A guide is a person who leads anyone through unknown or unmapped country. This includes a guide of the real world (such as someone who conducts travellers and tourists through a place of interest), as well as a person who leads someone to more abstract places (such as to knowledge or wisdom).
Guide - meanings related to travel and recreational pursuitsThere are many variants of guides in this context, and guides are often employed in any aspect of travel or adventure, or wherever there is an advantage to the client in terms of knowledge provided in improving the overall travel experience or making the client feel more safe due to the presumed expertise of the guide.
These days guides will normally possess an area and field-specific qualification usually issued and/or recognised by the appropriate Guide's Association or licensing authority. However this is not always the case, and it is advisable for travellers paying a premium to go on an organised tour or journey because they think this will mean they will have a better experience to check the guide's qualifications beforehand.
Explorers in the past venturing into territory unknown by their own people invariably hired guides. American West explorers Lewis and Clark hired a Shoshone Indian woman Sacagawea, and Wilfred Thesiger
Sir Wilfred Patrick Thesiger, CBE, DSO, FRAS, FRGS was a British explorer and travel writer born in Addis Ababa, the capital of Ethiopia.-Family:...
hired guides in the deserts that he ventured into, such as Kuri on his journey to the Tibesti Mountains in 1938.
Aside from knowing the way or the area geographically, modern guides are usually hired to act as interpreters for those travellers who do not speak the local language and provide cultural, historical or other information on the area visited. Travel companies organising tours of large groups often have a guide or tour leader accompany the group. They might also be trained in First Aid
First aid is the provision of initial care for an illness or injury. It is usually performed by non-expert, but trained personnel to a sick or injured person until definitive medical treatment can be accessed. Certain self-limiting illnesses or minor injuries may not require further medical care...
and have other skills that reduce the risk for the tour operator
A tour operator typically combines tour and travel components to create a holiday. The most common example of a tour operator's product would be a flight on a charter airline plus a transfer from the airport to a hotel and the services of a local representative, all for one price. Niche tour...
to conduct these tours or the travel agency
A travel agency is a retail business that sells travel related products and services to customers on behalf of suppliers such as airlines, car rentals, cruise lines, hotels, railways, sightseeing tours and package holidays that combine several products...
Here are some examples of guide professions:
Tourist Guides are representatives of the cities, regions and countries for which they are qualified. It depends largely on them if visitors feel welcome, want to stay longer or decide to come back. They therefore contribute considerably to the perception of the destination. Tourist Guides are able to help travellers understand the culture of the region visited and the way of life of its inhabitants. They have a particular role on the one hand to promote the cultural and natural heritage whilst on the other hand to help ensure its sustainability by making visitors aware of its importance and vulnerability.
Mountain guideMountain guides are those employed in mountaineering
Mountaineering or mountain climbing is the sport, hobby or profession of hiking, skiing, and climbing mountains. While mountaineering began as attempts to reach the highest point of unclimbed mountains it has branched into specialisations that address different aspects of the mountain and consists...
; these are not merely to show the way but stand in the position of professional climbers with an expert knowledge of rock and snowcraft, which they impart to the amateur, at the same time assuring the safety of the climbing party. This professional class of guides arose in the middle of the 19th century when Alpine climbing became recognized as a sport
A Sport is all forms of physical activity which, through casual or organised participation, aim to use, maintain or improve physical fitness and provide entertainment to participants. Sport may be competitive, where a winner or winners can be identified by objective means, and may require a degree...
In Switzerland, the central committee of the Swiss Alpine Club issues a guides’ tariff which fixes the charges for guides and porters; there are three sections, for the Valais
The Valais is one of the 26 cantons of Switzerland in the southwestern part of the country, around the valley of the Rhône from its headwaters to Lake Geneva, separating the Pennine Alps from the Bernese Alps. The canton is one of the drier parts of Switzerland in its central Rhône valley...
