Skiers touring on a snowy trail

Case Study: Cardiac Arrest at the Crag

a person wearing a climbing harness and a helmet stands in front of mountains and looks out over the surrounding area
Photo by Eryn Pierce

While walking a trail to a local rock climbing area you notice a person in the group just ahead collapse. Quickly, someone is kneeling at the patient’s side, fingers on the carotid pulse while they yell at him. Even from a distance you can see the patient is gray in color with blue lips. The rescuer aggressively removed the patient’s pack and began chest compressions. You estimate less than 30 seconds passed before CPR was started.

Read More

Recent Posts

Case Study: Slip Sliding Away

A skier hits a terrain feature and goes flying. They land hard and don't immediately reply when you ask if they are ok. How do you respond?

Learning to Slow Down in the Winds

Nate had taken lots of adventures in wild places, but nine days traversing with Winds on a NOLS Alumni Trip taught him to slow down and enjoy the ...

Watercolors: Worth the Weight

When packing for a journey into the backcountry, every ounce matters. Knowing this, Isabelle faced a dilemma: is taking my watercolor kit worth the ...

Lessons We Carry Forward

With the help of her strong female instructors, Bella gained the skills and confidence that she carries far beyond her wilderness experience.

The author smiles carrying her backpack while holding a map to navigate the desert terrain.

Opportunity to Engage

As a queer person of color, Lauren shares her journey to discover the programs NOLS implements on affinity expeditions and instructor-in-training ...

Three people cool a person sitting on the ground by creating shade and fanning him

Case Study: Nauseous in the Heat

This case study focuses on how responders must be creative and thoughtful to adapt plans as they care for patients on a wilderness—not city—timeframe.

Woman fly fishing in a river

Lightning Safety for Anglers

Summer means it’s time to grab your fishing gear and head outside. But have you checked the forecast—and do you know how to manage risk from a ...

four students sit together looking out at a craggy mountain peak in New Zealand with puffy clouds overhead

5 Myths About a NOLS Gap Year

5 Gap Year Myths Debunked - Worried that a NOLS gap year expedition is beyond your reach in terms of timing, finances, or technical skills? Guess ...

A group of three practices taking a pulse in a mock scenario

Why You Should Take a WFR with NOLS

Discover why the NOLS Wilderness First Responder course is transformative, equipping you with skills, confidence, and a new perspective on handling ...

People practice giving patient care with aquamarine lake and snow-capped peaks in the background

30 Years of Wilderness Medicine

In 1990, two people started a business that was remarkable for 2 reasons—most important because the business was dedicated to teaching wilderness ...

Rafters in an inflatable raft on a desert river

New Expeditions for Summer 2021

New this summer: Salmon River Rafting Adventure for ages 14-15, and Alaska Women’s Backpacking for adults 23+ (now with a 14-day option!)

Two sea kayaks beached on a rocky shore

Case Study: Suspicious Stomach Pain

Five days into sea kayaking with friends in Prince William Sound, Alaska you feel lousy; some diarrhea, some vague abdominal cramping, not much ...

Banner for the 2020 Wilderness Risk Management Conference with stylized artwork of a laptop overlaying a mountain scene

The WRMC Goes Digital

Adapting to the constantly changing world in 2020 and continuing to serve the industry's risk management needs has been key to moving forward on an ...

Runner goes through a grassy mountain meadow

Case Study: Runner Begins Feeling Ill

You and a friend are on a long run in the foothills of the Laramie Range in Wyoming. It’s a hot day. Four hours into the run your companion stumbles, ...

One person coaches another down a rock face

Case Study: An Anxious Rappel

A trip participant has trouble on a rappel. When they are safely on the ground, you begin your patient assessment. Test your wilderness medicine ...

People hiking downhill with trekking poles

Case Study: An Undefined Rash

When symptoms are hard to define, the skills of decision-making and problem solving become more important. Test what you know in this case study!

Two men with heavy backpacks cross a snowy river.

Case Study: Cold Injuries on a Hike

Do you know how to prevent, recognize, and treat a non-freezing cold injury (NFCI)? Test your wilderness medicine skills with this case study.

Calm waters with fog and mountains in Alaska

Hiking Like a Girl

On an Alaska backpacking and sea kayaking course, NOLS grad Caroline Dooley realized that hiking like a girl is something to celebrate. Here's why.

A quinzhee stands in deep snow in front of a mountain while a pair of skis rests outside its entrance.

How To Build a Winter Snow Shelter

Excited to go winter camping? These pro tips and instructions teach you how to build a quinzhee shelter out of snow instead of using a tent.

black and white photo of NOLS Founder Paul Petzoldt teaching a group of students in the early years of NOLS.

Celebrating NOLS in the New Year

NOLS welcomes new president, and celebrates Paul Petzoldt's 112th birthday, our 55th anniversary, and 50th anniversary of 30 Days of Survival ...

hand holding tin cup of hot coffee with blue and tan mega mid tent in the background

2019 Holiday Gift Guide

Searching for the perfect gift for an outdoorsy friend but not sure what to get? Check out our 2019 holiday gift guide!

Two women, Audrey and her mom, smile in a family photo with her twin, Cory. Cory is in an electronic wheel chair. They stand in front of a bike race finish line-Audrey is in bike racing attire.

Thankful for Wilderness Medicine

Audrey Goral took a NOLS WFA thinking she would only use the skills for a sprained ankle. She never expected to use the skills on her twin in an ...

Sagebrush, hills, and trees in Wyoming's Red Desert

Our Favorite Places to #OptOutside

Do something different on Black Friday—join NOLS in opting outside! Here are some of our staff's top picks for awesome places to #OptOutside.

Train of horses on a horsepacking trip in Wyoming

Case Study: Bucked off a Horse

You're a first responder helping a patient who was bucked off their horse. The assessment might reveal something more troubling than what meets the ...

Mountaineering on a snowy slope on Mount Logan on a sunny day

Instructor Expeditions of 2018

Learn about the personal expeditions NOLS instructors undertook in the mountains, rivers, and frontcountry for professional development in 2018.

NOLS students hike between trees in Baja California

Brave, Not Perfect

NOLS grad Mairin Rogers shares what she learned on her Semester in Baja about being brave rather than constantly trying to achieve perfection.

Person ski touring pulling a sled pauses and looks at distant mountains in winter

Case Study: Is That Frostbite?

The patient commented that their toes have been cold and numb all day, but thought they could get by until getting into their sleeping bag. Read the ...