Game Day Musts: Attire, Accessories & Essentials

Across the nation football fans have been gearing up for tailgating season. The weather is right, expectations are high, and team spirit is pulsing through every fan. Game Day cultures are common across universities, conferences and states, but wearing your team colors is a tradition that is universal. Keeping in fashion when you show-off your team pride is a must, so don’t be on the outside looking in!



State Traditions Game Day Button Downs

State Traditions Game Day Button Downs


State Traditions is a brand that has become just that – a tradition. Using collegiate and fall colors as their basis, State Traditions has found a growing audience for a variety of men’s Game Day styles. Get dressed up in a button down or keep it casual in a polo. Either way you’ll hit the tailgate with class in one of these State Traditions choices.





AO Game Day Spirit Jerseys

These over-sized long sleeve tees fit any situation: tailgating with friends, heading to class, watching movies on the couch, or just casually. They couldn’t be more comfortable, and they are available in Youth and Adult sizes. Find your team’s colors or whatever colors suit you best!



Haul Couture Varsity Cargo Mini Bag

Haul Couture Varsity Cargo Mini Bag

Coastal Cotton Leather Suede Hoof Belt

Coastal Cotton Leather Suede Hoof Belt

A handsome belt or hat can put the finishing touches on a man’s Game Day look. Coastal Cotton provides a uniquely buckled, leather and suede belt that will last for seasons to come. For women, a purse or handbag is often the final piece that ties an outfit together. Haul Couture, a Huntsville based company, offers Cargo Bags that encompass fashion and function. Bring hot tailgate snacks, or cold beverages to the barbecue with these stylish bags.





YETI Tundra 45

YETI Tundra 45

There’s a handful of essential gear to have for Game Day, but there is one item that is a must for tailgate season – the YETI Tundra cooler. Keep your beverages cold all weekend long.

Make sure you are Game Day ready by stocking your closet and prepping your tailgate with the hottest items of the season!


All items available at Alabama Outdoors. Selection varies by location. See store for details.

Labor Day 2014: Worry Free Checklist

Across the nation hard-working Americans are packing up for the long weekend. Whether you are looking for some sunshine on the open waters or some nature therapy in the woods, make sure you’re prepared! Here are some key ingredients for a perfect Labor Day getaway.


  • A Destination
  • Summer Bottoms
  • Breathable Top
  • Comfortable Shoes
  • Sun Protection – Hat, Sunscreen, Sunglasses
  • Beverages
  • Snacks
  • 1 Planned Activity (at least)

And that’s all you need! Below are some suggestions:


Bottoms – If you are headed to the beach, lake or river, you are definitely going to want a good pair of shorts. In fact, even if you plan on spending time on a hike or just catching rays in your backyard, these will be a must. Quickly wick away moisture from perspiration or water recreation with shorts like the AFTCO Original Fishing Shorts or The North Face Women’s Class V Water Shorts.





Columbia Men's PFG Zero Rules Polo Shirt

Columbia Men’s PFG Zero Rules Polo Shirt

Tops – You’re going to need something breathable if you plan on staying in the South this Labor Day. Look for materials like Columbia’s PFG (Performance Fishing Gear) Omni Freeze which simultaneously cools and wicks moisture in hot weather. Any UPF (Ultraviolet Protection Factor) rated clothing will help protect you from powerful afternoon sunshine.





Shoes – A good pair of sandals is a major comfort in the hot Southern summers. Chaco has a series of durable and attractive sandals that accommodate most preferences of styles. So if you plan on being on the water or just hanging out, remember to bring a good pair of sandals.





SUP – SUPs (or Stand Up Paddle Boards) have been a booming product and activity for exercise buffs and adventurists alike. It is an excellent way to enjoy the water or work your upper body, core and balance. Don’t be afraid to hop on this trend! Look into our selection of Murray Boards if you are interested in “SUP’ing.” Murray Boards is a Birmingham, AL based company and the first SUP manufacturer in the state.

Paddle Boarding - Murray Boards of Birmingham, Alabama

Murray Boards


Hammocking – Few things are more relaxing than floating between two trees in the wilderness. Having a hammock along on your trips allows you to toss up and rest your feet just about anywhere. Grab a book, a cool drink or just listen to the soothing sounds of nature!




Tailgating – College Football is back! Game Day traditions run deep here in the state of Alabama, and tailgating with friends and family is a cornerstone. So no matter who you root for, be sure to safely enjoy the College Football Season Kickoff this Labor Day weekend.

Once you’ve checked off the essentials for a great time – have a wonderful, well-deserved and worry free Labor Day!


All items available at Alabama Outdoors. Selection varies by location. See store for details.

Backpacks: What’s New for Back to School

New class schedules, new textbooks, new and old friends… AND you need a new backpack!?! The search for a new backpack can be a challenge when you haven’t had the time to look into the details. We’ve compiled a quick list of features to help you find the perfect pack!



Compartments – You’ll definitely want to seek out packs that offer multiple zippered compartments if you plan on keeping yourself organized for school. Be on the lookout for smaller organization pouches to hold pens, pencils, and electronics as well as holsters for essentials like water bottles and sunglasses.



The Mountain Hardwear Agama Backpack

The Mountain Hardwear Agama


Ventilation – A ventilation system, often a breathable mesh backing, allows heat and perspiration to escape by separating the backpack from your back. During the hot summers in the South, always choose a pack with this great addition!