Vaud is one of the 26 cantons of Switzerland and is located in Romandy, the French-speaking southwestern part of the country. The capital is Lausanne. The name of the Canton in Switzerland's other languages are Vaud in Italian , Waadt in German , and Vad in Romansh.-History:Along the lakes,...
ois Alps, for the Bernese Oberland
The Bernese Oberland is the higher part of the canton of Bern, Switzerland, in the southern end of the canton: The area around Lake Thun and Lake Brienz, and the valleys of the Bernese Alps .The flag of the Bernese Oberland consists of a black eagle in a gold field The Bernese Oberland (Bernese...
, and for central and eastern Switzerland.
Chamonix-Mont-Blanc or, more commonly, Chamonix is a commune in the Haute-Savoie département in the Rhône-Alpes region in south-eastern France. It was the site of the 1924 Winter Olympics, the first Winter Olympics...
The French Republic , The French Republic , The French Republic , (commonly known as France , is a unitary semi-presidential republic in Western Europe with several overseas territories and islands located on other continents and in the Indian, Pacific, and Atlantic oceans. Metropolitan France...
) a statue has been raised to Jacques Balmat
Jacques Balmat, called le Mont Blanc was a mountaineer, a Savoyard mountain guide, and born a citizen of the Kingdom of Sardinia....
, who was the first to climb Mont Blanc
Mont Blanc or Monte Bianco , meaning "White Mountain", is the highest mountain in the Alps, Western Europe and the European Union. It rises above sea level and is ranked 11th in the world in topographic prominence...
in 1786. Other notable European guides are Auguste Balmat, Michel Cros, Maquignay, J. A. Carrel, who accompanied Edward Whymper
Edward Whymper , was an English illustrator, climber and explorer best known for the first ascent of the Matterhorn in 1865. On the descent four members of the party were killed.-Early life:...
to the Andes
The Andes is the world's longest continental mountain range. It is a continual range of highlands along the western coast of South America. This range is about long, about to wide , and of an average height of about .Along its length, the Andes is split into several ranges, which are separated...
, the brothers Lauener, Christian Almer and Jakob and Melchior Anderegg
Melchior Anderegg , from Zaun, Meiringen, was a Swiss mountain guide and the first ascensionist of many prominent mountains in the western Alps during the golden and silver ages of alpinism...
Wilderness guideA wilderness guide is a person who takes a number of individuals to visit some part of wilderness
Wilderness or wildland is a natural environment on Earth that has not been significantly modified by human activity. It may also be defined as: "The most intact, undisturbed wild natural areas left on our planet—those last truly wild places that humans do not control and have not developed with...
, such as forest, bogs, hills, on or off marked paths, and ensure the safety of the group while leading them through the wilderness which the guide has knowledge of.
The first priority is the safety of the group, which is why wilderness guides are expected to have a command of basic survival skills (such as making shelters, fire-making
Fire was an essential tool in early human cultural development and still important today. Many different techniques for making fire exist...
Hiking is an outdoor activity which consists of walking in natural environments, often in mountainous or other scenic terrain. People often hike on hiking trails. It is such a popular activity that there are numerous hiking organizations worldwide. The health benefits of different types of hiking...
Orienteering is a family of sports that requires navigational skills using a map and compass to navigate from point to point in diverse and usually unfamiliar terrain, and normally moving at speed. Participants are given a topographical map, usually a specially prepared orienteering map, which they...
and first-aid) as well as experience in survival in extreme conditions and all seasons, and how to deal with an emergency. The guide is also expected to have a deep understanding of the nature of the place he is guiding in, and able to answer questions of the group concerning the local flora
Flora is the plant life occurring in a particular region or time, generally the naturally occurring or indigenous—native plant life. The corresponding term for animals is fauna.-Etymology:...
Fauna or faunæ is all of the animal life of any particular region or time. The corresponding term for plants is flora.Zoologists and paleontologists use fauna to refer to a typical collection of animals found in a specific time or place, e.g. the "Sonoran Desert fauna" or the "Burgess shale fauna"...
Ecology is the scientific study of the relations that living organisms have with respect to each other and their natural environment. Variables of interest to ecologists include the composition, distribution, amount , number, and changing states of organisms within and among ecosystems...
