This is the second blog of three aimed at shifting Idaho guides and outfitters toward more sustainable practices for the 2019 summer season. If you missed the last guide-specific blog check it out here.

Coming Home

“Home” is an interesting word for a seasonal guide. Do we live in our cars? At our permanent mailing address? In our parents’ garage? A cheap storage unit with poor security? Our empty apartment we’ll be paying rent on for the next four months?

As the snow melts, most of us suspend our inner turmoil about perpetually uprooting ourselves. As whitewater guides we chase the high water surging across the state. If we are hunting guides, we start glassing each stretch of open space. Without the aid of modern technology, we begin to find each other at put-ins, trailheads, and local watering holes. We start to move back into our guide-warehouses and reestablish home with our co-workers.

There is a huge power in this bond. As guiding crews, we give each other just the right amount of peer pressure to get our work done and still manage to have a good time doing it. Not only are we capable of hosting people’s most beloved vacation memories, but we also come up with wild activities to keep us entertained on our days off. Some of which are even productive.

This week’s green guide is dedicated to how the powerful force of a guiding crew can utilize those more productive days off to make Idaho a better Idaho.

Tips for More Sustainable Crews

  • Style out the warehouse to be a sustainable conservation paradise:
  • Locate your local….
    • Representatives — set up a meeting with them, your crew, and any other crews in the same area. Tell them what you care about as a tax-paying-Idaho-guide.
    • Agency staff — connect with Idaho Fish and Game, BLM, and Forest Service employees to ask how you can help with stewardship over the course of the summer.
  • Do things family style…
    • Start a bike gang when you’re heading down to the local taverns — keep each other accountable for not driving drunk, or alone.
    • Buy your toiletries in bulk and share them! Don’t forget to use your reusable containers.
    • Make using less a game — create rewards and punishments for simple chores.
      • e.g., 10 squat-jacks to any guide who doesn’t remember to turn off the hose while cleaning life jackets.
    • Stash a bunch of reusable silverware, metal straws, and tin tupperware in the rig truck so you don’t have to use single-use plastics on the go. Take turns washing it!
  • Give some professional feedback!
    • We have pro deals for a reason! We drive the industry as the eyes, ears, and are essentially their cheap marketing. Pick a product that your crew has a pro deal on and write them a business letter that either:
      • Compliments their gear but asks for use of more sustainable materials/packaging options…or
      • Thanks a company for choosing to package and ship sustainability already! Warning: If you send pictures of yourselves as smiling guides you might end up getting more free gear.
  • Competition makes us stronger — Be the best crew!

These switches are a level-up from last week, but just barely more strenuous than watching Netflix in the dark on your off day. Bonus points if you can figure out how to accomplish these tips and Netflix at the same time. Download the PDF version of the Green Crew Tips to print out for your warehouse, yard-tent, or bike-gang parking area.

Happy warehouse nesting!