NOLS Blog

Browse by Category

This Cold Bug Is Bugging Me: How to Handle Flu-Like Illness in the Backcountry

By Sarah Buer on 1/12/17 9:46 AM

Viral, flu-like illnesses like stomach bugs or viral upper respiratory infections (“the flu” or “a cold”) can be common on wilderness expeditions. While having a cold is never fun, being in the backcountry when the bug decides to bug you can make it that much worse.

Read More

Topics: wilderness medicine, WMI, education, backcountry, NOLS Wilderness Medicine Institute, Wilderness Medicine

27 Considerations for a Wilderness First Aid Kit

By Sarah Buer on 6/3/16 8:52 AM

As it says in the NOLS Wilderness Medicine handbook, “There’s no such thing as the perfect first aid kit, so you should consider your needs and build a kit that meets them.”

Read More

Topics: Wilderness First Responder, first aid, wilderness medicine, WMI, Wilderness First Aid, education, First Aid Kit, NOLS Wilderness Medicine Institute, Wilderness Medicine

Self-Care in the Backcountry: Red Flags You Shouldn't Ignore

By Sarah Buer on 4/28/16 2:15 PM

“Walk it off.”

“Toughen up!”

“Rub some dirt on it.”

“Get over it.”

Have you ever heard one of these phrases? Chances are you have, and it may have shaped the way you think of “minor” discomforts.

Read More

Topics: wilderness medicine, WMI, video, education, NOLS Wilderness Medicine Institute, Wilderness Medicine

Keep Calm and Medic On: How a WEMT Course Can Transform Your Backcountry Experience

By Hadley Warner on 4/19/16 8:05 AM

I had been considering taking a Wilderness Emergency Medical Technician (WEMT) course for almost three years, but something always came up to prevent it. In October of last year the idea finally became a reality and I found myself driving up a winding dirt road to the picturesque Wyss Wilderness Medicine Campus on a sunny fall afternoon. The course offered by WMI combines urban and wilderness medicine while preparing participants to sit for the National Registry exam. I was not sure what the next 25 days had in store for me, but I knew the course would serve me well in the future.

Read More

Topics: wilderness medicine, WMI, Educators Notebook, instructor, education, WEMT, leadership, NOLS Wilderness Medicine Institute

NOLS in Solidarity with the Bomberos of Honduras

By Kevin Wilson on 4/13/16 8:34 AM

NOLS instructors partner with Honduran firefighters to expand medical training in areas with limited resources.

Read More

Topics: wilderness medicine, WMI, instructors, education, backcountry, NOLS Wilderness Medicine Institute, Wilderness Medicine

The Adventure Rolls On: Thriving through Adversity with Eric Thompson

By Sarah Buer on 3/25/16 9:45 AM
Photo courtesy of Eric Thompson.
Read More

Topics: Alumni, Tolerance for Adversity, wilderness medicine, WMI, leadership, NOLS Wilderness Medicine Institute, Wilderness Medicine

Treatment Principles, Recipes and Thinking Cooks

By Tod Schimelpfenig on 1/14/16 2:00 PM

One of NOLS founder Paul Petzoldt’s endearing habits was challenging students to explain their choices and the principles behind their decisions and techniques. He wouldn’t settle on one best way to do something, he sought the practical and effective way.

Unfortunately, it’s not uncommon for students of first aid and pre-hospital medicine to be taught in absolutes; practices that supposedly work all the time, practices framed as being based on solid evidence but in reality often founded on bronze, not gold standard, science.

Read More

Topics: wilderness medicine, WMI, leadership, NOLS Wilderness Medicine Institute, Wilderness Medicine

Why I Used the GI Bill for NOLS

By Kevin Wilson on 11/11/15 7:05 AM

NOLSie pay for their courses in all sorts of ways, from savings to scholarships to working a summer job through high school to take the trip of a lifetime when they graduate. Some students even use their veterans benefits from the GI Bill to fund their course.

We spoke with Navy veteran and NOLS graduate from a Rocky Mountain Outdoor Educator course and a Wilderness EMT course, Kevin Wilson, to learn about how and why he used his veterans benefits for NOLS and what he learned from his NOLS experiences.

Read More

Topics: Alumni, Lander, NOLS Rocky Mountain, National Outdoor Leadership School, climbing, wilderness medicine, WMI, Backpacking, Live the Dream, backcountry, NOLS Wilderness Medicine Institute

Highlights from the 2015 Wilderness Medicine Institute Staff Meeting

By NOLS Blog on 9/24/15 8:00 AM

This September, the NOLS Wilderness Medicine Institute hosted our annual staff meeting at the Wyss Wilderness Medicine Campus in Lander, Wyoming. Read on to find out about some of the neat things we learned!

Read More

Topics: Lander, Educators Notebook, instructors, education, John Gans, leadership, NOLS Wilderness Medicine Institute