Vermont Travel Planning
Vermont Outdoor Guide Association

 


Planning a Trip

  Contact us at: info@voga.org or 1-800-425-8747

 

 


REMEMBER!  PLAN AHEAD,  BE SAFE,  HAVE FUN

Vermont Recreation Directory  HERE

    What you should know before you go.
 
   

Clothing & Equipment

  Meals & Accommodations   Landowners and Management

Fees

  Who Can Participate   Outdoor Ethics

Reservations, Cancellations & Refunds

  The Guides   Physical Requirements
    Environment   Vacation Packages
         


The Guides

Vermont Outdoor Guide Association (VOGA) is a non-profit association of self employed outdoor professionals and services. Potential guide members must qualify to join. While we take pride in the quality and the variety of our member’s services, it is up to you to choose the service that you feel the most comfortable with. Plan ahead and ask questions regarding your outing. VOGA members appreciate your interest and are happy to assist you. Our members are experienced professionals who truly enjoy sharing their knowledge with people like you to create a memorable experience that will draw you back to the woods and waterways again and again.

Environment

Vermont’s natural beauty and variety of terrain is something that we all, Vermonters and visitors, take pride in. It is important to remember that we are all stewards of the natural resources that we pass through. Our members are glad to help you to understand the meaning of stewardship and how it can be applied to the various resources. Don’t be afraid to ask questions and be sure to listen.

Our members observe national standards of use to lessen the impact of guided activities on private and public lands and promote safety, while maintaining the quality of the guests' outdoor experience. We endeavor to "stay off the beaten path", thereby, avoiding over used areas and giving you an unforgettable adventure!

Landowners and Management

It is important to understand that approximately 80% of Vermont lands are owned and managed privately. It is a good idea to ask permission from private landowners before you enter their land. Respect for landowners and proper outdoor ethics will go a long ways toward continued access to Vermont lands.

Public land, managed by local, state, and federal governments, are in abundance through-out Vermont. Check out our link pages for more information.

Outdoor Ethics

  LEAVE NO TRACE

Plan Ahead And Prepare:

Know the regulations and special concerns for the area you’ll visit.

Visit the backcountry in small groups.

Avoid popular areas during times of high use.

Choose equipment and clothing in subdued colors.

Repackage food into reusable containers.

Camp And Travel On Durable Surfaces

On The Trail:

Stay on designated trails. Walk single file in the middle of the path.

Do not shortcut switchbacks.

When traveling cross-country, choose the most durable surfaces available: rock, gravel, dry grasses or snow.

Use a map and compass to eliminate the need for rock cairns, tree scars and ribbons.

Step to the downhill side of the trail and talk softly when encountering pack stock.

At Camp:

Choose an established, legal site that will not be damaged by your stay.

Restrict activities to the area where vegetation is compacted or absent.

Keep pollutants out of water sources by camping at least 200 feet (70 adult steps) from lakes and streams.

Pack It In, Pack It Out:

Pack everything that you bring into wild country back out with you.

Protect wildlife and your food by storing rations securely.

Pick up all spilled foods.

Properly Dispose Of What You Can’t Pack Out:

Deposit human waste in cat holes dug 6 to 8 inches deep at least 200 feet from water, camp or trails. Cover and disguise the cat hole when finished.

Use toilet paper or wipes sparingly. Pack them out in plastic bags.

To wash yourself or your dishes, carry water 200 feet away from streams or lakes, and use small amounts of biodegradable soap. Scatter dish water after removing all food particles.

Inspect your campsite for trash and evidence of your stay. Pack out all trash: yours and others’.

Leave What You Find:

Treat our natural heritage with respect. Leave plants, rocks and historical artifacts as you find them.

Good campsites are found, not made. Altering a site should not be necessary.

Let nature’s sound prevail. Keep loud voices and noises to a minimum.

Control pets at all times. Remove dog feces from trails or camping areas.

Do not build structures or furniture or dig trenches.

Minimize Use And Impact of Fires:

Campfires can cause lasting impacts to the backcountry. Always carry a lightweight stove for cooking. Enjoy a candle lantern instead of a fire.

Where fires are permitted, use established fire rings, fire pans, or mound fires. Do not scar large rocks or overhangs.

Gather sticks, no larger than an adult’s wrist from the ground.

Do not snap branches off live, dead or downed trees.

Put out campfires completely.

Remove all unburned trash from the fire ring, and scatter the cool ashes over a large area well away from the camp.

For More Information and Materials Call "Leave No Trace" At: 1-800-332-4100

Physical Requirements

We try to offer something for everyone, but some of the guided activities do demand a certain minimum level of fitness. If you have to push yourself beyond your limits, then the adventure is probably neither safe nor fun. With that in mind, your guide will make every effort to tailor an itinerary which will be appropriate to you. All outdoor activities involve inherent risks and dangers that can result in injury and sometimes death. If you have any physical limitations it is up to you to inform your guide. Be honest with yourself and your chosen service and make the most of your trip. We remind you: "you are responsible for your own safety". You will be required to sign our waiver form before embarking on your tour.

Clothing & Equipment

Your guide service will furnish you with a list of suggested clothing, recommended reading, and equipment required for your outing. In general, your gear should be in good repair, particularly rain gear and footwear. Outdoor wear should be rugged but comfortable, and you should include several light layers for cooler seasons. Some equipment may be available for rent or supplied in your package.

Fees

Trip fees vary with your choice of outing and company. Take your time and shop around and ask what is included in the trip fee. No surprises make the best trips. Gratuities for guides are always appreciated but never expected, and entirely at your discretion.

Reservations, Cancellations & Refunds

Be sure that you take the time to read, understand and save all of the conditions of your chosen program. They will vary between the many services. Again, NO SURPRISES.

Meals & Accommodations

These vary with your choice of activities. Bed & Breakfasts or Country Inns lend themselves well in many cases, while camping out is standard in others. Delicious meals are provided by inns, area restaurants, Vermont's finest outdoor catering services, or by the guides themselves. Most inns base their rates on double occupancy, so you should expect to pay more if you are traveling alone or choose not to share a room.

Who Can Participate

Our members have developed programs to accommodate everyone: individuals, couples, women's groups, families, senior citizens, clubs, corporate retreats, small groups, and large groups. Minors must be accompanied by a parent or guardian. Just tell us what you need, we’ll be glad to help.

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Vermont Outdoor Guide Association
P.O. Box 10
North Ferrisburg, VT. 05473
1 800-425-8747  (802) 425-6211

info@voga.org