Whitewater Rafting Guides Guide Augmented

Paperback: $24.95  Ebook $8.99

Expanded & Better-than-ever:
The Guide’s Guide Augmented:
Reflections on Guiding Professional River Trips

This ultimate reference book for river guides and river runners—now available in ebook and print—covers people skills; safety talks; swift water rescue; high-water safety; knots; signals; emergency evacuation and coping with accidents; minimizing liability; food planning; nature interpretation made fascinating; boat, bus, and camp entertainment that really brings people together; guiding industry best practices; boatloads of general guiding wisdom; new sections on boating skills, tall-tale campfire stories, and much, much more.

To make the book more universally applicable and more appealing to outfitters and clubs, references to Whitewater Voyages have been removed. At 115,000 words and 572 pages, this 2024 edition of The Guide’s Guide Augmented is a treasure trove of vital life-saving and life-enhancing information.

The ebook contains a clickable index and table of contents, and is pretty much a must-have on every river guide’s phone.

Few undertakings require as many different skills as guiding people down whitewater rivers. This new expanded edition of The Guide’s Guide Augmented not only explores the basics of guiding, it also goes beyond to deal with the subtleties and specifics of conducting safe, educational, professional and above all, enjoyable river trips. The underlying philosophy of this volume can be expressed quite simply: Enthusiastically dedicate yourself to guiding, and try with all your heart to make each trip the finest possible.

A note about this latest edition: It is deeply gratifying that The Guide’s Guide Augmented is in wider use and greater demand than ever. In addition to the “classic” Guide’s Guide contents, this edition includes a new section on Boating Skills (Part 4), Bill Center’s classic article on Dutch Oven cookery (in Part 8), four short favorite campfire stories (see Tall Tales in Part 9), and other additions scattered throughout.

This guide book is designed to be helpful, even inspirational, to private boaters, guides, trip leaders, outfitters, government agency river and recreation managers, and adventure travel companies of all sorts. Any individual, company or group which practices the philosophy and methods presented here is welcome to consider this book their staff manual.

The safer and better all rafting trips and outdoor recreation experiences, the better for all. The more people who return home in one piece, thrilled and delighted with their river trip or outdoor outing, the more river rafting and outdoor recreation in general will be seen as a great thing to do and the more all outfitters, the recreating public and our recreation resources will benefit.

Although the myriad users of this book are independent, far flung adventurers, guides, outfitters, tour operators and recreation resource managers, at the very same time, ideally, we are all working together to enhance the quality of life on this planet. The highest purpose of this book is to contribute to this broad, growing, wonderful effort—which is, after all, an ongoing quest of planet-saving proportions.

What’s New in the 2024 Edition of The Guide’s Guide Augmented?

The new 2024 edition contains important new material, including:

1) A mostly brand new section on boating skills – – extremely useful for training new guides, and helping experienced guides become true experts.
2) References to Whitewater Voyages have been removed to make the book more universally applicable.
3) A section of tall-tale campfire stories. You’ll love them!
4) An excellent article written by Bill Center years ago on Dutch oven cooking.
5) Lots of small edits and improvements throughout.
6) More consistent graphic design throughout.
7) The page count went from 316 to 572.

Comments on The Guide’s Guide Augmented:

A Complete Guide to Whitewater River Guiding – And More
by Charlie Walbridge

Bill McGinnis’ Guide’s Guide Augmented has everything a professional river guide needs to succeed. The first four chapters cover managing a guided boat in practical detail. Even veteran guides will find things they can use. Later chapters on River Signals, Rescue, Knots, and Expedition Food Planning (Menus for trips up to an18 day trip!) will be useful as a reference. Although the “Specifics” chapter reads like an employee handbook, it also has an excellent list of contents for a first aid kit and a repair kit. But the thing that is most impressive is Bill’s respect for his clients. He says, “The most valuable lesson . . . .is how to make the guests feel like part of the team on the river.” Focusing on the guest experience, rather than a river you have run many times, is also the best cure I know of for guide burnout.

