This, indeed, is the time of year when most of us are spending way too much focus seeking the perfect gift for a loved one. In a mountain climbing analogy, the experience can be compared to ascending a 20,000-foot peak without oxygen. Good luck making a sound decision under those conditions.
But if we were gamblers, which we’re not — we’re very bullish on wilderness risk management — we would bet you’re someone who either loves human-powered outdoor adventures, is looking to go on such an adventure yourself, or knows someone ready for a wilderness or backcountry adventure. Not hedging our bets or anything, but if we’re wrong, why are you perusing this particular blog and this exact blog post?
Anyway, if you’re looking for gift suggestions, what we offer below are a half dozen reasons why you should consider giving the gift of adventure through The National Center for Outdoor & Adventure Education (NCOAE).
Reason No. 1: An NCOAE Course is actually a gift that gives over and over again. When you give the gift of an Outdoor Educator or a Semester Course or Gap Year Course, it will be appreciated more than once. First, your recipient opens an envelope containing the course details, which we’ll gladly custom design for you (the gift certificate, that is). Nice start! Then the gift recipient finds themselves looking forward to the experience almost every day until their departure. Then there’s the adventure itself, followed by a lifetime of photos, memories, and stories to tell again and again. That’s tons of bang for your buck.
Reason No. 2: You just can’t slap a price tag on mind-blowing experiences, warm memories, or technical outdoor skills learned for life. Ergo, the purpose behind the word “priceless.”
Reason No. 3: Great adventures exponentially lead to even greater adventures. That’s because an outdoor and adventure-based course with us often leads our students to either seek a career in the outdoor education and/or adventure travel industries, or to take on new outdoor and backcountry challenges themselves. Like finding a space on the map that’s challenging to get to by canoe. You’ll develop or improve the skills and the confidence for new wilderness outings.
Reason No. 4: Your adventure can’t be stuffed in a closet or dumped in the garage. You carry it around with you on a daily basis because it’s your memories, and all you need is the time or place to reflect about or tell your well-earned stories.
Reason No. 5: You made it happen! You, the gift-giver of adventure, will forever be attached to the adventure and memories. Through the adventurer, you become the original power source of their backcountry adventure.
Reason 6: Give the gift to yourself. If friends and family don’t know how much you want to go on a backcountry adventure — or they aren’t listening to you, — give the gift to yourself. This may sound selfish and self-serving, but you can be crafty about it. How so? Disguise the adventure as something else — an opportunity to receive college credit for a backpacking course in Alaska, for example. Or taking steps to begin a career in outdoor education. Or becoming culturally aware and one with nature. Noble endeavors all.
At the end of the day — and the holiday — we instinctively realize we don’t really need a reason to offer the gift of adventure. And we are reassured in the knowledge that nobody’s going to be disappointed with your gift.