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NOLS is a nonprofit global wilderness school that seeks to help you step forward boldly as a leader.
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Applying Wilderness Medicine Skills During the COVID-19 Pandemic

By NOLS on Apr 3, 2020
Photo by Colleen Kelley

Emergency rooms are often burdened by people who are not ill or injured enough to truly need an ER, which is especially true today with the COVID-19 pandemic. As a NOLS Wilderness Medicine graduate, you can use your training to alleviate strain on healthcare services.

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Topics: Wilderness First Responder, First Aid, NOLS Wilderness Medicine, Wilderness Medicine, flu-like illness, Illness and Injuries, Leadership, Covid-19

Social Distancing Responsibly in the Outdoors

By NOLS on Mar 19, 2020
Photo by Vivian Merill

For many of us, travel and the outdoors provide solace. During these uncertain and challenging times, the outdoors can still provide an escape and add some sense of normality to our lives. As the outdoor industry grapples with the effects of COVID-19, there are ways our community can follow recommended practices to support and keep each other healthy—and still enjoy the nature around us.

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Topics: Environment, Skills, Risk Management, Leave No Trace, Stewardship, Covid-19

5 Myths About a NOLS Gap Year

By NOLS on Feb 20, 2020
Photo by 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 Stories, Gap Year, education, myth, NOLS Expeditions, Stories

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: Skills, 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, Alumni Accomplishments

Watch: Yoga for Sea Kayakers

By NOLS on Feb 6, 2020
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, Skills, Baja Sea Kayaking, Kayaking, education, paddling, yoga

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. 

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Topics: backpacking, hiking, adventure, Canyoneering, LGBTQ, q&a, affinity, Stories, Affinity Stories

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: Events, education, new courses, NOLS Expeditions, Announcements, affinity

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, Events, anniversary, history, paul petzoldt, documentary, Announcements, 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, Skills, education, trip planning, #optoutside, Leadership

A Can of Calm: Applying Wilderness Medicine in Disaster Zones

By NOLS on Dec 19, 2019
A ShelterBox tent lit up with solar lights on the island of Barbuda after hurricanes Irma and Maria devastated the Caribbean. Photo by Ned Morris.

NOLS Wilderness First Responder grad Ned Morris is a volunteer ShelterBox Response Team member (SRT). SRT members deploy to areas of natural disaster or conflict-based migration, and help families who have lost everything due to natural disaster or violence. ShelterBox provides shelter solutions, including tents or house repair kits, as well as water purification systems, solar lighting, cooking sets, and much more. There are just over 100 active Response Team members in the world; less than 40 in the U.S. Read the following Q&A to learn more about Ned's humanitarian work with ShelterBox and how his WFR helped prepare him for this role.

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Topics: Wilderness First Responder, First Aid, NOLS Wilderness Medicine, Wilderness Medicine, Wilderness Medicine Stories

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: Skills, Baja Sea Kayaking, Kayaking, Rock Climbing, education, backcountry skiing, NOLS Expeditions, Announcements, spring break

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

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, Study Abroad Stories, Himalaya, Skills, Backpacking, Mountaineering, NOLS India, cultural expedition, Stories, Locations

Start Dreaming: Summer 2020 Expeditions Now Online

By NOLS on Jul 31, 2019
Photo by Ari Bruns

Dreading the end of summer? We are too, just a little.

But don’t despair: looking forward to next year’s outdoor adventures is a great way to shake off the end of summer blues.

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Topics: Events, summer, Adventure Courses, NOLS semester, NOLS Expeditions, Announcements, classic courses

Winter & Spring 2020 Expeditions Now Online

By NOLS on Jun 11, 2019
Photo by Lisa Moen

Summer's here, and we want you to savor every single late-evening walk and early morning paddle.

But don't be fooled—fall and winter will arrive sooner than you think, and you don't want to be the person finishing out summer with nothing to look forward to until next year!

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Topics: Sailing, Events, climbing, Skills, Kayaking, Rock Climbing, backcountry skiing, snowboarding, NOLS Expeditions, Announcements, spring break, affinity