NOLS Instructor Jesse Quillian introduces us to communication, and why it gets deeper—and simpler—in the wilderness.
How does communication evolve throughout a course?
I think most courses start out with folks being incredibly friendly and polite, and communication tends to be really superficial. And pretty quickly, I think groups evolve into greater honesty, greater transparency. I think being on an expedition with people forces, I think, a level of intimacy that takes a long time in the frontcountry. And I think people are willing to be more honest more quickly. I think both because of really close shared spaces, but also because the expedition requires it.
The things that we do on most courses are really hard. And I think individuals often need a ton of support and are able to provide a ton of support to other people, and I think that accelerates communication going from being very superficial to actually having a whole lot of depth.
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