NOLS has teamed up with lightweight gear and skills leaders GoLite and Backpacking Light Magazine to offer ultralight backpacking skills courses to their adult students. These courses represent NOLS' first foray into ultralight backpacking, the most recognized trend in the outdoors over the past decade.

“This is an ideal partnership,” said NOLS' executive director, John Gans. “We've recognized the lightweight trend, and we're very excited to be able to capitalize on NOLS' world-class instructors backed up by GoLite's and Backpacking Light's enormous expertise and excellent products. We see this as the first of many lightweight NOLS courses to come.”

The new 14-day NOLS courses, “Light and Fast Backpacking,” will be offered in August 2006. Outfitted with backpack base loads of only 10 to 15 pounds (not including the consumables like food and fuel), course participants will hike with freedom and the added safety of a lighter pack to some of Wyoming's most remote and beautiful ranges. Students will learn the skills, knowledge, and philosophy behind “going light,” from cooking one-pot meals, to advanced body temperature regulation and stealth camping techniques.

“We're honored to be working with NOLS,” said GoLite co-founder and CEO Kim Coupounas. “These courses can enable a new generation of outdoor enthusiasts to experience the fun and freedom that lightweight backpacking affords.”

“Teaching lightweight backcountry skills in the NOLS curriculum will improve the leadership quality of their graduates,” says Backpacking Light Magazine publisher, Ryan Jordan. “They will not only take home the NOLS experience, but they will take home the most advanced techniques and trends that are shaping tomorrow's outdoor experience.”

NOLS, GoLite, and Backpacking Light Magazine have been designing this course for the past six months. GoLite co-founder and president, Demetri Coupounas, and Backpacking Light's founder and publisher, Ryan Jordan, both experts in lightweight backcountry travel skills, will be training NOLS instructors in spring 2006. GoLite and other companies will be supplying both instructors and students with optimal lightweight gear and clothing for the courses.