Q: How physically demanding
is your vision quest? Do I need to be in top shape to attend?
quests are not necessarily physically demanding. You
don’t need to be in top shape. However, you
should be able to hike with your full backpack for
up to a mile on level ground without becoming completely
out of breath or experiencing any pain in your chest
Typically, the challenge
is more mental (psychological) and emotional. The
vision quest is an invitation to step outside of your
comfort zone. It’s an opportunity to experience
being on your edge without the distractions of companionship,
food, and shelter. The vision quest brings you face
to face with yourself – your shadows and your
Q: What kinds of changes and growth
have people experienced as a result of going on a vision
quest? Are the changes lasting ones?
of personal transformation are many and are as varied
as the individuals attending a vision quest. Participants
report to have discovered a profound degree of self-confidence,
empowerment, clarity and illumination, inner stability,
freedom, and awakening. We’ve found that many
questers receive exactly what they need at that particular
juncture in their lives.
As with any personal
transformation, you may have a profound opening to
how you want to change your life. In some cases this
manifests as a dramatic change in career direction
or relationship status; in others it may show itself
as a more subtle (but very significant) shift into
a more sacred, holistic way of living and loving.
However, it’s up to you to either embrace this
transformation or allow yourself to step back into
old familiar ways. During the final phase of the quest,
the group acknowledges and honors the changes you’ve
undergone, which helps to solidify and integrate these
newly discovered aspects of yourself into your new
Q: If something undesirable
happens to me during my solo days out in the wilderness,
is help readily available? Will I be safe?
safety is always our primary concern. Before going
out on your solo, you will be instructed in how to
be alone in the wilderness, the possible effects of
fasting, as well as what to do if an emergency should
Although our wilderness
activities are primarily low-risk and group camp-based
(in contrast to high-risk adventures such as rafting
or mountaineering, for instance), any foray into the
wilderness is bound by some degree of risk, due to
the environment and exposure. Our guides are fully
qualified to handle situations that may arise, from
extensive experience in group risk management, wilderness
medicine and education, and vision quests (see qualifications
under – ‘Guides’).
In addition to training with premier outdoor leadership
organizations, they stay up to date with current risk
management awareness regulations and practices.
While you are alone
on your solo, there will always be an experienced
guide at base camp to provide emotional and/or medical
support. Each of our guides is also a certified Wilderness
First Responder. In addition, we incorporate a ‘Buddy
System’ that allows you and your buddy to have
daily check-ins with each other. This check-in is
done through a ‘Buddy Pile’, that allows
each of you to maintain your private solo time.
Since the essence of
a vision quest is to stretch you beyond your comfort
zone, there is risk. However, this risk is what makes
the vision quest such a powerful tool for personal
Q: What if I get
light-headed from hunger? What’s the experience like
for most people?
effects of fasting are fairly consistent - such as
hunger pangs, light-headedness, headache, and changes
in elimination - with each individual experiencing
some degree of discomfort. You may experience an empty,
growling feeling in your stomach, or a mild headache
from your body beginning to purify. For the most part,
by the end of the first day you will have felt your
share of missing the experience of eating.
If you are conscious
about drinking an adequate amount (at least a gallon)
of water throughout the day, you should be fine. It’s
surprising how quickly sipping some water will remove
the pang of hunger. Even though most participants
are a bit concerned about fasting, that tends to be
one of the easier aspects of the solo time.
Q: What happens if
there’s bad weather? Will I be out in it alone?
as the weather isn’t extreme, the weather is
part of your experience. Again, the essence of a vision
quest is to stretch you. You are on a spiritual journey,
a rite of passage. This isn’t a vacation. So
expect to have moments of discomfort.
Q: What does the course fee include?
fee covers participation in the course led by two
experienced, trained vision quest guides. It covers
administrative expenses including program/site coordination,
certifications, insurance, permits, first aid supplies,
travel expenses for the guides, etc.
The course fee does
NOT include the participant's travel expenses, food/water,
camping equipment/supplies, and personal clothing/items.
Participants are asked to be self-sufficient regarding
their equipment, food and water (1 gallon per day);
however, we will provide the break-fast meal when
you come off your solo time, as well as the traditional
celebratory feast at a restaurant in town. We will
also provide a central kitchen area with a few extra
cooking stoves, some general cooking equipment (such
as pots and pans), a basic dishwashing area, and a
few large containers of water for our time together.
In addition, the course
fee does not include campground and vehicle permits
for national or state parks.
Q: What kinds of training have the
guide at The Seventh Quest has been trained at The
School of Lost Borders, is a member of the Wilderness
Guides Council, is a certified NOLS Wilderness First
Responder (National Outdoor Leadership School), is
a Leave No Trace Trainer, and is intimately experienced
with every aspect of the vision quest ceremony.
Q: I like the idea
of signing up for one of your journeys, but it seems personally
challenging and a bit expensive.
How will I know if it’s the right time to do this?
sure you’ve had times in your life when you’ve
stepped out of your comfort zone. Was it challenging?
Most likely. Was it worth the cost? In most cases,
I’m sure it was.
With a vision quest,
you’ll be choosing to be alone in the wilderness,
without food, without companionship, and with minimum
shelter for four days and four nights. That can definitely
be challenging. But keep in mind, you’ll be
with a group of fellow fasters. Before going out on
your solo, you will be instructed in how to be alone
in the wilderness, the possible effects of fasting,
as well as what to do in case of an emergency. And
as we mentioned earlier, there will always be a trained
guide at base camp to provide emotional and/or medical
support. You also have your buddy who will be checking
in on you each day.
Is it worth the cost?
It's always difficult to place a value on personal
transformation. Our experience has been that participants
become deeply passionate and thrilled about the adventure
their lives can become, simply from getting in touch
with such deep reservoirs of creativity and inner
knowingness. It’s not that the guides “make”
this happen or magically draw it out – it’s
the result of the beautiful process of one’s
self finding one’s larger Self through the quest.
For most, it's a pivotal point in their lives.
As for knowing if it’s
the right time, you really have to answer that yourself.
However, if you’re full of curiosity, feeling
a strong desire, or just know intuitively that it’s
time to take the plunge, then go with it! We refer
to this as hearing the ‘Call of the Quest’.
The ‘call’ is that inner voice that inspires
you to step out of your familiar life to explore your
edge, the world outside your comfort zone. It’s
that place where you truly come alive and can reflect
on yourself and your life with great clarity. Tapping
into that special zone is what the vision quest is
all about – it’s what brings about the