be someone who is prepped and savvy enough to guide others in the outdoors, these are the topics you need on lock-down. So whether you want to be a guide or not, being skilled enough in the outdoors to act like a guide certainly is wise. 


How will it work?

There will be new topics introduced each week. You'll have two online tutorials with a qualified global hiking and climbing instructor, who will take you through the key syllabus, discuss real-world scenarios where its useful and share cool stories from their own adventures around the world. 

You'll then complete two assignments each week, with a short open-book exam half-way through and at the end to consolidate your knowledge. 


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  • Duration – This program will run over 8 weeks
  • Resources - Each week you'll log into Google Classroom which will contain everything you need - lesson, resources, assignments etc
  • Structure - There will be 2 x topics released weekly.
  • Method - All tutorials will be prerecorded on Zoom, we will then drop that into Google Classroom for you to watch at a time that suits you.
  • Tutor - the Tutor for this program will be a NZOIA qualified Outdoor Hiking and Rock Climbing Instructor - they will be extremely experienced global guides, with endless knowledge and great banter!
  • Tutorials - You'll get 2 x prerecorded tutorials, 30-50 minutes each
  • Grading - There will be 16 post-lesson assignments and 1 x optional test over the 8 weeks. To receive the certificate you need to complete all assignments and the test.
  • Assignments - 2 x short weekly assignments to consolidate your learnings
  • Assessments - 1 x optional test in the final week. This will be open book.
  • What you'll get - handout/take home notes, certificate of achievement


Anyone can join in on our programs, who has access to reliable internet and a passion for being in the outdoors!




Katherine's reflection of the Adventure Guide Program

Katherine, Colorado USA

"I walked away with some really good friends, and some great skills that I anticipated learning, and some that I didn't anticipate learning!"
20170925NZAGP0144 1000w

Climbing, exploring, loving NZ

Michel Affkerback, Germany

The highlight of the course so far for me is learning to climb multi-pitch by myself, or with a friend, and knowing what to do. If you are into the outdoors and thinking of becoming a guide, do this course! It's based in beautiful New Zealand and you'll learn a lot.


A diverse and exciting program designed to keep everyone interested over the 8 weeks, with a mix of instructors teaching, industry people on panels for extra advice, and great banter!


Short intro session with an overview of who we are, what will be covered in the sessions, how to use zoom, what other apps we use, how the assignments will work etc...


There are many aspects to consider when planning a hike. This session covers a step by step guide on what to think about and how to plan a day or multi-day hike.

  • Where are you going?
  • Who are you going with?
  • How to find information on the area and route
  • Where will I stay at night?
  • Anticipating risks and hazards
  • Creating a trip plan
  • Leaving intentions


A journey into the history of climbing looking at the key moments which has defined the sport as we know it now. This session looks into the different styles, and ethics of climbing.

  • History of climbing
  • Types and styles of climbing
  • Ethics of climbing
  • How the sport has evolved to what it is to day 

3. Trekking clothing and equipment, and how to pack for a hike

An in-depth discussion on the various equipment needed to safely enjoy a hike, the pros and cons of certain items and how to pack for a trek.

  • Trekking equipment -pros and cons, cost, care, storage, and maintenance
  • Choosing footwear, clothing and equipment that is appropriate for the weather, terrain and season.
  • Use of layering to manage temperature and comfort while hiking in a range of different temperatures
  • The most efficient way to pack a pack


This session will be an insight into the different styles of leadership, understanding when each style is appropriate to use and how we can use our personal attributes to excel as a leader.

  • Multiple styles of leadership examined
  • Benefits and limitations of each style of leadership
  • What situations suit each style of leadership
  • Habits and Personal attributes that we bring as a leader  


Good quality food is essential to maintaining energy and morale whilst trekking. We will discuss the key nutrients needed for prolonged periods of exercise, Common types of food for hiking, best ways to pack, store and prepare meals in the outdoors and different types of cookers available.

