NOLS Blog

Browse by Category

New Perspectives on Risk Management: WRMC 2018

By Day Scott on 12/12/18 9:04 AM

Photo by Day Scott
 

As an outdoor educator and a student of wilderness medicine, I thought that I had a pretty good idea of what wilderness risk management was all about…preparedness! I thought, “I know how to do that”, and was looking forward to learning about how to do it better. Boy, was I wrong.

Going to the Wilderness Risk Management Conference really helped me gain a different perspective of risk management and provided me with an impactful educational experience.

Read More

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

Leaving a Legacy: Learning and Leading Risk Management Collaboration and Dialogue in Seoul

By Lexi Golestani on 12/14/17 12:05 PM

Editor's Note: Tara Verenna, the Director of Teaching and Learning at the Korea International School (KIS), runs an Experiential Education program focused on outdoor learning for students grades 4-12. Tara sought out NOLS for a Risk Management Training course (RMT), which ran in mid-September 2017. We caught up with Tara afterward to learn about her experience, and how the concepts and guidance provided by the RMT are helping to shape KIS’ risk management policies and procedures.

Read More

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

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.

Read More

Topics: education, Educators Notebook, leadership, risk management

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.

Read More

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

Read More

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

Risk Management in the Outdoors: Beyond the NOLS Course

By Logan Claytor on 3/16/16 9:23 AM
 
Photo by Cass Colman. 

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.

Read More

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

What Organizations Should Know about Risk Management

By Molly Herber on 3/16/16 9:06 AM
Photo by Pascal Beauvais.

Read More

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

Debunking Myths: What Should You Do If Someone has Hypothermia?

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

When your core temperature drops below normal, with heat loss exceeding heat gain, hypothermia can result. It may be caused by winter weather, cold water immersion, or wind, rain and hail in summer.

Read More

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

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.

Read More

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

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?

Read More

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

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.

Read More

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

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.

Read More

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

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.

Read More

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

Preparing for the Unexpected: Wilderness Risk Management Conference 2015

By Alyssa Rainbolt on 10/22/15 8:00 AM
Discussing risk at the 2015 WRMC. Photo by Kirk Rasmussen.


I sat down to breakfast at a table of folks including Outward Bound Vice President of Safety Mark Vermeal. Vermeal was sharing the story of his friend, who had neglected to tie a knot at the end of his rope while rock climbing. We at the table agreed that it was not an unfamiliar story: climber is comfortable at their home crag and doesn’t think to take the precaution of tying a knot at the end of the rope. Climber is injured; in this case, a broken arm. In other cases, outcomes may be far worse. It’s a common mistake that is highly avoidable, and one that should drive the need to shift the climber mentality.

“So, how do we do that?” Vermeal posed to the table.

Read More

Topics: Educators Notebook, leadership, NOLS Professional Training, risk management, wilderness medicine, WRMC

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.

Read More

Topics: risk management, Wilderness Medicine, WMI, wilderness medicine, first aid