Adventure Outdoors

Well, it’s officially summertime and that means it’s time to get outside. And hopefully you plan on doing more than just cruising around on your riding mower with a beer or traumatizing the neighbors as you sun yourself half naked in a kiddy pool. Unless of course that’s the stuff you look forward to. You’ve got to make time to enjoy yourself a little. All work and no play is no good for anyone. And as I am writing this, I can see the look on my wife’s face as she tells me that I should take my own advice since I pretty much never stop working. Oh well, do as I say, not as I do! I’m gonna try and lead by example this year I promise. After all, we live in just about the best place on earth when it comes to getting outdoors this time of year. Or any time of the year for that matter. We’re basically no more than 2 hours from every type of environment. You want to play on the beach or ride on the dunes, 1 ½ hours. Wanna go hike to some waterfalls or trails, less than an hour. Go swimming or float the river, 20 minutes. Go do whatever it is people do in the desert, 2 hours. Talking with my team, customers and friends, I have heard and seen some cool ways to get some vitamin D.

I have heard of a few loggers and log truck drivers that collect 5-gallon buckets of dirt while they work all week. Then, when it’s nice out, they set up a kiddy pool, sluice and water pump so that they can sit in their yard sluicing for gold while they enjoy a tasty beverage and soke up some rays. I don’t know if anyone is getting rich that way but, it sounds more constructive than binge watching Netflix. Several of them claim that it is the best way to pass the time while they wait for the BBQ or smoker. Absolutely genius!

One of our team members, you all know him as Sean, is very into keeping fit and trained. So, he suits up with his plate carrier, ruck sack, gas mask and rifle. Then he runs, hikes up mountains and does all sorts of crazy shooting drills. The guy is an animal. And I’m pretty sure, kinda crazy. But he enjoys it, and he gets his family and friends involved too so he’s got something special there for sure. He also takes extra time to record videos of his workouts and drills so that he can post content on his social media and ours. For that I am greatly appreciative.

One of my friends and customers was only working 4 days a week so she got a second job serving wine for one of the wineries. She earns a little extra cash while also getting to attend a ton of concerts, events and travel all over the state. If I could find a way to do that with whisky and cigars that could be a game changer. I don’t know that taking on an extra job is the way to add relaxation but hell, if you don’t want to stay close to home but you don’t have money to travel, you do what needs to be done.

My right-hand-man Skyler likes to spend time with his wife and dogs. They are constantly hiking and exploring gardens, farmers markets (he says that’s where his mushroom lady is, LOL) and an absurdly large number of food trucks. He likes to document all his adventures, with a big focus on the food he is eating, on his social media. Personally, I think he’s just trying to make the rest of us jealous of how good he eats. What can I say, the guy loves to cook and eat good food. One of these days he’s gonna abandon me and open a restaurant. And you had better believe I’ll be one of his first customers. He too has been trying to get more range time in and has been contributing his share of content for our social media. We all have been trying to improve our knowledge and experience so that we can provide our customers with the best possible service. And it’s damn fun too.

Several of our customers have really gotten into axe and knife throwing. The Blade axe house has added their backyard area and I have heard nothing but great reviews from our customers. Plus, it looks awesome, and I know that my family enjoys throwing axes. We build our own target at home but to be honest, they have basically destroyed it. Primitive weapons are an incredible way to spend time outdoors. They are challenging and surprisingly powerful once you practice a little. My family have played with blowguns, slingshots, bows and even slings. I will warn you that slings are extremely dangerous until you have a lot of practice. Not only to those around you but also to yourself. I speak from experience but that is a story for another time.

A bunch of our customers, friends and family spend time Geocaching. If you have never heard of or tried it, I highly recommend it. Basically, people hide “Geocaches” and post the coordinates on along with clues and information about the accessibility of it. And then, using a GPS or APP, you find it and sign the guest log. Sometimes there are small treasures that you can pass on to another site while leaving something of your own behind. My family and I used to spend hours driving all over the place to find Geocaches. The coolest thing I found about it was that people hide geocaches in the coolest places. Searching for them has taken us to some of the most beautiful views and sweetest photo ops. And, if you want to turn it into a little bit more of an adventure, try it at night in town. You’ll spend the evening cruising around town like some kind of criminal. Sounds ridiculous but it’s loads of fun.