  • What nutrients are important when hiking
  • Common types of hiking food and meals
  • How to pack, store and prepare meals for outdoor activities
  • Different types of cookers available for hiking


Understanding our climbing gear without reading the 100-page user manual. This session explores the different climbing gear available and how it all works. 

  • Uses of the most common rock climbing equipment
  • Limitations, advantages and disadvantages of each piece of gear
  • How to care for Rock climbing equipment


Gain a basic understanding of weather, how to read and interpret weather maps, and understand how the weather will affect a planned trip.

  • What is weather?
  • An overview of what forces impact on the global and local weather.
  • How to read and interpret a synoptic weather map.
  • How mountains affect weather patterns.
  • How will the weather forecast affect my planned trip?


An insight into how teams and groups work. We will look into the different stages a group/team goes through. We will also be looking at the attributes of a successful team and how you as a leader can facilitate this success.

  • Stages of group development
  • What makes a successful group?
  • what is needed for a team to be successful


A detailed look into the skills needed to navigate using a map.  This session will focus on understanding all the features on a map. We will then apply this to be able to create plans, understand terrain,  hazards, escape points, and tips and tricks to ensure you and your team get to where they want to.


  • Types of maps and importance of being able to read a map
  • Understanding features on a map and how to take information from it
  • Being able to work out times and distances in order to create route plans
  • Recognising hazards to be able to create backup plans before starting the hike
  • Understanding six figure grid references
  • Understand navigation terminology and strategies.


An interesting maths lesson on understanding how a climbing system works, looking at what makes an anchor safe and understanding the force we apply to it.

  • Basic climbing anchors
  • Understanding fall factors
  • Forces applied to gear when climbing (and falling)

11. Hiking ethics, Environmental care and Campcraft skills

This session will predominantly be based around the Leave no Trace Principles and what these entail. The Leave no Trace Principles are an easy to understand framework of minimum impact practices for anyone visiting the outdoors. We will also be looking at what needs to be considered when camping out; including selecting a campsite, fires and toileting and different types of tent and sleep systems.

  • Respecting others and the environment
  • Leave no trace principles
  • Setting up camp
  • Choosing a tent site
  • Fires and toileting practices in the bush
  • Different styles of tents and sleeping systems

12. Effective Facilitation and Risk Management

This will be a two-part session. Part one will be a discussion on the key tips and techniques used for effective leadership and instruction.  Part two will cover risk and safety management as a leader in the outdoors.

  • Tips and tricks for effective group facilitation
  • What is risk?
  • The responsibility of a leader
  • Overview of various safety management systems

13. River crossing- safety and river dynamics

River crossing is one of the most dangerous parts of hiking in New Zealand, taking an average of four lives every year. In this session we will be looking at some of the theory behind crossing a river, and the hazards and unknown dangers that are present.   

  • Creating systems in identifying if a river is safe to cross
  • Understanding methods of crossing a river as a group or a solo hiker
  • Understand river hydrology and features on a river
  • Identify hazards in a river

14. Common climbing knots and climbing techniques

Two topics will be covered in this session. The first half will cover the most common knots used in climbing, how to tie them, and their advantages and limitations. Secondly we will examine different climbing movements/techniques to use our body in the most efficient way whilst climbing.

  • How to tie commonly used knots
  • Advantages and disadvantages of each
  • Climbing movement

15. Safety Management and leadership when trekking

Being aware of the risks present when trekking, and understanding how to mitigate those risks is an essential skill for anyone planning on heading out on a trek. We will discuss the common types of communication devices used in remote settings, What should be included in a first aid kit, how to manage being lost or separated from a group and key things to consider when leading a hike.

  • Communication devices used in remote settings
  • First aid kits for hiking
  • What to do if lost of separated from a group
  • Leading a hike
    • Understanding the aims and objectives of a group
    • Effective management of a group when trekking

16. Geology and delivering interpretation

Another two-part session. Part one- A basic overview of geology and the natural forces influencing our landscapes. Part two- How to effectively engage clients/students when delivering interpretation.

  • Geological processes
  • The importance of storytelling
  • How to keep students and clients engaged
  • Giving a memorable session 


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