Delivering Adventure

The Chain of Delivery

What you will find is that best adventure guides and instructors, intuitively follow a five-step process. This process is called the Chain of Delivery. These five steps are Evaluate, Calculate, Prepare, Action, and Reflect. Each one of these steps is like a link in a chain. Like any chain, it is only going to be as strong as its individual links.

If we want to deliver adventure effectively we are going to need to make sure that we build each chain to be as strong as possible. One weak link in any one chain will increase our chances of experiencing a misadventure or worse.


To evaluate effectively, there are seven important things that we need to investigate and clarify. They are:

  1. Gauge Interest
  2. Determine Capabilities
  3. Set Realistic Expectations
  4. Create Boundaries
  5. Establish Authority
  6. Collect External Information
  7. Define Success

The goal of this step is to identify and communicate all of the relevant information for that situation so that everyone can make an informed decision on what to do next.


The next step in the chain of delivery is to decide what to do next. This involves making a calculation based on the information available to us.

There are six steps that go into calculating our decision. They are to:

  1. Identify the objective
  2. List all the Options
  3. Assess the Risk
  4. Identify Influencing Factors
  5. Pick the Best Option
  6. Re-evaluate

The Goal of this step is to identify all of the possible options and to select the best of these options. Ultimately, the best option will be the one that puts us in the best position to finish the day in better shape than when we started.


There are five key elements to preparing. They are:

  1. Review tactics and skills
  2. Prepare physically
  3. Talk about what to expect
  4. Communicate the plan
  5. Obtain consent
  6. Reassess

The goal of this step is to remove as much uncertainty from the situation as possible by making sure that everyone understands what comes next and is as capable as possible of handling the chosen course of action.


Once we are fully prepared, its time to hit the go button and expose everyone to the course of action that we have chosen.


Doing this safely, involves managing eight components:

  1. See through their eyes
  2. Keep everyone focused
  3. Adopt the right mindset
  4. Pace for performance
  5. Give relevant feedback
  6. Position for safety
  7. Pace for efficiency
  8. Demonstrate success

The goal of this step is to manage the risk exposure and the level of exposure in a way that gives everyone the best chance of achieving success.


The last step (or link) in the chain is to reflect on what has happened. This requires us to:

  1. Review what has happened
  2. Review any lessons learned
  3. Own any mistakes
  4. Learn from the experience

There are two primary goals in this step: learn from the experience and create the best possible chance of everyone leaving the experience with a positive memory of what happened.


Every time we undertake something new or unfamiliar, change course, or make a new decision we start this process over again.

When it comes to delivering adventure, each day is going to be made up of many chains of delivery.

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