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!

Tuesday, January 23, 2024

The Outside Guide- “Chilln’ in the Chill: Winter Wonderland Camping”

 Venturing into the heart of Northern Nevada for a winter camping escapade may seem eccentric, but trust me, the experience is nothing short of magical. Envision yourself in a snowy wonderland, the air so crisp it could freeze your worries away. So, bundle up, grab that thermos of hot cocoa, and let's dive into the frosty adventure that awaits.

Winter transforms Northern Nevada into a real-life snow globe, where the landscape becomes a pristine wonderland with snow-laden pine trees and frozen lakes shimmering under the moonlight. The hush of falling snow creates a serene symphony, helping you forget the hustle and bustle of everyday life as you set up camp.

Preparing for winter camping in Nevada requires a different approach to gear. Forget the flimsy summer tent – invest in a sturdy four-season tent. Sleeping bags rated for sub-zero temperatures and insulated sleeping pads become your new best friends. It's all about layering up – thermal socks, fleece-lined everything, and a down jacket that could double as a marshmallow.

Despite the cold, winter camping doesn't mean sacrificing delicious campfire meals. It calls for hearty, soul-warming dishes that can thaw you from the inside out. Imagine a steaming pot of chili bubbling away on the camp stove, the aroma mingling with the crisp winter air. Or perhaps, skewering marshmallows for the ultimate s'mores experience.

Winter in Northern Nevada doesn't mean the wilderness is dormant. It's a time when elusive creatures make their presence known. Keep an eye out for tracks in the snow – perhaps a coyote or a snowshoe hare passed by your campsite. If you're lucky, you might catch a glimpse of a majestic bald eagle soaring overhead or the elusive lynx prowling through the trees.

After a day of winter adventures, there's nothing better than soaking in a natural hot spring. Northern Nevada is dotted with these geothermal wonders. Imagine lounging in a warm pool surrounded by snow-draped landscapes, with the cold air nipping at your nose while your body luxuriates in the soothing embrace of the hot spring.

For the adrenaline junkies, winter camping in Northern Nevada has something special – snow sports galore! Whether it's strapping on a pair of snowshoes and venturing into the backcountry or gliding down the slopes on a snowboard, the possibilities are endless. Balance the adrenaline rush with moments of quiet contemplation amidst the snow-covered pines.

If you find peace in the patience of fishing, winter in Northern Nevada offers a unique twist – ice fishing. Drill a hole in the frozen surface of a lake, drop your line, and wait for that satisfying tug. And while you're waiting for the fish to bite, take a moment to absorb the stillness around you – a different kind of meditation amidst the beauty of a winter landscape.

In a world filled with constant connectivity, winter camping in Northern Nevada provides the perfect opportunity to unplug and reconnect with nature – and with yourself. The tranquility of a snow-covered forest, the crunch of your footsteps on a pristine trail, and the crackling of a campfire become the soundtrack to your escape from the digital cacophony. Embrace the solitude, and you might find a sense of inner peace you didn't know you were missing. So, as you sip your hot cocoa by the fire, watching the snowflakes gently fall, remember winter camping in Northern Nevada is not just an adventure; it's a love affair with nature in its most enchanting form. Pack your sense of wonder, leave your worries behind, and let the winter wilderness work its magic on your soul.

The Outside Guide: Embracing Winter in Northern Nevada: Nature’s Survival & Beating the Winter Blues

Ah, Northern Nevada in the winter! There's truly nothing like it. The snow-draped landscapes, the crisp air, and the warm glow of homes create a magical atmosphere. Yet, as we gravitate towards indoor warmth, a spectacle of nature unfolds. Let's embark on a journey through the wonders of this season, interweaving tales of nature's survival and exciting outdoor adventures to combat the "Winter Blues."

While our kitchens brim with festive treats, wildlife has its own culinary extravaganzas. The black bears of Alaska, for instance, engage in "hyperphagia," consuming the equivalent of 31 McDonald's Big Macs daily! This isn't just a feast; it's a survival tactic, providing insulation for the cold months ahead.

And then, the enchanting realm of hibernation. From the woodchuck's slowed heartbeat to the Poorwill bird's winter repose, nature has perfected the art of winter survival. As we marvel at their adaptations, let's draw inspiration for our own winter journeys.

Migration, a breathtaking spectacle! Flocks of birds painting the sky, caribou in graceful herds, and majestic whales crossing oceans—nature's symphony of movement. Embracing this spirit, why not plan a winter bird-watching expedition in Northern Nevada's scenic spots? Witnessing the beauty of nature in motion can be a transformative experience.

Adaptation, the essence of survival. Animals change their fur, diets, and habits, finding harmony with winter's challenges. Drawing inspiration, consider embarking on a snowshoeing expedition in the Sierra Nevada. The crunch of snow beneath your feet, the fresh mountain air—these experiences invigorate the spirit, transforming winter from a challenge to an opportunity.

As the allure of warmth competes with the call of adventure, Northern Nevada's trails and snowy vistas beckon. Picture a family snowball fight, a winter hike with friends, or an evening of stargazing. These activities not only lift the spirits but also connect us with the beauty outside our doors.

To further elevate the winter experience, why not plan a winter picnic in a local park or nature reserve? Pack some warm soup, cozy blankets, and immerse yourself in the serene surroundings. This simple yet heartwarming activity can turn a chilly day into a memorable adventure.

And let's not forget the magic of winter sports! From ice skating to building snowmen with loved ones, these activities provide exercise and create cherished memories. They transform the winter blues into a canvas of joy, celebrating the season's beauty and wonder.

