ATV tours are guided expeditions led by experienced guides through rough terrain or other trails. Each guest will ride on an ATV, or all terrain vehicle, on trails or dirt roads. The difficulty of the trails or roads will depend on the ability level of the riders as well as the specific tour being led. Before participants go on any of the ATV tours offered, they must undergo a brief safety training session in which they will be shown how to use the vehicles properly and what to do in case an emergency situation arises.
Once the participants have been educated on proper use of the vehicles, the ATV tours can commence. Each participant must wear a helmet, and in some cases, eye protection may be required. Each person will ride on his or her own ATV, and all off-roaders on the ATV tours will follow an experienced guide on trails or dirt roads. The guide will be responsible for the safety of all participants, which means he or she must never lose sight of all the ATV riders on the trip. In many instances, the guide will give the participants advice on how to handle certain trail conditions, and educate participants on the area in which they are riding.
While not all ATV tours include such education, most guides are knowledgeable about the area in which they are traveling and can lend some insight into the highlights of the region. In some cases, the guide may give participants information on the ecology of the area, the evolution of trail riding in a given region, and more information pertaining to the area or the sport. If the trip is a multi-day tour, the guide will be responsible for helping participants set up tents, and he or she will most likely be responsible for cooking meals.
If the ATV tours are instructional, the guide or guides may work with each participant to help them develop ATV riding skills. This may mean improving vehicle handling, using accessories such as winches, learning to navigate waterways or exceptionally steep trails, or descending over difficult terrain. Each guide must be certified to lead ATV tours, regardless of the ability levels of the riders and the particular skills being taught. Guides must also be trained in first aid, and in some cases, wilderness medicine so they can respond to emergency situations.