Are you tough enough?

Trekforce Expedition Leader Training

Follow in the footsteps of past Gapforce Leaders including Bruce Parry and Ed Stafford - learn key Survival and Leadership skills on this unique and challenging 4 month course and use your skills in jobs in film, TV, charity expeditions, school groups and gap years.

You start in the mountains of Wales and then the team heads off to the jungles of Costa Rica. This extreme training course will push you to the limit. Our instructors are there to test you and they won't make it easy. Can you get your team through some of the most challenging terrain? Will you pass as a Gapforce Expedition Leader?


Mountain Leader and Expedition Medical Training
  • Level 1: Mountain Leader Training (Wales) Activity First Aid 2 Days. (ML Summer)
  • Level 2: Introduction to Expedition Medicine (Costa Rica & Nicaragua) 5 days.
  • Level 3: Advanced Expedition Medicine and Rescue Training (Costa Rica) 12 Days.
  • Plus the extra activity specific medical qualifications listed below.
Other Highlights
  • Cave Rescue – 10 hour cave rescue plus training.
  • Traps and wild food living.
  • Solo Belt Kit Survival - 2 nights/3 days on your own.
  • Jungle survival trek and night survival scenarios.
  • Swift River Traverse Training and Practical.
  • Rope River Traverse Training and Practical.
  • Drowning prevention training (RLSS Level 1-3).
  • Kayak training and skills.
  • Urban survival training.
  • Costa Rica Rescue Training - rescue and extraction scenarios (CRRT).
  • Put into practice; plan and lead a real Gap Year or School Group expedition.
  • Action packed 4-month leadership course.
  • International Safety Management (RGS Offsite Expedition Safety).
  • Mental health for young people.
  • Gain nationally recognised training qualifications.
  • Jungle survival, remote medicine and cave rescue Training!
  • Plan and lead an actual Expedition, put your training into practice.
  • Job offers for successful applicants (details apply)

    Let’s get started! – phase 1 is an introduction training session in North Wales. This is free to all participants and a great preparation for those with limited adventure experience. The Wales pre training is intended to introduce you to the course and start your basic skills development. Modules during these 2 weeks include introduction and kit, remote emergency care course, off-site safety management and ends with a 6 day Mountain Leader Training course, a great starting point for the outdoor adventure industry!

    Deploy to the Jungle The start of the Expedition Leader Course in Costa Rica builds on your experience. The first phase of your jungle training includes Leadership and survival training, Expedition planning, group management training, kayak training, navigation and river crossings. Put your training into practice at the end of this phase with a solo night!

    Trekforce Expedition Leader Training

    Advanced Jungle Training, Urban Survival, Soft Skills and more... – now you have the basics in place, you will move on to advanced specialist training modules. This builds on what you have already learnt and takes it to the next level with more in-depth training and assessment. Modules covered here include advanced medical training, river rescue, evacuation, incident management and cave rescue as well as threat assessment, urban survival and vehicle maintenance training. Not for the faint hearted!

    Lead your own expedition the final stage of your training involves planning and leading your own expedition. As you take charge of your own group, you will need to plan, recce, manage and lead a group successfully on a jungle trek.


    We need high quality staff, so your course is designed to make you the best. The course is run as a continuous assessment, with your instructors mentoring you along the way and assessing you in key areas of Expedition Leadership. For many participants knowing you have completed your ultimate life challenge is success enough, however the skills and qualifications gained in this course can also lead on to exciting work. Upon successful completion of the course, and subject to your assessment score, we will contact you to discuss job opportunities available with Gapforce.

    Expedition Leaders have gone on to star in their own TV Series including Bruce Parry - "BBC The Tribe", “BBC The Amazon” and Ed Stafford “Naked and Marooned” - both whom started at our program.

    Our expedition leaders have also worked behind the camera on Ben Fogel's “Extreme Dreams” series, the Discovery Channel and MTV with Jack Osborne

    Previous leaders have also volunteered abroad working for aid agencies in world conflict zones, led school and charity groups overseas, as well as becoming outdoor instructors or teachers at some of the UK’s Leading schools. This ultimate challenge, our job support plus the network of contacts you will gain, is an ideal first step into the world of adventure travel.

    What's Included

    • Comprehensive leader training on a huge variety of modules
    • Recognised qualifications including RGS Off-Site Safety Management, RLSS Water Safety and Activity First Aid and more
    • A detailed log book of your achievements during the course - vital for employers
    • Comprehensive pre-departure support & video briefing
    • Experienced Gapforce Instructors supervising throughout the course
    • Airport transfers
    • Welcome and safety briefing
    • All accommodation
    • 3 meals a day
    • 24/7 UK emergency backup


    The Expedition Leadership Course is made up of nationally recognised and in-house qualifications that set you up to run expeditions.

