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The Outdoor Biz Podcast

May 1, 2018

Chris tells us where is passion for the outdoors comes from, some of his experiences with JanSport, Vasque, Eagle Creek, and some great advice he’s received from mentors along the way.

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Show Notes

First Exposure to the Outdoors

I think my first outdoor memories are going to bog sled races in Alaska. My dad's passion for the outdoors just kind of crept right on down with anything from hiking to paddling the climbing, whatever's nearby.

My Dad was stationed there in the military and when he wasn't on base, he was a hunting guide and loved camping. We were out all the time.

It was quite a playground as a little guy. And then we moved back to Minnesota. I think one of my teachers was showing a picture of a Moose and I said, oh, that's my backyard. The teacher had to have a talk with my mom and dad saying well, your son has this fantasy. And my Mom and Dad had to inform her that we had just moved back from Alaska. And Yes, there indeed was a bull moose in our backyard.

Things we talked about

OutnBack, Orem Utah


LL Bean

Eagle Creek




Big City Mountaineers

Conservation Alliance

Philmont Scout Ranch

Advice, tips

I went to school at BYU, originally started in business and then I was thinking about it and I decided to go into advertising because that would get me into sports because I love sports and outdoor activities. And then I figured out that I really didn't want to be creative in advertising and the pay wasn't that great... and I thought well, what's my passion? And I just started working at this store called Out and Back. And as I did that, I realized that's where my passion was. And I remember going to my counselor and saying, Hey, I love recreation I'm going to recreate. And the counselor looked at me, the professor, he goes, there's no way you can do that. I said watch me. And I've had this great experience.

People weren't thinking about it from a business standpoint. And so I took it in a little different direction and it was great. But now what I'm really excited about is schools like University of Oregon, Utah State have started these great programs where somebody realized that there's this industry called the outdoor industry. So they're preparing people, whether they have art degrees, business degrees, marketing degrees, and they're creating bachelor's programs and masters programs. They're starting to mentor people together and create programs to place people at places like The North Face, Jansport, and Eagle Creek.

There are opportunities to connect with people, brands and great mentors that are bringing folks along. So I think that's an opportunity for businesses as well as individuals to connect through those programs.

Other Outdoor Activities






Favorite Books

Seven Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey

Into Thin Air by Jon Krakauer

Best Gear Purchase under $100


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