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José González, Knight Campbell, & Kit DesLauriers on Their Trails To Success [Video]

By NOLS on Feb 13, 2020

Photo courtesy of José G. González

NOLS graduates are an inspiring bunch. Over the years, we’ve heard again and again that their NOLS courses impacted their trails to success.

Whether success means founding a nonprofit that empowers Latinx communities in the outdoors (José González), becoming the first person to ski the seven summits (Kit DesLauriers), or launching a company built around outdoor leadership training (Knight Campbell), NOLS courses can facilitate learning and growth along the way.

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Topics: Alumni, NOLS alumni, video, stories, #TrailsToSuccess

Cold Weather Recipe: Cheesy Potato Soup

By Brooke Ortel on Jan 23, 2020

Photo by Jordan Cranch.

When you’re tired and chilly after a rainy hike or day of backcountry skiing, this hearty soup is a perfect way to refuel. A classic from the iconic NOLS Cookery, our favorite potato soup is guaranteed to warm you up. Even your grumpiest pal can’t stay hangry with a bowl of cheesy goodness!

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Topics: backcountry cooking, recipe, camping, NOLS cookery, video, backcountry recipe

7 Ways to Make Coffee While Camping

By Molly Herber on Jan 6, 2017

Photo by Molly Herber.

The morning ritual of making a hot beverage is precious to many an outdoorsperson (and a pain for the ones who like to get out of camp quickly). Interrupting that ritual could mean a full day of silence until you make up for it by giving up your last Snickers bar or promising to do dishes for the rest of the trip.

You might think that options are limited for making coffee while you’re camping, but you really have all kinds of choices.

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Topics: Expedition Prep, recipe, cooking, video, coffee

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

By Sarah Buer on Apr 28, 2016

“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.

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

Recording Herding Songs of the Mongolian Steppe

By Dimitri Staszewski on Apr 8, 2016

NOLS graduate Dimitri Staszewski tells the story of his work recording the songs of Mongolian herders in this excerpt from the spring 2016 issue of The Leader.

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Topics: Alumni, Live the Dream, video, education, backcountry, leadership

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

By Sarah Buer on Mar 2, 2016

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.

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

30 Days to Survival: The Documentary That Put NOLS in the Spotlight

By Anne McGowan on Jan 20, 2016

Photo from the 30 Days to Survival documentary.

Forty-six years ago this month …

The year was 1969. NOLS was five years old—a small school in a small town in a sparsely populated western state. In the first half-decade, only a little over 1,000 students had graduated from NOLS.

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Topics: Alumni, Behind the Scenes, National Outdoor Leadership School, video, backcountry, leadership

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

By Molly Herber on Dec 18, 2015

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, risk management, Backpacking, video, backcountry, hypothermia

How to Sleep Warm Outside This Winter

By Molly Herber on Nov 24, 2015

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

3 Delicious Breakfast Spreads [Video]

By Molly Herber on Sep 18, 2015


He can't wait to get some cinnamon-honey butter on his pancakes. Photo by Rick Bieterman.
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Topics: Expedition Prep, recipe, cooking, video, backcountry

Do You Know These Tips to Spice Up Your Backcountry Cooking?

By Molly Herber on Sep 11, 2015
That hangry face ... so scary. Photo by Mauricio Clauzet.
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Topics: Expedition Prep, cooking, video

5 Cool Things You Learn From Sailing

By Molly Herber on Sep 10, 2015

Is sailing just for people like this?

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Topics: NOLS Mexico, Expedition Prep, sailing, video

What To Do When You Sprain Your Ankle in the Wilderness [Video]

By NOLS Blog on Aug 21, 2015

After a long day day of hiking, you walk down to the lake to fill up your pot to start cooking dinner. Then, suddenly—you slip. Your ankle twists and you land hard on your butt. As you sit up, you’re relieved to discover that nothing really hurts except your ankle. And then you start to worry.

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Topics: WMI, video, backcountry, leadership, Wilderness Medicine

4 Gear Tips for Lightweight Backpacking

By Molly Herber on Jul 27, 2015
Travel far and fast while lightweight backpacking. Photo by Jared Steinman.
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Topics: NOLS Rocky Mountain, Expedition Prep, adventure, video, NOLS Southwest, backcountry, lightweight backpacking

Take Your Cooking Outdoors: Interview with Expedition Chef Mary Brent Galyean

By Molly Herber on Jul 22, 2015


Expedition chef and three-time NOLS grad Mary Brent Galyean. Photo from
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Topics: Alumni, Semester, NOLS Rocky Mountain, cooking, Live the Dream, video, NOLS East Africa