Frequently Asked Questions
We are fully aware that going on an adventure can bring up a lot of questions. What can I expect? How does it all work? What if this happen? etc… We have done our best to compile a list of frequently asked questions. Please take some time to go through them.
However, never hesitate to simply contact us with any questions you might have! We would much rather spend time talking before a trip than be faced with avoidable surprises once we’re out there. We’re human!
When you choose to join a guided trip, you’ll enjoy the company of an expert guide who is with you from the time you arrive until the time your trip concludes, and a small group of like-minded travelling companions from around the world. We handle all of the logistics and difficult decisions. This doesn’t mean you have to follow blindly. Our guides share their thoughts process with you so you can express your opinions on the available options and learn tips & tricks in the process. Travelling in the safety and camaraderie of a small group is a great way to explore mountains and remote wilderness. If you’re already an experienced adventurer you can simply enjoy your holiday without all the headaches of planning and decision making. If you’re new to the game, it’s a great opportunity to learn skills and get experience to get you ready to head out on your own, or simply have a great holiday!
None really. You need moderate stamina (see our section on fitness in our Knowledge Base) and an open mind. We will help you get informed and will do what we can to help you get ready for the adventure you wish to go on. We’re here to support you as much as we can in helping you prepare, and we will be there during the trip to assist you as you grow into an experienced traveler.
Everyone’s fear! All kinds of people from all over the world book onto our trips. From the easiest to the most challenging trips, there has always been a varied mix of people from all ages and all walks of life. People in their mid-20’ies have often walked side by side with people well into their seventies. Experienced travellers adventurers have joined trips because they enjoy to leave the planning and decision making to someone else, so they can simply enjoy the experience. While on the same trip, guests who are new to adventure travel enjoy getting experience while learning tips & tricks with guides to fall back on if needed. Some travel companies provide lists of names with ages to give potential bookers an impression. In our honest opinion, all this does is create false expectations based on prejudice. People come in all forms, no matter their age or their sex. Remember, it’s common interests and similar motivations that brought you to the trip. Just come with an open mind and you’ll see you will undoubtedly make new friends!
Besides our educational programs, our guests are usually adults. We recommend you are at least 18+, but we can look at participation on a case by case basis. Feel free to contact us with specific questions. There is no upper age limit. We have seen young people be outperformed by people well into retirement age. All we ask is that you talk to us before booking if you’re in doubt and that you are fair with us and yourself about your health.
Committing your holiday to joining a group of people you haven’t met before can be a daunting prospect. In our experience leading this type of group, we have very rarely seen people that would never do it again. Meeting new people can be an exciting and enriching experience. Remember, it’s common interests and similar motivations that brought you to the trip. Just come with an open mind and you’ll see you will undoubtedly make new friends! Coming on a group trip does mean we have to respect and support each other. But usually it doesn’t take long for friendship to form and only very rarely have we ever seen conflict. Most people who go on a group trip for the first time are relieved to see it’s a lot of fun!
Absolutely, this happens all the time. Most people come on their own or in pairs. This is much more the norm than people coming in groups of 3-4 or more.
We believe that small groups are the key to the best experiences and opportunities to form friendships while maintaining a low guide to guest ratio. Our groups usually range between 6 – 12 participants. If you have a larger group/organization and wish to do a bigger tour, we can modify our itineraries and hire another trusted guide to maintain safe ratios.
We don’t have any trips tailored to families in our public portfolio, but feel free to contact us to discuss options. Our guides have experience with school-aged children and can adapt programs or create programs to suit children.
As people that work and live in the great outdoors, we care deeply about this subject. Have a look at our “about” section on this website to find out more about what we do to further responsible and sustainable travel.
We are very conscious that you don’t only trust us with your valuable free time, but that you also trust us with your mental and physical integrity. We assume that part of why you book your adventure travel with us, is because we are there to help you do things you might not be confident doing on your own. If we were to give in at first signs of mental or physical discomfort, we would be doing you disservice. We’re there to help people take the extra step. On the other hand, your wellbeing is our n°1 priority. We’re there to support you and you should always feel comfortable to approach us and talk to us. There’s nearly always something we can do.
Our priority is always to do what we can to enable guests to complete the journey. If the worst came to happen and you need to be evacuated because of medical reasons, we will provide first aid and organize your evacuation to definitive medical care. Once you are in the hands of medical professionals, we need to resume care of the other guests and the trip program. In as far as possible we will do what we can to help you find initial accommodation if needed. Any expense related to your evacuation/repatriation will need to be taken up with your travel insurance.
If you decide to leave a trip voluntarily without an emergency, we will do what we can to help you get to the nearest trailhead or available transportation. Do understand that our priority will always be the guests and the trip program.
First of all, it’s really important to understand that qualifications are a lot more about the guest than about the guide! What a qualification does, is guarantee the guest that the person who’s care you trust yourself into: is experienced, has had formal training according to internationally accepted standards, has been assessed multiple times to check if the standard is met.
