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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

Camping Recipe: Potato Pancakes

By NOLS on 9/8/17 8:45 AM

Fill up for breakfast or dinner with this delicious camping recipe for potato pancakes. (Don't forget to top with your favorite hot sauce!)

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Topics: Expedition Prep, recipe

How to Create a High-Functioning Team in the Outdoors

By Taylor Owens on 9/7/17 8:24 AM

You go on outdoor adventures to enjoy the group experience as much the scenery or any activity you'll do. Just like packing your gear, you can plan ways to keep everyone motivated and excited to be part of the team.

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Topics: Behind the Scenes, Outdoor Leadership

How to Fix Your Outdoor Gear

By Molly Herber on 9/5/17 8:29 AM

Fortunately, fixing gear isn’t complicated, as long as you have a few of the right tools. We do it on NOLS courses all the time (since no one wants to sleep in a holey tent or walk around with ripped pants for a month).

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Topics: Expedition Prep, Gear repair, Environmental Stewardship & Sustainability

6 Lessons I Did Not Expect to Learn from NOLS

By Travis Burhart on 8/30/17 8:47 AM

Finally, I could breathe a sigh of relief. After hiking all morning, my NOLS expedition team and I finished ascending a peak in the McCall Gulch Cirque of the North Cascades Wilderness. I looked to the north, catching sight of Canada only miles away. Turning around, I observed the mountains to the south. Dense, snow-covered forests filled in the landscape, and I could not believe my team and I had traveled through that.

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Topics: NOLS Pacific Northwest, Live the Dream

Instant Camping Recipe: Geikie Curried Rice

By Molly Herber on 8/25/17 8:56 AM

Named for Mt. Geikie in Wyoming's Wind River Range, this is a tasty meal you can prepare at home before hitting the trail, then just add boiling water when you’re ready to eat.

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Topics: Expedition Prep, recipe, instant

New Courses for Winter and Spring 2018

By Molly Herber on 8/24/17 9:17 AM

We’re excited to announce our three new courses for winter and spring of 2018. Do service work at a school in Tanzania, explore remote cave paintings in Baja California, and grow your avalanche awareness with a winter ski training.

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Topics: Behind the Scenes

Teaching Leadership Through Storytelling on Wilderness Expeditions

By Eric Boggs on 7/19/17 1:00 PM

Instructor, University of Oregon faculty member, and speaker at the 2017 NOLS Summit Eric Boggs talks with us about how to use storytelling as a powerful way to teach leadership.

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Topics: Behind the Scenes, leadership, storytelling

The Art of a Good Re-Ration Care Package

By Katherine Boehrer on 7/17/17 9:42 AM

During a NOLS course that’s longer than a week, you’ll likely have a number of “re-supplies” or “re-rations” where you’ll receive new food, fuel, and supplies for the next section of your course. At the beginning of a course, you may be able to put a few items for yourself in with these supplies, so you can receive them throughout the course. (How much you can bring will often depend on the type of course and where you are. Customizing re-rations is not an option for every NOLS course.)

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Topics: Expedition Prep

Make Your Camping Gear Last Longer

By Aaron Strubhar on 7/6/17 10:49 AM

It’s the tenth day of your backpacking trip, and you start to notice that some of your gear is holding up better than others. The cheap new rain pants you bought already have a gash in the thin nylon from venturing off-trail through thick patches of thorny blackberry bushes; yet the old, patched family tent you’ve been using for years is as sturdy and functional as ever. What’s going on here?

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Topics: gear, Environmental Stewardship, Environmental Stewardship & Sustainability

5 Things to Check in Your First Aid Kit

By Tod Schimelpfenig on 6/27/17 8:53 AM

Be honest—when was the last time you looked inside your first aid kit? Was it just last week, or was it long enough ago that you couldn’t confirm whether a family of packrats had made a home in it or not?

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Topics: wilderness medicine, Wilderness First Aid, First Aid Kit, NOLS Wilderness Medicine

Leveling Up: From the Operating Room to the Backcountry

By Katy Trahan on 6/21/17 12:46 PM

Editor’s Note: Surgeon Katy Trahan levels up her medical training on a Wilderness Upgrade for Medical Professionals course with NOLS.

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Topics: wilderness medicine, NOLS Wilderness Medicine

How to Choose a Camera for Camping (That’s not your phone)

By Molly Herber on 6/20/17 7:29 AM

There are so many times when you try to explain the best moment of your last trip. You describe the rain, the way your muscles burned, and how big your smile was, but it doesn’t really sink in until you pull out the photo from that trip and show that moment of triumph in the rain.

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Topics: Expedition Prep, photography

Growing Confidence through Solo Canoeing

By Rumi Kodama on 6/14/17 8:47 AM

Editor’s note: Instructor Rumi Kodama takes us inside the connection between person and paddle as she develops her whitewater canoeing skills.

Knowing and understanding a canoe stroke goes much deeper than the movement of the paddle. It’s all about the interplay between the paddle, the canoe, and the movement of the water.

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Topics: Educators Notebook, whitewater canoeing