, geological morphology
Geomorphology is the scientific study of landforms and the processes that shape them...
, as well as cultural history
Culture is a term that has many different inter-related meanings. For example, in 1952, Alfred Kroeber and Clyde Kluckhohn compiled a list of 164 definitions of "culture" in Culture: A Critical Review of Concepts and Definitions...
of the place visited.
Other skills may include traditional handicrafts and cooking methods, fishing
Fishing is the activity of trying to catch wild fish. Fish are normally caught in the wild. Techniques for catching fish include hand gathering, spearing, netting, angling and trapping....
Hunting is the practice of pursuing any living thing, usually wildlife, for food, recreation, or trade. In present-day use, the term refers to lawful hunting, as distinguished from poaching, which is the killing, trapping or capture of the hunted species contrary to applicable law...
, bird watching, nature conservation and animal specialties.
These wilderness guided tours usually take place on foot (or skis or snowshoes if there is snow) but may also involve other vehicles such as cars, snowmobiles, canoes/kayaks, or sledges (traditionally pulled by huskies or reindeers in countries such as Sweden
Sweden , officially the Kingdom of Sweden , is a Nordic country on the Scandinavian Peninsula in Northern Europe. Sweden borders with Norway and Finland and is connected to Denmark by a bridge-tunnel across the Öresund....
Finland , officially the Republic of Finland, is a Nordic country situated in the Fennoscandian region of Northern Europe. It is bordered by Sweden in the west, Norway in the north and Russia in the east, while Estonia lies to its south across the Gulf of Finland.Around 5.4 million people reside...
Canada is a North American country consisting of ten provinces and three territories. Located in the northern part of the continent, it extends from the Atlantic Ocean in the east to the Pacific Ocean in the west, and northward into the Arctic Ocean...
Hunting guideGuides employed by those seeking to hunt wildlife, especially big game
Big game hunting
Big game hunting is the hunting of large game. The term is historically associated with the hunting of Africa's Big Five game , and with tigers and rhinos on the Indian subcontinent. In North America, animals such as bears and bison were hunted...
animals in the wild. Hunting guides have been important in many areas of the world, including the American west, the Adirondacks, and Africa
Africa is the world's second largest and second most populous continent, after Asia. At about 30.2 million km² including adjacent islands, it covers 6% of the Earth's total surface area and 20.4% of the total land area...
, etc. Hunting guides in Africa of European descent are commonly referred to as White hunter, although this is becoming a less fashionable term these days, as in most African countries today there are also native African "hunters" or hunting guides.
Safari guideGuides employed on safari
A safari is an overland journey, usually a trip by tourists to Africa. Traditionally, the term is used for a big-game hunt, but today the term often refers to a trip taken not for the purposes of hunting, but to observe and photograph animals and other wildlife.-Etymology:Entering the English...
, usually for "photographic safaris", although the term can also refer to a "hunting guide" or Professional Hunter. Safari guides who are self-employed, working on their own account with their own marketing and clientele (in contrast with those who work for an employer) sometimes refer to themselves as "professional safari guides".
Military guides and development of Guides RegimentsIn European wars up to the time of the French Revolution
The French Revolution , sometimes distinguished as the 'Great French Revolution' , was a period of radical social and political upheaval in France and Europe. The absolute monarchy that had ruled France for centuries collapsed in three years...
, the absence of large-scale detailed maps made local guides almost essential to the direction of military operations. In the 18th century the stricter organization of military resources led in various countries to the special training of guide officers who had the primary duty of finding, and if necessary establishing, routes across country. In the history of the American west, Native Americans
Native Americans in the United States
Native Americans in the United States are the indigenous peoples in North America within the boundaries of the present-day continental United States, parts of Alaska, and the island state of Hawaii. They are composed of numerous, distinct tribes, states, and ethnic groups, many of which survive as...
and mountain men were important in leading military units and settlers alike.