As the snow blankets our surroundings, let's embrace its serenity and actively engage with the season. Step out, explore, and discover the wonders of winter in Northern Nevada, transforming this chilly time into a season of outdoor joy, exploration, and celebration. Get Outside! It’s great for everyone.  – Nevada Outdoor School

Thursday, January 11, 2024

What's New at NOS- December 2023

Snow or no snow, inside or outside we are always inspiring exploration of the natural world, responsible stewardship of our habitat, and dedication to community. And in December 2023 we did just that!

On December 1st, 8th, and 15th we continued and finished our Young Naturalist Club for the year. The club braved the sun and snow (sometimes all on the same day) to learn about Temporary, Fine and Functional art. Participants in these lessons built crafts to help show examples of the three types of art. And of course, we had hot chocolate to warm up! Would a NOS event be complete if we didn't have hot chocolate? Do you have a student who would like to participate in our Young Naturalist club? Call our Elko office (775-777-0814) to sign them up for our next club (Science in Nature) starting January 19th.

Picture: Participants creating various crafts in examples of the different types of art.

December 6th Noah Clymens and Melanie Erquiaga visited the Battle Born Youth Academy Career Day in Carlin, Nevada. This visit was all about educating students about potential careers they may be presented with after graduating. AmeriCorps is a nonprofit program that often recruits students right out of high school to prepare them for careers that they will have later on in life. Teaching members invaluable skills that will help them in the future is an important core value of AmeriCorps which should encourage anyone to join!

Also on December 6th Noah D. and Kaneisha attended the Great Basin College Winter Festival to educate the public about NOS and all of the things we have to offer! This event went off without a hiccup, the great thing about the event was the kids that came to our table and got information about NOS as they took stickers and brochures home with them.

Picture: Elko High School Choraliers

In Winnemucca on December 6th 2 families joined us for a Healthy Habits walk about the Splash Pad Fitness Path. Participants were encouraged to use the workout equipment around the path and enjoy a cup of hot chocolate!  

Plant identification and Leave No Trace were topics of discussion at our December 8th Snowshoe Hike on the Talbot Trail in Lamoille. Though there was not enough snow for snowshoes to be worn, it did not put a stop to all our winter fun! Not only did we find native plants on the trail but one of our participants found a geocache!

Picture: Participant finding her very first geocache along the Talbot Trail in Lamoille

Saturday, December 16th was the perfect day for the California Trail Center to host their Annual Pioneer Christmas.  Participants were greeted outside with a warm fire and the opportunity to make a s’more. Once inside their first stop was at the stocking table, where they could decorate their own stocking to be filled with treats and crafts. Other opportunities included; yarn ornaments, Christmas cards, paper snowflakes, fabric dolls, clay ornaments, candy cane reindeer, hot chocolate in a bag, and pretzel log cabins. The event was a huge success and we look forward to helping with the next one!

Picture: NOS Staff member, Meghan Sturgell, showing a pretzel log cabin example. 

What's New at NOS- November 2023

Just because it is cold doesn't mean that NOS stops helping serve their community and the people in it! From hikes to helping other non-profits we have been on the go along with visiting classrooms! Here is our What's New at NOS for the month of November!

On November 1st, AmeriCorps member William and staff member Jacklyn attended the Battle Mountain Career Fair. They spoke with around 90 students about Nevada Outdoor School, what the AmeriCorps Program was, and the benefits that come with it! Williams's biggest goal of the entire fair was to inspire others to become an AmeriCorps member with Nevada Outdoor School!

On the chilly morning of November 3rd NOS members, Noah and Kaneisha, introduced our newest program, the Young Naturalist Club. this program will take place every other Friday and is offered to two different grade groups, K-2nd and 3rd-5th The first subject focuses on different forms of art. Students participated in many activities, making their own art. They were able to draw with chalk on the sidewalks, stack rocks, and create nature paintings using sticks, leaves, and curly dock. NOS members played fun games to teach about different line types used in painting and drawing, as well as did fun crafts doing paper and yarn weaving. The Young Naturalist club will continue into December and then pick back up in January!

Picture: Participants creating art using nature as their medium

Within Nevada Outdoors Schools' mission we not only mention exploration of the natural world and responsible stewardship of our habitat but we also have dedication to community. And dedication to community is exactly what we did on November 17th. On this day AmeriCorps members Sedric, Noah, William, Amor, Elizabeth, Lauren and Toni helped the FCAA by distributing food items to the less fortunate in our community. They unloaded, sorted, and helped pack boxes of groceries for families in need. Along with directing traffic and loading items into vehicles. Giving back to one’s community is not always easy, but it is extremely satisfying and helps us build a stronger, happier community. AmeriCorps and NOS seek to better our community, regardless of season, they are here to give their all.

Pictured: AmeriCorps members William, Noah C., Amor, Elizabeth, Lauren, Sedric, and Toni. 

Nevada Outdoor School enthusiastically joined forces with the Ducks Unlimited Elko Chapter at their annual banquet on November 18. AmeriCorps members Noah and Kaneisha spent time creating an engaging and educational experience for young attendees in the "Duck Wings" children's area. This collaboration between Nevada Outdoor School and Ducks Unlimited not only added a meaningful and interactive component to the event but also contributed to instilling a love for nature in the next generation.

A successful hike was held November 27th where 3 members of the public joined NOS in a hike to the Overlook in Water Canyon. Two of the participants said they don't usually do things like hikes or similar activities during the colder months so we were able to expose them to it and made sure they had fun doing it as well. Overall, we had an impact by helping members of our community get out into nature and experience new things.

Picture: AmeriCorps and members of the public at the Overlook in Water Canyon