NOLS Blog

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2019 Holiday Gift Guide

By Shelby Cranshaw on Nov 29, 2019

Whether you're shopping for your favorite sustainability nerd or a backcountry fashionista, here are some great gift ideas for anyone on your list.

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Topics: gear, Expedition Prep, camping, gift

How to Make Cinnamon Rolls when You’re Camping

By Molly Herber on Aug 21, 2018


Photo by Charlotte Klein.

Waking up to the buttery smell of hot cinnamon rolls is one of the best ways to start your morning.

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Topics: Expedition Prep, recipe, camping, cooking, "cinnamon rolls", backcountry recipe, backpacking recipe

How to Pack Your Backpack

By Molly Herber on May 23, 2018
Photo by Nadine Lehner
 

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.

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Topics: Expedition Prep, camping, Backpacking, backpacking, hiking, adventure

How to Convince Your Boss to Let You Take a NOLS Course

By Erica Nelson on Mar 15, 2018


Photo by Craig Muderlak

When I heard from NOLS’ staffing office that I’d been accepted on the River Instructor Course, I was beyond stoked. I ran to tell my boss the great news. Expecting her to be happy, instead she said, “We can’t afford to lose you this time of year.”

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Topics: Expedition Prep, Live the Dream, leadership

Easing Back Into Your Frontcountry Life

By Molly Herber on Dec 26, 2017

Photo by Hailey Arnold.
 

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.

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Topics: Alumni, Expedition Prep, camping, expedition

Camping Recipe: Biscuits [Video]

By Molly Herber on Nov 10, 2017

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, camping, cooking, backcountry recipe

Camping Recipe: No-Bake Energy Nuggets

By Molly Herber on Sep 22, 2017

When you're rushing out the door on your way to 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, camping, cooking, no-bake

Make Your Gear Have Multiple Purposes

By Molly Herber on Sep 14, 2017

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, camping

Camping Recipe: Potato Pancakes

By NOLS on Sep 8, 2017

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, camping

How to Fix Your Outdoor Gear

By Molly Herber on Sep 5, 2017

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, camping, Gear repair, Environmental Stewardship & Sustainability

Instant Camping Recipe: Geikie Curried Rice

By Molly Herber on Aug 25, 2017

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: backcountry cooking, Expedition Prep, recipe, camping, cooking, instant

The Art of a Good Re-Ration Care Package

By Katherine Boehrer on Jul 17, 2017

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, camping, rations

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

By Molly Herber on Jun 20, 2017

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, camping, photography

When You Should Wear Cotton in the Outdoors

By Molly Herber on Jun 13, 2017

Some experienced campers’ favorite advice is “You should never wear cotton,” sometimes using the dramatic catchphrase “Cotton kills.”

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Topics: outdoor gear, Expedition Prep, camping, myth

Prepare for the Unexpected with a Solid Trip Plan

By Molly Herber on Jun 6, 2017

I’m all out of layers, I thought as I turned my pack inside-out looking for something else we could use. Our patient had a broken femur and my team was scurrying to assemble materials for a splint. I only had what I normally brought on a day hike—a jacket, snacks, and a half-full water bottle—not even a first aid kit. My heart raced as I scrambled to think of what else we could do for this patient. I could hear the rising stress in my teammates’ voices.

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Topics: Wilderness First Responder, Expedition Prep, risk management, education, trip planning