This was an amazing experience start to finish. First: a very old friend and I went because we wanted to learn the basics of off-road driving and overland camping, and thought it would be good to get out of town during COVID. We found NORA through a Google search, and through the Tripadvisor reviews were really good. And the course was inexpensive enough that it was a reasonable last minute splurge.
NORA is in a beautiful part of the catskills, and is well forested and comfortably isolated. When we arrived, Scott (owner/host) was wearing a mask, and walked us through COVID precautions. He took our temperature, his team’s temperature, and his own (which he shared with us). We were both worried about COVID precautions going in, and Scott put us at ease immediately. And through both days, he and his team took this SERIOUSLY – it was really nice that we didn’t have to worry about mask compliance or anything else.
We started with a talk or two about 4WD off-road work. I teach in my spare time, and I really admired the quality of Scott’s work. He used powerpoint, visual aids, and clearly put a ton of time into communicating sort of complex information. I also am not a traditional learner, so when someone can really drive a point home, I appreciate it. When we actually got behind the wheel (I had never done this before), I felt really confident.
We worked on spotting, driving, vehicle maintenance, and some basic cooking on day one, too. Scott’s team made an amazing dinner, then we sat around a big fire and shared stories. I was struck by how close the community was. Everyone was just… nice. No politics, no weird “tactical” stuff, just a bunch of folks who really like driving. The school part was amazing, but the real highlight was spending time with Scott and his time (Tony, Anthony, John, and Rich). All of them are very passionate about safe, fun, adventurous off-roading (which I learned is called “wheeling”), and clearly love sharing their passion for it with others.
Day two was mostly a trail drive. It was slow (the way it should be – I can’t believe how fast going two miles an hour down the steepest incline I’ve ever driven on felt), fun, and confidence-building. It was a rush. And like every other part of the weekend, SAFETY was a top priority. There was not a millisecond of the weekend that I felt like there weren’t three people looking out to make sure nothing went wrong. It’s such a good environment that you almost forget there is any risk at all – these folks will stop you before you make a mistake, and they won’t let you get into a situation that could turn really south.
Bottom-line, there isn’t a grade high enough for what Scott and his team have put together. Five stars doesn’t do it justice. One of the best experiences I have had in the last few years.
This is a perfect socially-distanced activity, and would be great for team-building, anyone who might have to do off-road work (forest rangers, law enforcement, etc,.), friends who just want to try something new, or those genuinely interested in a new activity. I will be recommending this to friends and co-workers, and definitely will go back.”
– 215Guy (Trip Advisor) Sep 7, 2020
Overlanding is “self-reliant adventure travel to remote destinations where the journey is the primary goal.” as defined by OverlandJournal.com
NORA partnered with General Tire and Lodestone Events at the 2019 Overland Expo East. Over the 3 day event, our instructors used our rental vehicles on a man-made obstacle course to train over 650 guests on the fundamentals of off-road driving. It was an awesome event, and the majority of our guests had never even driven off-road before!
NORA leverages our award winning educational classes, team experience and off-road passion to introduce a new educational adventure program: NORA Overland Fundamentals & Tours.
This program helps prepare you (and your friends & family) for independent Overland travel & lifestyle. Class topics include:
– Vehicle & equipment selection
– Sleeping gear options
– Woodland trail driving skills
– Basics of vehicle maintenance & recovery
– Cooking gear & skills
– Excursion planning
– Emergency preparedness
– Additional related topics
Each class offers optional on-site camping for a fully immersed experience.
Check out the Calendar tab for class offerings.
NORA is Learning, Adventure & Fun.