Category Archives: Survival and Guide Training

Why the Little Things Count So Much

Not very long ago I listened to a speech given for University graduates and so many of the points covered in the eloquent talk but one resonated deeply with me. It spoke of why the little things count so much.

Why the little things matter so much is a point we have come up against many times in recent years with the average age of Alaska Guide Trainees dropping to between 18-21.

Inexperienced, full of passionate energy and brand knew knowledge; a high percentage become arrogant and defensive over this often overlooked insight.

“If you can’t take care of your cabin, live like a pig and refuse to make your bed, how can you expect to be trusted to keep a safe, comfortable and clean camp for our guests?”

Why the Little Things Count So Much 

Details, giving a job, any job or project your full attention, focus and passion are the keys to creating something very special, making a break-through in new idea or simply giving others the opportunity to truly see your character. The “little things” are where you find happiness and contentment, it is where your inspiration and memories are found and they are what matter most in any life.

In the world of the Internet and Social Media, the little things like SEO, key words, manners and saying please and thank you are talked about more than anything else.

So why should the little things not matter to a professional goal that has lives depending upon that exact attention to detail? They do. To become and continue to be a Professional Guide, this is one point that always needs to be understood and believed.

We look back and speak of and write about how important the little things really are, and we believe what we are saying, but rarely do we ever see them, feel them or acknowledge them in the moment. ~Why is that? 

Acceptance of these “little things” (which are, if we are completely honest, daily blessings) can diffuse an argument, lessen worry or stress, make us happier in that precise moment (which, by the way, makes others happier… I think it’s some kind of magic..) and keeps the forward momentum going as we work.

Living and working here in Chisana for so long, with so few people, has opened my eyes to the little things. It has opened my heart to how important every moment truly is to living with all of my might.

As a Professional Guide the “little things” matter too. Not only the fact that you are responsible for the safety and well being of another human being, not only because of the you are part of some else’s dream but because people are people and sometimes being a Professional Guide isn’t all about glory and bragging rights.

Sometimes the dream doesn’t come true. Sometimes, all there is to show for a client’s long wait and journey are the little things. The little things can make all the difference. Pay close attention to the details. Nothing you do for a client or guest should ever feel or be treated as if it were beneath you, insignificant or a pain in the ass.

Little Things



Top Dog: A Professional Guide

Top Dog

“If you want to be the top dog, you can’t play with the puppies.” ~ Master Guide Terry Overly We all have the desire and need to be seen, even liked. The feeling of being looked towards, for direction or answers is a heady one that is also an honor. Being a Professional Guide isContinue Reading

The SPECIAL Part of Being a Professional Guide


Most everyone I have met with teenagers have their own gripes and worries about video games and the time their own teen(s) spends playing these games. Recently however, in the most casual of conversations with my own teenager, he shared with me something he had learned from these games. “Guiding is Special, Mom.”  Zachariah saidContinue Reading

Know Your Enemy

Your Enemy

Do you wonder what it is, exactly, that keeps all you are doing from making that big difference in your life and the lives of others you work so hard to improve? It is so much easier to fight and win over anything when you know what it is you are fighting against. Who orContinue Reading

What It Takes To Be Fearless

What it takes

Have you ever wondered or wished that you knew what it takes to be fearless? Maybe you have thought about or even researched instead what it takes to be a Professional Guide, a teacher, a scientist or a creator of video games. There is a possibility you have been curious what it takes to beContinue Reading

Campfire Chat with Alaska Chick, Meet the Team

Meet the Team

Welcome back to our fire! Come join us as we chat with Caleb Zwahlen from Wanship, Utah, the newest member of the Alaska Guide Training team. Meet the Team is the series that gives you a closer, in-depth look at each member of the team here at Pioneer Outfitters. So come on over to theContinue Reading

One of Alaska’s Top Professional Guides on Alaska Guides

Alaska Guides

Children and old-timers, the knowledge they have to share with us all, through innocent insight and lifetimes of experience is something that cannot be overlooked or forgotten. Who would know more about becoming or what it takes to be an Alaska Guide than one of Alaska’s top Professional Guides? Master Guide Terry Overly, the thirdContinue Reading

Survival Fitness in Alaska

Survival Fitness

Survival Fitness brings to mind something you would encounter and endure (most likely) in a military program. Instead, Survival Fitness is something everyone should consider and embrace before a survival situation occurs. Nobody even intends to or expects to find themselves smack dab in the middle of a survival situation. It seems to happen whenContinue Reading

Prepare to Lead

Prepare to Lead

“Are you ready?”  You hear the words being asked and your life changes in that instant. Your mouth is dry, it feels like dust; Your tummy feels as if the floor just dropped out from beneath you; Your legs are like jello and you are surprised in some distant way that they are still holdingContinue Reading

Hold the Line in Alaska

Hold the Land

There are lines in all of our lives. Lines you wont cross, no matter what. Tact, diplomacy, flexibility, giving way, graciousness and compassion; they are all valuable and precious skills. They can be traits one is born with to the blessed and skills for those committed to learning and adapting them. However they become partContinue Reading