Browse by Category

27 Considerations for a Wilderness First Aid Kit

By Sarah Buer on Jun 3, 2016

There’s no such thing as the perfect first aid kit, so you should consider your needs, including the length of your trip, the size of your group, and where you will be traveling, and then build a kit that meets them.

Read More

Topics: Wilderness First Responder, First Aid, WMI, Wilderness First Aid, education, First Aid Kit, NOLS Wilderness Medicine Institute, Wilderness Medicine

It's Getting Hot in Here: The Ps and Qs of Heat Illness

By Sarah Buer on May 23, 2016

Human beings are big bags of water.

No, really—just check this excerpt from NOLS Wilderness Medicine by Tod Schimelpfenig:

“We hear through a medium of water, the brain is cushioned by fluid, and the joints are lubricated by fluid. Blood is 90 percent water, and every biochemical reaction takes place in a medium of water." (p. 253)

Read More

Topics: WMI, education, Wilderness Medicine

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.

Read More

Topics: 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 Apr 19, 2016

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. NOLS Wilderness EMT courses combine 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: Leadership Skills, WMI, Educators Notebook, Becoming an Instructor, education, WEMT, NOLS Wilderness Medicine Institute, Wilderness Medicine

Smart Ways to Protect Yourself from the Sun

By Sarah Zimmerman on Apr 15, 2016
Photo by Kirk Rasmussen.

Since spring has arrived, many of us will or already have gotten caught outside unprepared for the sun’s harshness. After last weekend, I came back to the office and several people were either a little bit pink or a couple shades darker. This got me thinking: How much do I really know about sun protection?

Read More

Topics: WMI, Backpacking, adventure, backcountry, paddling, Wilderness Medicine

NOLS in Solidarity with the Bomberos of Honduras

By Kevin Wilson on Apr 13, 2016

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

Read More

Topics: WMI, Becoming an Instructor, education, backcountry, NOLS Wilderness Medicine Institute, Wilderness Medicine

WMI Employee to Wilderness First Responder

By Sarah Buer on Apr 5, 2016


Read More

Topics: Leadership Skills, Wilderness First Responder, WMI, education, Wilderness Medicine

The Adventure Rolls On: Thriving through Adversity with Eric Thompson

By Sarah Buer on Mar 25, 2016


Photo courtesy of Eric Thompson.
Read More

Topics: Alumni, Leadership Skills, Tolerance for Adversity, WMI, NOLS Wilderness Medicine Institute, Wilderness Medicine

15 Signs You've Taken a Wilderness Medicine Course

By Sarah Buer on Mar 11, 2016

Whether it's a two-day Wilderness First Aid training or a month-long Wilderness EMT, courses with NOLS Wilderness Medicine are life-changing. That’s the point, right—to increase your awareness and preparedness for emergencies to happen?

Read More

Topics: Alumni, WMI, backcountry, Wilderness Medicine

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.

Read More

Topics: WMI, Risk Management, video, Wilderness Medicine

Using Wilderness Medicine Training as a Recipe for Decision-Making

By Tod Schimelpfenig on Jan 14, 2016

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: Leadership Skills, WMI, NOLS Wilderness Medicine Institute, Wilderness Medicine

Future Outdoor Leaders Grow Using AmeriCorps Awards

By Molly Herber on Dec 11, 2015


An outdoor class during the WFR course. Photo courtesy of Opal Creek.

A dedicated crew of young adult AmeriCorps volunteers serving with Heart of Oregon Corps in Bend, Oregon spent the last six months building trails, restoring habitat, and reducing fire fuels on public land in central Oregon. Along the way, they developed valuable leadership and practical skills to help them pursue careers in conservation and stewardship. Many of the youth sought opportunities to broaden their skill set as their terms of service drew to a close.

Read More

Topics: Alumni, Leadership Skills, AmeriCorps, WMI, education, Wilderness Medicine

How to Prevent Frostbite

By Molly Herber on Dec 9, 2015
Photo by Adam Swisher.

Winter is a time for all sorts of amazing activities—skiing, snowboarding, curling—but cold weather brings its own special hazards. One of the most common first aid situations you’ll see when it gets cold is frostbite.

Read More

Topics: Leadership Skills, winter camping, WMI, backcountry, Wilderness Medicine, hypothermia, frostbite

Why I Used the GI Bill for NOLS

By Kevin Wilson on Nov 11, 2015

The Outdoor Educator group in the Wind River Range. Photo by Cooper Davis.

NOLSies 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 to fund their course.

We spoke with Navy veteran and 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, Wilderness EMT, Lander, NOLS Rocky Mountain, NOLS financial aid, National Outdoor Leadership School, climbing, WMI, Backpacking, backcountry, NOLS Wilderness Medicine Institute, Wilderness Medicine

Writing and Trekking: One Woman’s Mission to Walk from Chile to Alaska

By Molly Herber on Nov 3, 2015


Bethany Hughes walks for self-expression and storytelling. Photo by Ethan Allen.
Read More

Topics: Alumni, Leadership Skills, NOLS Patagonia, WMI, Backpacking, Wilderness Medicine