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!

Wednesday, November 18, 2020

Holiday Buying Guide for Your Outdoorsy People

As we move into the holiday season, Nevada Outdoor School is counting every blessing!  We deeply appreciate the support we have received from the community.  It’s truly a gift to get to serve and connect kids 0 - 99 with our natural world. 

Getting outside and exploring is a gift you can give yourself no matter the season!  However, the holiday season is an excellent opportunity to give the outdoorsy people in your life the gift of being prepared for any outdoor adventure they might take. 

The first principle of Leave No Trace is “Plan Ahead and Be Prepared”, making sure you are equipped with the right information and supplies to have a fun, safe and minimal impact outdoor adventure before you ever leave your house.  The 10 Essentials, formalized by the Mountaineers, outlines 10 essential systems needed for a successful and safe outdoor adventure whether you’re hiking 1 mile or 50. It also serves as an excellent holiday shopping guide for the outdoor enthusiasts in your life!

You can easily remember the The Mountaineers Ten Essentials list with this fun limerick by Steve McClune:

To navigate, head for the sun
With first aid and knife on the run
Bring fire and shelter
Extra food
is a helper
But water and clothes weigh a ton 

Still wondering what specific gifts might do the trick?  Here are some ideas:

1.    Navigation- Tech savvy electronic devices like GPS units and smart phones offer knowledge to the unskilled navigator, however, failure and non-connectivity rates are high.  For this reason, purchasing non-electronic tools like maps and compasses for your outdoor adventurer adds a level of safety. 

2.    Headlamp (Light) - Sometimes an adventure takes longer than planned.  A light source like a headlamp or a flashlight allows your loved one to find their way back to the trailhead even after sunset.  Reusable batteries and a battery charger to keep these light sources charged and working throughout the year is also a great gift idea.

3.    Sun protection- Even in winter the sun is harsh.  Sunscreen is a great stocking-stuffer.  Fun, cool, and functional hats, sunglasses and UV protective clothes are usually a hit with outdoor enthusiasts.  

4.    First Aid - Allergic reactions, bee stings, and minor scrapes and falls are common occurrences.  It’s important to be prepared to treat these ailments if you spend a lot of time in nature.  Foot care products to help prevent blisters like moleskin, insect repellent and small First Aid kits are great stocking stuffers.

5.    Knife (and Repair Kits) – A knife is a helpful for first aid, food preparation and repairs. Even the best equipment eventually fails.  Zippers break, chipmunks eat holes in your backpack, and pants rip.  A small multi-tool or roll of duct tape are perfect for this!

6.    Fire - Having a plan to start a fire in the case of an emergency is key.  A lighter or other fire starter is a great gift idea.  Looking for something a little bigger?  Consider a campstove or lightweight jetboil. 

7.    Shelter - The most common mistake people make is assuming they will be back as planned.  Being prepared to bivouac (stay) through a storm or even overnight by having an emergency blanket or large plastic contractor bag is a good idea and could save a life.    

8.    Extra Food (Nutrition) – Dense calorie rich foods like energy bars or even candy bars are good stocking stuffers for your outdoor enthusiast to stick in their pack during their next trip outdoors.  Does your love one venture into bear country?  Maybe consider a bear-proof food storage container.

9.    Extra Water (Hydration) - Adults need a half liter of water per hour of nonstrenuous activity in regular conditions.  A water bottle or bladder-system helps with this need.  Another alternative is a water filter, assuming there is water available in the area. 

10. Extra Clothes - Weather conditions can change over time, and sometimes quickly!  The proper clothing and the availability of waterproof, windproof and insulating layers in a backpack can help your loved one adapt and continue having fun in any condition.

Wondering where to purchase these supplies?  There are many reputable stores in our local area that stock these outdoor essentials.  If the supply you desire is not available locally or you choose to shop online instead, consider using an online shopping platform such as,, or to support non-profits.  When you sign-up for any of these online charity programs you can select your charity of choice.  If you do not have another local favorite, Nevada Outdoor School will happily accept your donation via shopping.  Gear up and get outside, it is good for humans everywhere.


