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NOLS Winter Camping


 NOLS Winter Camping
 

by Sean Hudson

March 28, 2005

Long considered by many as one of the best educators of outdoor skills and leadership, the National Outdoor Leadership School (NOLS) teach many students about winter camping and travel. Each year, NOLS instructors take students on winter excursions to places like Teton Valley, Patagonia, the Himalayan Mountains, and other remote locations teaching them the finer points of surviving in extreme environments. Buck Tilton and John Gookin have taken the time to write a book based on NOLS curriculum so that everyone can learn useful things like: how to layer clothes, how to maneuver a pack sled, how to sleep comfortably in the cold, basic avalanche safety, and backcountry first aid.

To an experienced winter backcountry user, many of the lessons and techniques described in this book may seem too elementary to be worthwhile. However, even I was able to glean a few great tips that I didn’t know or had forgotten. My favorite new tip is the use of duct tape and klister wax on your skis … “1) Scrape the kick wax from your ski. 2) Stick a strip of duct tape on the bottom in the kick zone. 3) Apply the klister over the tape. 4) When you no longer need klister, peel off the duct tape, and away it goes.”

Like the mega-classic Mountaineering: Freedom of the Hills is to newbie climbers and mountaineers, NOLS Winter Camping is the equivalent to neophyte winter travelers. If you are new to winter camping, this book coupled with some common sense can get you out the door and enjoying winter travel. Many tips in this book will help you on your next mountaineering or ice climbing trip that requires an overnight stay or extended travel in the winter wilderness.

About the Authors

Buck Tilton is a co-founder of the National Outdoor Leadership School’s Wilderness Medicine Institute and winner of the Paul K. Petzoldt Award for Excellence in Winter Education. He has written numerous books on the outdoors and is a contributing editor to Backpacker magazine. John Gookin is an instructor and curriculum manager for the National Outdoor Leadership School.

Published by Stackpole Books, 2005.


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