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!

Friday, June 23, 2023

Outside Guide: “Snake Awareness and Snakebite Prevention in Outdoor Rural Nevada”

 Embarking on outdoor adventures in the rural regions of Nevada provides a gateway to stunning landscapes and thrilling experiences. However, it is essential to be aware of the presence of snakes, including venomous species, to ensure a safe and enjoyable time in nature. By equipping ourselves with knowledge about snake awareness and snakebite prevention, we can minimize the risks associated with encounters. Additionally, organizations like Nevada Outdoor School play a vital role in promoting safe and responsible outdoor experiences through their educational programming.

Nevada is home to several venomous snakes, such as the Mojave rattlesnake, Great Basin rattlesnake, and Sidewinder. Understanding their distinct features, behaviors, and habitats is crucial to minimize potential risks. Nevada Outdoor School's educational programs provide valuable information on local wildlife, including snakes, empowering participants to make informed decisions when venturing outdoors.

Snakes are commonly found near rocky outcrops, tall grasses, bushes, and water sources. When exploring these environments, it is important to exercise caution and remain observant for any signs of snake activity, such as shed skins or tracks. Nevada Outdoor School emphasizes the importance of understanding wildlife habitats during their outdoor education programs, fostering a deeper appreciation for the natural world.

Snakes are generally timid creatures that prefer to avoid human encounters. However, they may act defensively if they feel threatened. It is crucial to remain calm and avoid sudden movements when near a snake, reducing the likelihood of a bite. Nevada Outdoor School's programs focus on teaching participants how to respectfully coexist with wildlife, including understanding snake behavior and minimizing disturbances.

When exploring snake-prone areas, it is advisable to wear long pants, thick socks, and closed-toe shoes or boots. Consider utilizing snake gaiters or snake-proof boots for added protection against potential snakebites. Nevada Outdoor School's programming includes educating participants about proper attire and equipment for outdoor activities, ensuring they are well-prepared and protected.

Snakes can be challenging to spot, especially during dawn or dusk when they are most active. Carrying a flashlight or headlamp improves visibility, particularly in low-light conditions. Nevada Outdoor School emphasizes the importance of being prepared with appropriate lighting during their outdoor programs, enabling participants to navigate safely during any time of day.

Before setting up camp or resting, it is crucial to clear the immediate area of debris, brush, and tall grasses where snakes may seek shelter. Keeping sleeping bags, tents, and gear elevated off the ground reduces the chances of encountering a snake. Nevada Outdoor School's educational initiatives highlight the significance of maintaining clean and organized campsites, promoting responsible outdoor practices.

When walking in snake-prone areas, stick to established trails or paths, avoiding tall grasses, rocks, and logs where snakes may be concealed. Taking purposeful steps and remaining aware of your surroundings are key precautions. Nevada Outdoor School's programs instill a sense of mindfulness and respect for the environment, teaching participants to tread lightly and minimize their impact on wildlife habitats.

Maintaining constant attentiveness to the surroundings is crucial. Listening for the sound of a rattlesnake's rattle serves as a warning sign. Caution should be exercised when reaching into crevices, lifting rocks, or handling firewood, as these are common hiding spots for snakes. Nevada Outdoor School's programming emphasizes the importance of situational awareness and teaches participants how to identify potential snake habitats.

Snakes are attracted to food sources, so proper storage and disposal of food waste is essential. Keeping the campsite clean and refraining from leaving scraps that may entice snakes or their prey is crucial. Nevada Outdoor School educates participants about responsible food management in the outdoors, ensuring they understand the significance of keeping a clean campsite to minimize wildlife interactions.

If bitten by a snake, it is crucial to remain calm. Panic can increase heart rate and expedite venom circulation throughout the body.

Contact emergency services or head to the nearest hospital without delay. Provide accurate information about the snake species if known but remember that capturing or killing the snake is unnecessary and may pose further risks. Nevada Outdoor School's programs equip participants with first aid knowledge, including guidance on responding to snakebites, enabling them to take appropriate action in case of an emergency.

If it can be done safely, immobilize the bitten limb with a splint or sling. Keeping the affected area below heart level slows the spread of venom.

Contrary to popular belief, applying a tourniquet or attempting to suck out venom is not recommended. These actions can cause more harm than good and lack proven effectiveness.

Snake awareness and snakebite prevention are fundamental for outdoor enthusiasts exploring rural Nevada. By familiarizing ourselves with the diverse snake species, understanding their behavior, and implementing preventive measures, we can significantly reduce the risk of encounters and bites. Organizations like Nevada Outdoor School play a crucial role in promoting safe and responsible outdoor experiences through their educational programming. By combining knowledge, respect for nature, and proactive measures, outdoor enthusiasts can enjoy the wonders of rural Nevada while prioritizing safety and environmental stewardship. And remember, Get Outside! (and stay safe) It’s Great for Everyone.

