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Make Your Gear Have Multiple Purposes

By Molly Herber on 9/14/17 8:21 AM

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

Make Your Camping Gear Last Longer

By Aaron Strubhar on 7/6/17 10:49 AM

It’s the tenth day of your backpacking trip, and you start to notice that some of your gear is holding up better than others. The cheap new rain pants you bought already have a gash in the thin nylon from venturing off-trail through thick patches of thorny blackberry bushes; yet the old, patched family tent you’ve been using for years is as sturdy and functional as ever. What’s going on here?

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Topics: gear, Environmental Stewardship & Sustainability

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

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

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

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

2010 Outdoor Retailer Show

By William Roth on 8/10/10 4:14 AM

The Outdoor Retailer Show is all about checking out new gear, networking with new people, and strengthening our relationship with NOLS partners. It takes about 30 minutes to walk from one end of the conference floor to the other.

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Topics: gear, NOLS, Behind the Scenes, #orshow, outdoor retailer show, stackpole, gearcaster, deuter, mountainsmith, trailspace, feedthehabit, wendmag, or summer, nuun

Spring Semester in the Rockies (SSR-4) – Climbing Section Video

By William Roth on 5/10/10 7:21 AM

NOLS Instructor Brian Fabel brought his camera along to document the climbing section of a Spring Semester in the Rockies (SSR-4) course. Most footage is from Unaweep Canyon and there is also some from Independence Monument outside of Grand Junction, CO.

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Topics: mock lead, gear, canyon, Expedition Prep, climbing, section, learn, top rope, ssr-4, spring semester in the rockies, climb, unaweep, trad, student, lead, multipitch

Continuing The Layering System Discussion

By William Roth on 2/15/10 7:46 AM

As a companion piece to our latest episode of the NOLS podcast, Jamie O'Donnell and Lara McLuskey have agreed to answer questions we didn't have time to ask during our discussion on the NOLS layering system. Most of the following questions are from followers of the NOLS Facebook page. Join the conversation!

You can subscribe to the podcast on iTunes and YouTube.

What is the most versatile layer in your pack?
Jamie: I like light to medium weight wind layers like the Marmot windshirt or the Patagonia Houdini. Often it's the wind that robs us of heat and makes us feel cold even when the temperatures aren't that cold.
Lara: I love my wind-shirt! I use either a Patagonia Houdini or a GoLite Wisp.On a lightweight course, what is the first layer to be left behind?
Lara: Likely, midweight to heavier weight fleece. It's heavy and bulky, and when it gets wet, it's even heavier.

How many socks and pairs of underwear would you bring for a 30 day trip?
Jamie: I recommend 3-5 pair of socks for a summer course. One pair becomes your "sacred sleeping socks" and are never hiked in. Liner socks are optional but no more than two pair. Winter courses 5 pair of socks would be the minimum.

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Topics: gear, outdoor clothes, jacket, layers, shirts, wool, pants, layering system, synthetic, Educators Notebook, hard shell, cotton, winter, soft shell