A good friend and neighbor gets his tan a couple different ways. He is big time into archery hunting. So, he spends a large portion of his free time setting and checking trail cams out in his hunting units and creating crazy target scenarios to hone and test his ability. I once went by his house, and he had archery targets swinging in a tree with ropes spider webbed everywhere as he and his buddies fired arrows off from different angles and distances. It looked like a crazy redneck game of H.O.R.S.E. with lots of beer involved. I can’t lie, that really made me interested in archery.

As you might expect, we have a ton of folks that spend time in the mountains or at the range shooting. And, while this might not seem very interesting compared to the rest of the things I have mentioned, we have heard of some pretty cool ways to get everyone involved or spice things up a bit. I ran into a seasoned veteran shooter at the South Umpqua Rod & Gun Club who took his old pill bottles and filled them with water and food coloring. They made a pretty big splash when he hit them, obviously it creates a little mess to clean up. But I thought it was a constructive way to utilize old pill bottles.

During elk season a few years back a friend of mine told us to bring our rimfire rifles along for something he had planned. He had brought several target game targets (battleship, cards, golf, etc.) and set up a 50- & 100-yard ranges next to our camp so we spent a bunch of our down time betting on who would win the next round. It was a blast. And it was a fun way for the entire family to get involved since we had several people in camp that weren’t hunting. I have added most of the targets for these games to our store inventory and people seem to really enjoy them.

Like many people around here, we like to load up a bunch of guns, ammo, BBQ fixings and head to the mountains for the day with several other trucks following along. A few years back we set up shop at the gravel pit top of Burnt Mtn. While we were setting out targets and getting the grill fired up, we noticed a ton of trash that people had left behind. We like to leave the mountains cleaner than when we arrived so we told the kids that before they could shoot their 22’s they had to build a boat using only items they could find at the gravel pit. So, they spent the first hour gathering pieces of wood and trash and creating some surprisingly intricate floatation devices. Then we had them float them out into the giant puddle/pond in the center and told them that the last one standing would win a prize. They had so much fun, and that whole process took hours. We have since turned that into a regular plan for when we bring kids along for a shooting day in the mountains. We have a ton of fun plus we teach them to leave the mountains cleaner than when we arrive.

Reactive targets are always fun as well. Self-healing cubes, balls, etc. can be knocked all over the place by shooting them. Steel targets are always fun because you get the instant gratification of hearing when you hit the target. And of course, there is everyone’s favorite, Tannerite! Who can resist blowing stuff up? Just don’t be one of those knuckleheads that put 100lbs of Tannerite in something and shoot it from 50 yards away. I don’t want to see any of our customers on dumb ways to die TikTok videos. Also, if your shooting expedition leads you into the mountains of forest. Please be a responsible shooter. Leave it cleaner than when you arrived and remember, it’s all fun and games until someone starts a forest fire.

There are literally millions of different ways to get outside and enjoy the summer. No matter what level of physical activity you are looking to put out. There is something for you. It doesn’t matter if you spend time reminding yourself why you quit skateboarding, give up on the benefits of deodorant and relocate to a tent in the woods for weeks, or maybe you have always wanted to spend more time perfecting your chainsaw carving skills. The whole point is just to spend time outdoors. I personally prefer low energy high relaxation activities. So, you might find me with a fishing pole in my hand sitting on the riverbank. Or even more likely, on my porch watching the birds while I sip bourbon, enjoy a cigar and wait on whatever I’m cooking in the smoker. I don’t get much time to relax so when I do, I try and do it right. I hope this sparks some ideas and inspires your next outdoor adventures. Feel free to swing by the shop and tell us all about it. Maybe you’ll even find what you need for the next adventure.

Author: Carlos Ortegon

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