Photo: Great Basin Rattle Snake

Wednesday, June 14, 2023

AmeriCorps Spotlight- Noah Clymens an Outdoor Educator with Nevada Outdoor School!

Hello, my name is Noah Clymens. I am an outdoor educator with Nevada Outdoor School and AmeriCorps. I was born in Salt Lake Utah, but was raised in Winnemucca, NV. My early life is when I discovered my love for the outdoors, riding dirt bikes, and pretty much any extreme sport I could get my hands on.  A year after graduation I moved to Truckee, CA to pursue my passion for snowboarding. I worked at ski resorts as a way to easily snowboard every day. After about 3 years I decided I didn't have enough time to enjoy it while working so I moved back to Winnemucca. I have always loved the outdoors so when I found out about this position I applied right away. I have currently been with Nevada Outdoor School for a little over 3 months at this point and have been enjoying it the entire time.

Over the last 3 months, I have already done quite a bit of stuff and it all has made me become a more open and excited person. Every time I go to teach I find myself having more fun each time. And every time it is something different and I can change or do anything to make it more fun on the fly. All the different lessons have been fun and have made me better at thinking on my feet leading to my improvisation skills getting significantly better. 

My favorite thing we have done so far has been any of the skills lessons that we have taught whether it be the compass scavenger hunt, the homeschool archery, or the animal track and ID hike. They have all been my favorite because we get to teach an outdoor skill in the outdoors as well as help participants learn the actual skill. I think having the lessons outside just makes the lessons better and more engaging. Overall working with AmeriCorps and Nevada Outdoor School has been amazing. You get the opportunity to meet lots of new people and learn many different skills. You also get to travel all around Nevada and explore lots of different locations. I'm looking forward to continuing my term and teaching as much as I can.

Monday, June 12, 2023

What's New At NOS- May 2023

Animal Track & ID Hike

Winnemucca and Elko

May 5th, 2023

On May 5th we hosted a skills hike in Sonoma Canyon with a plan to teach participants and their families about identifying animal tracks and how to track animals. Due to heavy rain for a couple of days prior most tracks and animal footprints had been washed away. Even with minimal animal tracks, we were still able to find some and show them to the participants. The few tracks we were able to find included lots of cow tracks and a few antelope and dog tracks. The kids were having fun looking for the tracks as we walked and when we found one we would all gather around and talk about what animal we thought made it and what direction they were going. The Elko group also did an animal track & id hike; they only had one participant but were still able to get out and do the hike. Overall both hikes went very well. The kids learned a new skill and we got some families up and active.

Photo caption: AmeriCorps members and group participants at the end of the hike.

Gardening Workshop

Elko- May 8th, 2023

Winnemucca- May 12th, 2023

The month of May started off with our NOS team members in both Elko and Winnemucca sharing their green thumbs with the community. Elko featured Angie Heguy from Acton Academy as gardening lead and NOS member Kaitlin, while Winnemucca had members Noah and Johnny with Toni as the lead.   Both teams brought their A-game encouraging “positive growth” with engaging gardening workshops. Teaching our community basic planting techniques and composting basics, skills to help the beginner gardener and encourage sustainable gardening. The event was a success with all participants (adults and children) potting their very own plants and enjoying the process, leaving with new skills and green thumbs.   

Photo: NOS team member Toni teaches participants how to pot a plant.

Photo: Participants trying out their new planting skills.

Eliminate the Stigma Walk

May 10th 2023

Did you know that May is Mental Health Awareness Month? On May 10th Nevada Outdoor School along with the help of the Humboldt Connection Suicide Prevention Task Force walked from Ridley’s supermarket to the Court House to raise awareness for mental health with the aim to eliminate the stigma! Staff members and AmeriCorps members from both Winnemucca and Elko join in on this awareness event! 

Photo Captions: Staff and AmeriCorps members participating in the Eliminate the Stigma Walk on May 10th in Winnemucca.

Grammar #2 Ag Day

May 12th 2023

Grammar #2s Ag Day was a  fun and exciting event that NOS was able to participate in along with many other businesses and community members. We were able to teach kids from ages K-4 about Elk and deer and all their awesome adaptations. Some adaptations that Elks have are their amazing antlers which shed each year. As well as their long legs which are great for the harsh snowy winters of Nevada. We were also able to talk about our summer programs and the teachers were given summer camp fliers to give to students as well. Overall it was a super fun experience. 

Photo Caption: AmeriCorps member Kaitlyn with a group of students

Spring Creek Marina

Take A Kid Fishing Day

May 13th 2023

NOS had the chance to participate in the Spring Creek Take A Kid Fishing Day and saw 48 people. At this event, we taught fishing-specific Leave No Trace ethics. We got the chance to talk to participants about different fishing poles and the types of bait to use. Participants also had the opportunity to learn how to tie different fishing knots. Lots of participants asked about different fishing locations to increase their time spent outdoors. Overall this was a fun and successful event. 

