October 2018

Gourmet Cooking on the Trail: Here’s What You’ll Need to Pack

By NCOAE Headquarters October 24, 2018

Wilderness Cooking

Some veteran backpackers claim the only time a heated can of Dinty Moore stew tastes delicious is when eaten outdoors, but today there are many quick and easy ways to pull together a gourmet meal from what you can grab out of your backpack. The trick is knowing what to pack!

Truth is, we here at The National Center for Outdoor & Adventure Education (NCOAE) are among the go-to experts when it comes to wilderness cooking for large and small groups that enjoy the backcountry. That’s because our veteran field instructors and leaders have had years to develop ways to transform mundane mountainside meals into Five Star (OK, maybe Four Star) dining experiences.

The secret? It’s all in what you pack in your gear. And with some advance preparation and careful planning, you can spice up your backcountry cooking menus to taste just as delicious on your weekend trail trek as they do for us on, say, an Outdoor Educator Course in Patagonia.

Real estate inside your backpack is always at a premium, but here are a few items that — come lunch or dinnertime — will make you glad you squirreled them away next to your clean socks and underwear: (more…)

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We’re Back! Despite a Lightning Bolt Barrage on Our Beleaguered Campus

By NCOAE Headquarters October 9, 2018


Today, we can happily report that — following the trials and tribulations of last month’s bullseye hurricane confrontation on our Wilmington, N.C. campus — we here at The National Center for Outdoor & Adventure Education (NCOAE) are back in action. In fact, just a week after our return from evacuating, everything was cleaned up and looking like Hurricane Florence had never visited our 17-acre outdoor education campus.

But no matter how experienced you might be at preparing for, evacuating from, and recovering after a natural disaster, you can never fully anticipate what Mother Nature might toss your way as part of her standard repertoire of weather. And while today, with on-campus and field courses back in action, it certainly didn’t look that way on the morning of Friday, Sept. 28, when a thunderstorm completely unrelated to Hurricane Florence rumbled over our property.

That’s when a massive bolt of lightning hit the window of our director of operations’ office, sending a bolt of energy through her keyboard to her fingertips while she was working. A second bolt of lightning hit a tree adjacent to our gear shed, traveled down the tree, through its roots, blowing a hole through our property’s water line and sewer line, and cooking the conduit that houses our property’s power line.

The central panel for our (more…)

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Have any further questions about our courses, what you’ll learn, or what else to expect? Contact us, we’re here to help!