Guide’s Guide Very Informative: As someone in the process of starting a rafting company, RiverIndia.com, I needed a book with thorough, dependable information covering all aspects of whitewater rafting. The Guide’s Guide surprised me in its completeness and in-depth treatment of everything from knots, guiding, cooking, forms, games, and more! William McGinnis, one of California’s whitewater pioneers, should be commended on this meisterwerk. It is a great help to those of us who hope to follow in his footsteps.— R. Stevenson

Best Professional River Guide book out there: Bill McGinnis has written an excellent reference for anyone involved with professional river guiding. Every chapter reflects years of experience and conveys information with comprehensive clarity that’s easily understood and transcends the obvious. The heart and soul of the commercial river experience are the people involved, the guests and guides. Everybody wants to be happy and accepted, even uplifted, and Bill’s section on the Guests, Guides and Staff relations offers valuable insights are that are real and superb. In addition all the nuts and bolts info including safety talks, raft/paddle instruction, river running etc are offered by an expert who is humble and wise at the same time. There’s so much to be learned by anyone interested in making every day on the river the best, and this book is a fine friend in this regard. As an active professional guide for 25 years and 16 years as an outfitter I’m still learning and Bill’s book is a great reference for me and my company. I recommend this book with high regard.–John McDermott, Owner/Head Guide, River Dancers Rafting and Kayaking Inc.

Invaluable: This is a great book for all outfitters and guides in the adventure travel industry, not just river guides or outfitters exclusively. Having worked in the guiding industry since 1990 for various outfitters including Mountain Travel Sobek as their Operations Manager for International rafting trips I can say without reserve this is a must read for anyone doing any guiding, period. if you are a 40 year veteran you may think some of the topics are not insightful as you already know the answer, however it is well organized and well thought out so no points or gaps are missed. I am going to send a copy to each of my guides this winter to read before they show up at the warehouse in June for our first trip of the season.–James Ellsworth, Middle Fork River Expeditions, owner

Excellent book: The Guide’s Guide by William McGinnis is an excellent book containing a lot of detailed and very practical information covering all aspects of rafting useful for managers, leaders, guides and even trip guests. The book is written by the person who has the hands-on experience in every level of field guiding as well as in company management. What makes the book really unique is that besides very specific whitewater rafting information, it’s filled with pearls of practical wisdom and advice. The book is fun to read and could be interesting not only for rafting professionals but for anyone who deals with team building and events management. –Konstantin Afanasyev

“Thank you for your guidance and for writing what I view as essentially our river bible around here.”
—Kathryn Blitz, Wild West Voyages

A Classic Overview: William McGinnis has provided a clean, candid, and thorough introduction to the world of whitewater. This book touches on every major aspect of rafting from trip planning to running a company, and all of it is infused with a welcoming, friendly philosophy. This book is a must read for people looking to create, or be a part of, truly wonderful, inclusive river trips.–Simon Saichek

Outstanding book, worth every penny and then some: My friends and I have been rafting for well over 10 years and we all learned something new from this book. In fact, we fight over the book, so I have come to Amazon today to purchase my own copy. The book includes EVERYTHING pertinent to whitewater boating and river life. The book is not only for guides; every boater should own this book. The book is well written.–Oregon Whitewater

Outstanding book, worth every penny and then some: My friends and I have been rafting for well over 10 years and we all learned something new from this book. In fact, we fight over the book, so I have come to Amazon today to purchase my own copy. The book includes EVERYTHING pertinent to whitewater boating and river life. The book is not only for guides; every boater should own this book. The book is well written. –Oregon Whitewater

The River Rafting Guide’s Bible ! This Book is used by Professional rafting companies all over the world as a training manual for their river guides. Everything you can think of and then some ! –Sbea Surfing

“The Guide’s Guide .. is.. every bit as absorbing, instructive and entertaining as William McGinnis’ (first book) Whitewater Rafting. If you are or wish to be a river rafting trip leader, this guide is a must. … the lucid writing intrigued me word for word from beginning to end.”–George Larson, Sierra Club

“Great stuff! I’m constantly impressed with the amount of thought and energy William McGinnis puts into the finer points of guiding.”—Bruce Lessels, Zoar Outdoor

“William McGinnis is .. utterly remarkable.. and.. by far the most gifted writer I am aware of at capturing the heart and soul—the very essence of a whitewater river experience. … His extraordinary gift so much in evidence in his twenties has continued to deepen and mature. … For his contribution to my life, to all those other boaters and to this sport for which I have an enduring passion, I wish to thank him.” –George Brown