Category archives for Outdoor Skills and Advice

By Contributing Writer Aparna Rajagopal-Durbin, Faculty member and Diversity & Inclusion Manager at the National Outdoor Leadership School (NOLS), with help from Lindsay Yost, NOLS winter instructor. Photo courtesy of Brad Christensen/NOLS Oh adventurer, be not tempted this winter by the thought of lounging languidly on your La-Z -Boy in front of the hearth with…

By Aparna Rajagopal-Durbin, Field Instructor and Diversity and Inclusion Manager at the National Outdoor Leadership School (NOLS); Photograph by Ashley Wise The frigid wind was whipping at what must have been 60 miles per hour. Ok, maybe it was 30. All I know is I couldn’t feel my face. “This wind . . .,” I…

By Casey Dean, in-house writer for National Outdoor Leadership School (NOLS); photograph courtesy NOLS Forget a bikini bod—it’s time to start perfecting your skiing bod. While some people are amping up their diets and gym routines in a frantic attempt to look amazing when the family comes over for the holidays, others are hitting the…

By Contributing Writer Aparna Rajagopal-Durbin, faculty member and Diversity & Inclusion Manager and Casey Dean, writer-editor at the National Outdoor Leadership School (NOLS) As fall starts to give way to winter, the season’s dropping temperatures slowly add layers to the list of items I take on my adventures, be it climbing, camping, or backcountry skiing.…

By Aparna Rajagopal-Durbin, Field Instructor and Diversity and Inclusion Manager at the National Outdoor Leadership School; Photograph by Julie Hwang I had the trip planned for months. Reserved two llamas from Lander Llama Company. Made and remade my packing list ten times. Took my Deuter Kid Comfort II pack on some test runs. Mapped out…

By Contributing Writer Aparna Rajagopal-Durbin, faculty member and Diversity & Inclusion Manager at the National Outdoor Leadership School (NOLS) Just as our short growing season ends in Wyoming, game season has arrived. This means more meat (yay!), but fewer vegetables (boo!). While cleaning out my freezer of last year’s game and picking the last few…

By Contributing Writer Aparna Rajagopal-Durbin, Faculty Member and Diversity + Inclusion Manager at the National Outdoor Leadership School (NOLS); Photograph by Brian Hensien/NOLS Fall means school, changing leaves, football, holidays, pumpkins, and—for those of us in the Rockies—enjoying that last bit of mosquito-free balminess before winter descends. Fall is also unpredictable. Even a planned day…

By Contributing Writer Aparna Rajagopal-Durbin, faculty member and Diversity + Inclusion Manager at the National Outdoor Leadership School (NOLS); Photograph by Ashley Wise A lightning storm had just struck, with bolts hitting the peaks less than a quarter mile away. After waiting it out in lightning position, my NOLS coursemates and I thought the worst…

By Contributing Writer Aparna Rajagopal-Durbin, Faculty member and Diversity + Inclusion Manager at the National Outdoor Leadership School (NOLS); photographs, from top, by Andy Clifford, Rich Brame (3) Oh, the things you learn about yourself when you spend 35 days on a NOLS course in the wilderness with a backpack and a fly rod—and without…

By Contributing Writer Aparna Rajagopal-Durbin, Faculty member and Diversity + Inclusion Manager at the National Outdoor Leadership School (NOLS); photograph by Brad Bonner/WMI of NOLS You know that first aid kit stowed away in your bathroom cupboard? You know, that kit you bring with you when you’re out on an adventure, just in case? Do…

By Contributing Writer Aparna Rajagopal-Durbin, faculty member and Diversity & Inclusion Manager at the National Outdoor Leadership School (NOLS) ; photograph courtesy Deborah Sussex/NOLS So far my blog posts have kept to more practical advice for outdoor enthusiasts, but I figured every once in a while I would be entitled to a soapbox. See, I…

By Contributing Writer Aparna Rajagopal-Durbin, faculty member and Diversity + Inclusion Manager at the National Outdoor Leadership School (NOLS); photograph by Kevin Bergstrom/NOLS There's nothing like enjoying the breathtaking beauty of a scenic landscape only to be interrupted by a pile of poo and crumpled up toilet paper at your feet. How many times have…

By Contributing Writer Aparna Rajagopal-Durbin, faculty member and Diversity & Inclusion Manager at the National Outdoor Leadership School (NOLS) I can make a mean tikka masala in my own kitchen, but I’m a hack at backcountry cooking. Thankfully, I have my colleague, backcountry baking genius Kelly Sherwin to turn to for some tips. But despite differences…

By Contributing Writer Aparna Rajagopal-Durbin, faculty member and Diversity & Inclusion Manager at the National Outdoor Leadership School (NOLS) To me, the sun in the Wind River Range means bluebird skies and long, balmy days. But to the intense Rocky Mountain sun, I’m just a strip of bacon on a frying pan. My local pharmacy…

By Mark Cosslett; photograph courtesy Nate Volk I’ve spent a fair bit of time exploring the great outdoors within close proximity of wildlife, and probably far more time in the proximity of sharks then I realize or care to consider. If you will “bear with me” here, I’d like to talk about the precautions I’ve…

By Contributing Writer Aparna Rajagopal-Durbin, faculty member and Diversity & Inclusion Manager at the National Outdoor Leadership School (NOLS) and NOLS Research Intern Kate Herden Aaah, summer! The sweet smell of wildflowers, rain-soaked earth, and . . . ozone? Yes, the stormy months have arrived and in this year of apocalyptic flooding, best prepare yourself…

By Aparna Rajagopal-Durbin, Faculty member and Diversity + Inclusion Manager at the National Outdoor Leadership School (NOLS) and NOLS Research Intern Kate Herden “Preparedness” is relative. As I head out on a day hike to Popo Agie Falls with my toddler, his backpack is sure to contain “necessities,” such as Matchbox cars, toy dump trucks,…

By Aparna Rajagopal-Durbin, faculty member and Diversity and Inclusion Manager at the National Outdoor Leadership School (NOLS). Photograph by NOLS/Juan Queirolo It’s finally spring in the Rockies, and I’m about to head out on a five-week expedition into the Wind River Range, where I'll find high alpine meadows carpeted with wildflowers and clear lakes teeming…