NOLS Blog

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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

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

5 Strategies to Survive Mud Season

By Kim Freitas on 3/17/16 10:24 AM

As the snow begins to melt from the mountains, there is another season approaching as we transition into spring: mud season.

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Topics: Expedition Prep, LNT, leave no trace, education, wilderness, backcountry

9 Tips to Help You Deal with Homesickness

By Molly Herber on 3/9/16 11:58 AM

No matter how excited you are about heading out on a trip, it’s likely that you’ll feel homesick at least some of the time you're away. Being away from family and friends can be tough. Luckily, there are a few things you can do before and while you’re on your trip to manage homesickness when it strikes.

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Topics: Semester, Expedition Prep, adventure, backcountry

How to Plan for Your Gap Year

By Molly Herber on 2/26/16 2:45 PM

Taking a gap year is a big decision, and figuring out how to do it can be overwhelming.

If you’re struggling to make a plan for your gap year, take a look at these guidelines to get ideas for how to plan (financially, academically, and personally), a successful gap year.

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Topics: Semester, Expedition Prep, adventure, Gap Year, education, backcountry, leadership

What to Know Before You Go: Common Pre-Course Questions

By Molly Herber on 2/22/16 1:24 PM

Before you go, a NOLS course can seem like a mystery. Below, you’ll find the answers to some of the common questions we get about our courses—we hope they help you out!

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

How to Make Pizza When You're Camping

By NOLS Blog on 2/5/16 11:14 AM

 

Photo by Nicholas Byrne.
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Topics: Expedition Prep, recipe, cooking, backcountry

6 Ways to Get Ready for Your Next Expedition Now

By Molly Herber on 2/2/16 12:18 PM

It’s great to stay busy with outdoor activities during the winter, but winter is also a good time to rest and get your stoke up for your next expedition while sipping cocoa.

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Topics: Expedition Prep, climbing, cooking, risk management, Backpacking, education, backcountry

Fitness Guidelines to Get Expedition-Ready

By Molly Herber on 1/29/16 2:49 PM

NOLS courses are pretty darn rigorous. Whether you’ll be paddling from camp to camp, hauling gear onto a glacier, or managing a rambunctious packhorse, you’re going to be pretty tired by the end of the day. But with a little planning and determination, you can prepare for the physical challenges of your course, or any extended backcountry trip, by following these guidelines!  

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Topics: Expedition Prep, Sea Kayaking, climbing, Backpacking, backcountry

Competence and Leadership: Making a Good Cup of Cocoa

By Molly Herber on 1/27/16 1:04 PM

When it comes to leadership, whether you are a team member or a designated team leader, if you don’t know what you’re doing it’s going to be difficult for you to contribute to the group.

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Topics: Expedition Prep, cooking, outdoor education, leadership

4 Classic NOLS Desserts

By Katherine Boehrer on 1/22/16 8:00 AM

There’s nothing better than enjoying a well-prepared dessert in the backcountry! Over the years, a few favorites have stood out on NOLS courses. These range in difficulty from mix-and-eat to baking with a twiggy fire. We encourage you try—and enjoy—them all!

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Topics: Expedition Prep, recipe, cooking, backcountry