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Welcome to the World of the IWGs
IWG means International Wilderness Guide. And I want to give you a short introduction about the work of an IWG, and specially about the education to become a IWG. To become an IWG you study in the Tampere College in Kuru for 15 months. In that time you learn a lot about the nature, animals, you make a few expeditions to learn more practical skills and you learn to be a Guide and lead groups.
As a Guide you spend a lot of time in the nature, so you should know your environment. In the study time you have the time to learn almost all about the forests and the flora and fauna in the forests. You learn how to identificate plants, mushrooms, ferns, lichens, animals, birds, insects and of course the trees. And you make several identification exams about all these things. Also you got more knowledge about camping in the forests and the equipment you need and how to use it in the right way .For example how to build up different kinds of shelters and tents, handle axes, using ropes in the right way (different knots) start a fire, and cook on open fire. Cook on open fire can also be in your exam, so have fun when you cook a fish, meat or a bird on the open flames. I can say from my experience it is fun. In that course you make also a kayak and canoe course with a professional teacher from the BCU. One of the main things a Guide should can do is orienteering with map and compass, that he never get lost. You make several orienteering runs in the night time and also in the day time. When you are on the expeditions with your IWG group the orienteering is also a part of the students, and it`s an part of your exam.
One of the interesting parts are the expeditions. They take place in Russia in Lappland and in the rest of Finland. In Russia it is a hiking trip in Lappland you go by cross country skies and then the canoe and kayak trip. You have to plan the expedition for your group. Foodplan, safetyplan, routechoice, gear and and and.
You learn all these things and a lot more because you want to be a Guide, and as a Guide you lead groups through the wild nature. So the more wilderness skills you have the easier and saver is it to enjoy the wild nature together with your customers. And they enjoy the trip when the Guide has different stories and can cook a delicious meal in the middle of nowhere.
There would be a lot more to tell you, but for more information you can visit the IWG webpage in the net. But now you have a first idea what an IWG is doing. And what they enjoy you can see here.