Outdoor enthusiasts now have a community in the F-M Area

Nature of the North’s monthly meet-up

Anthony Stoner spoke to fellow attendees of Nature of the North’s monthly meet-up on Thursday, January 30th in the cellar of Front Street Taproom.

Every month Nature of the North, an outdoor-oriented start-up and soon to be community space in Moorhead, hosts an event in the cellar of Front Street Taproom located off of Main Avenue in Downtown Fargo.

Topics include anything related to the outdoors and is a space for people to meet up; share experiences, camping knowledge, highlight upcoming events and to most importantly “make friends.”

Jon Walters, the founder of Nature of the North, opened up this month’s meet-up with an introduction of how Nature of the North came to be. He stressed that this community is “all about getting people outdoors.” The brand new space in Moorhead is currently under construction and on track to open this April. Jon highlighted that the new space will be a place to hold workshops, plan outdoor trips and build an outdoor community that Fargo-Moorhead currently lacks.

“This community is all about having people connect and to get outdoors.”

– Jon Walters (Founder of Nature of the North)

Jon excitedly stated that the bouldering wall is currently under construction. According to Nature of the North’s Facebook, Kumiki Climbing “is hard at work.” The bouldering wall will feature “bouldering routes for all skill sets, from beginners to experts that will re-set monthly to keep things fun and challenging.”

Jon turned the microphone over to Anthony Stoner, the speaker of the night, with the theme ‘Campfire Cooking.’ He introduced himself by telling the audience, judging from his stature that he has a plethora of information pertaining to campfire cooking because “look at him.” With the crowd laughing, Anthony explained his role as a dad in Boy Scouts and how he volunteered to be in charge of planning his boys’ camping trips.

He said, “After so many camping trips to The Boundary Waters, the typical Mountain House (referring to a brand) meals, where you just add water and then get something that somewhat resembles a meal; can get old.”

“Owning too much camping equipment is actually a thing; ask my wife.”

– Anthony Stoner (Speaker for the January meet-up)

After being sick of the limits of what food options someone can buy at an outdoors store, Anthony began experimenting with ingredients and different types of cooking equipment. All for the goal, for at the end of a long day, have a “tasty” meal.

Judging from the table full of cookware, Anthony wasn’t kidding when he said he liked experimenting with cookware. On the table were camping staples like a cast-iron skillet alongside two different styles of Dutch ovens (which he highly recommends not to go backpacking with because of the sheer weight, or have your kids’ carry them), a bread maker and a round, wood-burning stove. The wood burning stove is comprised of a metal tray on the bottom with an aluminum piece that connects to the bottom which creates a cylinder. From there, you have a contained space that allows you to control a flame and put a pan on top.

During his explanation, he told the crowd that he “isn’t a cast-iron purist” and (may) cook things in there that is suggested not to at times. He highly suggested close watching and being careful not to burn things.

If things are burned in a cast iron (specifically meals that deal with any water), the cast iron will “require another session of seasoning.”

Seasoning according to ‘Lodge,’ is the process of creating the shiny black easy-release cooking surface seen on a cast-iron which helps a pan from rusting.

Anthony goes on to say, seasoning a cast iron requires “any type of oil, I typically like avocado oil because it has a high smoke point, metal brush (to smooth the metal) and an oven.”

Moving on from the cast iron, Anthony told the audience little tidbits of information like; “usually with Dutch ovens you cook with coals,” or “a non-expensive dehydrator does the trick and works the same as one with a much higher price,” and “vacuum seal bags are an essential.”

From the start of the meet-up to the end, attendees could feel the sense of good-hearted laid-back community with (on this occasion) much help from Anthony’s humor and knowledge.

Stay tuned to Nature of the North’s Facebook page for upcoming events. Fargo Frostival, Paracord Bracelet Workshop and a dog walk are some events that Nature of the North is putting on and are quickly approaching.

Meet-ups like this one meet monthly and are typically held on a Thursday at the end of the month and are also posted on Nature of the North’s Facebook page and Instagram.

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