Outdoor Certifications

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REGISTRATION IS OPEN – Next Program: April 25th – June 5th, 2024

Outdoor Certifications

  1. Whitewater Rescue Technician (WRT)
  2. Paddle Canada Moving Water Intro Skills Tandem
  3. Paddle Canada Leadership Camping and/or ORCKA Canoe Tripping 2 or 3
  4. Leave No Trace (LNT) Trainer
  5. Outdoor Council of Canada Field Leadership course (Hiking, Paddling and Overnight)
  6. (Optional) Wilderness First Responder


Whitewater Rescue Technician

Provider: Boreal River Rescue

This is the standard for river guides, instructors and river runners. All information sourced from www.borealriver.com


This course as a stand alone is 5-days, 10 hours/day with 6-8 hours of pre-course work.

Learning Outcomes:

  • Increase your knowledge of the river environment to avoid hazards and work with the water, not against it
  • Practice techniques such as swimming, wading, and throwing ropes to move around the river, perform self-rescues, and rescue others
  • Learn knots, anchors, and rope systems for use in equipment recovery and transportation
  • Carry out effective rescues with limited resources when river running
  • Progress from learning skills in easy water to performing more complex rescues in bigger rapids
  • Gain experience and confidence through challenging simulations and drills.


Topics Covered:

Basic skills

  • Swimming in moving water: self-rescue and whitewater maneuvers
  • Throw ropes
  • Contact rescues
  • Quick release safety harness
  • Rescue of panicked subjects
  • Shallow water crossing techniques
  • Knots, anchors, and basic tensioning systems
  • ‘Strainer’ swim


Advanced skills

  • Transportation systems
  • Advanced anchors and compound mechanical advantage systems
  • Supervised swim in a hole and hole rescue
  • Advanced swimming and throwing
  • Live-bait rescues
  • Rescue problems & scenarios
  • Advanced foot and body entrapment
  • Canoe, kayak, and raft pins and wraps


Moving Water Intro Skills Tandem

Provider: Paddle Canada

Moving Water Skills courses are aimed to develop fundamental skills, knowledge and maneuvers while canoeing in whitewater. During the River Roots Program students will have the opportunity to complete an intro, intermediate or advanced skills certification. The certification completed will depend on the level of skill that students have prior to the course.  All information for this course can be sourced at www.paddlecanada.com


A stand-alone course is a minimum of 2-days.

Topics Covered:


  • Fundamental canoeing skills
  • Basic manoeuvres in class one current
  • Eddie turns
  • Ferries
  • Basic river rescue



  • Accomplished whitewater canoeist
  • More complex maneuvers in class two current
  • River rescue from both land and water



  • Expert whitewater canoeist
  • Advanced maneuvers with proficiency in class three current
  • Advanced river rescue from both land and water including self-rescue


Paddle Canada Leadership Camping and/or ORCKA CT 2 or 3

Provider: Paddle Canada and/or ORCKA

The Camping Leadership course is aimed for those interested in a formal leadership role on multi-day expeditions. At the end of this course students will be trained to plan and execute camping trips, provided that the participant has also achieved the Paddle Canada certification appropriate to the vessels used and expected conditions of said trip. All information for this course sourced from www.paddlecanada.ca


As a stand-alone course the length will be a minimum of 32 hours, including a 3-night camping trip.

In order to receive this certification you must log a minimum of 4 camping trips with a combined total of 12 nights or more in a wilderness environment. Two of the logged trips need to be a minimum of 3 nights.

During the River Roots Program students will be able to log 3 of these trips. The the fourth trip will need to be done outside of the program. This can be done prior to or post program but needs to be done within a year of the course end date.

Topics Covered:

Kitchen & Cooking

  • Food Preparation and Packing for Trips
  • Strategies for Food Storage


Campsite & Gear

  • First Aid Kits
  • Equipment Repair (vessels, paddles, tents, packs, etc.).
  • Tarps and Shelters
  • Ditch Kits
  • Communication, Signalling & Technology


Camping Skills

  • Securing a Vessel on a Vehicle and Trailer
  • Trip Logs



  • Trip Planning
  • Navigation Skills and Techniques
  • Incident Management and Evacuation Options
  • Risk Assessment and Management
  • Leadership Skills and Group Decision Making
  • Expedition Behaviour andGroup Dynamics
  • Self-Care
  • Group Care
  • Weather Interpretation & Forecasting
  • Transport Canada Small Vessel Regulations


Leave No Trace Trainer

Provider: Leave No Trace

The Leave No Trace Trainer Course focuses on techniques for learning and teaching minimum impact outdoor skills, ethics and education. All information sourced from www.LNT.org.


