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5 Myths About a NOLS Gap Year

By NOLS on Feb 20, 2020

Photo by Nick Garrett

It's common for students to seek out gap year opportunities that will position them as exceptional college applicants and job candidates. 

NOLS offers students the best of both worlds through its gap year expeditions, providing unique travel destinations with a structured leadership curriculum. Learning hands on, in the outdoors, teaches skills that prepare students for college and beyond. 

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Topics: study abroad, Gap Year, education, NOLS Expeditions

4 Spring Break Trips You Haven't Considered

By NOLS on Feb 17, 2020

Photo by Molly Hagbrand.

Which of these items is on your spring break wish list?

1. Snorkel beside a coral reef.
2. Ski untouched powder.
3. Climb a towering granite crag.
4. Wait in a long lift line and at overcrowded ski resort.
5. Wade through litter and hordes of people at a touristy beach.

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Topics: education, NOLS Expeditions, spring break

José González, Knight Campbell, & Kit DesLauriers on Their Trails To Success [Video]

By NOLS on Feb 13, 2020

Photo courtesy of José G. González

NOLS graduates are an inspiring bunch. Over the years, we’ve heard again and again that their NOLS courses impacted their trails to success.

Whether success means founding a nonprofit that empowers Latinx communities in the outdoors (José González), becoming the first person to ski the seven summits (Kit DesLauriers), or launching a company built around outdoor leadership training (Knight Campbell), NOLS courses can facilitate learning and growth along the way.

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Topics: Alumni, NOLS alumni, video, stories, #TrailsToSuccess

Will My Heart Go On: Cardiovascular Wilderness Medicine

By Colleen Kelley on Feb 10, 2020
 
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Topics: first aid, NOLS Wilderness Medicine, quiz, Wilderness Medicine

Watch: Yoga for Sea Kayakers

By NOLS on Feb 6, 2020

Sea kayaking in Baja. Photo by Lynn Petzold.

Looking for a complement to long days on the water? Yoga is a great opportunity to relax, stretch out tight muscles, and center yourself. In this step-by-step video, NOLS instructor Teresa Miller shares a yoga routine tailored to paddlers’ needs.

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Topics: Sea Kayaking, NOLS sea kayaking, Baja Sea Kayaking, kayaking, education, paddling

Billycan Romance: A Lifetime Adventure

By Rich Brame on Feb 4, 2020

Same mountains, different expeditions, Scott and Petria Fossel completed challenging courses in Wyoming's Wind Rivers. The rest is history: a true NOLS love story. Photo by Nathan Page.

In about 1983, two New York City bankers met at a party. There was the usual small talk, music by Culture Club, and some shop talk, too. Home loan rates were 13%; electronic games maker Coleco was a hot stock; hit movies were Flashdance and The Big Chill.

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Topics: Alumni, Wind River Wilderness, NOLS alumni, Wind River Range, stories

Jimmy Chin’s Journey from NOLS to the Oscars

By Brooke Ortel on Feb 3, 2020

Photo courtesy of National Geographic

It’s Oscar season once again—a great reason to celebrate Jimmy Chin, co-producer of the top documentary feature film of 2019. Not only is Jimmy a world-renowned skier, climber, and film-maker, he’s also a NOLS alum, former instructor, and current Board member. Years before he stepped into the international spotlight, Jimmy started his journey with NOLS.

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Topics: NOLS Grad, nols instructor, Live the Dream, rock climbing, NOLS Alum, parenting, Free Solo, leaders of color, stories

Casting into Spring: Wilderness Medicine for Fly-Fishing

By Colleen Kelley on Jan 30, 2020

Photo courtesy of Oscar Manguy.

If you’re in the northern hemisphere, you’ve probably noticed the sun setting a little bit later each day. As an avid fly-fisherman you might already be tying flies for the upcoming season. Even if you’ve never fly-fished before, NOLS Wilderness Medicine has advice for both beginners and experts so you can be prepared for the hobby’s common risks that are especially relevant in the early season. 

