Photo Credits

Scouting Victoria Falls

Kayakers scout below Victoria Falls (Mosi-oa-Tunya locally) on the Zambezi River between Zambia and Zimbabwe.

© Michael Long :

Field Safety    

Alex Kosseff

on 2/18/15


Book Review: Denali’s Howl

In his book review of Denali's Howl, OSI's founder and director Alex Kosseff critiques this recap of the famed mountaineering expedition in Alaska that took seven lives. Captivativing and insightful, this worthwhile read offers valuable lessons for today's mountaineers and outdoor leaders alike.

Field Safety    Tools & Toys    

Jim Margolis

on 1/29/15

Carabiner Failure at Pin

Should You Retire a Dropped Carabiner?

Contributor Jim Margolis–climber, NOLS instructor, and engineer–shares a (very) detailed analysis of strength alteration in his study of test-dropping carabiners. He discusses what outdoor programs and climbers have debated for ages: to retire or not to retire this fallen gear? Though when in doubt, throw it out, Jim tells us a drop from the waist should not cause much concern. Beeline to the first and final paragraphs for the main points; read between for a friendly dose of physics.

Field Safety    Tools & Toys    

Josh Beckner

on 1/26/15


Review: Mammut Safety App

Contributor Josh Beckner, Director of the School for International Expedition Training, offers his input on the popular Mammut Safety App used for assessing backcountry snow conditions. In this punchy review, Josh does not hold back in his critique of the app. Beyond strong points of altimeter, compass, and inclinometer, Josh heavily questions its overall safety. He wonders if some of its issues are simply due to language translation; regardless, he reminds us there is no replacement for training, sound judgment, and the standards already in place for avalanche assessment.

Program Management    

Andrew Leider

on 1/21/15

Andy Leider

5 Keys to Building a Risk Management Culture

Written by organizational consultant Andrew Leider, this important article addresses the foundational role of program culture in fostering effective risk management. Clear steps and key questions help assess and improve your program's environment of safety.

Program Management    Transportation    

Alex Kosseff

on 6/13/13

traffic cones used for driver training

Driver Training Cone Courses

Driving presents one of the greatest risks of catastrophic injury or loss of life on outdoor programs. The vehicles that are most often utilized—15 passenger vans—are not the easiest to handle, especially with trailers. Cone courses are a great way to train drivers and reduce the potential for accidents.

OSI News    Outdoor Leadership    

OSI Staff

on 6/7/13

AMC Guide to Outdoor Leadership, Kindle Edition

Outdoor Leadership Guide eBook

The AMC Guide to Outdoor Leadership, 2nd Edition, by OSI’s Alex Kosseff, has just become available in as an ebook in  KindleNook and iOS (iPad, iPhone, & iPad Touch) formats. This is the best reviewed outdoor leadership book on Amazon with ten 5-star reviews, and it is used a the text for numerous outdoor leadership courses!

Program Management    OSI News    

Alex Kosseff

on 6/5/13

Volunteer Leader Training

Volunteer Risk Management Forum

As risk management in professionally led outdoor programs continues to improve, how do volunteer based programs fit in? A pre-conference session at the annual Wilderness Risk Management Conference, on September 30, 2013 will explore these issues. Facilitated by Sierra Club's Mel MacInnis and OSI's Alex Kosseff.

Field Safety    Program Management    

Alex Kosseff

on 5/28/13

Shaking Hands in Agreement

Subcontracting Outdoor Programs

Subcontracting is a common occurrence in outdoor programs. There are many potential benefits to subcontracting including transferring risk to a better qualified organization. There are also potential pitfalls from a risk management perspective—learn how to avoid them.

Field Safety    Incidents    Outdoor Leadership    

Alex Kosseff

on 5/8/13

Sheep Creek 12' Avalanche Crown

Questions After 5 Die in Avalanche

Colorado's deadliest avalanche in 50 years killed 5. The group, many of whom had just met, came together as part of the Rocky Mountain High Backcountry Gathering, an event intended to promote backcountry snowboarding and avalanche safety. Questions about how such incidents can be prevented and links to some of the best coverage.

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By OSI's Alex Kosseff AMC Guide to Outdoor Leadership, 2nd Ed AMC Guide to Outdoor Leadership
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