The genesis of the "Guides" regiments may be found in a short-lived Corps of Guides formed by Napoleon
Napoleon I of France
Napoleon Bonaparte was a French military and political leader during the latter stages of the French Revolution.As Napoleon I, he was Emperor of the French from 1804 to 1815...
in Italy in 1796, which appears to have been a personal escort or body guard composed of men who knew the country. Following the unification of Italy in 1870-71, the new national army included a regiment designated as Guides - the 19th Cavalleggieri (Light Horse).
In the Belgian Army
The Land Component is organised using the concept of capacities, whereby units are gathered together according to their function and material. Within this framework, there are five capacities: the command capacity, the combat capacity, the support capacity, the services capacity and the training...
the two Guides regiments, created respectively in 1833 and 1874, constituted part of the light cavalry and came to correspond to the Guard cavalry of other nations. Until the outbreak of World War I, they wore a distinctive uniform comprising a plumed busby
Busby is the English name for the Hungarian prémes csákó or kucsma, a military head-dress made of fur, worn by Hungarian hussars. In its original Hungarian form the busby was a cylindrical fur cap, having a bag of coloured cloth hanging from the top. The end of this bag was attached to the right...
, green dolman
A Dolman Originally, the term referred to a long and loose garment with narrow sleeves and an opening in the front. It was worn generally by the Turks, and is not unlike a cassock in shape.-Military dolman:...
braided in yellow, and crimson breeches. Mechanised in October 1937, both regiments form armoured battalions in the modern Belgian Army.
In the Swiss army prior to 1914 the squadrons of "Guides" acted as divisional cavalry. In this role these light cavalry units were called upon, on occasion, to lead columns.
The "Queen’s own Corps of Guides
Corps of Guides (British India)
The Corps of Guides was a regiment of the British Indian Army which served in the North West Frontier and had a unique composition of being part infantry and part cavalry.-History:...
" of the British Indian Army
British Indian Army
The British Indian Army, officially simply the Indian Army, was the principal army of the British Raj in India before the partition of India in 1947...
consisted of a unique combination of infantry companies and cavalry squadrons. After World War I the infantry element was incorporated in the 12th Frontier Force Regiment
12th Frontier Force Regiment
The 12th Frontier Force Regiment was part of the British Indian Army. It was formed in 1922. It consisted of five regular battalions; numbered 1 to 5 and the 10th Battalion. During the Second World War a further ten battalions were raised. In 1945 the prenomial "12th" was dropped when the British...
and the Guides Cavalry formed a separate regiment - the 10th Queen Victoria's Own Corps of Guides Cavalry (Frontier Force).
In drill, a "guide" is an officer or non-commissioned officer who regulates the direction and pace of movements.
Trip sitterA psychedelic guide is someone who guides a drug user's experiences as opposed to a sitter who merely remains present, ready to discourage bad trip
Bad trip is a disturbing experience sometimes associated with use of a psychedelic drug such as LSD, Salvinorin A, DXM, mescaline, psilocybin, DMT and sometimes even other drugs including cannabis, alcohol and MDMA....
s and handle emergencies but not otherwise getting involved. Guides are more common amongst spiritual users of entheogens. Psychedelic guides were strongly encouraged by Timothy Leary
Timothy Francis Leary was an American psychologist and writer, known for his advocacy of psychedelic drugs. During a time when drugs like LSD and psilocybin were legal, Leary conducted experiments at Harvard University under the Harvard Psilocybin Project, resulting in the Concord Prison...
and the other authors of The Psychedelic Experience: A Guide Based on the Tibetan Book of the Dead. Trip sitters are also mentioned in the Responsible Drug User's Oath
Responsible drug use
Responsible drug use is a harm reduction strategy based on a belief that illegal recreational drug use can be responsible in terms of reduced or eliminated risk of negative impact on the lives of both the user and others....
In IslamIn Islam "Ar-Rashid", one of the 99 Names of Allah, means The Guide. From this is derived the common Arabic name Rashid
Rashid is the transliteration of two male given names; and .The latter name has a diacritic, in the strict transliteration, on the "I", which emphasises the long "I" sound in that name's pronunciation....