The 12 Days of NOLS
We’ve found the perfect way to get you into the holiday spirit and fight the cold snap with a hearty laugh. Watch NOLS Creative’s newest (and possibly goofiest) release, “The 12 Days of NOLS,” a NOLS variation on the classic tune, to get a taste of the NOLS experience or reminisce about your course! Written with extensive input from the peanut gallery, shot and edited in less than 12 hours, and brought to you with only mild shame, we now ask you to watch the video and sing along.
On the first day of my course Paul Petzoldt gave to me ...
Windpants with a reinforced knee
Two trekking poles
Six dudes belaying
Seven miles a' shwackin’
Eight malt balls missing
Nine quickdraws clipping
Ten backpacks bulging
Eleven toasty hot drinks
Twelve students mapping
Happy Holidays from NOLS
Permalink | Posted by Casey Dean on Dec 10, 2013 in the following categories: Alaska, Alumni, Amazon, Australia, Books, Curriculum, India, Instructor News, Leadership, Mexico, New Zealand, Northeast, On The Net, Pacific Northwest, Patagonia, Professional Training, Rocky Mountain, Scandinavia, Southwest, Teton Valley, Wilderness Medicine Institute, Yukon
NOLS' Newest Book is a Perfect Holiday Gift: Canoeing
Effortlessly gliding through the crystal clear, smooth water, the canoes’ bow pierces the flat surface and sends ripples outward toward the shores. A single-bladed paddle silently dips into the water, propelling the watercraft further onward.
The simple, yet magnificent practicality of a canoe has been around for years. From the earliest cedar-ribbed and birch bark skinned hulls to the wood-and-canvas construction, and on to the modern-day myriad of ABS plastics, foam, and vinyl that are pressed together and known as Royalex. The materials, as well as the people using canoes, have changed drastically over time.
Nowadays canoes can be found splitting through Arctic waters bumping edges with mini icebergs, crossing the vast Pacific Ocean with help of sails and are still found on small lakes and ponds throughout the world. They are vessels for recreation, transportation, and scientific studies, among other things.
The new NOLS book, Canoeing, written by Alexander Martin and published by Stackpole Books, goes in-depth to explore and enhance the overall understanding of every aspect of canoeing—from planning an expedition and describing in detail the parts of a canoe to water science and river maneuvers and travel. Martin, a NOLS instructor since 2008, has a great understanding of a variety of canoe expeditions and was able to use past experiences and knowledge to create this all-encompassing canoeing book.
The book is the perfect gift for anyone with a passion for canoeing who would like to learn more regarding expedition canoeing, water travel and techniques, wilderness navigation, as well as advanced skills and other aspects that make up the world of canoeing. This book will serve as a great resource with colorful graphics and pictures to help demonstrate and teach skills and concepts. As everyone settles in for winter in the Northern Hemisphere, Canoeing will be a great companion. While the snow falls and the winds howl, read up on everything canoe related and gain more insight and excitement with each page. Then when winter finally loses its grip on the land and the waterways flow freely, unimpeded by ice, you can set off your own canoe expedition.
For those who wish to gain even more canoe experience and skills, a great avenue is a NOLS course. There are multiple courses with a canoeing component that will allow you to build a foundation and further your canoeing knowledge and experience. NOLS has taught canoe travel for the last four decades. Significant canoe components can be found at multiple NOLS operating locations including the Yukon, the Brazilian Amazon, Australia, American Southwest and Alaska. Any of these courses or locations would be greatly beneficial to anyone wishing to enhance their outdoor skills, leadership development, environmental studies and risk management techniques.
Drumroll, please ...
It has arrived. Thirty thousand copies of the shiny new course catalog have been unloaded and piled up at NOLS Headquarters, and another 30,000 will be shipped to potential students soon.
We thought we’d introduce you.
Like last year, the NOLS course catalog has a clean, square shape and inspiring personal accounts to make the NOLS experience relatable.
With this catalog, though, we have dedicated more pages to courses and NOLS locations, specifically for the upcoming season. In fact, it’s dedicated almost entirely to the winter and spring course offerings at NOLS because we are going to publish three seasonal catalogs a year from now on. This will allow us to tailor the information in each catalog to each season to give you more helpful information about our course offerings.
You can look forward to a summer course catalog in January and a fall course catalog in April. All three catalogs will be available iPad apps shortly after their publication.
If you haven’t already requested a catalog, do so here or keep an eye out for the app, to be released soon!
