What we're about

Want to spend more time in nature, learn new skills, and meet great people? This is one of the biggest and fastest growing meetup communities in the Midwest for people interested in wilderness/outdoor adventure. All skill levels are welcome and we like to offer plenty of opportunities for members to meet up and practice or learn skills. To do this, we have free social events at least once per month that focus on things like backpacking skills, wild edibles, cold weather adventure, day hikes, gear, or just sitting around the fire sharing stories.

This group is run by outdoor professionals trained in wilderness medicine and adventure guiding. We help people become more skilled, more experienced, and more confident outdoors. We don't care if you have the most expensive gear on the market or make your own at home. What matters is getting out more often and having fun.

We hold a variety of exciting formal courses and trips for our members. These events are chosen based on member interest and include trips and programs such as Wilderness First Aid certifications, backpacking and canoe camping trips, survival courses, cooking classes, extreme winter camping, and more! We also do big international expeditions. From Mt. Everest to the Arctic to the Amazon Jungle these trips are organized and guided by us.

We never want to exclude anyone from classes or trips so please contact your organizer with any questions or concerns. We can help you to be fully equipped for any adventure so come on out and join us!

Upcoming events (4)

Winter Camping Symposium - World Class Speakers - Family Friendly - Come On Out!

Whether you're a beginner or seasoned snow trekker, this annual event brings together some of the greatest outfitters, gear makers, guides, and experts in the winter camping world. Come take a class on snowshoe weaving, toboggan building, or cast iron cooking. Listen to stories from arctic expeditions and deep snow trekking. Learn the ins and outs of cold weather camping and more! The purpose of the Winter Camping Symposium is to educate, collaborate and celebrate everything Winter! Winter campers and enthusiasts from around the region come together to share ideas and show off new creations which aid in the adventures of winter outdoor activities. From cold camping to hot camping, from kite sailing to building your own stove, from arctic adventures to sleeping in a quinzee in the backyard, from gear swaps to a chili feed, this event covers it all! Join us for a long weekend of camaraderie and exploration! I have been invited to Keynote this year's event on Friday night and I'll be presenting a few other topics over the weekend as well. The event starts Thursday but you can join us anytime over the weekend. Good food, great people, and incredible talks and workshops. They have activities for kids as well throughout the whole event. Bring the family :) Price: $30 registration + $30 camping fee or lodging >More info on registration can be found on the website >http://wcs.eventnut.com/

Wilderness First Aid Certification Course/Campout (WFR-Recert Also Available!)

This certification course is taught by Nick Gordon aka Nickofthewoods and backed by the SOLO, the undisputed leader in wilderness medicine. Accidents happen. People get hurt, sick, or lost. The temperature drops, the wind picks up, and it starts to rain. Would you know what to do? By learning a few basic skills, you can make the difference between a good outcome and a bad one - and maybe even save a life. Wilderness First Aid (WFA) and Wilderness First Responder (WFR) are hands-on training designed to meet the needs of trip leaders, camp staff, outdoor enthusiasts, and individuals working in remote locations. WFA is a 16 hour (two day) course that focuses on the basic skills of: Response and Assessment, Musculoskeletal & Soft Tissue Injuries, Environmental & Medical Emergencies, Survival Skills, and more. A large part of wilderness medicine is gaining the knowledge and confidence to help others and think outside the box when you have very limited equipment. This means learning to improvise medical necessities such as splints, bandages, and more from the materials you have with you outdoors. During the course, you will participate in discussions and demonstrations combined with realistic scenarios where mock patients will challenge you to integrate your learning. Upon completion, you will receive a SOLO WFA certification (valid for two years) or re-certify your current WFR for another 3 years. This two-part class runs 8:00am-5:00pm both Saturday and Sunday. You must have current CPR for WFA or WFR to be valid. CPR/AED can be added for a small fee of $35. Learning takes place in an outdoor sheltered settings. Come prepared for any weather. Early spring can bring warm sunshine or deep snow. Camping is free on site or you can stay at a hotel in town. Included: • All Instruction • Wilderness First Aid Book and Certification Card • All class materials • Add CPR for $35 • Primitive Camping • Water and Firewood Choose the appropriate class: >Wilderness First Aid - $180 >Wilderness First Responder Re-Certification - $200 >Add CPR for just $35 >Paypal link is www.paypal.me/nickofthewoods >Checks and money apps are also accepted. Please pm for details Please include your full name, email address, and phone number in a comment on paypal or a letter with your check. Please send all questions to [masked] Nick Gordon, Wilderness EMT, is owner and lead instructor for NOW Outdoors LLC. He teaches more than a dozen wilderness adventure courses for UW-Milwaukee and teaches for the SOLO School of Wilderness Medicine. Since 2009, Nick has been teaching and guiding wilderness adventure, medicine, and survival courses throughout the Midwest and abroad including Nepal, Canada, Peru, and deep in the Amazon Jungle.

