Each year, every single office employee at Natural Habitat Adventures (#1 for the second year in a row) is granted a two-week site inspection to one of the travel outfitter’s several dozen global destinations. “There is no better way to improve what we do than to send our staff to the remote reaches of our planet to experience what we sell every day,” explains general manager Rick Guthke.
At Groundspeak (#7), which runs websites and develops mobile apps used in the navigational sport of geocaching, new hires are given a GPS and other starter-kit tools. After one year, the company sends you on a geocaching adventure.
Employees at environmental-education group NatureBridge (#30) spend their days outside with students in remarkable settings—Yosemite, Olympic National Park, the California coast—and take advantage of a generous sabbatical program to get even farther afield. (One site director recently spent three months camping in New Zealand.) The company also offers grants for educational expeditions. In 2008, one field instructor used hers for an eight-month around-the-world study of adventurous women, from a Nepali Sherpa to a Chilean kayaking guide.