Recent Posts

Thriving as Women Boaters on the Main Salmon River

Thriving as Women Boaters on the Main Salmon River

NOLS instructor Liz Hardwick writes about learning new tricks on a familiar river. Jen pokes me awake as I am drifting off, trying to sleep before the moon gets up above the canyon walls. “Do you think I can run Vinegar in a solo boat?” she asks. We’re camped on the MainRead more...
It's Getting Hot in Here: The Ps and Qs of Heat Illness

It's Getting Hot in Here: The Ps and Qs of Heat Illness

Human beings are big bags of water. No, really—just check this excerpt from NOLS Wilderness Medicine by Tod Schimelpfenig: “We hear through a medium of water, the brain is cushioned by fluid, and the joints are lubricated by fluid. Blood is 90 percent water, and every biochemical reaction takes place in a mediumRead more...
NOLS Courses Are So Much Pun!

NOLS Courses Are So Much Pun!

We believe in the value of education—and in having fun. Get your daily dose of humor with some of our favorite NOLS-related puns: Students get really excited when the start date for their course draws near. We like to remind our students to relax and have fun, because camping isn’t as enjoyable whenRead more...
Ugly Boxes Doing Beautiful Things: How You Can Do Sustainability

Ugly Boxes Doing Beautiful Things: How You Can Do Sustainability

By Cat Cook, Sustainability Intern, and Justin Alexandre, NOLS Retail Coordinator Introducing: The NOLS Ugly Box Order something from the NOLS online store and you may be surprised by what shows up on your doorstep: a not-so-pretty cardboard box, slightly worn and clearly used, possibly wearing a label from another company. WhileRead more...
Quantifying the Unquantifiable: What I Learned after a Week in the Wilderness with the Archer School for Girls

Quantifying the Unquantifiable: What I Learned after a Week in the Wilderness with the Archer School for Girls

By Jen Pontrelli, NOLS Professional Training There I was in the middle of the Galiuro Wilderness in southern Arizona. Traversing a mountain trail at top speed for the terrain, sweating profusely in the desert sun, and humming Fergie’s 2007 hit “Glamorous.” As a diehard Metallica fan, I didn’t expect this particular tuneRead more...
Self-Care in the Backcountry: Red Flags You Shouldn't Ignore

Self-Care in the Backcountry: Red Flags You Shouldn't Ignore

“Walk it off.” “Toughen up!” “Rub some dirt on it.” “Get over it.” Have you ever heard one of these phrases? Chances are you have, and it may have shaped the way you think of “minor” discomforts. Unfortunately, our pride and unwillingness to look weak can get in the way of acknowledging problems and makingRead more...
How to Keep an Epic Expedition Journal

How to Keep an Epic Expedition Journal

Journaling can be a great way to remember your trip into the wilderness and reflect after a long day outside. Not to mention that writing daily has numerous benefits that are great for any expedition, from improving your communication skills and emotional intelligence to helping you achieve your goals. ButRead more...
Educator Expedition: La Patagonia Desconocida - The Unknown Patagonia

Educator Expedition: La Patagonia Desconocida - The Unknown Patagonia

By Marissa Bieger, NOLS instructor … Posiblemente cuando pronuncio la palabra Patagonia la mayoría de ustedes estará pensando en lugares míticos como el Chaltén o las Torres del Paine, pero he aquí la diferencia, mi Patagonia es una tierra desconocida para muchos y familiar para pocos. Si, a eso es loRead more...
The Ethics of Cheap: Why You Don't Need the Newest Gear

The Ethics of Cheap: Why You Don't Need the Newest Gear

By Allie Maloney, NOLS instructor, WMI instructor, Pacific Northwest Sail and Sea Kayak '09 If you’re new to backpacking and are getting ready for your first trip, to find the right gear you have a couple of options: Option A: Walk in to REI with a packing list in hand and nodRead more...
Educator Expedition: Winter Exploring

Educator Expedition: Winter Exploring

By Ethan Wolston, NOLS instructor Three winters ago I cut my old Never Summer snowboard in half and made a splitboard from the pieces. It was a fun project and the beginning of a new adventure exploring the winter backcountry around my home. It's been a gradual progression for me transitioning fromRead more...

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