It’s Earth Day…

Everyone here at OAC is wishing you a Happy Earth Day! It is supposed to be a beautiful day here in Ontario, Canada, so we’ll probably go cycling or for a hike… right after a hot cup of tea.

Feel free to comment and tell us what you are up to on Earth Day!

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Bill Mason Memorial Scholarship Fund – Annual Fundraising Auction

Most Canadian canoeists have been influenced by Bill Mason whether directly or indirectly. He was an avid paddler, a wonderful film maker, and a great environmental champion.

In 1990 Paddle Canada created a scholarship fund in memory of Mason. This fund is for students pursuing education in environmental studies. April 21st is Bill Mason’s birthday and also the day of the annual auction which raises money for this scholarship.

You can read more about the auction by reading Becky Mason’s post in our forums or visiting the auction page at


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a contest from one of our sponsors

You can win $1500 of camping gear with our returning sponsor, KIWI. Click the KIWI contest graphic just below the site menu in the left hand column on our sponsors page and it will take you to the contest and also help support OAC at the same time.

OAC Sponsors

Thanks and Good Luck!

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celebrating the life of Kirk Wipper

Kirk Wipper’s Life and Work to be Celebrated Sunday May 1st at Canoe Museum

Please note that the date for the Kirk Wipper memorial gathering has been changed. “Travelling On: Celebrating the Life and Passions of Kirk Wipper” will be now held at The Canadian Canoe Museum on Sunday, May 1st, 2011, 2 p.m. followed by a reception at the museum. Anyone moved to contribute a song or story to this celebration should contact the museum (705) 748-9153 or email

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saying goodbye

It is with great sadness that I write this mornings blog post. Canoeing legend, Professor Kirk Wipper passed away suddenly yesterday.

He was not only a Professor at U of T but he was also one-time owner of Camp Kandalore and an advocate for our wild areas. Wipper was an avid collector of all things canoeing, too. In fact, it was his collection that became a foundation for what is now the Canadian Canoe Museum.

Professor Wipper was a mentor to many and he will be missed. We send our love and condolences to his family and friends. For information on when the service will be held please visit the Canoe Museum website.

An interview with Kirk…

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the renewal of spring – photography contest

outdoor photo contest

sample submission

Before I became a professional photographer, I found that the best way to improve my skills was by doing. Books and theory were all great but self-assignments gave me a chance to push my limits and stretch my imagination. We thought that bringing self-assignments to Outdoor Adventure Canada would be fun.

To make it fair there will be two divisions—one for hobbyists and one for professionals. No prizes… just bragging rights and a chance to show off your work.

The Assignment – Spring

Now that winter is nearing the end and spring will be upon us, your photographic self-assignment is to take a creative outdoor photo that illustrates the renewal of spring. Think outside the box a little and have fun with it.

1.) you must have taken the photo yourself
2.) you may submit more than one entry
3.) the photo must be sent in jpeg format (see below)
4.) the photo cannot be larger than 700 x 700 pixels and 1.4 MB
5.) Panoramic photos must not exceed 700 pixels on the longest side
6.) do not place any text or watermark on the photo
7.) by submitting your photo and entering the contest you are giving permission to publish your photo on our website with credit to you as the photographer. You retain all rights to the photos you submit.
8.) the photos must be related to the outdoors or outdoor adventure in some way

Submit the information below to with your photograph attached. Please send one email per photograph.

Real Name
Email address
Website URL (if you have one)
Hobbyist or Professional
Camera Make and Model
Lens make and focal length
If and how the photograph was manipulated digitally
The location of the shot
The outdoor activity were you participating in
The story behind the photograph (if there is one)

We will show images from each category that we feel are exceptional. Images will be accepted until June 30, 2011.

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the great wilderness cleanup

The Great Wilderness Cleanup is back this year and going strong. The event is held annually on Mother’s Day. Organizers, Nancy Maddock and Kevin Callan, are encouraging people who can’t participate on the date to go out when they can.

