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NOLS Cookery (National Outdoor Leadership School) (NOLS Library) Paperback – January 1, 2004

4.4 out of 5 stars 23 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Claudia Pearson is rations manager for the National Outdoor Leadership School's Rocky Mountain Branch. The National Outdoor Leadership School is the leading educational organization for outdoor skills and leadership and offers courses in the world's most spectacular wilderness classrooms. Since 1965, this nonprofit school based in Lander, Wyoming, has introduced over 60,000 people to activities such as backpacking, mountaineering, sea kayaking, canoeing, skiing, caving, horse-packing, and rock climbing.
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Product Details

  • Series: NOLS Library
  • Paperback: 160 pages
  • Publisher: Stackpole Books; 5 Revised edition (January 1, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0811731081
  • ISBN-13: 978-0811731089
  • Product Dimensions: 8.2 x 5.4 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (23 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #324,832 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
I was introduced to an earlier edition of this book on my NOLSInstructors Course. The food we learned to prepare on the course wasTHE BEST I've ever eaten. NOLS has elevated food selection, storage and preparation to a science. This new edition is MUCH better than the old, with more great information about ration planning, equipment selection, cooking information and some NEW, TASTY recipes. Due to the use of bulk rations, the NOLS style of cooking may not be appropriate for occasional hikers going only for a weekend, but is a superb system for meal planning for longer trips. Anyone can become a GREAT backcountry chef with this guide! END
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Format: Paperback
This book is all you will ever need (and you WILL need it) to plan long trips. I find that planning food rations for long trips is one of the biggest logistical challenges. Not only can the planning be difficult, it can also be difficult to figure out which foods will keep your body energized and healthy over long periods of time (i.e. not Ramen). When you are on a high altitude expedition or on a long-distance backpacking trip this is very important. This book tells you which ingredients to bring along, how to break up food during the day (i.e. 10% of your food should be breakfast food, 25% should be lunch food, etc.) and which foods work well for each category. Included in the book are two worksheets which you can photocopy and use for each trip. The worksheets are basically formulas - you plug in the number of people in your group, the number of days you will be travelling, the quantity of food you want to take each day (the book also makes good reccomendations about how many pounds of food you should eat each day) - and then the book tells you how many pounds of breakfast foods, dinner foods, etc you will need for the entire trip. Once you have all of the basic ingredients, the book also has a great recipe section which tells you how to put together all of your ingredients into tasty meals. The book is small enough that you can take it with you on your trips (maybe 6 inches by 8 inches?). If you're really nitpicky you can cut the "cookbook" section out of the book and leave the rest at home to save weight. I'm glad that I finally got around to writing a good review for this book, and someday I need to get around to writing a thank-you letter to Claudia Pearson for writing it.
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Format: Paperback
If there is anything worse than slogging through a rainy day on the trail and then sitting down to a big ol' plate of beef jerky, I don't know what it is. This cook book goes step by step through the process of planning meals for your trip, the best way to pack the food, and how to prepare it on a one-burner stove. If you think that Ramans are the pinnacle of outdoor eating, check this book out. On my NOLS trip to Alaska, my cook group (none of whom, including myself, were anything like experienced cooks) was making pizza and cinnamon rolls from scratch by following these recipes. Mighty tasty.
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Format: Paperback
This is an essential book for anyone planning extended backcountry trips (more than a few days). It tells you what and how much to bring as well as what to do with it when you're hungry. I was introduced to this book on my NOLS Alaska Backpacking course and was treated to some of the best food I had ever tasted (or so I thought). Once you get back to the real world you realize that instant refried beans and lentils just aren't very good. ;-)
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Format: Paperback
Just one of many good books out there on how to cook while camping. However, if you are a light weekend hiker or some one who likes to cook simply, this is not the book for you. The concept of the NOLS school is that you'll carry a wide range of basic cooking stuff ( flower, sugar, etc), and thus have a wide range of meal options while hiking instaed of having to plan each meal in advance.
*lol* However, this book as found its way into my kitchen at home!
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Format: Paperback
I really liked this book on backcountry meal preparation. There are all sorts of usefull ideas from meal planning to packaging. The bulk of this book contains a large list of actual recipes proven at the NOLS. I liked the fact that the book actually has recipes that you could use. I expected a little more in the stove and cookware category, but only a minor gripe. I really did enjoy this book and plan on using it for future camping trips.
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Format: Paperback
I'm a window shopper at outdoors stores. I like the stuff they sell, but I'm a basement rat, the sort of person who might go into convulsions without a nearby internet connection or even a cellular signal. I am most assuredly not NOLS material. But I love this book.

From the perspective of a kitchen geek, this is a pretty cool book because it explains the challenges of cooking in the outdoors, especially without a premade meal plan. The gear is very different from what might exist in a typical kitchen -- campstoves little bigger than bunsen burners, cooking pans of appalling thinness and lightness, interesting uses for gear that no one would even consider in a normal kitchen, ingredients that a "serious" cook would never touch. But it all works, and this is a no-panic guide to getting it to work. This edition adds extensive nutritional information about the recipes, essential to backpackers who need to keep their calorie intake up or limit some aspect of their meal ingredients such as salt or fat.

An interesting point about the recipes is that a great many of them are vegetarian. It seems meat does not travel well in the backcountry, so with a very few exceptions (stock bases, beef jerky, bacon bits, etc) a large amount of the recipes use more backpack-stable meat substitutes such as TVP or beans to bulk out the finished dish. The recipes go from the simple (polenta and other boiled grains, soups) to the ambitious (yeasted breads) to the highly unusual (NOLS specialties such as Phil's Power Dinner, apparently a distant, meatless relative of oyako donburi made with couscous or bulgur wheat). Extensive information is provided on ration planning, and virtually nothing requires at-home preparation (a departure from most backpacking cookbooks).
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