Cambodia-Kingdom of Water: A One of a Kind Expedition on the Mighty Mekong River

12/30/2019 to 1/14/2020 (Bonus! News Years In Cambodia) Join expedition guides Nick Gordon "NOW Outdoors" and Garrett Cooper "Feral Human Expeditions" for this one of a kind paddle adventure in the Kingdom of Cambodia. Check out our video from last year! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iqQr5h67dI0 Most of our time in Cambodia will be spent paddling the mighty Mekong River and the Tonle Sap Lake. We'll paddle the "back streets” of a village built on stilts towering over the water, explore an otherworldly flooded forest, and see the endangered Irrawaddy Dolphin. Accommodations include camping on islands, staying in remote villages, sleeping in floating houses, and spending a few nights in hotels/lodges. In addition to the paddling sections of the trip, we'll investigate Cambodia’s dark past with the Khmer Rouge, explore the awe inspiring Angkor Wat, and visit a bird sanctuary. Where: Fly into Phnom Penh, Cambodia. For your flight home you have the option to fly out of Siem Reap on the last day (more expensive), or come with us on the 6 hour drive back to Phnom Penh. Included: Lodging, most meals, starting with dinner on day 1 and ending with lunch on day 15, boats, gear usage for paddling/and camping, most entrance fees, airport pick up and drop off, all ground transportation during the tour, local Cambodian guides/interpreters, and all day tours. Not included: Flights, entrance visa, alcoholic beverages, beverages between meals while in cities, 8 meals, entrance to Angkor Wat, personal travel insurance, laundry, tips for local staff, and any unscheduled activities. Level of Difficulty: Moderate, paddling up to 6 hours a day while going down river. You should be comfortable maneuvering your boat in a light current, getting in and out of your boat, walking up a fairly steep river bank, and being outside in any weather. You must be comfortable camping for up to 3 consecutive nights with no facilities. Food: We will eat at a variety of restaurants in cities and villages. While camping, meals are prepared by staff. Most food is included but expect to purchase 6-8 meals while in cities. Lodging: In cities, we'll stay in a wide variety of hotels including basic rooms that may not have air conditioning. Two person tents are provided for camp. We will spend one night as a group on our sleeping pads in a house during a home stay in a small village. Another night will be spent on a floating house on beds with approx. 4 to a room. Total trip tuition: $3800 $500 deposit to secure your spot (non-refundable after April 1st 2019) Paypal Link: www.paypal.me/nickofthewoods/500 Cash, checks, and payment apps are also accepted. Please contact me with any questions. I am happy to help. >>>I cannot fit the full itinerary in the space provided here on meetup but I am happy to provide details via PM or email. PM Nickofthewoods for more info. Nick Gordon, NREMT and Wilderness EMT, is owner and lead instructor for NOW Outdoors. He teaches more than a dozen wilderness adventure courses for UW-Milwaukee and teaches for the SOLO School of Wilderness Medicine. Since 2009, Nick has been teaching and guiding wilderness adventure, emergency readiness, and survival courses throughout the Great Lakes region and abroad including Canada, Nepal, SE Asia, Peru, and Colombia. In addition to running the largest outdoor themed meetup community in Wisconsin, he also volunteers as a Regional Coordinator for the Wisconsin Association for Environmental Education. Garrett Cooper, owner and founder of Feral Human Expeditions, is an adjunct professor for the Expeditionary Studies department at Plattsburgh State University and also teaches Wilderness Medicine for SOLO. He is an accomplished expedition medic with experience paddling throughout Cambodia and Vietnam teaching CPR and the Heimlich maneuver in several villages. He is a Wilderness EMT, Geo Medic, ACA level 2 river kayak instructor, BCU L1 coach, and a BCU 4 star trainee for both canoe and sea kayak.