For more information please visit The Great Wilderness Cleanup website or their Facebook page and show your support.

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what’s new in backcountry cooking?

Another Fork in the Trail

Another Fork in the Trail

I have finally completed the second instalment in my wilderness cookbook series. Well, let me rephrase that. I’m almost done—I just need to do one more read through of the final layouts before it hit the presses this week. I’m doing that today because it’s just easier to sneak away to a quiet spot for reading while Bryan is home for the weekend.

The book is entitled Another Fork in the Trail: Vegetarian and Vegan Recipes for the Backcountry and will be on shelves this Spring. If you like, you can pre-order at a variety of on-line retailers including,,, and

I thought that I would take a short break and post one of my favorite lunch recipes from the book. This recipe isn’t just for the backcountry; we enjoy having this for a weekend lunch at home. If you want to have it at home just skip the dehydration instructions.

Mediterranean Garbanzo Bean Salad
from Another Fork in the Trail ©2011
recipe ©2010 Laurie Ann March

Dehydration Time: 8–12 hours
Makes 2 servings

I like to think of this salad as a little trip around the Mediterranean because it combines ingredients common in Spain, Italy, Greece, Israel, and Egypt. Za’atar is a flavorful spice blend available through Middle Eastern specialty stores and online spice retailers. This salad can be served cold but is especially delicious when served warm. You can even serve it over cooked quinoa or couscous for a nice dinner.

1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil or vegetable oil
1/3 cup shallots, finely chopped
1/4 teaspoon crushed red chilies (optional)
1 teaspoon orange zest
2 tablespoons fresh orange juice
Segments of 1 large orange
1 teaspoon lemon juice
2 cups canned chickpeas (garbanzo beans), drained and rinsed
1/2 cup green olives, pitted and chopped
1/2 teaspoon za’atar spice blend
1 teaspoon black pepper, freshly ground
1/8 teaspoon kosher salt

At Home
Heat the oil in a frying pan over medium to medium-high heat. Add the shallots and sauté for a few minutes. Add the crushed red chilies, orange zest, orange juice, and orange segments. Cook for a few more minutes and then add the lemon juice, chickpeas, olives, and za’atar spice blend. Simmer for a few minutes and then remove from the heat. Stir in the pepper and salt.

Allow the mixture to cool and then measure the amount you will dry. Write this measurement on a sticky note. Spread the salad on lined dehydrator trays to dry. When the salad is dry, package it in a ziplock freezer bag along with your note.

At Camp
Rehydrate the salad by adding enough boiling water to the mix to make it equal to the measurement on your sticky note. Be sure to account for and add your dried ingredients to the rehydration container prior to adding the water. You can always add more water if you need to. Once the salad has rehydrated, reheat it if desired.

If you can’t find za’atar, then use a combination of thyme and basil, as they will pair nicely with this salad as well.

If you’d like to have this recipe for lunch, you can add cold water to the mixture at breakfast and let it rehydrate in your pack as you travel.

This is also good for dinner served on couscous or quinoa that has been cooked with a little vegetable stock or orange juice or with pitas that have been toasted, drizzled with a little olive oil, and sprinkled with a bit of the za’atar spice.

Hope you love it as much as we do!


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disaster in Japan

We are so saddened by what has happened and is still happening in Japan. Our thoughts are with the people there as they try to work through the ramifications of this disaster. Hopefully, the nuclear plants don’t have any more major issues as the Japanese people have enough to deal with as it is.

I noticed that our forum members are talking about it too and you can their perspective on the tragedy here…

Earthquake in Japan

One way you can help is by donating to the Canadian Red Cross.

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avalanche warnings

The Canadian Avalanche Centre is the go-to place to see current warnings. Not only can you subscribe to a feed to receive avalanche bulletins but you can also get important information on gear, pre-trip planning, and read some informative articles. It is a valuable warning system and educational resource. Thanks to Mountain Equipment Co-op for bringing this to my attention.

There is a Special Avalanche Warning posted for March 11, 2011.


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