Nahanni River Leadership

“Attention to detail is the sign of a professional.” Tim Bird, an Antarctic and Himalayan Mountain Guide, left me with these words before heading into the wilds of the Ragged Range. He and our guides were climbing into a waiting twin-otter, as they embarked on a three week adventure leading the students of Marlborough College on an expedition down the Nahanni River and the compliment made me smile. 

While Tim was not the first to note the core of our true wilderness philosophy, that the quality of an experience is a culmination of hundreds of small details masterfully executed - but his parallel experience in the worlds most demanding environments let me know we were doing things right. We share world class wilderness and we do these spectacular destinations justice with our outfitting and commitment to these places. 

Since beginning our journey with Nahanni Wild we have ensured that each of our guests receives the personal consultation not only on choosing the right adventure but on all their preparations before departure. 

In the same way we have fine tuned our guide training program to ensure our team is second to none. Each guide participates in a five-day, on water comprehensive training program taking place during the high water events on the Kootenay and White Rivers in Southeast British Columbia. These training expeditions are an in depth simulation not only of paddling and safety drills but a chance to serve each other and grow our skills as a team. The relationships built here provide the strong bond required to successfully lead expeditions in areas like Nahanni National Park Reserve. Meal times are spent training with culinary professionals and when combined with our famous menu you can be sure the scenery won’t be the only highlight of your trip. All of our food is packed by the Nahanni Wild team ensuring tight control of quality, it is often sourced from local business made from scratch. Fresh produce is a big part of the meals and even into the second weeks of expeditions you will be amazed at the food we prepare.

The backbone of our journeys are our fleet of expedition canoes, rafts, and camp equipment. Carefully maintained and of the highest quality, each piece is carefully chosen for its quality and how it improves your experience. From water safety equipment such as helmets, wetsuits and lifejackets to comfortable camp chairs and luxurious sleeping systems, each has been tested through our decades of personal experience (hey, I can’t say the job doesn’t have its perks!). 

Our entire team knows that offering the finest quality experience required innovation. Just like in our guide training we set the standard in our safety equipment our "leave no trace" techniques and our relentless commitments to safety. Over the decades we have pioneered use of cata-canoe “canyon-rigs”,  no-trace fireboxes, and rigorously reviewed emergency management plans. These efforts have resulted in decreased on-water incidents, eliminated fire scars from Nahanni National Park Reserve and contributed to our excellent safety record. Aided with modern communication tools we remain connected to our base throughout expedition, providing continual situation reports, and allowing you to truly relax into your vacation. 

“The idea of wilderness needs no defending, it only needs defenders.”
— Edward Abbey

Edward Abbey, a favourite author of my children, famously stated that “the idea of wilderness needs needs no defending, it only needs defenders.” Nahanni Wild was involved in the advocacy for the expanded protection of the Nahanni Watershed. Culminating in 2009 with the creation of a whole new protected area, Nááts'ihch'oh National Park Reserve. While this is an exceptional achievement, the struggle to preserve wilderness areas is far from over. As a company we commit 

-To work with all stakeholders to advocate for the protection of wilderness 

-To support communities as they find local solutions to environmental challenges

-To provide story tellers, creators and advocates access to the incredible wilderness that inspires their work

A lifetime of wilderness travel has shown me the value of what we do at Nahanni Wild. These wild areas inspired my life and I have been fortunate to see it do the same for my family. We all look forward to welcoming you to the wilderness and sharing places that we love.

Yours for Adventure,

David Hibbard