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Debunking 5 Myths about Gear

By Molly Herber on 1/19/17 8:53 AM

Before you head to the store, check out these five myths about gear to make sure you get what you need!

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Topics: Expedition Prep

Getting Ready: Mental and Physical Prep for My Gap Year

By Brooke Buchanan on 1/9/17 11:54 AM

While sitting in yet another mundane lecture in physics class, my phone vibrates.

Sneakily, I pull it out and glance at my new notification: an email.

I open up my Yahoo app expecting to see a pointless message from some telemarketer, but I’m caught by surprise. I click on the message and see that it’s from NOLS. It says my spot on the Patagonia Coastal Expedition has been reserved. Forgetting I’m in class, I squirm with excitement and the teacher takes my phone away.

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Topics: Expedition Prep

7 Ways to Make Coffee Outside

By Molly Herber on 1/6/17 9:03 AM

The morning ritual of making a hot beverage is precious to many an outdoorsperson (and a pain for the ones who like to get out of camp quickly). Interrupting that ritual could mean a full day of silence until you make up for it by giving up your last Snickers bar or promising to do dishes for the rest of the trip.

You might think that options are limited for making coffee while you’re camping, but you really have all kinds of choices.

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Topics: Expedition Prep, cooking, coffee

How To Keep Your Feet Warm

By Molly Herber on 12/29/16 9:20 AM

Taking care of your feet while camping is one of the best gifts you can give yourself.

Here you’ll find advice from the pros—NOLS instructors, employees, even our wilderness medicine curriculum director Tod Schimelpfenig—on how to take care of your feet when they get cold.

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Topics: Expedition Prep, winter

2016 Holiday Gift Guide

By Shelby Cranshaw on 12/7/16 12:01 PM

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

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Topics: gear, Expedition Prep, gift

Gado-Gado Spaghetti: A Classic NOLS Recipe

By Katherine Boehrer on 8/5/16 12:18 PM

This classic noodle dish with peanut sauce is a treat at the end of a long day of adventuring! Better yet, it can be eaten hot or cold, so you could even save some for lunch the next day. The credit for this popular NOLS Cookery recipe goes to Donna Orr, a former NOLS employee, and previous Cookery co-author.

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Topics: backcountry cooking, Expedition Prep, recipe, cooking, backcountry recipe, backpacking recipe

6 Secret Ingredients to Try on Your Next Camping Trip

By Jeff Mogavero on 8/2/16 11:06 AM

In NOLS rations, there is certainly no shortage of ingredients to whip up the most scrumptious of backcountry meals. But some instructors and students like to take backcountry cooking to the next level.

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Topics: Expedition Prep, recipe, cooking, Backpacking, education, backcountry

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

The Backpacker’s Guide to Happy Feet

By Kim Freitas on 7/14/16 12:01 PM

If you like to adventure outdoors, you’ll know during backpacking trips that your feet are your primary mode of transportation. Spending extra effort to keep your feet happy and dry is well worth your time and attention. After all, your feet are essentially your “wheels” in the backcountry!

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Topics: Expedition Prep, climbing, Backpacking, adventure, education, 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

10 Junk Foods to Indulge in after Your Expedition

By Sam Cook on 7/1/16 9:22 AM

Everyone has their food cravings, and being far out in the backcountry just makes them worse. We desire things like Starbucks frappuccinos, funnel cake, and fried chicken when we are miles away from them. We have hourlong conversations on the trail about what foods we love and hate, what our favorite home-cooked meal is, and where we splurge back home.

But this list isn’t about the foods you can’t get. It’s about what to do when you're done with your expedition.

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Topics: Expedition Prep, cooking, adventure

10 Ways to Celebrate While in the Backcountry

By Sarah Buer on 6/30/16 12:44 PM

Just because you're camping doesn't mean that you can't celebrate any occasion with a little creative and a healthy dollop of fun!

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Topics: Expedition Prep, adventure, backcountry

7 Musical Instruments to Take Backpacking

By Jacob Taswell on 6/27/16 9:55 AM

Of all the frontcountry comforts, music is one of the things I miss the most when I go into the wilderness. I can’t bring a piano out there, and even a guitar is pretty cumbersome.

Luckily, I don’t have to leave music behind altogether. 

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Topics: Alumni, Expedition Prep, Backpacking, adventure

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

The Ethics of Cheap: Why You Don't Need the Newest Gear

By Allie Maloney on 4/22/16 2:26 PM

If you’re new to backpacking and are getting ready for your first trip, to find the right gear you have a couple of options.

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Topics: gear, Expedition Prep, adventure, instructor, backcountry