Basic Guide Program

This is the foundation and stepping stone to your professional guide career. The Basic Program provides the knowledge and experience for an outdoor enthusiast to lead and coordinate guiding and outfitting adventures. The basic program is conducted over a two week period clocking 120 hours of instruction and exercises. This is a prerequisite course for the advanced COAGS courses. Below are the topics of instruction and time allocated for each.

10 hours

    School Standards
    Outdoor Recreation Opportunities
    Qualifications and Skills Needed

Basic Horsemanship
30 hours

    Introductory Riding Lessons
    Saddles and Equipment
    Horse and Mule Behavior
    Horse Care and Common Health Problems
    Trailer Loading and Transportation
    Repair of Tack/Equipment

Leadership Development
10 hours

    Based on the concepts of Dale Carnegie’s How to win Friends and Influence People

Standard First Aid and CPR Certification
10 hours

20 hours

    Using a Compass
    Using a GPS (Global Positioning System)
    Maps (Topos, US Forest Service, BLM)
    Day/Night Navigation

Wilderness Survival
10 hours

    Safety and Prevention
    Emergency Procedures
    Emergency Shelters and Fire Starting

Outdoor Recreation
30 hours

    Hiking and Backpacking
    Biking and Mountain Biking
    Trail Rides and Pack Trips
    Outdoor Photography
    Camping and Tent Construction

Outdoor and Camp Cooking
10 hours

    Cooking on Camp Fires
    Dutch Oven Cooking
    Cooking on Wood Burning Stoves
    Menus (Nutrition and Diet)
    Safe Food Storage

8 hours

    Organizations and Funding
    Animal Activist
    National Forest Service use and regulations
    “Leave No Trace” Techniques


Master Essential Outdoor Skills!

COAGS will teach you essential outdoor skills such as horsemanship, trail riding, and packing; hiking and backpacking, orienteering with a map, compass, and GPS; wilderness survival; camp cooking; outdoor photography; outdoor first aid, CPR, and so much more. Make this a career or just learn to enjoy the outdoors safely. Oh, did we mention the school is in the spectacular Colorado Rockies?

Click here for a recommended Packing List.

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