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, May 31, 2012

Adventure Resolutions: Fine Dinning

Back in March I set a few Adventure Resolutions. Well I have my first update for you! The resolution I worked on last week was fine dinning.

I tried out a couple different non-dehydrated dinners while at Strawberry Music Festival. I know it wasn't a backpacking trip, but I liked the comfort of having a number of food vendors should my experiments go awry. However, they were not needed!

My favorite new backcountry dinner is pizza! The Backpacker recipe I was inspired by called for ready-made dough, but I was in a hurry during prep so I purchased already-made pizza crusts at the store. I was using my backpacking stove, which is really just ideal for boiling water making things a bit tricky.

At home: Packaged pizza crust in tin foil, cut up green bell peppers, and repackaged pepperoni and pizza sauce. To be honest, I don't remember what kind of cheese I used but it was a harder cheese so it would last longer out of the refrigerator. If I was backpacking I would repackage all toppings to minimize bulk.

At camp: Sprayed the frying pan with Pam (while backpacking I'll use olive oil - packs smaller), place pizza crust in, spread desired amount of sauce on, sprinkle cheese on top, add pepperoni and bell pepper. I used the tin foil the crust was wrapped in to make a lid. Now here's the important part if you're on a backpacking stove - set the burner very low and rotate the pan regularly, cooking your pizza for about 10 minutes or until the cheese melts.

This is what happens if you don't rotate the pan!

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

To Build a Yurt, Dome... Thingy.

It was mentioned recently in this blog that is it always a good idea to do a gear shake-down before a new season, point well taken.  I would like to reiterate that this is particularly important when using a new piece of equipment for the first time.  It could then be said that it is even more important when this new piece of equipment is a 30’ diameter yurt dome, and doubly important again when you are now expecting to use it for the first time in wind, rain and near-freezing temperatures.  Well, due to the generous folks at Winnemucca Grammar School, we were able to try out the new NOS yurt dome in the warm, dry and wind-free environment of their gymnasium.  After a bit of head-scratching and elbow grease, we did manage to get the dome up and down in about 3 hours and we certainly confirmed that it would not have been the place to be working out all of the kinks in less than ideal conditions.  It will be interesting to see if the practice run pays off at Black Rock Rendezvous this weekend, but I am guessing it will.  Whatever you are up to this holiday weekend, be sure to have fun out there.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

No More Picnic Baskets For Yogi

Try those puppy eyes on someone else chipmunk, cause you aren't getting any of my sandwich; and let me tell you why:

1. Cheetos and Skittles are not part of a natural diet for wildlife, their stomachs just aren't made to digest our food and they may get sick.
2. If people feed wildlife they may forget how to find their own food that they need to stay healthy.
3. Wildlife may associate people with food, which can become dangerous for them and us.

So remember, next time that chipmunk is giving you puppy eyes with a little drool coming out of the side of his mouth tell him to go for a hike and find some natural food!

A chipmunk in serious need of his natural diet.
-Trail's Mix

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Kids in a Cave

This month, local fourth graders will have a unique opportunity to see a historic place in northern Nevada. Nevada Outdoor School (NOS), in partnership with the BLM and other groups, will accompany students to Lovelock, Nevada where they will visit the famous Lovelock Cave. For anyone unfamiliar with Lovelock Cave, it is on the National Register of Historic Places, making it one of many sites in the United States that are essential to the interpretation of our nation’s past and present. Many thousands of artifacts have been recovered from Lovelock Cave over the years, from elaborate mats and bags made of tule and cattail leaves to the remarkable cache of duck decoys; at over 2000 years old they are the oldest in the world!  In addition to visiting Lovelock Cave, students will tour the Marzen House museum, which will give them a taste of what life was like way before they were born!  Equally exciting, are the variety of presentations and hands-on events led by Paiute Tribe members, representatives from the Emigrant Trail Center in Elko, and many others!
To prepare for this amazing trip, NOS visited classrooms to talk about context and why it is important, especially in archeology. Students played a game where they were challenged to guess a room, when only given a few objects that might be in that room. After each round of guessing, an object was removed so that students would eventually have to guess the room when only given a single object contained in that room! This helped them to understand how crucial context can be. Naturalists spoke about why the Leave No Trace principle of Leave What You Find, is important to follow when exploring the outdoors. NOS Naturalists relay an event that happened a few years ago at Lovelock Cave when an inquisitive student removed a piece of a basket artifact from the cave that an archeologist left out for field trip participants to observe. As a result, everyone didn’t get a chance to see the artifact, and the basket piece is sitting on a shelf, under a bed, or maybe even in landfill where no one can learn from or see it. Students are reminded to take only pictures and leave only footprints.
by: Merre - NOS Naturalist

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Lace Up Your Boots: Gear Shake Down

Last weekend I went on my first camping trip of the year. It was only for one night, but it was a great opportunity to get back in the camping mindset and a great time to do a gear shake down.

Thankfully I remembered the essentials (tent, sleeping bag, etc), but forgot my morning tea and my face wash wipes. Not too shabby for the first trip of the season. The trip also gave me a chance to break in my new hiking boots, for Aspen to try out her doggie backpack, and to test out my new camp stove.

A note on the camp stove, I purchased propane on the way to the campground, which didn’t give me a chance to test it beforehand. NEVER TAKE UNTESTED GEAR INTO THE FIELD. At least not the essentials – stove, water filter, etc. To compensate for this I took my tried and true backpacking stove as a backup.

Your challenge – do a gear shake down: you can just set up your equipment in your yard, take a short camping trip, or venture in the wilderness for a night or two. Let us know how it goes!

Aspen is ready for this summer!