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Our Favorite Places to #OptOutside

By Brooke Ortel on Nov 14, 2019

Join the NOLS community in opting outside on Black Friday! We hope you’re able to get outdoors this Thanksgiving, whether that means hiking a favorite trail, walking in a local park, or exploring nearby public lands.

If you’re looking for inspiration, here are some of our favorite places to #OptOutside!

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Topics: adventure, Thanksgiving, stories, #optoutside

Wilderness Medicine and the Zombie Apocalypse

By Colleen Kelley on Oct 31, 2019
Illustration by Kayla Lopez.
 
To get into the Halloween spirit, NOLS is exploring how wilderness medicine skills apply in an apocalyptic setting. You may be surprised to learn that you're prepared to survive the walking dead (and also to remove impaled objects when it’s not the end of the world)! Have a spooky, happy Halloween!
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Topics: Wilderness First Responder, first aid, wilderness medicine, NOLS Wilderness Medicine

Case Study: Anaphylaxis in the Backcountry

By Tod Schimelpfenig on Oct 30, 2019

Photo courtesy of Deborah Sussex.
 

The Setting

You are hiking with a group of friends deep in a wilderness area. It’s lunch and everyone’s stomach is rumbling, but no one wants to stop long term.

Luckily, you have trail mix within arm’s reach. You feel comfortable passing it amongst your hungry group members because it doesn’t contain nuts.

However, soon after one of your friends becomes acutely ill. With a tingly and tight throat, your friend seems to be having an allergic reaction.

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Topics: first aid, summer, wilderness medicine, case study, heat illness

Add Some Wild to Your Halloween with Our Pumpkin-Carving Stencils

By Jordan Cranch on Oct 21, 2019

Happy Spooktober from NOLS!

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Topics: halloween, stories

How Backpacking Sparked a Love for Wilderness Medicine

By Jack Johnson on Oct 9, 2019
Foggy hike in the Bighorns. Photo courtesy of Jack Johnson.

Hiking to Head Injury

During the summer of 2017, when I was 14 years old, I took part in a 21-day NOLS backpacking course in the Bighorn Mountains of Wyoming. Just halfway through the course, I watched what (at the time) I considered to be an incredible feat of medicine. Another student on my course tripped and fell while walking across a burned-out section of forest and—under the heavy weight of his pack—hit his head on a rock. In the days that followed, I watched my two incredible instructors treat a possible concussion.

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Topics: Wilderness First Responder, first aid, wilderness medicine, NOLS Wilderness Medicine

Managing Risk Outdoors: Backcountry Wildfires

By Brooke Ortel on Oct 7, 2019

Photo by Matt Howard.

It’s no secret that wildfires in the U.S. are getting bigger and more intense.

Even if you haven’t personally been affected by a fire, you’ve probably seen the haunting photos and devastating reports on the news. Demolished homes, displaced families, firefighters risking their lives to contain walls of flame. These stories are evidence of a deadly, and growing, threat.

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Topics: risk management, education, NOLS Risk Services, trip planning, Wilderness Safety Training

Spring Break 2020: Get Ready for Adventure

By NOLS on Oct 1, 2019

Photo by Molly Hagbrand.

Make your spring break an adventure. Forget the crowded ski resorts or touristy beach vacation—it’s time to do something different.

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Topics: Baja Sea Kayaking, rock climbing, education, backcountry skiing, NOLS Expeditions, spring break

Continuing Your Wilderness Medicine Education at the WRMC

By Colleen Kelley on Sep 26, 2019

Practicing skills during a medical scenario. Photo by Tod Schimelpfenig.
 

Wilderness medicine courses do an excellent job of preparing outdoor leaders to respond to the unexpected but there are some important limitations. Remember all of those scenarios? They tested your assessment skills and helped you hone your treatments while letting you practice evacuation decision-making in a low stakes environment.

But what happens next? Your WFR course left off at the decision to evacuate—and that’s where the Wilderness Risk Management Conference (WRMC) picks up the story.

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Topics: WRMC, education, Wilderness Medicine

A Rural Surprise: Utah Officials Support National Parks

By Rich Brame on Sep 25, 2019

Utah wildflowers.
 

Southern Utah is a land of contrasts. High peaks border deep canyons. Wide slickrock plateaus divide narrow, winding washes. Sought-after resources like coal, uranium, and natural gas lie beneath open space, wildlife habitat, and crystal skies. National parks, with their focus on visitors, are rimmed by rural communities with agricultural roots.

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Topics: Environment, stewardship, wilderness, leadership, activism

3 Mottos I Learned From My AMGA Ski Guide Training

By Jesse Quillian on Sep 18, 2019

Managing loose dry sluffs in "Mozambique." Photo by Mike Poborsky, Course Director.
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Topics: instructor, winter, backcountry skiing, Instructor Development Fund (IDF), stories

Learning to Say “Thank You:” The path to building community while climbing

By Andy Notopoulos on Sep 3, 2019
Photo by Alex Thomas.
 

“Thank you!!!”

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Topics: self confidence, wilderness education, instructor, rock climbing, Instructor Development Fund (IDF), thank you, gratitude, stories

Business Undergrads Look to Wilderness Expeditions for Leadership Training

By Stephanie Cantu on Aug 26, 2019

Editor’s note: Dozens of candidates from undergraduate business and MBA programs across the U.S. go on wilderness expeditions with NOLS each year. Stephanie Cantu, Senior Student Program Coordinator and academic advisor for the Canfield Business Honors Program at The University of Texas, shares what she sees her students gain from these expeditions, and how they’re set up for success in the ever-changing business world.

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Topics: leadership, wilderness education, Business School, students, MBAs, wilderness, NOLS Custom Education

Wilderness First Aid: 5 Steps of a Scene Size-up

By Tod Schimelpfenig on Aug 19, 2019

Photo by Jared Steinman.

You’re out for a hike, enjoying a beautiful day in the mountains. Pausing to take a sip from your water bottle, you survey your surroundings—and suddenly notice the fallen hiker up ahead. You put your water bottle away and start walking toward the crumpled figure beside the trail.

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Topics: patient assessment, first aid, wilderness medicine, Wilderness First Aid, NOLS Wilderness Medicine

ABCs of Wilderness Medicine: The Initial Assessment

By Tod Schimelpfenig on Aug 19, 2019

NOLS Wilderness Medicine students participate in a hands-on scenario. Photo by Lena Conlan.

Your weekend adventure in the mountains takes an unexpected turn when you spot a fallen hiker beside the trail. Fortunately, after a brief moment of panic, your wilderness medicine training kicks in and you complete a thorough scene size-up.

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Topics: patient assessment, first aid, wilderness medicine, NOLS Wilderness Medicine

Welcome to NOLS India: Expeditions in the Himalaya

By NOLS on Aug 12, 2019

Written by Annalise Grueter and Manohar D'silva. 


Photo by Kirk Rasmussen.


A line of solemn, snow-capped giants stretches across the three northernmost states in India.

These soaring peaks belong to the world’s highest mountain chain: the Himalaya.

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Topics: Himalayas, Himalaya, Educators Notebook, NOLS India, cultural expedition, stories