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Growing Your Comfort Zone in the Wilderness

By Molly Herber on 9/2/16 9:47 AM

We read in plenty of places that getting out of your comfort zone is a good thing—it seems these days that everyone wants us to step outside of it and push its boundaries.

You can imagine the comfort zone place as a big pile of cozy pillows, with the temperature set at about 75 degrees Fahrenheit and with fuzzy socks on your feet. You’re safe. You know what to say and how to behave. You can complete tasks without even thinking. In all probability, you like your comfort zone.

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Topics: risk management, Educators Notebook, education, leadership

Bee Prepared: WFR Training Applied in Real Life

By Luiz Antônio Gambá on 8/9/16 9:00 AM

“Bee stings cause more anaphylaxis than do the stings of any other insect. Multiple stings … can be life-threatening.” -NOLS Wilderness Medicine

My friend Pedro de Toledo Piza and I were riding on a trail access to Medicine Hill in Paraibuna, Brazil when we decided to leave our ATVs to hike up to a lookout.

On the walk back from the lookout, we were attacked by a large swarm of Africanized bees.

The buzz of the colony was deafening as we began to suffer stings all over our bodies. Knowing that Pedro was allergic to bees, I put myself in front of him in order to divert attention from the swarm—despite my efforts, the bees still seemed to have focused more on Pedro than me.

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Topics: Alumni, wilderness medicine, risk management, education, NOLS Wilderness Medicine, scenario, Wilderness Medicine

When Urban Environments Go Wild: Wilderness Medicine in the Aftermath of Disaster

By Sarah Buer on 7/5/16 9:41 AM

“Wilderness has no handrails, no telephones, and no simple solutions for complex emergency situations. It does have dangers. Some are obvious: rock fall, moving water, stormy weather, avalanches, crevasses, and wild animals. Others are subtle: impure water, dehydration, cold and damp weather, altitude illness, and human judgment.” -Tod Schimelpfenig, NOLS Wilderness Medicine

The importance of wilderness medicine knowledge and protocols in disaster zones is tenfold. When resources are depleted, emergency access is delayed, and safely functioning environments become austere, an urban setting ultimately transforms into a modern-day wilderness.

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Topics: Alumni, Behind the Scenes, wilderness medicine, risk management, education, wilderness, NOLS Wilderness Medicine

Risk Management in the Outdoors: Beyond the NOLS Course

By Logan Claytor on 3/16/16 9:23 AM

At NOLS, we believe in the value of spending time in wild places. We also know there is risk involved in what we do. We strive to practice and teach thoughtful risk management that emphasizes the health and well-being of our students and staff, and have for over 50 years.

At NOLS Risk Management Services (RMS), we draw on this expertise to support other programs that work, play, and travel in remote environments around the world. Our goal is to help organizations think critically about the risks their programs face and then manage those risks responsibly.

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Topics: WRMC, risk management, Educators Notebook, leadership, Wilderness Risk Management Conference

What Organizations Should Know about Risk Management

By NOLS Blog on 3/16/16 9:06 AM

 NOLS Risk Management Services helps organizations working in remote settings identify and manage risks so they can improve their programs and reach their full potential.

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Topics: WRMC, risk management, Educators Notebook, leadership, Wilderness Risk Management Conference

The Cold Truth: Debunking Hypothermia Myths

By Sarah Buer on 3/2/16 10:14 AM

Get your facts straight with these five common myths about hypothermia (and the truths of the matter according to Tod Schimelpfenig, NOLS Wilderness Medicine Curriculum Director!):

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Topics: wilderness medicine, WMI, risk management, video, Wilderness Medicine

6 Ways to Get Ready for Your Next Expedition Now

By Molly Herber on 2/2/16 12:18 PM
Ready for adventure! Photo courtesy of Alex Chang - Cornell Leadership Expedition.
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Topics: Expedition Prep, climbing, cooking, risk management, Backpacking, education, backcountry

Do You Know Your Winter Leave No Trace?

By Molly Herber on 12/31/15 9:11 AM

We know you’re a pro at cleaning up after yourself when it’s warm out, but do you know what to do when the temperatures drop?

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Topics: Expedition Prep, risk management, winter, backcountry, leadership

4 Ways You Can Get Cold (And How Not To)

By Molly Herber on 12/18/15 9:27 AM

Hypothermia is always a concern when you spend time in the outdoors, but when cold winter temperatures hit it’s especially important to pay attention to how you’re losing heat.

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Topics: Expedition Prep, wilderness medicine, WMI, risk management, Backpacking, video, backcountry

How to Sleep Warm Outside This Winter

By Molly Herber on 11/24/15 9:05 AM

Winter doesn’t stop avid campers and it doesn’t stop us, either! It’s easier to stay warm during the day when you’re hitting the slopes or snowshoeing through aspen groves, but what about when it’s time to sleep? Follow these tips to snuggle up and stay warm.

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Topics: Expedition Prep, risk management, video, winter, backcountry

How to Keep Your Feet Happy on the Trail

By Molly Herber on 10/23/15 8:00 AM

If you like human-powered travel, then whether you’re on the trail, beach, or sidewalk, your feet are your most valuable tools. Remember these tips to take care of your feet on your next macro or microadventure.

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Topics: Expedition Prep, wilderness medicine, risk management, Backpacking, expedition, backcountry

Preparing for the Unexpected: Wilderness Risk Management Conference 2015

By NOLS Blog on 10/22/15 8:00 AM
Discussing risk at the 2015 WRMC. Photo by Kirk Rasmussen.
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Topics: wilderness medicine, WRMC, risk management, Educators Notebook, NOLS Professional Training, leadership

Treating Burns in the Backcountry

By NOLS Blog on 9/4/15 8:00 AM

In the backcountry, it can be easy to get burned while holding a hot pan or pouring a hot drink. Small burns can be more annoying than dangerous, but they can still get infected, while more serious burns in delicate areas, like joints and the face, can cause long-term damage.

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Topics: WMI, risk management, Wilderness Medicine

Summer Search and the WRMC

By Anna Wiser on 9/2/15 3:05 PM

As we continue to highlight organizations that attend the Wilderness Risk Management Conference (WRMC), we had the opportunity to catch up with Matt Osgood,  the Summer Program Manager at Summer Search. Matt was able to answer questions regarding Summer Search’s program, students, and how this organization has been impacted by the WRMC.

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Topics: WRMC, risk management, Educators Notebook

Preventing and Treating Heat Illness

By NOLS Blog on 8/11/15 8:00 AM
You are especially susceptible to heat illness in hot environments like the desert. Photo by Danielle Schoen.
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Topics: WMI, risk management, Wilderness Medicine