Store Spotlight: Trussville

Even though this last year was well, different; we are so thankful to all of our team members and customers who helped us make it through to 2021! To kick off the start of a new year we want to highlight our wonderful stores and communities who help keep us doing what we love! 

This week we are headed to Trussville, Alabama (also known as Trussvegas) to chat with our store manager, Abbey Medlin, and some of our other awesome team members! Our Trussville store opened their doors in the Homestead Village in July 2017 but have been a part of the Trussville community since 2013. Let’s check it out!


How long have you worked at AO and what interested you about working here?

Pictured: Abbey Medlin (Trussville store manager) and fiancé Brandon Wright (Homewood operations manager) at the Trussville Blow Away 5K

“I have worked for Alabama Outdoors Trussville for almost six years! When I originally applied, I was so curious about the products that were sold and I wanted to know more. I loved spending time outside; running, paddle boarding, and the occasional camp night (when I could), but I wanted to know more! I immediately fell in love with the people I worked with, and the customers and community that I was serving. Since then I have been given promotional opportunities and have even had the chance to help physically move and open the Trussville location that we are currently in! AO has given me so much more knowledge of the outdoors and what it has to offer. Currently, I still love to run, my fiancé and I play disc golf regularly, and now our camp nights are more fun! My favorite part about working at Alabama Outdoors though is the relationships and life-long friendships that I have made with the people that I work with and the customers and the community that I serve!” – Abbey Medlin


“I have been working at Alabama Outdoors for a little over a year now. I was very interested to work with Alabama Outdoors because I have always been a fan of the company and the brands and merchandise they sell. When I applied, I felt like I could help the company’s growth, and also share my love for Alabama Outdoors with many other people that I would meet on an everyday basis in and out of the work field.” – Drew Shaw 


“I have been working at AO for about a year and a half now. I became interested in working at AO because I noticed the staff was close, like a family, and they actually got along with each other. I wanted to be around people that worked together as a team, instead of just showing up, and clocking in and out to get hours.” – Christain Madison



What we love about Trussville

Pictured: Abbey Medlin rocking our Curbside Pickup service!

“The community of Trussville is one that captures the ease of life and a sense of fun. The community is always holding events that allow for everyone to come together and have collective memories. These constant engagements with the people from every aspect of the city, from municipal to churches, create an atmosphere of togetherness, fun, and social opportunities. I’ve lived here for the majority of my life, and this engagement amongst community members is unlike anywhere else that I’ve been. We celebrate the easiness of life and the excitement of being together. The city and community have grown over the past few years, creating a great place for all kinds of people. We have many demographics represented in such a small area, and it brings a sense of wholeness.” – Chloé Adkins


“The Trussville community is so much fun and it is still growing! Unfortunately, this year we were only able to participate in one event, the Annual Trussville City Fest, and it was still so much fun! This year, however, we were able to serve our customers in a unique way. Due to the pandemic and the shutdown that happened, so many more people were going outside, playing disc golf, hiking, and camping (which is so exciting), that we were able to meet new people and serve them curbside, which in some ways allowed for a more personalized shopping experience. I love that our community was all in on this!” – Abbey Medlin



Which Alabama Outdoors core value resonates with you the most?

“Of our four key values here at AO, Participation and Trust are the most important to me. As a manager, I have seen first hand what can happen to a team when there is no trust or participation among its team members. I’ve also seen what lack of trust or participation between customers and employees can do to a business. Thankfully, I have seen and experienced what happens when there is trust and participation between team members, employees, and customers. I am so grateful for my team here in Trussville and the way they trust each other and participate in store-related activities, as well as non-work related get-togethers. This year, those get-togethers have looked different, but I am thankful for their participation and what it means to me. It is also important for our customers to trust us and the information we provide to them, and we welcome their participation in any event or giveaway that we are asked to be a part of or even host!” – Abbey Medlin 


