“The most rewarding thing about this course was being able to learn as much as I did about people skills and leadership as well as the sheer physical accomplishment involved.”
There’s nothing quite like seeing the remote wilderness on your own two feet, carrying all your own gear on your back while gaining the tools necessary to become a great leader in the backcountry and at home.
Backpacking courses often hike three out of every four days. You’ll travel in small hiking groups so you have more opportunities to lead, make decisions, and map read as you move through beautiful wilderness. Hiking days begin early when you light your stove, cook and enjoy breakfast, and then organize and pack your pack.
You’re usually hiking by mid-morning. Lunch on the trail might be bread you baked the day before, or a trail mix of nuts and dried fruits. You may stop for a short class on natural history, or to learn how to cross a river, travel through boulders or snow, or move over a high pass. When you arrive at your new camp location, you'll first spend time choosing a Leave No Trace site and organizing camp, then you’ll prepare a well-deserved dinner. If the day was long, a short evening meeting may wrap up the day. If the hike was short, there may be a class or discussion.
NOLS courses travel on the world’s best rivers and oceans for learning paddling skills, from the wild whitewater of the Salmon River to the Yukon’s pristine Hess River, all the way to the Kimberley coastline of Australia. You'll scout rapids and practice rescue techniques and learn lining and portaging skills as well.
With over 6.1 million acres, patchwork of public and private lands, the Adirondack Park in northern New York is the largest park in the Lower 48, yet it is just hours from major population centers such as Montreal, New York City, and Boston.
This is NOLS’ newest wilderness classroom and the ideal place in the Northeast for a unique wilderness experience. Sparkling lakes, tannin-colored ponds, and rivers large and small punctuate this landscape, while Mount Marcy and other high peaks preside over countless lesser peaks and valleys of the Adirondack Mountains to provide a spectacular setting for adventurous mountain travel.
Experience the landscape that provided shelter and sustenance to the Algonquian and Mohawk Native Americans and the unique boreal forests that are home to beaver, deer, moose, fisher, pine marten, osprey, lynx, and over 250 species of birds. Come along with NOLS Northeast and explore the Adirondack Mountains while practicing real leadership and outdoor living skills.