It’s important to note that guiding qualifications don’t just only assess technical & personal ability. A large emphasis is put on group management, risk management, teaching skills and environmental knowledge. Furthermore, professional guides can only stay licensed as long as they are a member of a governing body. You can’t be an active member unless you’re up to date with CPD (continual professional development).
More and more countries have guiding as a profession framed by laws. Unfortunately, in most countries, this is not the case. Travel agencies will often send enthusiastic “volunteer” guides under the pretext of “a great opportunity for a free holiday” to cut down on costs. Always ask your travel agent whether your guides are experienced and certified.
Guiding is a very complex skillset which takes years of training and journeying to build and consolidate experience. Our benchmark is the internationally recognized UIMLA International Mountain Leader and advanced outdoor first aid such as the Wilderness First Responder. Most of us have several certifications in multiple outdoor sports fields.
We will never send you with an underpaid, inexperienced or untrained guide! Feel free to contact us with questions about our training.
All information supplied to us on your booking form or in any other way remains completely confidential.
Unfortunately due to many considerations we cannot allow people to bring their pets on our trips.
We are always interested in adding to our list of freelance guides. As a minimum, we do require you have guiding certifications and advanced first aid training. Feel free to contact us with any questions or proposals.
Gear & Clothing
Seeing you are asking this question, you are probably imagining nightmare scenarios where your knees are buckling under a torturous massive backpack weighing as much as a small car. This is as far from the truth as it gets!
On a trip where we move from hut-to-hut or between hostels/hotels, your bag only contains the essentials to protect yourself during the day and a small change for the evenings. Your bag should be small and weigh no more than 8 – 10kg.
On self-supported trekking trips, you will also need to carry a (shared) tent, fuel, stove, sleeping gear and potentially food for multiple days. Those packs should weigh around 15kg and only the most remote treks where we need to carry food for up to a week will have packs around 20kg.
We provide very detailed picklists to help you be efficient in making your bags. Whether your bag is too heavy for you depends a lot on your own level of fitness. But for most people, these weights are acceptable. We always adjust the pace & volume of the trek to the amount of weight we need to carry. Make sure to check out our packlists in the “Knowledge base” section of our website.
Only rarely do we make use of luggage transfer services. The freedom of trekking lies in being completely self-reliant and having the freedom to change plans at all times. Being self-reliant is also part of the challenge. To enable more freedom of movement but still have a certain level of comfort, we do provide luggage transfer on select trips. When we do we will inform you extensively on how to prepare for it.
Depending on the trip, the pack list will vary, but the core items are usually the same. We have compiled several example lists for you and if we need any additions they’ll be mentioned in the trip description. Make sure to check out our packlists in the “Knowledge base” section of our website.
Yes you can. Always contact us first before renting gear. We want to make sure you’re renting the right item for the right conditions. If you don’t find a rental provider yourself, feel free to contact us. We might know of a dealer in your area.
Health & Nutrition
It is important that you let us know about any pre-existing medical conditions you have so that we can make sure we can support you fully throughout the trip. If you are concerned that a medical condition will prevent you from completing the activity, it is essential that you see your doctor and show them the itinerary. Please remember that failing to declare a medical condition could invalidate your insurance, and if there is an incident, put yourself, our guides and other members of the group at risk.
If you have allergies or a specific diet please let us know when you place your booking. We will be able to meet your requirements in most cases. All participants will also be contacted before the tour in order to make sure that the food planned for the trip will work for everyone. If there is anything you cannot eat we will try to alter the menu as our aim is that everyone shall get tasty food during our trips.
You should be aware that many huts in the mountains are remote, and may transport their food up by mule or helicopter. They produce meals ‘for the group’ and there is no menu, with much care and using local produce. Because of this it is not always easy to suit some diets. Unless you are happy to eat and try everything we’re given we suggest you contact us well in advance so that we can check with accommodation providers if they can meet your needs.
It is essential that you let us know about any medical condition or injury you have when booking, and that you also let your leader know on the starting day of your course if anything has changed since filling in your booking form. This information will remain completely confidential but is essential to allow us to tailor our activities to suit you and to ensure the safety of other group members. If in doubt whether you can complete the trek, you should consult your doctor.
We have an extensive article on snacks and trail mix suggestions in our “Knowledge base” section of our website.
Fitness & physical preparation
During the average trip you will be on your feet and moving an average of 5 – 7 hours per day. Depending on the trip you will also be carrying a pack with light to moderate weight. Keep in mind that trekking also means occasional rough terrain and climbing or descending for long periods of time. People often underestimate the effect of not being used to rough terrain. You might sometimes feel quite tired, but if you’re a healthy person that can jog 5km or go on long day hikes with a light backpack, you should be fine. Be sure to check out our article on physical preparation in our “Knowledge base” section on our website.
