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Quiz: Winter Injury and Illness

By NOLS on 11/16/17 10:47 AM
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Topics: wilderness medicine, Wilderness First Aid, winter, quiz

Black Wolf Expedition: First Descent Packrafting in the Canadian North

By Chad Lorenz on 11/13/17 10:45 AM

“I am going to say it's not really possible to connect the Broken Skull with other rivers in the area, the mountains are just too impassible…Black Wolf Creek is unknown. Drops at a significant gradient from Grizzly…and passes through some very narrow canyons which would probably be huge whitewater. Not really recommended to go there...It is not possible to connect Broken Skull or Black Wolf (to) Thundercloud Creek without helicopter support.” -Local river guide

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Topics: Behind the Scenes, Canada, packrafting, Instructor expedition

Camping Recipe: Biscuits [Video]

By Molly Herber on 11/10/17 8:43 AM

You know you've found the perfect adventure partner when you wake up to the smell of baking in the morning. Fortunately, it isn't that hard for you to become that perfect adventure partner—all you need are one or two recipes.

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Topics: Expedition Prep, recipe, cooking, backcountry recipe

Kids on Outdoor Trips: First Aid Recommendations

By Ben Lerman on 11/8/17 8:28 AM

If you have children, you know the highs and lows of family trips in the outdoors.

Your 2-year-old, who is fascinated by the camp stove, manages to burn her finger on the off-but-still-hot Whisperlite. Your teenager complains loudly, and frequently, about discomfort in his knees on a family hike. At camp, your 7-year-old vomits but can’t describe her symptoms beyond “not feeling good.”

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Topics: wilderness medicine, Wilderness First Aid, Wilderness Medicine, kids

The Poetry of Experience

By Daniel Koepp on 11/6/17 8:30 AM

“What’s it good for?” Our pilot asked me that question as we flew deep into Alaska’s Brooks Range. A thermal rocked our Beaver bush plane and we lurched heavily. Below us, the tree line was falling away. From the rain-speckled cockpit it looked like a giant green circle where no brave spruce grew.

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Topics: Backpacking, River, Live the Dream, Alaska, Brooks Range

Responding to Hurricane Harvey with Wilderness First Aid Skills

By Brad Zirkel on 10/31/17 8:32 AM

We found ourselves in our boat pulling away from the only dry land we could see. It looked as though a normal city neighborhood, with older homes lined up in rows covered by large shade trees, had been built in the middle of a shallow lake.

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Topics: first aid, wilderness medicine, NOLS Wilderness Medicine

Climbing Denali, in Photos

By Stéphane Terrier on 10/24/17 9:18 AM

When I arrived at NOLS Alaska for my 2011 Brooks Range Backpacking and River course, I learned that the Denali expedition, a trip for NOLS alumni, had just returned from a successful ascent. It was easy to distinguish its members from all the other students, since they hadn’t had the chance to shower yet! That memory stayed with me not just because of the smell, but also because I was fascinated with Denali ever since I first saw the mountain during a visit to Denali National Park in 2004.

Covered with white glaciers, Denali towers incredibly high above all the other Alaska Range peaks and the surrounding green tundra. With its summit at 6,190 m/20,310 feet, it's the highest mountain of North America and one of the coldest mountains on Earth, notorious for its storms. I was instantly impressed by it.

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Topics: Live the Dream, mountaineering, Alaska, Denali

Case Study: BASE Jumping Accident

By Jake Blackwelder on 10/24/17 9:13 AM

Editor’s note: This case study is based on a real-life incident responded to by NOLS Wilderness Medicine Instructor Jake Blackwelder.

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Topics: wilderness medicine, Wilderness First Aid, case study, NOLS Wilderness Medicine

Learning a Helping Mindset While Camping

By Molly Herber on 10/12/17 10:27 AM

The start of a course, or any trip with new people, is usually a little bit messy. Setting up the tent just took 45 minutes and, when you finally finish, you realize that no one has started cooking dinner yet. On top of that, you don’t even have water to cook with yet.

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Topics: leadership, Behind the Scenes, expedition behavior

Find Your Next Adventure in the City

By Molly Herber on 10/5/17 10:25 AM

Adventure isn’t only about going to the most remote wilderness area you can find—it’s about doing something that challenges or surprises you, and doing it with people you enjoy. Even at NOLS we don’t spend all of our time in big wilderness areas, as much as we love them.

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Topics: Live the Dream, microadventure

9 Hygiene Tips for Your Camp Kitchen

By Ben Lerman on 9/27/17 8:12 AM

Telling your friends about the peak you climbed or the rapid you ran are the things you want to bring home from the backcountry—not a foodborne illness.

Taking turns cooking is a part of camping, and it helps when everyone has the same routines for kitchen hygiene, especially for friends who are new to cooking in the outdoors.

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Topics: camping, wilderness medicine, cooking, NOLS Wilderness Medicine

Camping Recipe: No-Bake Energy Nuggets

By Molly Herber on 9/22/17 8:28 AM

When you're rushing out the door on your way to a last-minute rock climbing session or long hike, these little energy bites are the perfect snacks to have on hand to munch in the car or on the trail.

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Topics: Expedition Prep, recipe

Learn Your Habits to Make Better Decisions

By Molly Herber on 9/20/17 8:56 AM

Humans’ ability to use patterns helps us make decisions faster, but can also lead us into what NOLS teaches in our leadership curriculum as decision-making traps.

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Topics: decision making, Live the Dream, leadership

Make Your Gear Have Multiple Purposes

By Molly Herber on 9/14/17 8:21 AM

Being intentional about the gear you pack for trips is one of the sneaky ways going to the outdoors teaches us about leadership. You don’t have a lot of room for “just in case” or “what if” when you’re carrying everything on your back or in the small hull of a boat.

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Topics: gear, Expedition Prep

The Alaskan Tundra Jumpstarts New Adventures

By Jen Pontrelli on 9/12/17 7:59 AM

Editor’s note: Alum Dave’s NOLS course jumpstarted a new life of activity and adventure—at age 49. Read what led to his transformation and get some ideas for bringing more action to your life. Adapted from the summer 2017 issue of The Leader.

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Topics: Live the Dream, Prime, Adult courses