    Nationally Recognised Certifications

    1. Mountain Leader Training
    2. Activity First Aid
    3. RGS Off-Site Safety Management
    4. RLSS Water Safety and more (call for latest details)

    You will also receive assessment grades on completion of the following key areas of assessment:

    In-house Training

    • Wilderness Medical Training
    • Urban Awareness
    • Expedition Planning
    • Rescue
    • Incident Management
    • Kayak / Canoe
    • Altitude Trekking
    • Jungle Survival
    • Mental health in youth

    The course culminates with real group leading experience. In order to test your skills to the maximum you will be leading other groups for a minimum of 2 weeks providing them with basic jungle training, as well as trek and rescue scenarios. We also typically trek from Costa Rica into Nicaragua.

    On successful completion of the course you will be awarded a pass mark and then be eligible for work with Gapforce as either a Leader or Assistant Leader on one of our global projects.

    You will also receive your log book complete with your certificates and detailed feedback from your instructors on your performance throughout the course, a valuable keepsake for your future career path.

    "The variety... kayaking, survival, rescue training, project work, racing canoes, team management, caves, rivers, jungle... level of responsibility, you get to lead and be involved in the running of the expedition from an early stage. The duration and intensity… 4 months of training and lots of feedback to improve your leadership and expedition skills. This pushes people to their limits."Jade Bielski – Instructor, Trekforce Expedition Leader Training Course

    Review of the TEL program

    The Expedition Leader program from GapForce was one of the best experiences I have had. This was unlike anything I had ever done before, and it was a blast. The skills and life lessons I have gained from this course are ones that I will have with me for the rest of my life.

    Regan Taylor

    Jungle fun

    This course is definitely an experience. Personally, going from never having thought about leading expeditions, to be able to, is awesome. You learn so much along the way, with so many amazing experiences. I would definitely recommend.


    Awesome experience!

    I thoroughly enjoyed all aspects of the course, it was definitely at points one of the most challenging things I have ever done - but also hugely rewarding at the same time. The course itself was very varied and also very practical, I feel I have learnt a wide range of leadership, bushcraft and communication skills that will be of huge benefit to me in the future, whether or not I decide to peruse a career in the exhibition leader field.Leaders reviewHenry and Leo were fantastic leaders, and truly did make the course. Their enthusiasm for teaching, extensive knowledge of the course content and overall encouragement and leadership made me determined to push myself to do well, even in the most challenging moments. I really feel they got the best out of me, and I got the best out of the course because of this.


    Fun in the jungle!!!

    The TEL course run by TrekForce was one of the most beneficial training courses i have been on (and iv been on many!) it is run in a way which means people from all different backgrounds and experience levels can all learn and grow as leaders, because lets face it how many people have spent 4 months in the jungle?... not many! all the training was hands on and practical which really appealed to me, the medical training and rescue training were defiantly the highlights of my course. the instructors on the course were incredibly knowledgeable and experienced and were able to pass on that experience to everyone on the course. it is both physically and mentally very challenging but with the right attitude completely achievable! i would 100% recommend the TEL course to anyone who is passionate about the outdoors, leadership and most of all having an adventure!


    TEL 15 Henry and Leo Review

    The course was an amazing experience, starting with basic jungle skills which were then utilized and built on as we were pushed to improve our leadership abilities alongside everything else that we were learning. Particular highlights for me now that I look back were my 1st leadership assessment that was extremely challenging and everything seemed to go wrong but was actually a lot of fun, the moment that stands out as a highlight was finishing the final trek and then standing tall on top of a restored Mayan pyramid in Xunantunich. in summary the course was well put together with tons of things to learn and build experience from. Thank you for an amazing trip!!Henry. a strong character that was tough when needed but always giving just the right amount of support and asking the questions that prompt you to think of the answer you were looking for. henrys wealth of obvious jungle experience was always available for consultation but would often push you to find the answer yourself, this i think is one of the things that to me made henry stand out as a leader and instructor. it was a pleasure to be taught by him.Leo. The assistant leader on this course. Leo has his own rhythm which whenever he stepped you to a leading role becomes much more pronounced this gave him an air of exactly what was needed in that position. As we were always observed and assessed Leo was very good at picking up on the smaller details and various actions of the group that you yourself may not have realised were happening. a naturally friendly person who was always approachable and would listen to any problems that may have been presented. again an extensive knowledge of bushcraft and workings of fire that shows through on any number of occasions of basic jungle life though very strongly in the survival section of the course. once again it was an honour to be taught by him.

    Rob Trapnell

    TEL 15

    During the TEL course we have had the opportunity to go from knowing nothing about the jungle to thoroughly enjoying it and knowing how to live in it. The course was very well structure so section after section built on each other giving us a great breath of knowledge. We were very privileged to be able to spend time with Belizean's within BDARRT learning about rescue from them, also spending time with local guides who clearly knew a lot about the jungle. Within the course particular highlights were cave rescues, the final trek and teaching the cockscomb rangers first aid which had never been done before this was rewarding as we were able to give something back to a group that had helped us and worked with us previously.The credit for everything we learned and how well we came on has to be given to Henry and Leo (our instructors). Their teaching methods were strong and useful and lessons were always to a very high standard. Throughout the course they were always available to answer questions and guide us through sections we were struggling with. It was particularly good to see how much they enjoyed the jungle environment and the course as their enthusiasm was passed on to us and allowed them to push to organise new and different things. It was also very good to see how good their relationships with locals was as this allowed us to spend more time with them and benefit from their wealth of experience.The course was an amazing experience and I would thoroughly recommend it to others. I have to thank Henry and Leo for making it such an incredible experience.


