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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

Backcountry Chilling Over Oil Drilling [Book Review]

By Sam Cook on 6/16/16 4:52 PM

There’s been a debate about it since 1980.

The Arctic National Wildlife Refuge has been threatened for years because of the oil within its borders. Due to political pressure, a 1.5 million-acre section of coastal plain was left unprotected. In 1980, Congress renamed the region, calling it the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge under the Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act (ANILCA).

Now, the ANILCA prohibits oil and gas development on that coastal plain, but allows for Congress to permit it in the future.

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Topics: Alumni, review, adventure, Environmental Stewardship, wilderness, backcountry, Environmental Stewardship & Sustainability

21 Quotes Guaranteed to Make You Crave the Outdoors

By Sarah Buer on 4/14/16 8:00 AM

We can’t put our finger on it, what exactly it is that makes the wilderness so touching and transformative. Perhaps it’s because there isn’t one thing alone that moves us to indulge in the outdoors, but rather a multitude of things combined to impact us all at once and change pieces of us along the way.

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Topics: Live the Dream, wilderness, leadership, photos

How to Choose Wildness Every Day

By Molly Herber on 4/2/16 8:00 AM

If you’ve spent any time in the wilderness, you know that how you feel there is special. Wilderness isn’t just a space, an empty shoreline or a quiet grove of trees—it’s a state of mind, too.

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Topics: Behind the Scenes, Backpacking, adventure, wilderness, backcountry

5 Strategies to Survive Mud Season

By Kim Freitas on 3/17/16 10:24 AM

As the snow begins to melt from the mountains, there is another season approaching as we transition into spring: mud season.

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Topics: Expedition Prep, LNT, leave no trace, education, wilderness, backcountry

The Best Times to Eat When You're Camping

By Molly Herber on 11/5/15 11:19 AM

Food has always been an important part of learning to live outside comfortably (no one should have to live without cinnamon rolls!), and we’ve spent a lot of time studying the best ways to keep folks healthy when the only food they have is what they’re carrying in a boat or backpack.

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Topics: Expedition Prep, National Outdoor Leadership School, cooking, wilderness

The Wilderness Act: "Leaving a Glimpse of the World as It Was"

By Anne McGowan on 11/4/15 1:53 PM

As NOLS continues to celebrate its 50th anniversary across the globe, the Wilderness Act celebrates its 51st. It’s not a coincidence: NOLS founder Paul Petzoldt testified before Congress in favor of the Wilderness Act more than five decades ago. And almost six months to the day after the act’s passage, Petzoldt founded NOLS.

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Topics: National Outdoor Leadership School, Environmental Stewardship, wilderness

What's in the Wilderness?

By NOLS Blog on 10/21/15 8:00 AM
Scouting a rapid. Photo by Kirk Rasmussen.
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Topics: Alumni, NOLS Rocky Mountain, Live the Dream, wilderness, backcountry, whitewater rafting

5 Things You Already Do That Make You a Female Outdoor Leader

By Annalise Grueter on 10/19/15 8:00 AM

Backpacker magazine recently posted this piece online touching on the fact that, regardless of outdoor experience, their female readership were less likely to view themselves as leaders than their male readership, and that needs to change. We agree.

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Topics: Alumni, NOLS, National Outdoor Leadership School, climbing, cooking, communication, Backpacking, adventure, kayaking, Outdoors, Live the Dream, mountaineering, video, wilderness, backcountry, leadership

Waking Up in the Wilderness

By Carolyn Highland on 10/14/15 8:00 AM

I woke in the middle of the night to cold on my nose and a black strip of sky smattered with stars in my vision. It was all I could see, my sleeping bag cinched up around my face, laid out on the bare ground. I lay there unmoving, every cell of my body awake and aware of itself. It felt as though I’d been tapped on the shoulder, as though some massive universal force had tugged at me, whispering “you need to see this.”

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Topics: Alumni, Sea Kayaking, NOLS New Zealand, Live the Dream, mountaineering, wilderness

Six Reasons to Love the Southwest

By Molly Herber on 8/28/15 1:50 PM

1. Remoteness

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Topics: Behind the Scenes, climbing, Backpacking, NOLS Southwest, wilderness, caving

Why Go?

By NOLS Blog on 8/26/15 9:20 AM

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Topics: Behind the Scenes, adventure, wilderness, backcountry

Wilderness: What National Parks Are For

By Molly Herber on 8/25/15 8:00 AM

When most folks visit national parks, it’s a fairly tame experience. They drive to an iconic site, pop out of the car for a few minutes or maybe even an hour, and then go on their way. The wildest moment might be a tussle with another visitor over the best vantage point for photographing Yosemite Falls.

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Topics: Environmental Stewardship, wilderness, backcountry, Environmental Stewardship & Sustainability, leadership

Does the Lightning Position Really Keep You Safe in a Storm?

By Tod Schimelpfenig on 8/4/15 8:00 AM
Being in a building is the safest place when lightning is near, but what do you do when you're in the backcountry? Seek lower ground first, then use the lightning position. Photo by Brad Christensen.
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Topics: Expedition Prep, risk management, education, wilderness, backcountry

6 Tips for Planning a U.S. National Park Road Trip

By NOLS Blog on 7/30/15 8:00 AM

 By Alex Phillips

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Topics: Expedition Prep, National Outdoor Leadership School, Backpacking, NOLS Southwest, education, wilderness, backcountry, Wilderness Medicine