2. On the Road


Exploring the rugged Baja coastline.

Paul Petzold, who founded the National Outdoor Leadership School (NOLS), was a legendary mountaineer who participated in many expeditions around the world. I worked as an NOLS instructor for 14 years, taking students in the wilderness for 30 days at a time. Students would learn a variety of backcountry skills from route finding to rock climbing. One thing I learned very quickly: Planning logistics during the first couple of days was crucial to the success of the month-long expedition. As Petzold liked to say, “Prior planning prevents piss-poor performance.” Boy, was he right.

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