Tips on tours and what makes South by Southwest different than some outfitters out there.
OK, you probably know what tours are in the most basic sense, but do you know what makes a tour worth taking or not? Most people do not know that tours, whether hiking, biking, river running or lake paddling are actually closely monitored and regulated by the government bodies that control the land they operate on. Unfortunately that does not stop some from operating without permits and proper insurance. These pirates as the industry refers to them may be perfectly reputable people, or they may be a disaster waiting to happen, the trouble is it's hard to tell without the oversight. Every company we work with or recommend will always be fully permitted, licensed and insured as appropriate.
Definition: “A special-use authorization is a legal document such as a permit, term permit, lease, or easement, which allows occupancy, use, rights, or privileges of NFS land. The authorization is granted for a specific use of the land for a specific period of time, location and duration”.
Outfitting: Renting on or delivering to National Forest System Lands for pecuniary remuneration or other gain any saddle or pack animal, vehicle, boat, camping gear, or similar supplies or equipment.
Guiding: Providing services or assistance (such as supervision, protection, education, training, packing, touring, subsistence, transporting people, or interpretation) for pecuniary remuneration or other gain to individuals or groups on National Forest System lands.Tonto National Forest
And with that, then what should one expect on a tour? Knowledgable guides are a start. All South by Southwest guides are trained in their fields of activity to the highest levels possible. They all have certifications in their activities (where available) and wilderness medical training. You are in good hands. Many of them work across the southwest for a number of different outfitters as necessary to meet demand, and as a result, most spend as much or more time out on the rivers, in the canyons, or on the trails as you do in your job. Experience in the outdoors matters.
Value Added Service
Second, any tour experience we provide will include all the little perks, snacks, and amenities you never even thought about in the outdoors. Have you had a 4 star dining experience on your own private island in the middle of a desert lake? How about fresh made malts at the bottom of a canyon? All this and more is a halmark of a good tour, and here at South by Southwest, we strive to provide the best.
Of course for the ultimate in outdoor experiences, that can never be the end. As a tour participant with us, you won't just be getting a singular experience in your life, no matter how good it may have been. In keeping with our mission to get everyone out and exploring this great big fascinating planet of ours, you will be a part of our family. Post tour, you will have access to photos, trip logs, and anything else you need to share your experiences. More than that, you will be part of a club that will always be there to help plan and execute your next adventure too. Whether your looking to hit another AZ river, or mount a K2 expedition, the full resources of South by Southwest and all of our partner corporations will be there to assist you in every and any way you may need. If you can dream it, we will make it happen.