Tips for Outing Leaders

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Why Lead?

Leading a Voyageur Hiking Trail group can be a very rewarding experience.
It can be an opportunity to introduce novices to the beauty and serenity of the Northern woods. It can be planned in order to get a specific job done, like measuring or describing a section of trail.
Whatever your intentions might be of leading a group of hikers into the bush, lessons can be taught and learned on each and every trip. It is hoped that this handout will help you plan your outing.

The Four Types of Leaders:

  1. Autocratic (i.e. military-style leadership) typically likes to lead from the front
  2. Democratic (i.e. Outward Bound) everything is decided democratically no matter how long it takes
  3. Abdicratic (i.e. when there is someone else better qualified to lead, possibly because they know the trail better) leader abdicates to someone else but doesn’t actually “give up” the leadership role totally
  4. Laissez-faire (i.e. very laid back, easy going) when everyone in the group is experienced and knowledgeable

The best type of leader is all four of the above, when each situation calls for it. For example, in cases of emergency, when time and expertise is essential, autocratic leadership is best.

It is not necessary to be out front to lead a group. In fact, you may not know how your group is really doing (i.e. fatigue factors, equipment problems, etc.) if you are far removed from them, either at the front or back.

Tips for your hike