As part of their 2018 gap year experience, Winterline students backpacked through the Gila National Forest on an eight-day NOLS expedition. Reflecting on their course, students touched on themes of leadership, tolerance for adversity, appreciation for the natural world—and fun.
Alpinist, writer, outdoor educator, and former NOLS instructor Szu-ting Yi reflects on her 2017 traverse of the Wind River Range and its impact on her personal growth as a climber. She and her husband, Dave Anderson, also a former NOLS instructor, managed to climb 33 peaks in the Winds over the course of 20 days despite challenging conditions.
In honor of Indigenous People’s Day, SNEWS recognized five outstanding indigenous leaders in the outdoor industry, including NOLS Instructor and Senior Marketing Representative Erica Nelson, who’s also an ambassador for Brown Folks Fishing. In Erica’s words: “Our tribes were the caretakers and protectors of the land. I hope in my travels, I'm honoring their work.”
Former NOLS instructor Jimmy Chin and his wife believe that adventure is key to successful parenting. A climber, alpinist, skier, photographer, and filmmaker, Jimmy is committed to empowering his kids in the outdoors—for them, preschool is synonymous with ski school.
As NOLS horsepacking instructor Ari Hertz points out, the Wilderness Act stipulates that designated wilderness areas should be large enough to absorb the impact of a two-week packing trip. Reflecting on her own experience traveling in the backcountry with a mule, Stacey McKenna explores the history of bringing stock into the wilderness.
Backpacker magazine consults NOLS Wilderness Medicine Curriculum Director Tod Schimpelfenig on how to prevent and treat the 10 most common hiking injuries and illnesses. Based on years of data collected on NOLS courses, the top 10 medical incidents that occur in the backcountry range from blisters to abdominal pain and allergic reactions.
Popular Science consults NOLS Rocky Mountain Rations Manager Claudia Pearson on how to prepare the best homemade, just-add-water meals for the backcountry. Making your own meal-in-a-bag is cheap, cuts down on waste, and offers an easy, nutritious option for refueling after a long hike.
Outside Online looks to NOLS Wilderness Medicine for tips on how to build a well-stocked first aid kit. The first step? Making sure you know how to use all of the supplies you're planning to pack—consider taking a wilderness first aid course to prepare.
Before co-founding Netflix, Marc Randolph spent years developing his leadership skills in the wilderness—as a NOLS student and instructor. Starting with his first course at age 14, Randolph says that the real-life leadership experience he gained at NOLS was the “single biggest contributor to my success as a businessperson.”
NOLS Instructor and Financial Aid Counselor Cristina Edwards speaks to the benefits of sleeping outside, a tradition she can trace back to summer nights spent sleeping on the roof with her family. Today she enjoys seeing NOLS students find peace in the outdoors and notes that it’s easy to get a good night’s sleep when you’ve been active all day long.