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11 Essentials to Complete Your Backcountry Kitchen

By Sam Cook on 7/21/16 10:48 AM

Having a complete cooking for camping set does not come easy. Outdoor gear can be expensive, and usually has to be bought in small doses. You might have a stove, but no spice kit. You may have a knife, but no fry-bake.

It’s a smart idea to figure out which friends have which items so you can divide and conquer, but if you are on a mission to have your own complete cook set, here are the essentials you will need.

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Topics: Expedition Prep, cooking, adventure, expedition, backcountry

7 Simple Items to Upgrade Your Backcountry Setup

By Sam Cook on 7/11/16 12:29 PM

Just because you’re in the backcountry doesn’t mean you need to stop being fabulous. You may think that your wardrobe is going to consist of khaki, black, and gray, but it doesn’t have to be that way.

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Topics: gear, Expedition Prep, Backpacking, adventure, expedition

How to Keep an Epic Expedition Journal

By Katherine Boehrer on 4/27/16 9:15 AM

Journaling can be a great way to remember your trip into the wilderness and reflect after a long day outside. Not to mention that writing daily has numerous benefits that are great for any expedition, from improving your communication skills and emotional intelligence to helping you achieve your goals. But keeping a trip journal can be difficult!

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Topics: Expedition Prep, adventure, expedition, education, backcountry

How to Make Your Own Instant Backpacking Meals

By Katherine Boehrer on 4/20/16 10:27 AM

Sometimes we love the convenience of those pre-made, just-add-water 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.

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Topics: Alumni, Expedition Prep, recipe, cooking, adventure, expedition, backcountry

7 Tips for Dealing with Smelly Gear

By Sarah Zimmerman on 4/8/16 1:16 PM

So you love to work hard and play hard? Is your best day when you go the extra mile and sweat it out, no matter the weather? We do too, so we know that you have smelly shoes, gear, and clothing—just like us.

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Topics: gear, Expedition Prep, Outdoors, expedition

5 Steps to Plan a Camping Menu

By Molly Herber on 3/22/16 12:40 PM

We’re getting into expedition planning season, and one of the critical elements of a great camping trip is good food.

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Topics: Expedition Prep, recipe, cooking, expedition

How to Keep Your Feet Happy on the Trail

By Molly Herber on 10/23/15 8:00 AM

If you like human-powered travel, then whether you’re on the trail, beach, or sidewalk, your feet are your most valuable tools. Remember these tips to take care of your feet on your next macro or microadventure.

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Topics: Expedition Prep, wilderness medicine, risk management, Backpacking, expedition, backcountry

How to Stay Dry in the Rain

By NOLS Blog on 8/27/15 10:05 AM

NOLS enthusiast Dan Innamorato wrote a few weeks ago about his recommendations for making backcountry food deliciously and efficiently. Today, he gives us some advice on what makes for a good, lightweight shelter on the trail.

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Topics: Expedition Prep, Backpacking, expedition

What To Do When You’re Lost in the Woods

By NOLS Blog on 8/3/15 11:44 AM

[pullquote type="right"]What separates the best navigators from the rest is the ability to recognize when they are starting to veer off route and to know when to simply stop and turn back.[/pullquote]If you spend enough time in the outdoors, you’ll probably get disoriented and lost at least once in your life, whether that’s on the trails behind your house or deep within a national park. Even the best navigators can become disoriented. What separates the best navigators from the rest is the ability to recognize when they are starting to veer off route and to know when to simply stop and turn back.

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Topics: Expedition Prep, Backpacking, adventure, expedition, education, backcountry, leadership

Which NOLS Course Are You? [Quiz]

By NOLS Blog on 6/25/15 8:53 AM

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Topics: Alumni, NOLS, Behind the Scenes, National Outdoor Leadership School, expedition

Educator Expedition: Reading the Rapids on the Colorado River [Video]

By Molly Herber on 5/25/15 2:56 AM
Ledges camp. Photo by Michael Dooley.
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Topics: leadership, adventure, kayaking, Educators Notebook, instructor, expedition, education

Educator Expedition: Tough Choices in the North Cascades

By Molly Herber on 5/15/15 2:00 AM
Looking out from the summit of White Mountain. Photo by Nate Whitcomb
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Topics: North Cascades Mountaineering, NOLS Pacific Northwest, Educators Notebook, instructors, expedition, backcountry

Educator Expedition: The Gales Storm Gathering

By NOLS on 1/8/15 1:15 AM

By Steve Robitshek, NOLS Instructor

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Topics: Sea Kayaking, Educators Notebook, instructors, expedition

Expedition Denali stories inspire in Lander and beyond

By Casey Adams on 3/4/13 5:39 AM

Last week, the Expedition Denali team traveled to Lander,
Wyo., where they spent a day at NOLS Headquarters for their final gathering
before they attempt to summit Denali in June. As part of this visit, they held
a forum for local NOLS staff in which they shared their motivations, fears, and expectations for joining Expedition Denali. Each brought his or her own story to the team, creating a strong, diverse group that will be able to impact the lives of a variety of children across the nation.

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Topics: NOLS, Behind the Scenes, Seattle, Adina Scott, Expedition Denali, Ryan Mitchell, National Outdoor Leadership School, active, adventure, youth of color, Outdoors, youth, Tyrhee Moore, expedition, climb, summer camp, Pacific Northwest, D.C. Philadelphia, Denali, wilderness

Notes from the Field: Summitting or not, the work doesn’t stop

By Casey Adams on 8/29/12 4:40 AM

The last time we heard from Phil Henderson on
this blog
, he had returned to Everest base camp with a bad chest cold. He was unable
to heal quickly due to the elevation, so he descended and took over the team’s

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Topics: NOLS, outdoor industry, National Geographic, Everest Days, Everest, National Outdoor Leadership School, travel, communication, Outdoor Festival, Mountain, Educators Notebook, expedition, summit, Phil Henderson, Kathmandu, weather, festival, success, Base Camp