An Alaska Adventure, and Learning Experience, For Teens

Posted by Kim Freitas on July 24, 2016

This was the challenge Heather Boucher of Stonington faced a few weeks ago when taking a course run by the National Outdoor Leadership School (NOLS), an international organization recognized as the gold standard in teaching how to survive in the wilderness.


What Items Belong in My Backpacking First Aid Kit?

Posted by Kim Freitas on July 23, 2016

Gareth Tate has been a wilderness first responder and NOLS Wilderness Medicine instructor for more than a decade, so he’s treated countless backcountry accidents. I called him up to find out how to pack a proper first-aid kit. “My approach is pretty minimal. So many of these products are sold to you, and so few of them are actually important,” Tate says. “Many of the items become comfort items. You need to differentiate between comfort and essential.” What follows is the gear he thinks is absolutely necessary to have in your car or pack. 


Raúl Castro, Director of NOLS Patagonia [Interview]

Posted by Kim Freitas on July 22, 2016
In 1993, Raúl Castro was living in Santiago. He was a physical education student and a mountain bike guide. At his university, he and 15 other classmates attended a slideshow presentation by National Outdoor Leadership School (NOLS) Patagonia. They all ended up becoming NOLS students, but Castro went much further.

Gap Year Leads to Evanston Resident's Wild Adventure in Patagonia

Posted by Kim Freitas on July 19, 2016

When Evanston Township High School graduate Jack Cleave was thinking about taking a gap year between high school and college, the 19-year-old said he never dreamed he'd end up hiking mountains and kayaking over raging rivers in Patagonia.


WY Not: Students of the Wilderness

Posted by Kim Freitas on July 18, 2016
Where the wilderness becomes a classroom and students become leaders.

Every decision has a repercussion- with those outcomes, an opportunity to learn is created. Relying heavily on experiential education, the National Outdoor Leadership School (NOLS) works with over 24,000 students a year. Students are pushed to their potential in courses in rock climbing, backpacking, sailing, skiing and more.

Eight Month-Long Adventures You Can't Miss

Posted by Kim Freitas on July 7, 2016

Perhaps you’ve decided to take a year off from the daily grind. or maybe your career allows you to work from anywhere. Or you might be recently retired and ready to see the world.

Whatever the reason, if you've some serious time on your hand, don't just sit around. These adventures will get you exploring the globe.


Outdoors for All: Why Diversity Matters to the Outdoor Industry

Posted by Kim Freitas on July 5, 2016
Under my feet, the inflatable stand-up paddle board felt unsteady. The rushing water of the Colorado River took some getting used to as I marveled at the sheer walls of towering sandstone all around me. I feathered the blade of my paddle in sculling strokes to hold my position as the five boats in our party took up their positions behind me and we made ready to get underway.

NOLS Attends Conference on Bear Research

Posted by Kim Freitas on June 20, 2016

At the 24th International Conference on Bear Research and Management, NOLS joined other bear experts from around the world to share their knowledge last week.


Bruce Palmer On the Value of a Gap Year

Posted by Kim Freitas on June 10, 2016

At this year’s AGA Conference I caught up with Bruce Palmer, long time Admission and Marketing director at the AGA accredited Gap Year organization, National Outdoor Leadership School and father of a student who completed a NOLS program. We talked about the importance of outdoor education, Gap Years and the value of this kind of experience in the life of a young person.


10 Classic Health and Safety Risks Among First-Time Campers

Posted by Kim Freitas on June 6, 2016
In April, cameras caught a Yellowstone visitor petting a bison. In May, news spread that tourists put a baby bison in the trunk of their car. In June, a selfie-taking woman got so close to an elk that it charged. While Marco Johnson, the field staffing director of the National Outdoor Leadership School, wishes the advice would go without saying, it apparently bears repeating: “Leave the animals alone,” he says. But not all tips for first-time campers are so obvious. Here’s what Johnson and other wilderness experts say out you as a novice – and, more importantly, put your health and safety at risk.