Frequently Asked Questions
- What kind of personal equipment is required?
- How long can I volunteer?
- What is the average age of volunteers?
- What are the costs?
- How much spending money do I need?
- What can I do on my time off?
- What are the physical/mental requirements?
- How do I get there?
- How do I apply?
- What kind of weather can I expect?
- Can I contact other volunteers?
- Where should I have my mail sent?
Tents, work shirts, work pants, and personal protection gear are provided by the ICVE. Volunteers need to provide all other gear listed below. Warm clothes and warm sleeping bags are STRONGLY recommended as crews will be working in a wide variety of weather conditions, and these conditions can change rapidly.
Frame Pack– Used for storing gear during weekly excursions. Any pack designed for a short overnight backpacking trip should suffice (3,000 – 4,000 cubic inches or approx. 57 liters).
Small Day Pack– Used for days in the field. Good to have to carry water, lunch, raingear, camera, etc. A pack you would take on a day hike is ideal.
Sleeping Bag– This is a VERY IMPORTENT peace of equipment! Spring/fall nights throughout Nevada can be very cool. We would suggest purchasing a 0°F/–17°C rated bag.
Sleeping Pad– This is an added comfort that every crew member will appreciate after 10 hours of hard work. Sleeping on air with a therm-a-rest type pad is better than a rubber style pad.
Work Boots– You are required to have sturdy work boots made of leather with ample ankle support. This boots should be comfortable to wear for extended periods of time and be able to withstand heavy wear and tear. Steel toe boots are beneficial to protect your toes from drooped rocks and logs, however are not required. Most hiking boots will suffice.
Rain Jacket and Pants– It does not rain much in Nevada, but you may occasionally work in the rain for an extended period of time.
Water Bottle/Hydration Pack– At least two 1-liter (32 oz.) water bottles are needed while working in the field.
Eating Utensils– We would suggest a bowl (one with a closing lid is best, such as a Tupperware container), a coffee cup, knife, fork, and spoon.
Alarm Clock– Each person is responsible for being up every morning on time, therefore some type of alarm clock is suggested.
Keep in mind that the following gear list will vary from person to person depending on your ability to cope with cold weather. Any combination of the following items should cover any situation you may encounter in the field.
Long Underwear– These definitely come in handy on the really cold nights and the mornings when warmth is hard to come by.
Warm Socks– We recommend having about four pairs of warm and comfortable socks, not only to work in, but also to wear around camp after the work day. Layering socks (thin nylon under main layer) helps with warmth and comfort.
Gloves/Stocking Hat– It is wise to carry a warm hat as well as a sturdy pair of winter gloves during the fall/winter/spring. Weather is pretty unpredictable in the Sierra region, and it is always nice to stay warm.
Warm Coat– Another piece of equipment you do not want to take lightly. A waterproof parka with a fleece liner is suggested as this will keep you much warmer in the rain and snow.
Fleece Jacket/Sweatshirt– For the days when it is cold but not freezing, it is always nice to have a light layer to provide some warmth.
Provided Work Gear by ICVE
Single Person Tent– If you have your own, please feel free to bring it with you.
Work Shirts and Pants– ICVE will provide each ICVE member with work shirts for the appropriate season and one pair of carhartts.
Safety Gear– Hard hats, gloves, safety glasses, and ear plugs will be provided by ICVE.
Volunteer sessions typically range from six to fourteen weeks. A typical service week consists of 4 or 8 days in the field, working ten hour days, followed by either 3 days or 6 days off respectively. This schedule includes travel time to and from the job site, and is set up this way to allow participants extra leisure time to explore and travel at their will.
The average age of our crew members is about 24 years old. Due to the nature of crew life and the work, ICVE is recommended for those between the ages of 18-35.
This really depends on how you choose to spend your time off. Please remember that this is a volunteer position, and volunteers are not paid for services rendered, but there will be a food stipend provided during field time and time off. There are many economically efficient activities throughout the Reno-Tahoe area. If traveling is your cup of tea, then take gas prices into account. The best option is probably to have either a credit card or a debit card. Based on past experiences, debit cards seem to be the most convenient.
As outlined in the local recreation section, there are many activities one can partake in during their time off. One recreational trip per session is organized and sponsored by ICVE when possible. These trips are to premier locations such as Yosemite National Park, Lassen Volcanic National Park, Redwoods National Park, and Death Valley National Park. Please see the gallery section of the website for pictures from past trips.
The only mental requirements you need are a positive attitude towards work, a propensity for adventure, and a desire to make a difference. Keep in mind that this work is outdoor work. Strenuous hiking is sometimes required and adverse weather conditions are frequently encountered. Volunteers should be reasonably fit and comfortable with outdoor living. Due to the strenuous nature of the work, the ICVE is not recommended for persons who possess conditions that limit extensive physical activity.
Volunteers are responsible for their transport to the states. We ask volunteers to fly into either Reno-Tahoe International Airport or San Francisco International Airport. If you choose to fly in to San Francisco, you can then either fly, take the Greyhound bus, or the Amtrak train to Reno. The bus or train, while taking longer, is recommended as it is usually cheapest. Once in Reno, all transportation during work projects is provided by the Nevada Conservation Corps. Provided are links to International travel assistance web sites, Greyhound Bus lines, and Amtrak Train:
Volunteers are advised to arrive in Reno either the day before or on the day of the announced session start date. If arriving the day before, you will be asked to find lodging for the evening, and pick up will be arranged for the following morning (please see the “location and accommodation” sections for links to local hotels). If arriving the day of the session start, please arrange to arrive before 4pm, as this is the latest pickup can be provided on this day. ICVE provides pickup from the airport, bus, and train stations when needed.
If you would like to arrange travel with other volunteers in your session, please sign up to use our forum, found on the top right banner of this page.
GBI/ ICVE will provide logistical assistance to volunteers for 48 hours after sessions end. Please schedule departures from Nevada within 48 hours of the session end date.
Average seasonal temperatures are as follows:
Remember, these temperatures are averages. Deviation from these averages can occur and should be expected. Weather in Nevada can be unpredictable, so warm and wet weather gear is highly recommended. Volunteers should come prepared for anything!
Provided are links for information on current weather conditions:
Incline Village, NV
You can receive mail at the following address: