By Emily King
DuPont State Forest in North Carolina’s Blue Ridge Mountains made its mark on the big screen this week. As the filming location for Blockbuster hit “The Hunger Games,” the 10,000-acre forest is stage to a brutal battle full of action and adventure. Characters dart in and out of the picturesque trees and rest alongside DuPont’s iconic waterfalls.
If you haven’t read the book trilogy or seen the recent movie release, The Hunger Games is a story of 24 teenaged men and women who are forced by their government to fight to the death in a post-apocalyptic Appalachian forest arena. Protagonist Katniss Everdeen is a skilled archer and battles through the games using her wit and her bow and arrow.
For those of us who are not in an epic battle to the death, DuPont State Forest offers a relaxing natural canvass for mimic adventures. If watching Katniss wield her bow as she raced through the forest looks like fun, check out the nearby Nantahala Outdoor Center. Visitors can learn how to string and shoot a bow, start fire from scratch, and take a crash-course on edible plants and the basics of foraging.
Need further training to prepare yourself for the ultimate battle of survival? The National Outdoor Leadership School (NOLS) offers short-term and long-term courses to prepare students for back country wilderness adventure. With topics like rationing, navigation, sanitation, campsite selection, animal and plant identification, astronomy, and risk management, you will be well-prepared to survive like a Career Tribute. NOLS offers classes at many locations throughout the world and will prepare any traveler for a dystopian future.