NOS Mission

Nevada Outdoor School inspires exploration of the natural world, responsible stewardship of our habitat and dedication to community.
This is the spot for us to share stories, fun ideas or general musings. When you aren't in here, we hope to see you out there!

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Trail Log

Conserving what I love.
Sequoia Kings Canyon National Park, CA

"In the end we will conserve only what we love. We will love only what we understand. We will understand only what we are taught." - Baba Dioum

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

LNT on the TRT

Last weekend Nevada Outdoor School partnered with the Tahoe Rim Trail Association to host a Leave No Trace Trainer Course. Not only did we cover some exciting outdoor ethics materials, but we also covered some ground! We backpacked the 22-mile section of the Tahoe Rim Trail from Tahoe Meadows to Spooner Lake. We had opportunities to practice LNT principles, including Be Considerate of Other Visitors while sharing the trail with a wealth of mountain bikers and Respect Wildlife by storing our food properly in bear boxes. Throughout the hike participants enjoyed views of the Sierra Nevada Mountains and vistas of Lake Tahoe – I’ll put this trip in the success column.

Tracking our progress on the first day of our epic hike

LNT Trainers ready to impart LNT wisdom

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Lighten Your Load

I am about to embark on the longest backpacking trip I’ve been on – 22 miles. For some that may be a stroll, for others that might be an epic distance. Either way, that’s not a distance I want to carry 35 pounds. I’ve heard various numbers for how much your pack should weigh; including a third of your body weight, in which case I’m good to go. Recently I found a figure of 15 to 25 percent of your body weight; now my pack needs to lose at least five pounds. Here are some weight-loss ideas I put into practice:

- Swapped my camp shoes from Chacos to light-weight slip-ons. That just cut about two pounds, plus the point of camp shoes is to make less of an impact and my slip-ons have no tread left on the bottom – Mother Nature wins too.
- Traded my super-cush Thermorest for a three-quarter length lighter one.
- Lightened up on the trail mix. I always seem to hike back to the trailhead with an absurd amount of trail mix left, not this time!
- Photocopied the section of the trail we’ll be hiking, instead of packing the map of the entire Tahoe Basin.
- Removed the day-pack attachment; we’ll be through-hiking so there was no need for a day-pack besides to add extra weight.
- Combined educational materials. This is a Leave No Trace Trainer Course, which adds instructional materials to my pack weight. I ditched the clips and rubber bands and combined everything in one sandwich bag.
- Opted for a down-feather sleeping bag. Ok, this was done a long time ago because my synthetic sleeping bag weighed five pounds and took up a third of my pack space. My down bag weighs half of that and compresses significantly smaller.

What good did all of that do me? Eight pounds! I’m much more excited about this trip now that I’m only carrying 27 pounds. Pick up a copy of Lighten Up! A complete handbook for Light & Ultralight backpacking by Don Ladigin for ideas on lightening your pack. Illustrations are by Mike Clelland, who also did the illustrations for Allen & Mike’s Really Cool Backpackin’ Book.

The best way to find out strategies for light backpacking is through experience and the experienced. How have you cut pack weight?


Wednesday, September 7, 2011

National Public Lands Day

NPLD is coming up! Join public land managers near you to lend a hand during the nation’s largest, single-day volunteer event for public lands. There are opportunities across the United States – find one close to you at Or join us for an event!

September 16th – 18th
Join Nevada Outdoor School along with a few of our partners: Friends of Nevada Wilderness, Friends of Black Rock High Rock, and the Bureau of Land Management, for a weekend of education, fellowship, and restoration in the Black Rock Desert-High Rock Canyon-Emigrant Trails-National Conservation Area. A variety of restoration projects will be completed on this trip, including “KTM campground” clean up and spring monitoring. Families are encouraged to attend; NOS will provide youth programs during the restoration events. Give us a call at the office for more information 775-623-5656.

NPLD Kids’ Camp 2010

September 23rd – 25th
Join Friends of Nevada Wilderness and the USDA Forest Service - Santa Rosa Ranger District in the Santa Rosa-Paradise Peak Wilderness for a trail-maintenance backpacking trip. Contact Wes at or 775-324-7667 for details.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Destination Recreation: Lamoille Canyon

Our education staff is gearing up for our annual fifth-grade field trip to Lamoille Canyon; we think you should venture out to this glacier-carved granite-fest too!

Destination: Lamoille Canyon
Adventurer: Shelby Hollmaier
Chosen Activity: Rock climbing and enjoying the scenery

Allure: Close enough for a day trip, but far enough to "get away" Lamoille Canyon is a beautiful location for a variety of outdoor recreation. There's something for every adventurer whether you're looking for a few days hiking the backcountry or a few hours picnicking by the river. Rock climbers will love the vast array of faces available for both trad and sport climbing or bouldering with well maintained hardware.

Other Activities: hiking, backpacking, camping, bicycling, horseback riding, fishing, hunting, photography, geocaching, snowshoeing, cross-country skiing, snowmobiling
Location: North-eastern Nevada, twenty miles south-east of Elko off Lamoille Highway
America’s Byways – Lamoille Canyon Road
Nevada Rock Climbing
USDA Forest Service – Ruby Mountains Ranger District

Nevada Adventures – Lamoille Canyon

Visit the Nevada Outdoor School website – Destination Recreation page to explore the rest of our favorite places to play in Nevada.