A wilderness guide leads others through wilderness areas and works to ensure the safety of their clients. Today's Adirondack guides are expected to have a command of survival skills (such as making shelters, fire-making, navigation, and first aid) and an understanding of the ecology and history of the location where they guide. Other common skills among guides include traditional handicrafts and cooking methods, fishing, hunting, bird watching, and nature conservation.
Since the early 1800's legendary Adirondack guides, such as Orson "Old Mountain" Phelps, Mitchell Sabatis and John Cheney, practiced their trade, and are the forefathers of today's licensed professional New York State guides. Today's guides often provide needed gear, and not only offer hunting, fishing, camping, and trips, but rock climbing, white water rafting, paddling, birdwatching, photography, and more. Employing a professional guide can afford the vacationer an experience of the Adirondacks they would never get if traveling independently.
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