Internal Sleeve – Just about every student is using laptops and tablets for taking notes, conducting research and writing essays. Though internal pockets come standard in many backpacks, be sure the pack you choose contains this padded sleeve to protect your precious cargo. (Bonus: The North Face Recon hosts two internal sleeves: one designed for laptops and another specifically for tablets!)





Electronics Charger – It seems like everyone is toting around smartphones and tablets these days, but what happens when your charge dives into the red? Forget the hassle of tracking down a wall plug and upgrade to an internal battery pack charger! Look into The North Face Surge II Charged Day Pack so you can stay connected.




Water Resistant – Not as many backpacks as we would like harbor in this excellent feature. Water resistant material surrounding your expensive textbooks and electronics seems like a must, but it has yet to become standard in backpacks.The Patagonia Arbor Pack 26L offers a DWR (Durable Water Repellent) outer material and a sleek, old-school design.



The North Face Big Shot II Backpack

The North Face Big Shot II


Fresh, Fabulous & Fun Colors – No longer do you have to settle for a monochromatic or black only backpack. Brands like Patagonia and The North Face are offering trendy new color schemes ranging from retro throw-backs to neutral earth tones.





So whether you like to go simple, stylish, or technical, these are a few features to consider when planning your next backpack purchase. Happy shopping!

Explore Nature! Win a Car

PrintFrom ocean shores to mountain trails, there is much to explore in the Yellowhammer state. To encourage local Alabama residents to explore nature this summer, one of our partners, The Nature Conservancy, has launched the Natural Treasures challenge, sponsored by Honda. One grand prize winner chosen at random will receive a new Honda Civic Hybrid!

Participating is as simple as taking a “selfie.” For a chance to win, residents of Alabama, Indiana and Ohio must visit one or more designated Natural Treasures locations, photograph themselves there, and upload the photo to

Participants can receive one contest entry for each official Natural Treasures destination where they take a photo. They can also receive one contest entry for a photo taken at a Personal Natural Treasure, which could be a favorite place to hike or bike in the outdoors.

Alabama’s designated Natural Treasures locations, listed below, were selected by the Conservancy because of their importance to people and nature. Have you ever been to any of them? Well, get your cameras ready because you could be the lucky one to win a brand new Honda Civic Hybrid!

Kathy Stiles Freeland Bibb County Glades Preserve

kathy-stiles-freelandThis site is the most biologically diverse piece of land in Alabama. “A Botanical Wonder,” The Nature Conservancy’s preserve in Bibb County is home to 61 rare plant species. The Little Cahaba River, which flows through the preserve, harbors dozens of rare aquatic creatures. The preserve is also the site of Brighthope Furnace, the earliest ironworks built in Alabama.





Cane Creek Canyon Preserve

cane-creek-canyon-nature-preseThis 700-acre site is a privately protected scenic area. It serves as a sanctuary for native plants and animals and offers 11 miles of hiking as well as camping, picnicking, and creek wading. This remarkable area of natural beauty is still unspoiled largely due to an equally remarkable couple, Jim and Faye Lacefield. The retired educators bought a 40-acre tract of land in 1979 and have gradually added to that original purchase, keeping the land in its natural state.



Splinter Hill Bog Preserve

splinter-hill-bog-preserve-larThis preserve is home to more than 12 species of carnivorous plants, including five species of pitcher plants, two species of butterworts and several species of sundews. Rare animals including Bachman’s sparrow, Florida pine snake and gopher tortoise have also been spotted.





Keel Mountain Preserve

barn-owl-keel-mountainAs you step onto the trail at Keel Mountain Preserve, you are immediately immersed in a forest of oak, hickory, smoketree and cedar. Ruggedly beautiful limestone bluffs are spotted with sinkholes and glade-like openings. The creek beds at this preserve can run high or become dry very quickly depending on local rainfalls. A small waterfall flowing into a sinkhole has been dubbed the “lost sink” by local residents.



Roy B. Whitaker Paint Rock River Preserve

paint-rock-riverThis preserve is an ideal destination to experience north Alabama’s scenery and wildlife. Wildlife is sometimes easier to spot on the open fields of the preserve, and even the untrained eye can see many birds that hunt and nest in the prairie. Colorful wildflowers also dot the grasses, and a shaded trail runs alongside Cole Springs Branch.





Ruffner Mountain Nature Preserve

ruffner-mountain-largeThe third largest urban nature preserve in the United States, Ruffner Mountain Nature Preserve includes 1,038 forested acres nestled in Birmingham, Alabama. The preserve protects over 550 species of plants and 450 species of animals and is an important stopover for migratory birds.





Pratt’s Ferry Preserve

the-cahaba-river pratt ferryPratt’s Ferry Preserve is located along a rocky limestone slope on the south bank of the Cahaba River in Bibb County. The area is lush in the spring and summer with a variety of wildflowers. The site also offers an ideal location to put in or take out a canoe on the Cahaba River.





Talladega National Forest

talladega-national-forest-largThe spectacular southern scenery of the Talladega National Forest covers 392,567 acres at the southern edge of the Appalachian Mountains. Before the land was bought by the federal government in the 1930s, the area that comprises the Talladega was extensively logged and was some of the most abused, eroded wasteland in all of Alabama. The pine forest regrowth now hosts a diverse ecosystem, beautiful views and a peaceful natural resource for Alabama.