Real Skills for Real Adults

Explore the Wilderness on your Own

Oscar Manguy

NOLS Prime Expeditions

Vacations are great for a week or two. NOLS teaches real skills in wild places so you can adventure for a lifetime.

NOLS Prime Expeditions are immersive 1- to 2-week wilderness experiences designed exclusively for adults 23 and over. 

While learning to climb, sail, backpack, and more, you’re getting experience making decisions and mentorship from your instructors on managing risk with your group—meaning you’ll finish the course ready to lead friends and family on your own wilderness trips.

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We’re mission-driven to be educators, not guides.

That means you’re the one learning to set up your tent, cook full meals on a camp stove, and be a leader in your group. While your instructors will provide mentorship and support, by the end of your course, their goal is to be your sidekick rather than your boss.

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Connect with others and fully own your experience.

The benefits of a course like this go beyond paddling a kayak alongside ice-blue glaciers, or reading a map to navigate Alaska’s flower-studded valleys.

When you focus on learning, you gain trust in yourself, the communication skills to cultivate a group culture, and the confidence to take risks and attack challenges.

Ready to Start the Real Adventure?

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NOLS Prime Expedition Highlights

  • Refining your personal leadership style
  • Practicing Leave No Trace principles
  • Connecting with and respecting local cultures
  • Forming relationships with your peers
  • Becoming a responsible, competent wilderness traveler

Blog: Stories From the Wild

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How to Convince Your Boss to Let You Take a NOLS Course

"It helped that I had a good pitch prepared..."... Read More


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A Leader and Parent Reflects on Her Brooks Range Course

"NOLS graduate, parent, and life coach Shelli Johnson talks with us about growth and lessons..."... Read More


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The Top 3 Leadership Lessons You Won't Learn in an Office or Classroom

"You might think that seven years of working in the business world would have taught me about leadership. Yet the best lessons I’ve learned have come while climbing rocks and mountains and hiking miles into the wilderness...."... Read More