A stand-alone LNT Trainer course includes a minimum of 16 hours of experiential instruction, ten hours of which must be conducted in the field and one night camping.

Learning Outcomes:

  • Understand, demonstrate and teach state of the art minimum impact techniques for friends, family or community groups
  • Lead a discussion on outdoor ethics and help others explore their own personal outdoor ethic
  • Serve as a co-instructor for Leave No Trace Trainer Courses with a qualified Master Educator
  • Offer Leave No Trace Awareness Workshops Course Components
  • The role and function of a Leave No Trace Trainer
  • The principles and ethics of Leave No Trace
  • Teaching skills and techniques and student learning styles
  • At least one student led exercise by each participant
  • Overview of the National Leave No Trace program
  • The role and function of the Leave No Trace Center for Outdoor Ethics


Field Leader Course

Provider: Outdoor Council of Canada

The Field Leader course is designed for entry level leaders to learn how to plan and manage outdoor activities. It is not focused on the technical skill of paddling or hiking, instead it is designed to empower leaders to meet the challenges found in leading others in low-risk terrain. Along with this certification comes a membership to OCC. Now you can join a national organization that works to promote the value and the necessity of outdoor activities. All information sourced from www.outdoorcouncil.ca

Timing: A stand-alone Field Leader Course (Hiking and Paddling Combined) is 20 hours over two days.  The Overnight course is an additional 20 hrs, including a night of camping.

Learning Outcomes:

  • Mindful leadership
  • Planning and running participant-centered experiences
  • Purposeful programming: Every program should have clear objectives.
  • Systematic planning: Tools are provided to assist with planning that honors the themes of the course
  • Collaborating: Team building with participants, co-leaders, our organization, and other stakeholders maximizes our ability to deliver quality and safety.
  • Communication
  • Learning through reflection

Membership Benefits:

  • Take an active role in a national movement making real change
  • Be part of a diverse community of outdoor practitioners
  • Access resources and documents covering a diversity of outdoor related issues
  • Access open source template documents facilitating the delivery of outdoor programs
  • Access to Pro Deals
  • Information about outdoor job opportunities

Optional Add-on

Wilderness First Responder

Wilderness First Responder (WFR) – 80 hr course

Registration is independent of the River Roots Program, please contact Erin in the MHO Office to book


Any course hosted at MHO Adventures in the same calendar year as your River Roots Program

Retail Price: 

$1055, River Roots Student Price $633

Wilderness First Responder (WFR)

Provider: Wilderness Medicine Associates International

The Wilderness First Responder program is the standard for leaders in remote areas including outdoor educators, guides, military, professional search and rescue teams, researchers, and those involved in disaster relief. The curriculum is comprehensive and practical. It includes the essential principles and skills required to assess and manage medical problems in isolated and extreme environments for days and weeks if necessary. All information sourced from www.wildmed.com


This course as a stand alone is either an 8-day (80 hours) course or a 5-day course with 40 hours of precourse work.

**This certification is an add on to the River Roots program, and it is an industry standard to have and maintain this certification**

Topics Covered

  • The General Principles of Wilderness and Rescue Medicine with an emphasis on the prevention and identification of medical emergencies, appropriate technology, and risk management.
  • Patient assessment and emergency care including CPR, basic Life support, and the emergency treatment of anaphylaxis and asthma.
  • Environmental Medicine including altitude illness, hypothermia and heat illness, frostbite and cold injury, lightning, submersion, and environmental toxins.
  • Backcountry Medicine including the assessment and treatment of common medical problems.
  • Musculoskeletal Problems including unstable and stable injuries overuse syndromes, and dislocations.
  • Wound management including open fractures, lacerations, burns and blisters.
  • Practical skills including splinting, bandaging, litter packaging and medical kit preparation.
  • WMA International Wilderness Protocols including wound cleaning and exploration, spine injury assessment, dislocation reduction, CPR in the remote setting, and anaphylaxis and asthma.

Upcoming Training Dates


Apr 24, 2025 - Jun 04, 2025

Apr 30, 2026 - Jun 11, 2026


10 Spots Available

10 Spots Available

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