    TrekForce TEL Course April 2014

    Throughout the past 4 months the TEL course has challenged, pushed and inspired me. The course was run in sections each one taking our skills and abilities to the next level. It was well paced and very effective in ensuring we learnt everything correctly and safely but also realistically. The course utilised many different areas of Belize and as much variation as possible. I feel this was very beneficial and broadened our scope of learning especially meeting and working with many of the local guides and rangers. This was clearly only achievable with the excellent relations that the leaders had with all the local contacts and the mutual respect was obvious to see. Overall I found the course very well run and constantly challenging and enjoyable and also pushing us in many different directions. I joined to TEL course to push myself in different and challenging environments and I feel it achieved this on every level.Leaders:Our leaders for the TEL course, Henry Reynolds and Leo Bradbury, I feel, were the main factors in the success and the enjoyment of the course. Their enthusiasm and clear love of the jungle environment really shone through. There was a real feel that they both wanted to show off the best that Belize has to offer and while a lot of the course could be run in one area they really wanted to take us away and push us in other challenging areas and experience as much as possible. The desire to try new things, see new areas and ensure that we all experienced everything available was clear to see. The excellent relationships that they both have with the local guides and rangers was also clear and really benefitted the overall experience. The teaching methods were both well balanced and well thought out allowing us to practice all our skills whilst also being available to aid and educate us before any assessment to ensure a full understanding is gathered. Overall the leaders were excellent, always enthusiastic and fully engaged in giving us the best experience possible. They are both great assets to the TEL program and I believe Integral to the course's future success.

    Nick Brown

    ELT Great Career base

    ELT course has given me a really sound base to begin my career. The jungle environment and intensity and diversity of the training has enabledme to learn on the go.River canoeing, navigation jungle activities getting my planning focused.A dynamic group of people helped us build on our weaknesses.A tough course for people wanting something a bit different who are really looking to find themselves in a challenging well organised structure.


    In the Jungle

    Well thought out program run by skilful staff.Designed to build your confidence and skill, without overwhelming you.The program covers wide range of subjects and will provide opportunity for significant personal growth.Highly recommended.


    Tel course

    The course was very well organized and ran with the upmost care in regards to safety. This is all while keeping the intensity up which is what I think most people find so great about this course. Mr. Chew and Ms. Mason where of the upmost professional character during the course.

    Nico Esformes

    Trekforce expedition leader training

    A well rounded course with a lot to offer the adventurous soul and anyone wanting to make a change with their lifestyle and experience something truly exciting and difficult. Dan and Lydia made outstanding leaders that were confident, friendly and dealt with every situation that arose professionally and swiftly.

    Joe Craig

    Awesome trip

    The whole trip from start to finish was a well-run and very professional operation. I feel that in four months I have learnt more than I ever thought I would, and after being constantly drilled with early morning scenario wake ups I now feel very confident to deal with any medical situation that I may be presented with in the future. I would definitely recommend this trip to the adventurous soul.

    Charlie Nutland

    Great way to spend a gap year

    We all learnt a lot over the four month course that will be invaluable in expedition life. Both on personal and leading expeditions abroad. The training team of Dan and Lydia and the medic Kim were great.


    Trek force

    Really good course that develops you in leadership and as a person. The activities you participate in are once in a life time. The leaders are well motivated to provide a good course for the trainees. Big thanks to Dan and Lydia for providing a good course.

    Liam Lewis

    Expedition Leadership Training course Costa Rica 2

    Just after finishing the First part of the course in Wales our group was off to the paradise called Costa Rica.Away from all the harsh weather, out of the mountains and into the jungle.We got to experience all the hardships and started learning what challenges it brings to become a leader.We've learned so much and everyone had there own personal challenges to face, which for me were almost all conquered.I feel like a new man and feel like I can take on any challenge.All in all the course was life changing.

    Sean, Belgium

    Greatest four months you could ask for

    Didn't know what I had gotten myself into when I first signed up to the course. Now having completed it I can honestly say it was one of the best experiences I have had in the past 6yrs of travelling the globe. learnt many new sills as well as developing some very essential life skills that transfer to multiple situations and industries. Can't fault the course in any way. If you are thinking about doing it, don't hesitate and jump in. You won't regret it.

    Jared, Australia

    The best experience of my life

    I had recently left school in May 2015 and was looking for a worthwhile gap year which would give me some sort of qualification. I could have never predicted the change this course would have to my life. I feel as though it made me a more productive, responsible and well balanced individual. It doesn't matter whether you think you're already all of those things, this course will change you for the better in every way possible. I cannot recommend this course enough. The best experience of my life.

    Matt, Aberdeen

    After submitting this form, we will try and get back to you within 24 hours

    Download Brochure

    Or call us on 0207 384 3028

    View dates
    • Duration: 16 weeks
    • Departures: January, October

    Real Reviews

    Click here to read over 100 real reviews about our programs on the independant service.