Alaska Guide School – Become a Freedom Trips Wilderness Guide

We are looking for experienced backpackers to join our staff as professional wilderness guides, seasonally or fully employed by Freedom Trips. German wilderness traveler Gabriel Gersch, lead guide and co-founder of Freedom Trips, now teaches an Alaskan Guide School in the mountains he is most familiar with – the Brooks Range, Arctic Alaska.

Fast facts

  • 10 day Expedition in the Alaskan Arctic
    (July 1-10, 2016 or August 21-30, 2016)
  • Improve your backcountry and wilderness hiking skills
  • Gain leadership and decision-making competence
  • Become certified in Wilderness & Remote First Aid
  • Become familiar with Freedom Trips’ risk management and work procedures
  • Become a certified Freedom Trips Wilderness Guide and potentially guide for us!

Take a look at our Instructor’s website and join one of his classes in order to get the job that many travelers dream about.

Who our Guide School is for

Freedom Trips’ Guide School is designed to develop experienced backpackers and hikers, age 21 or older, into professional wilderness guides. This course is not for beginners; we expect a certain skill level in terms of trip planning, navigation, travel and camping – based on personal backcountry experience. Successfully completed backpacking trips of 10 days or longer in various environments are good indicators for our desired level of expertise. We expect you to comply with the principles of “Leave no Trace”.

After completing our Guide School you may have the chance to lead wilderness expeditions for Freedom Trips (see below for more information). As a company working with clients of all personalities, backgrounds and skill levels we are looking for mature and athletic employees, able to interact appropriately and efficiently in all situations conceivable. Understanding a group’s (and your own) abilities and limitations is a necessary qualification for every employee working for Freedom Trips.


The Expedition and what you will learn

Our Guide School takes place in one of the wildest places on earth, the Brooks Range in Arctic Alaska. We believe that anyone receiving training in the challenging conditions of a remote place like this will be able to take their gained skills and knowledge and be capable of leading extensive wilderness expeditions all over the world.

The program focuses on hiking expeditions but will also give insight into packrafting, base camping and trip planning principles. In the field, you will complete a wilderness medicine certification, learn about wilderness ethics, nutrition, weather, river crossings, bear safety, emergency response, leadership, group dynamics and much more. The instructor is not the only one who will be teaching – you will receive a couple of topics via email two weeks before the course that you will need to do research on and teach to your peers in a 15 minute presentation. For example: “how to pack a backpack” or “how to use a compass”.


All in all, this course is a physical endeavor for the most part of the days, while the evenings are filled with lectures, discussions and role play scenarios. Be prepared for a demanding learning experience with a lot of feedback and little free time. The course ends with a graduation ceremony where each participant will receive a certification showing their record of achievements.


Future Employment

Our Guide School’s main purpose is to recruit guides for the expeditions led by Freedom Trips. As seen on our website, we offer guided expeditions in many areas of Alaska, but soon we will take our clients to East Africa, Central Asia and other parts of the world. Therefore we are looking for reliable, well-trained guides who are familiar with our program and stay with us for as many seasons as possible.

Ideally, you will stay with us in Alaska after completing the Guide School and lead Hiking Expeditions and Camp to Camp Expeditions with us. If you have packrafting experience (or if you take part in one of our Packrafting Courses) and display excellent skills we may also use you to guide Packrafting Expeditions or teach Packrafting Courses.

Although we are looking for guides, we do not guarantee employment after completing the Guide School. The decision depends on your skill level and our current need for new guides based on client demand. The same is true for Guide School participants, you are not obligated to stay with us after completion of our course.

If you desire more information about taking the course or potential Freedom Trips employment, such as wages and schedule, please contact us via email or phone.


Guide School in Summer 2016

The dates for our Guide School in 2015 are shown below. Gear wise, you just need to bring your personal hiking equipment. We will provide excellent expedition tents (Hilleberg Kaitum 3), backpacking stoves and the best packrafts around (Alpacka Raft), including all essential boating equipment.

After reserving your spot in the Guide School course, we will send you an email with all the necessary information you will need, including a gear list.

Please note, the number of participants for each course is limited to eight, so make your reservation for one of the courses as soon as possible via email or phone.

Please hover over links to view more detail.


Guide School – Become a Freedom Trips Wilderness Guide

Please register for our July course if you would like to potentially work for Freedom Trips in summer 2016. The course in August is for those who want to start working for us in 2017 or with other companies. However, the program is the same for both courses.