The NOLS Blog

I Crave the Quietness: What a City Dweller Learned from Two Weeks in the Wilderness

Posted by Laura Young on 9/27/16 8:34 AM
Growing up as a city slicker, I had minimal experience with backpacking and the outdoors—just a handful of day hikes in upstate New York and while on vacation in Hawaii and California. With so many outdoor adventures available to me now that I’ve moved to Colorado, my husband and I thought it would be a good idea for me to learn backcountry skills from knowledgeable instructors—and possibly learn new techniques and skills I could eventually teach him. Read more.

Highlights from the 2016 NOLS Wilderness Medicine Staff Meeting

Posted by Sarah Buer on 9/22/16 11:59 AM

September 12th kicked off the 2016 NOLS Wilderness Medicine Staff Meeting, our annual gathering at the Wyss Wilderness Medicine Campus in Lander, Wyoming. Read on for some of the week’s highlights!

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10 Things That Will Happen to You in the Backcountry

Posted by Shelby Cranshaw on 9/22/16 10:56 AM

1. You will remember songs that you have not heard in forever.

2. But, you will only remember one or two lines of those songs and will have to sing them over and over again, or combine them all into one new song.

Read more.

Big Agnes Co-Owner Len Zanni: Finding His Way in the Outdoor Industry

Posted by Molly Herber on 9/13/16 11:59 AM

 At last summer's Outdoor Retailer event, we were able to connect with Len Zanni, co-owner of Big Agnes, Inc. and a NOLS grad! Len talked with us about what he’s learned from NOLS and from his years of working in the outdoor industry.

Len Zanni first found the outdoors when he headed to Colorado for college. Finding himself in one of the West's best places for the outdoors just after finishing a Wind River Wilderness course in Wyoming, he drank in everything he could.

Read more.

Any Year Can Be a Gap Year

Posted by Shelby Cranshaw on 9/9/16 6:49 AM

I am not entirely sure what I meant when I claimed to “hate nature” for the majority of my life.

But I said it. Often. My dad used to bribe me up mountains with M&Ms every 100 steps. He threatened to send me on NOLS courses during my high school summers when I complained of boredom.

Read more.

ASL-Supported Course Fosters Inclusive Diversity and Growth

Posted by Shari Leach on 9/6/16 8:20 AM

This course was by far the most diverse NOLS Wilderness Medicine course I've ever taught.

There was geographic diversity, with students from as far away as Slovakia, Puerto Rico and Florida, as well as those just a few miles down the road.

Read more.

Growing Your Comfort Zone in the Wilderness

Posted by Molly Herber on 9/2/16 9:47 AM

 We read in plenty of places that getting out of your comfort zone is a good thing—it seems these days that everyone wants us to step outside of it and push its boundaries.

You can imagine the comfort zone place as a big pile of cozy pillows, with the temperature set at about 75 degrees Fahrenheit and with fuzzy socks on your feet. You’re safe. You know what to say and how to behave. You can complete tasks without even thinking. In all probability, you like your comfort zone.

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How to Create an Eye-Catching Resume by Talking about Your NOLS Course

Posted by Kim Freitas on 9/1/16 9:33 AM

resume is a tool to introduce yourself to a potential employer. It’s challenging to clearly and concisely articulate your work history on one page. Not to mention when you have to explain something like a NOLS course!

Whether you took a two-day Wilderness First Aid course or a three-month gap semester, you can use this experience to stand out on your next application.

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Intro to Federal Public Lands in the U.S.

Posted by Katherine Boehrer on 8/30/16 10:32 AM

America’s federal public lands are an amazing resource for all kinds of recreation—but how much do you know about the different kinds of public land?

Who manages federal public land?

There are four main federal land management agencies in the United States.

Read more.

Real Life Scenario: A Rescue at Ellison's Cave

Posted by NOLS Blog on 8/26/16 8:00 AM

Four experienced cavers were traversing Ellison’s Cave (one of the deepest caves in the lower 48 States) when, in the middle of the mountain, one of the party slipped and fell about 30 to 40 feet down a hole. When his buddies got no response after calling down to their friend, one left to get help while the other two stayed behind.

Read more.

My Playground, My Dad, My Leadership Voice

Posted by Brette Brickel on 8/23/16 11:09 AM

I have always loved being outside, being in the mountains; however, my road since college had taken me from that lifestyle. In the past few years I made it a priority to bring it back to the forefront, which is why I was so excited to show my dad my New Hampshire playground.

Read more.

5 Things You Learn from Climbing (That Also Matter in Real Life)

Posted by Molly Herber on 8/19/16 8:47 AM

Like with most sports, it's not just about getting to the top. Read on to see some of the best lessons you learn from rock climbing.

1. Falling is good for you

If you try to climb and fall, that means you’re doing something that’s challenging for you. Challenging yourself means that you’re growing. That growth will help you become more resilient, which will help you off the rock as much as on it!

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3 Months in the Rockies to 30 Countries in a Year: How a NOLS Alum Went Worldwide

Posted by Erica Levine Weber on 8/18/16 9:46 AM

My choice of going on a NOLS Semester in the Rockies was as absurd as traveling to 30 countries with a baby before their first birthday. Apparently, I have a flare for the ridiculous!

I had never been canyoneering, kayaking, rock climbing, ridden a horse, or even camped before. Now, add to that dumbfounded look you're starting to picture, a 17 year old girl who was still mastering a command of her limbs (think a few clicks past klutzy), and not exactly an Olympic athlete. I'm pretty sure my parents cried when they dropped me off at the airport, not because they'd miss me, but because they weren't totally confident I'd survive.

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Why Wildlands Studies Attends the Wilderness Risk Management Conference (WRMC)

Posted by Cassi Smith on 8/18/16 9:44 AM

For over 36 years, Wildlands Studies has provided environmental field courses to undergraduates in the U.S. and around the world. Leslie Arutunian, director at Wildlands Studies, reflects on the organization and her involvement with the Wilderness Risk Management Conference since 2008.

Learn how risk management relates to student groups at Wildlands Studies and why Arutunian returns to the WRMC year after year.

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Which Wilderness Medicine Course Is Right for You? [Infographic]

Posted by Sarah Buer on 8/16/16 8:00 AM
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