Students during dawn patrol. Photo by Katie Oram.
Backpacking in New York. Photo by Kirk Rasmussen.
It’s a familiar scene: piles of food and gear, a trusted backpack unzipped, ready to be (carefully) stuffed full. You’re getting ready for your next backpacking adventure in the mountains.
As you run through your mental checklist, your friend casually asks, “So, you’re going to see those glaciers while they’re still there?” You pause, thinking for a moment. They’re only half kidding.Read More
The first time I tried to pack a backpack, it took me over an hour to get everything inside. The result was a chunky, clunky pile that rose at least six inches over my head. It wasn’t pretty, but everything was inside.Read More
The first few days home after my month-long NOLS mountaineering course, I luxuriated in ordinary things—running water and reconnecting with friends, resting in my own bed after nights of camping in windy, cold mountains. But trading a crowded tent for my own bed also felt lonely. The foods I couldn’t wait to feast on went from exciting back to normal. Rest turned into restlessness. I learned that coming back to the frontcountry is as important a change as learning to live in the wilderness.Read More
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.Read More
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.Read More
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.
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).Read More
Artwork by Elizabeth Simons.
Sometimes we love the convenience of those pre-made, just-add-water, instant backpacking meals. At the end of a long day outside, it can be great to skip the dishes and still enjoy a tasty and filling dinner. Not to mention that just-add-water meals are often lighter-weight than traditional bulk rations, and require less fuel for cooking since you only need to boil water.Read More
Emily's Version of NOLS' RICE in Nut Curry Sauce