Tuesday, November 10, 2020

Being Grateful and Showing Thanks

 Are you grateful for all the amazing work Nevada Outdoor School does throughout Nevada educating people of all ages to get outside and explore our natural world responsibly?  There are a variety of ways you can express your thanks and show your support this holiday season and beyond whether through a direct donation or even by just shopping online!


#GivingTuesday is a global generosity movement, unleashing the power of people and organizations to transform their communities and the world.
This #GivingTuesday, be part of making Nevadans healthy, happy and engaged community members who feel connected to the natural world and choose to explore the outdoors responsibly. 

This year, our goal is to raise $5,000 – every $50 donation helps sponsor a NOS camper and $100 provides needed resources to bring nature into rural classrooms in northern Nevada.  Be part of the fun and support outdoor, environmental and ethics education and outreach in Nevada today!

Visit to donate now or any time before #GivingTuesday on December 1st!


Shopping Online this Holiday Season?

It is easy for you can help raise funding for Nevada Outdoor School’s (NOS) outdoor education programs during the holidays and all year through without costing you a penny! 

Here are 3 ways:

1. – Get coupons for goods, services, online trainings and travel through Giving Assistant and up to 15% of your purchase will support NOS programs. 

2. to shop, travel, save and earn 1% - 10% cash back.  Get current coupons and discounts on your purchase while donating your cash back to NOS.

3. – just make sure and sign up for Amazon Smile at and .5% of all purchases go to support NOS.  You can even use your current Amazon account.

Check out this video for a quick and easy tutorial for how to get started:


Thanks for Being NOSome!

Monday, November 9, 2020

Destination Recreation: Rye Patch State Recreation Area

 Located an hour away from Winnemucca, Rye Patch State Recreation Area is a great place to go for a short weekend getaway trip! It has everything you want and more with water access, sand, hiking trails, and OHV trail access! There is something for everyone in the family to enjoy at Rye Patch!

Bridge along the West Hiking Trail

Rye Patch, named for a patch of wild rye grass growing along the railroad, had a post office, school, boarding house and, after 1869, a station on the Central  Pacific Railroad. Its mill processed $1,000,000 worth of gold and silver. The mill closed in 1877 and Rye Path was among the last towns to become a ghost town.

While it looks small, there are several camping locations throughout the park. The river campground below Rye Patch Dam has 22 units. The campground on the reservoir's west side has 25 units. In addition, they also have group campsites that are amazing and very large, which we here at Nevada Outdoor School use every year for our annual Summer Camp training! Reservations for group campsites are required. Every campsite comes with an established campfire ring that you can use to cook your own meals or you could go on up to the local Gold Diggers Saloon and Grub House and pick up one of their delicious pizzas to take back to camp! This is what we did since  we planned ahead and knew that there was a fire ban in place.

Last, but not least is probably the most important part. You can bring your dogs! Yes, you read that right, dogs are allowed at Rye Patch as long as they are on a leash that is no more than 6 feet long. I took a chance and took my dogs with us camping (in a tent) on a nice, smokey day this summer. I was excited to try something new and to be able to bring my fur babies along with us. They had a great time! They enjoyed swimming in the river, staring at the turkeys as they walked by at night, and waking up at any and every noise they heard. We made sure to pick a campsite that was further away from others so we were being considerate to them and their time (the dogs can be very vocal at times), as well as making sure that when those turkeys showed up we had them under control and allowed the turkeys to have their space and respect.

So get on out and enjoy the local scenery. Remember to follow all the Leave No Trace Principles. Plan Ahead and Prepare before you head out; check to see what the weather is like, if there is a fire ban in the area, and if there is space available. Especially during summer and other high use times, once the park is full, you won’t be able to camp where you had originally planned. Removing, disturbing or damaging any historic structure, artifact, rock, plant life, fossil or other feature is prohibited. State and federal laws protect this area and its resources; remember Leave What You Find so others can enjoy what you have been able to see!


Enjoy the Journey!