This 14-day backpacking course is primarily for Indians and
those from neighboring countries in the 15-17 age group. NOLS
is the premier training program for leadership and wilderness
education in the world, with eleven global locations including
A NOLS course is about having fun, learning about the outdoors,
traveling from camp to camp, exploring and achieving. Participants
will not only learn outdoor living skills, but also how to get
along with their group, and how to be a leader and an even better
follower. NOLS has been teaching this type of leadership, in
an expedition format, for 40 years. We believe that a NOLS course
will not only prepare participants for the rigors of daily life,
but also for a lifetime of enjoying the outdoors.
In true NOLS tradition, this course will trek approximately
80 km over a period of 12 days in the Kumaon Himalaya. This is
a self-contained expedition where instructors and participants
carry their tents, rations, fuel and cook their own meals. There
is one re-supply of rations and fuel. Students are divided into
tent groups and each tent group cooks their own food. Porter
support is minimal and only at the re-supply site.
Initially, classes will include basic camping (staying warm
and dry), cooking, map reading and hiking/travel techniques.
As participants get comfortable with this, the topics that will
be addressed include natural and human history of the area, Leave
no Trace (minimum impact camping and traveling) techniques, judgment
and decision-making, leadership and group dynamics. There will
be a few classes on wilderness first-aid and group discussions
on environmental issues that are pertinent to the area you travel
Participants should be prepared for hard travel days, as your
backpack will weigh at least 15-18 kilos. Being physically fit
will dramatically enhance this experience. On hiking days, the
route may involve between 5-8 hours of hiking. Non-hiking days
are busy with classes, learning the finer aspects of cooking,
baking, and catching up on rest.
Day 1 of the course is at Ranikhet at the NOLS base, where you
will get equipment, pack food, and make other preparations. On
day 2, you will leave by jeep for the roadhead. On day 13, the
course will return to Ranikhet in time for dinner. Day 14 involves
cleaning up gear, evaluations and graduation. We will take everyone
down to Kathgodam railway station in time for the trains to Delhi.
On successful completion of the course, participants will receive
a written evaluation and a NOLS diploma. It is possible to get
college credit through the University of Utah for this course.
More than 400 Universities in the U.S. accept credit for a NOLS
course. More details on college credit will be provided to those