Permalink | Posted by Casey Dean on Aug 28, 2013 in the following categories: Alaska, Australia, India, Mexico, New Zealand, Northeast, Pacific Northwest, Patagonia, Professional Training, Rocky Mountain, Scandinavia, Southwest, Teton Valley, Wilderness Medicine Institute, Wyss Wilderness Medicine Campus
Another Aussie graduating student group!
This afternoon, we sent out into the world, our final student graduates for the season.
After 45 days exploring the Kimberley by foot, and the Dampier by sea-kayak, we were happy to have them back. All 10 students made it though the challenges of the expedition well, though certainly a lot dirty-er and hairy-er than when we last saw them.
Stories were shared about waterfalls, rock art, singing around camp fires, major hiking diversions to avoid wild cattle encounters, and the high-light of the whole course...the last 5 days independent of instructors on student expedition!
A fantastically diverse group that had not just US Americans, but also Australians and Thai students. This was also encouraged by their instructor teams, who originate from the UK, Australia, Brazil and Switzerland.
After a mammoth cleaning, repairing and organising task list, we were excited to participate in their graduation and drop them off to begin the rest of their lives as leaders of their journey.
Thanks to them all for such hard work and positive attitudes right through to the end!
- The NOLS Australia Team.
Graduation for One of the Australia Backpacking and Sea Kayaking Courses!
Congratulations to all the students graduating from one of our hike/sea kayak combo courses! The group returned from two weeks of sea kayaking in the Dampier Archipelago with all smiles and tanned cheeks.
Stories flowed throughout the day with highlights including: whales passing by close to their camp on the beach, dolphins jumping, turtles everywhere and heaps of time spent exploring several islands. There was never a dull moment with this group as they were excited to pack their days full with learning, observing, and properly absorbing a genuine sense of this wild and exotic place. Aboriginal historical sites were visited and surf beaches tested their newly learned sea kayak skills.
The last day here at base was no different as the group quickly jumped into task mode with cleaning, repairing and putting away gear. Everyone worked hard to ensure things were in better condition than how they received it, setting up the next group of students very well. Thanks so much to everyone for all of your hard work!
Once the list was completed, the group circled up for their graduation ceremony and then enjoyed an epic BBQ with burgers, salads, and Pavlova for dessert! Best of luck to everyone for their next adventure!
ABC 6/26 Graduation
Congratulations to all our super star Students from the stand-a-lone Australian Backpacking course!
Yesterday our students rolled into Base after spending a couple of days with a local aboriginal community, concluding their hiking course in the Northern King Leapold Ranges. All the students were "A grade" when it came time for cleaning, repairing, counting and putting expedition gear away! We can't thank them enough for their top class expedition behaviour, finishing their course in style.
It was awesome to hear their expedition highlights; from wildlife encounters, making a good pizza to finding an amazing pool to soak their tired feet! All smiles and found memories!
Here are a few shots from their end of expedition clean and mend day.....
Whales, turtles,rays - Aussie sea kayakers see all in one day!
One of our Australian Combo courses returned to Broome last night after spending a few weeks sea kayaking in the Dampier Archipelago. Arriving road weary and tired, they were quickly rejuvenated by an amazing home cooked meal by our Rations/Kitchen Manager, Linda. A hot plate of chicken cacciatore, warm bread, and a fresh salad brought smiles and warm fuzzies to everyone’s spirit. Stories began to flow around the dinner table and the group laughed and reflected on all their good times while on the water. Highlights included tales of the amazing weather they experienced with sea glass conditions and sunny days. The water clarity was outstanding and allowed for multiple ocean life sightings of whales, dolphins, turtles, sharks, manta rays and heaps of fish.
Once dinner was wrapped up, it was all action again as the students needed to transition from their sea kayaking gear to there backpacking gear. Their new instructors Marcelo and Karin had everything organized and prepped to aid this transition as efficiently as possible. Sunscreen topped up, new lip balms, fresh batteries and the group was ready to say goodbye to their beach life and hello to their new best friend - the backpack.
After a short but good nights rest, the group was up early and on the move again. After a quick breakfast here at base, the bus was reloaded with backpacks and the group was off on the road to begin their hiking section in the Kimberleys. Hopefully they will continue to enjoy beautiful weather, one another's company, and more of the Australian outback complete with wallabies, dingos, and kangaroos!
A catch up with our Aussie backpackers...
We had a chance to say G'day & catch up with our Australia backpacking course at a resupply recently. Folks were doing excellent, & on the brink of beginning to hike for daily travel without instructors.
In general, resupplies are a happy time.... The day the new food ration arrives, is also the day where'food inventions cease to be created out of whatever is left in less carefully managed food bags. Stories of 'spice kit soup' or cereal and rice dinners' are a thing of the past! - well, at least until they get close to the end of the next food ration period...
In all, students were doing great & enjoying the daily challenges of a wilderness expedition.
We look forward to their return at the end of the month, after their last few days are spent at an Aboriginal Community.
- The NOLS Australia team.
Giving up the Hills.... and Heading for the Sea!
Yesterday one of our Australian Combo courses returned to Broome for a well earned shower. With just one evening in Broome, they set to meeting new instructors & preparing for the next part of their adventure...the Sea Kayaking section.
I was fortunate to get the opportunity to debrief the student group before they headed out. In this time, we have a chance to hear about highlights of the section, challenges they faced, & of course to learn more about the community they have formed.
There were many stories shared....the group were surprised at how they had grown together & were learning to approach challenges as a community, rather than individuals. And they had a number of challenges! In this, the so called 'dry' season, the group had a number of days rain, including a late afternoon storm, in which their chosen campsite was flooded out & they found themselves packing up & moving at dusk. 2 students also chose to leave the expedition in the first ration period, bringing their community from 12 students to 10.
The group worked hard on gaining navigation, teamwork, communication & leadership skills, & were able to begin travelling daily without instructors mid way through the hiking section. They dealt with not only the navigation & leadership challenges, but also encounters with wild cattle.
Highlights for the whole group included the opportunity to be in such remote, beautiful & ancient lands, where on any given day you may come across an incredible canyon, waterfall, or a hidden cave with rock art & grooves worn from hundreds of years of grinding seed in that one spot.
Students had the chance to do a 2 day fasting solo. in this time they were able to reflect on what they had learnt so far, & some of the many reasons they chose to come to the Australian outback.
For the final 5 days of their section, instructors determined that the student group were ready to take on the challenge of hiking without instructors for a mini expedition. Travel plans were written & groups divided into 5 and 5, & off they went. A true indication of high skill attainment & a solid expedition community.
As we sent them off to the South, & into the sea kayak section, they are feeling strong & ready for the upcoming challenges!
We will next have contact with them when they return to Broome on August 2nd.
- The NOLS Australia Team.
The next adventure departs for the field!
Yesterday, we waved goodbye to our next group of adventurers.
This is a particularly diverse group! Including both the hiking & Sea Kayaking instructors, Australia, NZ, USA, Thailand, England, Switzerland & Brazil are all represented in the expedition!
There first day was a busy one, with an early pickup & straight into rations bagging. Students seemed to have fun getting to know each other, over airborne clouds of flour, exclamations such as "What is this grain/powder/spice for?" & marvelling at the fact that more or less everything they were going to eat for the next 44 days, was being bagged in just a few hours.
In the afternoon, Instructors went through student gear & helped to organize what they would need for each section, with all the hiking specific gear placed securely to pick up as they transition between section types in a couple of weeks.
After dinner at the base, students spent last night in Broome at the local camp group with instructors, leaning how to erect the tents & get around with headlamps. All snuggled into the their sleeping bags & sleeping pads for what will become 'home' for the next 1.5 months.
This course begins with a Sea Kayak section exploring the Dampier Archipelago. Students will spend nearly 2 weeks hopping from island to island, and seeing, living and breathing some of the most inspiring marine environments and arguably the best Petroglyph artwork in the world.
After returning to Broome for a night, they will switch gear, say goodbye to the sea kayaking instructors and head North about 7 hours by road to the Kimberley region of Western Australia. Their hiking section will take them into some of the most pristine and wondrous hiking locations the Kimberley has to offer!
For those of you eager to know when you may be able to get mail in and hear from your loved ones, here is an outline of their course schedule:
Sea Kayak section – Dampier Archipelago, Pilbara
4 - 18th July.
Students will return to Broome Friday the 19th July, & stay in town that evening. There may be the potential for phone access late in the evening.
Hike Section – King Leopold Ranges, Kimberly.
20 July –15 August
Students will return late in the afternoon & stay the final night of their course in Broome. Again, there may be phone access late that evening.
After the celebration, we will drop all students back to their planned accommodation approximately 3pm.
If you would like to send mail, students will have an opportunity to receive it when they pass through town on the 19th July. Please keep in mind that we are a long way out from any major city, so allow plenty of time for your mail to get here before that date!
PO Box 3472
We will endeavor to update this blog site after they pass through town, so keep tuned!
- The NOLS Australia team