Whether you’re deep in the mountains or just miles from town in your local park, wilderness medicine training can come in handy—and even save a life.Read More
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.Read More
Topics: Live the Dream
[Editor’s note: When I asked folks at NOLS’ headquarters for book recommendations, a small and steady flood of suggestions hit my inbox. The request expanded from a small circle of coworkers and friends to include folks I’ve never met—so many that they couldn’t all make the list.Read More
Three years ago as part of a gap year, I took part in a semester-long, eighty day NOLS course in Baja California.
This course consisted of fifteen students and four highly-trained instructors embarking on a 100-mile hike from San Juanico to Mulegé, a 120-nautical mile sail on the Sea of Cortez from Loreto to just about south of Puerto Agua Verde, and ending with a 250-mile sea kayaking journey from Puerto Agua Verde to a town called Tecalote. (I also received sixteen college credits for my course, ranging from wilderness first aid to Leave No Trace principles!)Read More
The more that time separates me from my NOLS Expedition with STEP in the summer of 2013, the more I find myself reflecting on the ephemeral 21 days that I spent in Prince William Sound. Preserved in the haze inherent to all fleeting memories, I remember the physical exhaustion, the arduous and cold days and the ill-fated cooking.Read More
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.Read More
Topics: Educators Notebook
Viral, flu-like illnesses like stomach bugs or viral upper respiratory infections (“the flu” or “a cold”) can be common on wilderness expeditions. While having a cold is never fun, being in the backcountry when the bug decides to bug you can make it that much worse.Read More
On the first day of the 2016 Alumni Service Trip in the Adirondacks, I remember thinking that our motley crew of highly motivated yet enormously unskilled laborers had quite an impossible mission before us. It was our goal to revamp a bridge and, looking at the bridge spanning across Moose Creek, it looked like a daunting task.Read More
While sitting in yet another mundane lecture in physics class, my phone vibrates.
Sneakily, I pull it out and glance at my new notification: an email.
I open up my Yahoo app expecting to see a pointless message from some telemarketer, but I’m caught by surprise. I click on the message and see that it’s from NOLS. It says my spot on the Patagonia Coastal Expedition has been reserved. Forgetting I’m in class, I squirm with excitement and the teacher takes my phone away.Read More
Topics: Expedition Prep
The morning ritual of making a hot beverage is precious to many an outdoorsperson (and a pain for the ones who like to get out of camp quickly). Interrupting that ritual could mean a full day of silence until you make up for it by giving up your last Snickers bar or promising to do dishes for the rest of the trip.
You might think that options are limited for making coffee while you’re camping, but you really have all kinds of choices.Read More
Twelve years ago, Dee Williams decided to radically downsize. With excessive work hours, a hefty home loan, and a period of poor health, she realized she couldn’t pursue her real joys. “I wanted to have time and energy and resources to offer to other folks and other issues that were important to me,” she said.
Inspired by an article she read about a tiny house, Dee decided to build her own, an 84-square-foot home on wheels.Read More
Topics: Live the Dream
The canyonlands of southeastern Utah are a haunting, hallowed place. So still you can hear the wind under the wings of a raven passing overhead. So alive that slickrock waterfalls spring to life at the hint of rain. So deep that to walk the length of a canyon is to travel backward in time, a thousand years with each step.Read More