Tuesday, June 6, 2023

Outside Guide- “Reel in the Fun: Dive into the Splash-tastic 2023 Nevada Free Fishing Day!”

Hey there, fellow fishing fanatics! Get ready to dive into a splashing adventure that will leave you hooked! We're gearing up for the highly anticipated 2023 Nevada Free Fishing Day, Saturday, June 10th, where fishing licenses take a backseat and the excitement of casting lines reigns supreme. This year, the Nevada Department of Wildlife (NDOW) has planned an epic lineup of events in the dazzling Northern Nevada region, promising a catch of a lifetime and oodles of outdoor fun for all you fishing enthusiasts and families alike. Let's dive right in and explore what's in store!

Picture this, clear blue waters, breathtaking landscapes, and fish galore! It's time to uncover the most fantastic fishing spots in Northern Nevada. First up, we have the magnificent Lake Tahoe, where the water is as clear as a summer sky, and the fish are just waiting to nibble at your bait. Next on the list is the legendary Pyramid Lake, famous for its colossal Lahontan cutthroat trout that will give you a fisherman's tale worth sharing. And let's not forget about the tranquil Walker Lake, where you can cast your line and enjoy the serenity while reeling in some fabulous fish species. These are just a few of the remarkable locations that'll have you reeling with excitement during the 2023 Nevada Free Fishing Day!

Now, my fellow fishing aficionados, we all know that every successful angler needs some top-notch skills. Fear not! The Nevada Department of Wildlife has got your back with their uber-helpful "Family Fishing Workshop" video. It's like having a fishing coach in your pocket! This video, available on NDOW's Outdoor Education webpage, is a treasure trove of tips and tricks, covering everything from choosing the right gear to mastering those sneaky fishing techniques. Whether you're a total newbie or a seasoned pro, this video will give you the edge you need to reel in the big one on the Nevada Free Fishing Day. Don't let this golden opportunity swim away—catch the "Family Fishing Workshop" video on NDOW's website at .  Don’t forget to check out the updated fishing reports and conditions from NOS & NDOW’s friend Joe Doucette in “Joe’s Fishing Hole”.

Hold onto your fishing hats, folks, because we've got a double whammy! The 2023 National Go Fishing Day happens the following week, on Sunday, June 18th. It's like hitting the fishing jackpot! This is the perfect occasion to unleash your inner angler and join fellow fishing fanatics across the nation in celebrating the art of fishing. So grab your rods, assemble your crew, and make some splash-tastic memories together. Remember, it's not just a day; it's a national fiesta of fishing fun!  Nevada fishing licenses are required though.

As we embark on our fishing escapades, let's make a pact to be eco-warriors and keep our fishing spots pristine. It's all about the Leave No Trace principles, my friends! We want to preserve nature's beauty for generations to come. So, while you're out there reeling in those fishy wonders, remember to be respectful to our wildlife pals, pack out your trash (no fishy business here!), stick to designated trails, and leave the surroundings just as you found them. By being responsible anglers, we can ensure that these enchanting waters remain a haven for fish and a paradise for anglers.

Nevada Outdoor School (NOS) will be holding a “Fishing for Beginners Workshop” on Saturday, July 8th.  We will be taking a small group to Ruby Lake NWR to learn the basics of fishing, from equipment to rules and regulations to the principals of Leave No Trace! We’ll then put what we’ve learned into practice and try our best to land a monster tiger or rainbow trout, or even a bass. No individual fishing license is needed for this workshop. Bring your own fishing pole or borrow one of ours. Space is limited and registration is required by calling our Elko office at (775)777-0814.

Alright, fellow fishing fanatics, the countdown to the 2023 Nevada Free Fishing Day has officially begun! With NDOW's fantastic events in Northern Nevada's fishing hotspots, you're in for an adventure that'll have you doing the happy fisherman dance. So grab your hats, bait those hooks, and get ready to make a splash. Remember to follow the Leave No Trace principles, because protecting nature is as important as the thrill of the catch. Let's make the 2023 Nevada Free Fishing Day a splashing success and create memories that will have us longing for the next fishy adventure in beautiful Nevada! And remember, Get Outside! It’s Great for Everyone. 

 Photo caption: Karl and Phoebe Klein with their catch!

NOS Destination Recreation- Sheldon National Wildlife Refuge

Sheldon National Wildlife Refuge

About 2 hours outside of Winnemucca you will find the Sheldon Wildlife Refuge containing Dufurrena Ponds, Virgin Valley Hot Springs, and an opal mine!

If you love viewing wildlife, fishing, hiking, camping, rockhounding, and/or soaking, this place is for you!