Matt Deines: NOLS - How A Co-Instructor Prank Led To Marriage


Manage episode 292976360 series 2882936
By Shawn Stratton. Discovered by Player FM and our community — copyright is owned by the publisher, not Player FM, and audio is streamed directly from their servers. Hit the Subscribe button to track updates in Player FM, or paste the feed URL into other podcast apps.


Hey everyone, welcome to the Hot Drinks podcast I am your host Shawn Stratton. Each week I sit down with an outdoor educator to hear some of their best stories leading students on wilderness expeditions around the world.

This week’s guest, Matt Deines grew up in western Nebraska and completed his Bachelor’s degree in Natural Science from the University of Wyoming. He worked at NOLS for 12 years (1999-2011), leading backpacking and mountaineering trips in Alaska, backpacking courses in Wyoming, canyon courses in Utah, and lightweight backpacking trips in the southwest and Wyoming.

Matt is currently living in Orange County, California, with his wife Jamie, also a NOLS Instructor and their adorable twin daughters. He now works for the University of California, Irvine as a physical & environmental sustainability planner.

Matt and I completed our NOLS IC together out of the NOLS Southwest Branch in Tucson AZ. back in 1999 and it was great to catch up with him.

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In this episode:

  • (03:15) Matt starts the interview by telling us about his father, who happens to be the boy scout leader and how he introduced the little Matt to outdoor adventure, wilderness, and backpacking trips. Matt further talks about the scout camp he attended in New Mexico called Philmont, where he overheard one of the instructors talking about NOLS being the most challenging thing he had ever done in life. At the tender age of 16, Matt couldn’t hold himself back and perked up to face the challenges. Soon after completing his undergrad degree, he joined NOLS semester and later on got inspired to work for them by his amazing mentors.
  • (07:11) Matt shares with us one of the first love stories of the podcast, named "Pranking leads to marriage.” He reminisced about when he met the girl of his dreams in the Alaska range in Clearwater mountain, which later became his wife. Matt told us how the group was divided in two for the night, which turns into a mischievous act when Matt’s group pranked his wife Jamie’s group by hiding their pots which then turns into a series of pranks – it’s hilarious.
  • (16:04) Going forward, Matt tells us about how his daughters took in the genes of both the parents and loves to go on wild adventure trips. He shares their camping stories and scrambling on long summer days and how they enjoy exploring canyons and going skiing. Matt talks about how his girls would be interested in joining NOLS someday – and how excited he is for it since the organization teaches so many different valuable lessons.
  • (18:21) Deines yet again shares one of the funny stories back from his days in NOLS about his first day in the winds. He tells us how one of his co-instructor Joshua, blows his own trumpet by describing how he knows the place really well and would lead the entire group to the first X. All the bragging went in vain when after hour-long hiking, he dropped his bags, telling others they have lost their way and would need a map this time.
  • (22:35) I asked Matt about his best and worst days in NOLS. He shares pretty exciting stories that involved navigating his group through a treacherous glacier that gave him a John Muir moment, to the moment when he maced himself with a bear spray that turned into one of the worst pains he had ever experienced.
  • (31:47) We played our very own rapid-fire question with Matt, which he answered as gracefully as only he can, starting from his favourite gears and location to lead trips to his intriguing answer to his definition of the word 'adventure.’

26 episodes