Courses at NOLS will test you in ways that few other programs can. Many of these talents will be useful as you progress through life’s phases, including your college degree. You may not utilize a fry-bake in your college dorm (though it would be entertaining to witness), but you will undoubtedly apply the skills you learned with your tentmates to maintain peace with new housemates.
Whether it was becoming Leader of the Day, going on your own student expedition, or getting through a really difficult day with a happy face, you definitely had ample chances during your course to put the “L” in NOLS. You’ve demonstrated your problem-solving abilities in high-stakes circumstances, and you’ve distinguished yourself by successfully confronting obstacles. NOLS courses are high-intensity social encounters.
You simply spent a lot of time with the same individuals every day, and everyone made it out alive. You most likely made some new pals as a result of it. What skills did you get as a result of the challenging task? Cooperation, teamwork, expedition conduct, and the four leadership positions can be used in a variety of situations, from the backcountry to the classroom.
We have put together a list of the top 10 best NOLS courses that you can sign up for today.
1. WFA 2 DAY
This entertaining, hands-on approach to backcountry medicine, delivered over two or two and a half days, will equip you for the unforeseen. This program is for you if you want to take short trips close to healthcare resources, work at wilderness camps, enjoy weekends family outdoor pursuits, or recreate outdoors. This course is appropriate for persons of all experience levels, but it is best suited for those who spend time outside where an EMS arrival can be expected quickly (fewer than eight hours). You’ll study how to use the Patient Assessment System, how to offer effective first-aid solutions for common outdoor injuries and diseases, and how to make proper evacuation choices. You’ll learn in both the classroom and outside, regardless of the weather, so dress for rainy, muddy, chilly, or scorching conditions!
2. Hybrid WFR Recert 2.5 Day Includes CPR
This course uses a hands-on approach as well as an online one. You can take advantage of their newly designed Wilderness First Responder Recertification, which incorporates an online system as well as traditional situations and abilities! Pre-work enables you to go over the curriculum at your own pace and concentrate on the hands-on portion of the course during your two days there. Prior to the course, you must complete all online components, along with a written exam. You’ll learn in both the classroom and outside, regardless of the weather, so dress for rainy, muddy, chilly, or scorching conditions! This course will challenge you to your limits, so be ready for that. But you are sure to have fun also.
3. Rockies to Baja Year
On this one-of-a-kind year-long trip, travel the length and width of North America. This program will push you and help you grow as an individual and a leader, starting in the snowcapped mountains of Wyoming and concluding in the beautiful seas of the Sea of Cortez. The trip is split into two semesters, with a winter break in between, providing for a fully immersed wilderness adventure. While the precise skills may differ based on the date of your program, all courses include a variety of survival skills that will equip you to be a well-rounded outdoors person and manager. No prior experience is necessary, as with most NOLS courses. You might come across spectacular red rock canyons in Utah, soaring granite peaks in Arizona, the teeming oceans of Baja California, and the sculpted terrain of the Sonoran Desert, among other locations. You’ll gain hands-on mentoring from devoted teachers as you learn to live outside, hike, sail, kayak surf (which is unique to this program!), and more. You’ll move through NOLS’ nationally recognized leadership curriculum as you travel. Though certain topics may be presented in sit-down sessions, you will acquire the majority of what you need to know via your daily encounters. Crossing a river will teach you how to work together and be resilient while summiting a hill will allow you to improve your communication and navigation abilities.
4. Baja Executive Leadership Kayak Expedition
Participate in a week-long corporate sea kayak excursion in Concepcion Bay, Baja, Mexico, with a select group of professionals from industry, politics, military, and non-profit organizations. It is intended for attendees to create a full understanding of expedition behavior as a driver for a dynamic and interactive work environment, as well as to speed up their leadership potential, learn from their peers’ life experience, start exploring their signature style as representatives, and explore their unique style as leaders.NOLS’ fundamental exploratory skills of effective communication, problem-solving, positive impact, and strategically producing results form the course’s basis. Participants overcome the considering environmental barriers of field-based learning in the wilderness by stepping outside of their comfort bubble, adjusting to a constantly changing set of settings, prioritizing group above self, and learning via collaboration. The course provides participants with transportable abilities that will help them advance and lead in their professional careers and communities.
5. Baja Sea Kayaking
A morning weather check is a great way to start your day. As you kayak to the next cove, inhale the salty air. Lie down on a desert seashore under a blanket of stars. Then repeat the process the next day. The Sea of Cortez will be your residence on this course. By sea kayak, you’ll tour the island’s shores and bays, beginning with the fundamentals like paddle form and moving to more difficult abilities like self-rescue. You’ll practice leadership skills such as communication skills and decision-making as you tour. You’ll set up the tent on the beach, where you may explore tide pools and look for the peculiar desert species that call this area home. As you go around the coast, you’ll have a greater understanding of the local fishing communities. You’ll develop as a leader in addition to learning about the coastline and culture of this region. New events will test your ability to operate together as a group.
6. India Trip Leader
For Indians and people from adjacent nations, this 21-day tour leader training is designed for them. The purpose is to provide hands-on, woods training in the complexities of outdoor leadership. Outdoor practitioners, aspiring outdoor managers, educators, and individuals with a strong interest in leadership will benefit from this course. The Kumaon region of the Himalaya will serve as the classroom for the course, which will focus on the NOLS core curriculum and instructional approaches. This program will trek approximately 100 kilometers over the course of 19 days, as is customary at NOLS. This is a self-contained adventure with minimal outside assistance. Instructors and participants are responsible for carrying their own tents, food, and fuel, as well as cooking their own meals.
7. LGBTQ+ Canyonlands Backpacking – Adult
Join this affinity group excursion to develop governance and exterior abilities with LGBTQ2IA+ people. In Utah’s canyonlands, all tiers of outdoor life are encouraged: whether you’re a first-time motorhome or an experienced backpacker, you’ll find new obstacles. This is an excellent opportunity to hone your leadership skills in a setting that values queer personalities. Backpack through the canyonlands’ stunning backdrop, which is dominated by towering red rock configurations. On your journey to your next campground, explore tiny slot gorges and wade across canyon ponds. Listen to the wind blowing through the pinyon pines as you fall asleep under the stars. On this expedition, you’ll begin by learning the fundamentals, such as how to cook on a camp stove and how to read a map. You’ll also take part in a mentored leadership development program with the help of seasoned instructors.
8. Gateway Partner Program
Through the Gateway Partnership Program, NOLS has teamed with a range of amazing organizations across the country to involve exceptional adolescents in NOLS trips. As a Gateway Partner Program participant, you will have the chance to establish beautiful and profound connections with your peers and teachers, resulting in a friendly and supportive learning and growth environment. You’ll learn to read maps, traverse off track, cook backcountry meals, and take on various leadership responsibilities as you become a seasoned wilderness traveler. These adventures offer priceless opportunities to renew and rejuvenate in breath-taking wilderness locations, sleep beneath the stars, and improve your outdoor abilities while challenging you to grow personally and professionally and become a problem solver.
9. Teton Valley Backcountry Avalanche Training
This is the course for you if you’re used to skiing or snowboarding in a resort and are looking for fast experimentation. Learn about the science of snow and enjoy some fresh powder. Make snow holes and practice your maneuvers in them. Then, to put your new skills to work, head into the wilderness. On this trip, you’ll concentrate on honing both your traveling and leadership abilities. By the end, you’ll have earned the NOLS Level I Avalanche Training certification, which is recognized by the American Avalanche Association, and will be ready to explore the backcountry. Your teachers will walk you through snow analysis and risk mitigation over the day. Then, as you tour the wilderness and learn how to identify effective routes through the hills, you’ll put your newfound knowledge to the test.
10. Southwest Outdoor Educator
You’ll focus on the skills you’ll need to manage, handle danger, and educate in the outdoors in this program created for existing and prospective outdoor teachers. Wake up to the sounds of the deserts and try to sleep to the howls of coyotes. While mountain climbing and trekking, set goals for yourself. Learn to manage these outdoor situations as a class at the same moment. On this program, you’ll alternate between backpacking and rock climbing. In the Kofa National Wildlife Refuge, the camping component will focus on life survival such as Leave No Trace, first aid, and map reading.