Peru - June 2020 - All Inclusive 5 Day Ausangate Mountain Circuit Trek

What: Ausangate Circuit Trek When: June 1st-6th 2019 Deposit Deadline March 1st 2020 Who: 12 adventurous meetup members who are ready to join us for an incredible high altitude trek over 17,300 feet in this remote and beautiful section of the Peruvian Andes! This multi-day trek is tucked away in a well-hidden section of the Vilcanota Mountain range and includes the ENTIRE Ausangate Circuit. This route is 62 miles long and climbs from 10,827ft to over 17,300ft. We will be hiking in the shadow of Ausangate, the highest mountain in the Cusco Region. This is a truly remote wilderness trek with incredible views of the Peruvian Andes. This is a moderate to challenging trek, not technical, with several high passes. The campsites are at high elevations and will be below freezing at night. It is essential to be properly acclimatized for this hike, spending at least two or three days in Cusco (or equivalent altitude) before starting. If you plan to participate in the 10 day Machu Picchu trip prior to this trek, you will already be acclimated. Highlights: pristine wilderness, lots of wildlife, glacial mountains, turquoise lakes, Rainbow Mountains, Ausangate Mountain! Secluded hot springs the last night on trail! Distance: 62 miles Duration: 5 Days/4 Nights Altitude 10,827ft to 17,300ft Adventure Rating: 5/5 Moderate to strenuous, lengthy, high altitude Solitude Rating: 5/5 Quiet, remote, off the beaten track Location/Terrain: multiple high passes, rocky terrain, cold nights > This is a great add on to the 10 day Machu Picchu trip found here: www.meetup.com/NOW-Outdoors-Chicago/events/[masked]/ As Always >>> A full gear list and other important information will be provided. Cost: $1100 Deposit Due March 1st 2020>>> $400 (Non refundable) >Paypal link www.paypal.me/nickofthewoods/ >Checks are also accepted. Please pm for details Trip Includes: • All airport transfers • Full rescue insurance valued at $200 • Camping at the hot springs • Hotel stay on the day of arrival • Private transport to start of the trek • Personal porter to carry your overnight gear up to 8kg/17.6lbs • Dry bag for your overnight gear so it won’t get wet or dusty along the trail • 3 person, 4 season tents (2 people in large and comfortable tent) • One inch thick foam mattress pad • Self-inflating Alps Mountaineering mattress pad • Wool blanket, pillow, hot water bottle for your feet at night • Dining tent with tables and stools • Toilet tent with toilet and toilet paper • English speaking professional guide • Full meals on trek (3 meals per day, tea time every afternoon, and snacks on the trail) • First-aid kit including emergency oxygen tank and emergency horse • Chef, cooking equipment, and kitchen tent • Horsemen and horses (to carry tents, food, cooking equipment, and your duffel bags) • Hot water every morning and evening for hand washing purposes • Boiled water to fill your water bottle every morning and afternoon • Entrance to the Ausangate/Rainbow trail • Private transport back to your hotel in Cusco Not Included • International flight • Dinner on the last day • Sleeping bags and walking poles • Tips for your guides, porters, and trek staff are optional but highly encouraged if you enjoy your trek. If you would like more information, email us at [masked] Nick Gordon, NR-WEMT, is the owner and lead guide for NOW Outdoors LLC. He teaches more than a dozen adventure recreation courses for UW-Milwaukee and teaches for the SOLO School of Wilderness Medicine. Since 2009, Nick has been teaching and guiding wilderness adventure, medicine, and survival programs throughout the Midwest and abroad including Nepal, Canada, Peru, Brazil, Cambodia, and deep in the Amazon Jungle.

Photos (215)