In a nutshell, endurance is key. Long hikes, jogging, swimming and bike riding are all good ways to improve endurance. Often people will feel slow on the uphill and struggle with descending even though they can comfortably run 5km on good trails. The reason for this is lack of strength. There are a handful of simple exercises you can do a few times per week that will make a huge difference in your ability to deal with climbing, descending and wearing packs. Think of the squat for example. Be sure to check out our article on physical preparation in our “Knowledge base” section on our website.
Every group has varied paces, but the trips have been designed so they can be done at a pace achievable by nearly everyone. Although there is room for freedom, our aim is to experience the trip together and this assumes mutual respect and understanding. Days on Trails prides itself on the fact that we often provide two fully qualified guides as soon as there is a certain number of guests on our (still small) trips. This means that we can often provide two options during days on the trip.
Even though this is a difficult subject to tackle, many of us are more or less dependent on substances such as caffeine, nicotine or alcohol. Even though you might be a normal functioning human being in daily life, we urge you to take into account that we can’t always guarantee easy abundant access to coffee, cigarettes or alcoholic drinks. It’s also not a good idea to use a trip to go cold turkey.
Contact, booking and transport
Before booking a scheduled departure, we recommend you take time to carefully read the entire trip description to make sure you are well informed on the contents of the trip. Once you’ve decided you would like to book, you can click the “book now” button on the trip page or email us directly. We will send you a confirmation that we’ve received your request and will get back to you with booking forms and detailed information shortly.
All of our trips are also available as private/tailormade trips. Just let us know which one you would like to do. We often see that our guests make friends with members of their regular departure group and request a private trip with their new friends the next time around. Of course, you do not have to select a trip which is featured on our website, you can simply tell us what you would like to do and we will take it from there.
Easy, just send us an email! We’ll take it from there.
Days on Trails is a small, guide operated team. While we do what we can to reply to your messages as fast as possible, there are times when both of us will be out in the field and potentially away from internet for a number of days. Please forgive us this inconvenience. We’ll get back to you as soon as possible.
Yes you can. You can find our phone numbers on the contact page. If you’d like to schedule a video call, just send us an email and we’ll make it happen.
In the unlikely event of our insolvency, the TICO will ensure that you are not stranded abroad and will arrange to refund any money you have paid to us for an advance booking. All payments are made to Georgia Hardy Tours and the paying customers are financially protected by The Ontario Travel Industry Compensation Fund in case of airline bankruptcy or travel agency bankruptcy. TICO registration #2747543. Georgia Hardy Tours have been in business for over 30 years and service over 1000 travelers annually.
You can find the link at the very bottom of the website or by clicking here. You will also be sent the terms & conditions with every booking request you make.
All Transport is specific to each trip and we aim to have all local transportation included. International flights are never included in the base packages because we want to give you the option to choose your own timing and ways of getting to and from the meeting point. Some people like to come earlier or stay longer. Some people choose not to fly because of environmental reasons. However, we do provide the option to book flights through our partner Georgia Hardy Tours and will help you plan your travel if needed. Feel free to contact us about for more information.
When you book a tour on a land only basis (i.e. without international flights), you take the responsibility of reaching the start point of the tour yourself. In most cases, the start point of the tour is the first night’s accommodation or an airport; the exact start point is referred to in the folder, website or trip notes for that trip. Our final joining instructions contain detailed advice on how to reach the start point. Meeting times with the tour leader and group will vary from tour to tour.
If you wish to make any changes to your booking, especially if you need to alter any flights booked through us, please let us know as soon as possible through email. Beware that making changes to flights will incur a fee depending on the specific situation.
If you wish to cancel, please contact us by email as soon as possible. To avoid cancellation fees, we highly recommend purchasing Travel Insurance. Cancellation is defined as a change to the departure date, a change in name, a reduction to the number in the party (this applies only to private tours/school groups), rebooking airfare on new dates, and/or the termination of the entire trip. All other changes to a reservation constitute a revision. All revisions are subject to availability. Fees will apply in addition to any supplier and airline fees or penalties. Please read your booking documents carefully or contact us with any questions you might have.
At the moment, you can pay either in Euro, Canadian Dollar or US Dollar.
- EURO: Bank transfer in IBAN/BIC format
- USD: Cheque or bank transfer
- CAD: Credit card, e-transfer, cash or cheque
The core of our trips usually involves basic mountain accommodation where single rooms are not available. However, when we are using tents, you can arrange to be in a single tent, but remember this also means carrying a tent alone. Before or after the actual trip, we often stay in hotels. For a small supplement we can look into options of upgrading you to a single room if possible.
If tipping is part of the arrangements with local providers they will be provided for in the trip price. Tips for your Days on Trails guide(s) are not included. Tips are not expected, but certainly appreciated. If you are happy with our work, it is entirely up to you how you want to express gratitude towards us.
We ask you kindly to express any complaints directly to your guide at the earliest opportunity so your guide can do what’s within his/her power to adjust the situation. Any complaint after the trip should be sent to us within 2 weeks from the return date. We will also send out feedback forms after the end of each trip so you can let us know how it went for you!