Moses seems to have wanted to have it both ways.
On one hand, Moses was begging his in-law (father, brother or son-in-law) to stay with the Israelites and guide them through the wilderness:
Numbers 10:31-32Please don’t leave us …You know the places in the wilderness where we should camp. Come, be our guide. If you do, we’ll share with you all the blessings the Lord gives us.
It makes good sense to have someone who grew up in the area to lead the people to campsites with water and decent security.
But all the while, God already had it all under control:
Numbers 10:33 They marched for three days after leaving the mountain of the Lord, with the Ark of the Lord’s Covenant moving ahead of them to show them where to stop and rest.