Adirondack Backpack Adventure

Credit: Meriwether Hardie

Adirondack Backpack Adventure

Find new challenges in the Adirondacks

Join a group of your peers and start exploring the wilderness. On this course, you’ll dive into learning leadership and outdoor skills as you backpack through the hills and lakes of the Adirondack Forest Preserve, one of the oldest protected lands in the country. Climb high rocky peaks and cross chilly creeks. Learn about local ecology as you wander through ancient hardwood forests. Cook your dinner on a camp stove with a group of new friends, and fall asleep in your tent ready to take on the next day. Even if you’ve never been camping before, this course is a great way to learn more about the outdoors and yourself.

Leadership skills will be a key part of this course. You and your group will learn how to be leaders as you meet fresh challenges, and you’ll use your new skills every day. Making a decision about where to camp teaches you about good judgment, while resolving an argument teaches you about communication. These experiences will help you figure out what your leadership style is and how you support your group. At the end of this course, you’ll walk away with real experiences that will help you be a leader at school, at home, and for the rest of your life.



2019 Dates

June 20 – July 3, 2019

Tuition: $3,725

July 2 – July 15, 2019

Tuition: $3,725
4 spaces remain Apply now

July 12 – July 25, 2019

Tuition: $3,725
4 spaces remain Apply now

July 19 – Aug. 1, 2019

Tuition: $3,725

Aug. 5 – Aug. 18, 2019

Tuition: $3,725


All course information at a glance


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Equipment Deposit



14 days

Minimum Age

14 yrs.

Maximum Age

15 yrs.

Academic Credit

0.50 High School Credits

  • 0.50 Physical Education
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Course Description

Equipment List

Travel and Logistics


Paul Smiths, New York

Fly in/out

Saranac Lake Airport

Skills learned


Additional Details

Essential Eligibility Criteria

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What Our Grads Say

“Crawling out of my sleeping bag and putting on yesterday's still soaked hiking clothes was one of the hardest things I have ever done. We sourly packed our tents and prepped our backpacks. That evening, no one complained or frowned. The campsite was full of laughter and wet sleeping bags were hanging out to dry. The day started off cold and rainy, and even though that morning was the low point of the expedition, it is the first thing I think back on when people ask about my course.” 

— Chandler S., NOLS Adirondack Backpack Adventure grad

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