I had made plans to go to the Philippines in late February and early March with my girlfriend of 2 years. Things, however, have been deteriorating. We decided about 10 days ago to end things. She still would like me to go on the trip, and it would be a blast, but I've decided not to go.
However, I've opened up my work calendar for two weeks, so I started to think about what type of trip I'd like to do on my own.
I got on the NOLS website and there is a 2 week backpacking/flyfishing trip in Chile. I've contacted NOLS and there is one opening in the course, which will have a total of 12 "students".
I've been wanting to flyfish in Patagonia for years, but have never had the opportunity. Making it a backpacking trip is all the better.
In any event, I'm looking for feedback from others on positives and negatives of NOLS trips.
If you are an experienced backpacker and fly-fisherman, you may find the course content fairly elementary, but the experience will still be pretty remarkable.
NOLS courses are typically designed for novices to becomes competent wilderness wilderness travellers. Those with more experience often focus on opportunities for added leadership. And the wilderness areas are usually truly breathtaking.
Packs will likely be pretty heavy, but the school is working to lighten this up as well, and typically the 2-week courses only require you to carry 7 days of food at a time, instead of the normal 10-12 days, all of which will contribute to a lighter pack. Still, plan on at least 50 pounds. Possibly more if you are a bigger guy. They tend to base pack weight on %age of body weight, so you may wind up with more group gear.