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Looking Within, Stepping Forward

By NOLS Blog on Feb 15, 2017

NOLS was born in a time of tumult in the United States. In 1965 the Vietnam War was expanding, the Selma March paved the way for the Voting Rights Act, the Watts riots raged and Malcolm X was assassinated. NOLS was not an accident. It was a response to a void that existed.

Fifty two years later in another time of considerable division, now is a good time to reflect on our values, our purpose and our place in the world.

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Topics: Live the Dream

Instructor Expedition: A Grand Canyon Trip with Friends

By NOLS Blog on Jan 16, 2017

NOLS instructors write about paddling the Grand Canyon with family and friends.

Ribeye steaks on day eleven? This was not a NOLS course. This was a descent of the Grand Canyon, made possible by the NOLS instructor development fund—the classic journey, with all the iced sodas you can drink and rapids that might keep an oarswoman awake at night.

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Topics: Educators Notebook

Educator Expedition: Kiwi Boot Camp

By NOLS Blog on Mar 29, 2016
A short paddle on the Landsborough River before the rains came: Aaron Reimer, Amy Christeson, Ben Weigl, Dulkara Martig (pictured left to right). Photo courtesy of Amy Christeson.
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Topics: NOLS Alaska, NOLS New Zealand, Educators Notebook, instructor, education, IDF, Instructor Development Fund (IDF), leadership, packrafting

Educator Expedition: Multi-pitch Climbing in Red Rocks

By NOLS Blog on Mar 18, 2016
Climbing the Birdland route. Photo courtesy of Kathryn Martin.
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Topics: climbing, Educators Notebook, instructors, NOLS Southwest, IDF, Instructor Development Fund

Educator Expedition: Avalanche Training in the Tetons

By NOLS Blog on Mar 17, 2016
Digging an avalanche pit. Photo courtesy of Mandeep Nandal.
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Topics: Educators Notebook, instructor, instructors, winter, education, backcountry, NOLS Teton Valley, backcountry skiing, IDF, Instructor Development Fund (IDF), leadership

Educator Expedition: A Multimodal Loop in Texas Big Bend Country

By NOLS Blog on Feb 16, 2016
Two vehicles = amazing yardsale for switching gear. Photo by Lindsay Nohl.
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Topics: packraft, adventure, Educators Notebook, instructor, instructors, NOLS Southwest, backcountry

How to Make Pizza When You're Camping

By NOLS Blog on Feb 5, 2016


Photo by Nicholas Byrne.
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Topics: Expedition Prep, recipe, cooking, backcountry

NOLS: Touching the Untouched

By NOLS Blog on Jan 26, 2016

By Gaytri Bhatia, NOLS instructor

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Topics: NOLS Pacific Northwest, Educators Notebook, instructor, NOLS India, leadership

Educator Expedition: Washington Climbing, Back to Where It Began 

By NOLS Blog on Jan 21, 2016
Photo by Mick Pearson, KAF Adventures.
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Topics: climbing, NOLS Pacific Northwest, Educators Notebook, instructor, education, backcountry

Why My Semester Group Thrived

By NOLS Blog on Jan 14, 2016

By Shannon Reiser, Outdoor Educator Semester '15

Dean squishes water out of his boots while Lucila looks on all smiles. Photo by Luke Fortezzo.


As I reintegrate into normal life after my NOLS Outdoor Educator Semester in the Rockies, I am frequently asked about the group of people I spent three months with. My group, cohort, squad, crew ... whatever you want to call it remained intact for the whole 90 days: no evacuations, few breaks from each other, and many tears shed when we said goodbye.

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Topics: Alumni, Semester, NOLS Rocky Mountain, adventure, Live the Dream, backcountry, leadership

Educator Expedition: A November Trip to Red Rocks

By NOLS Blog on Jan 7, 2016
Ready to start climbing. Photo by Hadley Warner.
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Topics: climbing, Educators Notebook, instructors, education, Instructor Development Fund, leadership

Educator Expedition: Mountaineering in Ecuador

By NOLS Blog on Jan 4, 2016

By Travis Magaluk, NOLS instructor

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Topics: climbing, Educators Notebook, mountaineering, instructors, leadership

Educator Expedition: Horsepacking through the Gros Ventre and Wind River Mountains of Wyoming

By NOLS Blog on Dec 14, 2015

By Kelsey Wicks, NOLS backpacking and horsepacking instructor

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Topics: horsepacking, NOLS Rocky Mountain, Three Peaks Ranch, Educators Notebook, instructor, backcountry

Educator Expedition: Climbing and Bike Touring in the Northwest

By NOLS Blog on Nov 25, 2015

By Sarah Martin, NOLS Instructor

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Topics: climbing, NOLS Pacific Northwest, adventure, Educators Notebook, instructor, leadership

Who Needs a Hat? A Lesson from My Australian Adventure

By NOLS Blog on Oct 26, 2015
Hats provide shade during mapreading. Photo by Brian Hensien.
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Topics: Alumni, canoeing, NOLS Australia, Backpacking, adventure, culture, Live the Dream