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Topics: first aid, wilderness medicine, fly fishing guide, fishing, NOLS Wilderness Medicine, spring

Wilderness and Identity: Q&A with NOLS LGBTQ+ Canyonlands Backpacking Grad

By NOLS on Jan 27, 2020

Exploring the out-of-this-world views of Utah on NOLS' first LGBTQ+ Backpacking Expedition. Photo by Emi Birch.
 
Mat is the Summer Program Manager at Summer Search—a nonprofit that empowers young people who face systemic oppression by providing a unique combination of social-emotional mentoring, post-secondary advising, and summer leadership experiences—such as a custom course hosted by NOLS. He has directed a summer camp that taught peace, social justice, and environmental stewardship. He has also engaged high school students in community service and led service trips to developing countries. 
 
Mat and his husband were part of a group of nine students that completed NOLS’ first LGBTQ+ expedition into the canyonlands of Utah. We caught up with Mat after his course to learn more about his experience.

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Topics: backpacking, hiking, adventure, canyoneering, LGBTQ, q&a, affinity, stories

Cold Weather Recipe: Cheesy Potato Soup

By Brooke Ortel on Jan 23, 2020

Photo by Jordan Cranch.

When you’re tired and chilly after a rainy hike or day of backcountry skiing, this hearty soup is a perfect way to refuel. A classic from the iconic NOLS Cookery, our favorite potato soup is guaranteed to warm you up. Even your grumpiest pal can’t stay hangry with a bowl of cheesy goodness!

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Topics: backcountry cooking, recipe, camping, NOLS cookery, video, backcountry recipe

Case Study: A Freezing Snowmobile Ride

By Tod Schimelpfenig on Jan 20, 2020
Photo by Marcio Paes Barreto.

The Setting

You are searching, as part of your local SAR team, for an overdue snowmobiler. You know that the overdue person is a 62-year-old male with a history of risk factors for heart disease, but no actual heart attacks. He is described as an experienced snowmobiler and knowledgeable of the local trails. He planned a short ride this morning, due home by noon.

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Topics: first aid, wilderness medicine, case study, NOLS Wilderness Medicine

Announcing New Expeditions for Summer 2020

By NOLS on Jan 16, 2020

Photo by Mara Gans.

This summer, kayak past Alaska’s towering ice-blue glaciers. Or go backpacking in the majestic snow-capped peaks of the North Cascades.

It’s the start of a new year, and we’re celebrating with seven new courses. Summer 2020 might be the perfect opportunity to pursue the outdoor adventure of your dreams!

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Topics: education, new courses, NOLS Expeditions, announcement, affinity

How To Build a Winter Snow Shelter

By Erin Rooney Doland on Jan 13, 2020
A quinzhee snow shelter. Photo by Molly Hagbrand.

Winter is in full swing in the northern hemisphere and snow camping is in the forecast. People who regularly camp in below-freezing temperatures and piles of snow know it has numerous advantages over warm-weather camping. That’s right, advantages.

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Topics: snow, skiing, camping, winter camping, winter, education, backcountry skiing, quizhee, snow camping

Celebrating NOLS in the New Year

By NOLS on Jan 9, 2020
Paul Petzoldt instructing a group of NOLS students in the early years of the school. Photo from NOLS archives.

January 2020 is a month of great reflection and celebration at NOLS. It marks the:

  • Welcoming of our first female president,

  • Paul Petzoldt's 112th birthday,

  • our 55th year educating students in the outdoors, and

  • 50 years of NOLS in homes across America.

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Topics: NOLS, anniversary, history, paul petzoldt, documentary, stories, Terri Watson, 55th anniversary

New Year, New Outdoor You

By NOLS on Jan 6, 2020
Photo by Rich Brame. 

It's a new year and 12 months stand before you with unlimited possibilities for adventure and learning. Alaskan summers have endless days to enjoy, the northern Rocky Mountains are yours to climb, and the refreshing ocean waters of Baja await your sea kayak. And have you been considering earning your Wilderness EMT? This can be the year to make it all happen.

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Topics: goal, education, trip planning, #optoutside