As far as which core value resonates with me the most, I would lean towards our Purpose. Our Purpose is defined as – “Influencing people to get outside in Alabama and beyond, while also building loyalty with our customers one connection at a time.” – In a world with increasing distractions, it is difficult for the average person to find the time to get out and explore the beautiful scenery that Alabama has to offer. With the ups and downs that 2020 has provided, one positive is that a lot of individuals have now been able to get out and explore the outdoors with friends and family. Being able to see firsthand the increase in outdoor activities that our customers are enjoying has been an awesome experience at the store level. Returning customers bringing in photos and stories of what they have discovered, as well as new customers coming in for knowledge and advice on getting themselves and their families outdoors is what continues to be the foundation that this company once built itself upon.” – Zachery Warren



Image taken at Civitan Park in Trussville

Our favorite places to explore around Trussville

“I love running and playing disc golf at Civitan Park near the Cahaba River (harder course though–my disc sometimes ends up in the river for whatever reason 🙈) and through the Sports Complex that runs through downtown Trussville. The Sports Complex is one of my favorite places to go because you can run through it while running through downtown for a hard incline; you can go play a round of disc golf; or, you can hit one of their several mapped out trails to run or bike. It is also a fun place to have a picnic or hang in your Eno hammock! I spend a lot of time in this area, especially between April and October!” – Abbey Medlin 



Some of our favorite things at AO

“My favorite brands right now are ON Running & Free Fly. I love ON because they are cute and comfortable, and having more than one style allows me to have happy feet while I work with customers. Free Fly is a favorite because of the bamboo material. It is so soft and comfortable for all types of weather, any time of the year!.” – Nora Jeffres

“My favorite brand that we sell right now is Patagonia! It may be a little expensive for me, but I like the different styles and many options it allows for. The few items that I have are not only really warm, but they look nice, too!” – Gavin Bingham



Image taken on the trails at Trussville Sports Complex

What is your favorite way to enjoy the outdoors?

“My favorite way to enjoy the outdoors changes depending on what season it is. In the summer, my go-to activity is kayaking or paddle boarding either here in Birmingham on the Cahaba River, or somewhere a little farther like Smith Lake or Lake Guntersville. In the winter and spring, I love to camp and hike because the weather is cooler at night and warmer during the day. Ruffner Mountain, Cheaha, and Bankhead are some of my favorite hiking/camping spots! Limited daylight during the winter also means I will be enjoying an outdoor bonfire or be wrapped in my sleeping bag inside my Eno! I also enjoy riding my bike outdoors year-round!” – Anna Fuqua




We want everyone to enjoy the outdoors, and we work to build loyalty one connection at a time. Visit one of our stores or take advantage of our shipping or curbside pickup! #BeOutdoors

7 Tips for Winter Hammock Camping

20171207-Alabama-Hammock Camping

If you camp in a hammock in winter, you need to take extra steps to stay warm.


With the right strategy, hammock campers can sleep comfortably during cold winter nights.

They call it “cold butt syndrome.” When you sleep in a hammock, the parts of your body that press against the fabric get cold because they’re more susceptible to the wind.

If you camp in a hammock in winter, you need to take extra steps to stay warm. Leaning on our own experience, as well as advice from hammock manufacturers, we’ve come up with seven solid tips to help you stay toasty in your hammock.


Seek Natural Shelter & Consider the Wind

As you set up your hammock, a main goal is to deal with potential wind. So, note the direction of the wind and take advantage of natural windbreaks, like hills, rock formations, and trees. Instead of hanging your hammock in an area that’s relatively open, move to a cluster of trees and take advantage of their natural sheltering effect. You could also consider hanging a tarp between two trees as an extra layer of protection.

An alternative to an under quilt is an under pad. jchapiewsky

Use Quilts to Stay Warm

To help trap heat and block the wind, use an under quilt, which is an insulated blanket that you string up beneath your hammock. This creates a layer of air between the quilt and the hammock, so heat is trapped to provide more insulation. You’ll be warmer if you deploy an under quilt, rather than just using a sleeping bag inside your hammock. In a hammock, the insulation in a sleeping bag gets compressed and loses its ability to trap heat.

While a sleeping bag will still do a good job of insulating the top of your body, many hammock campers forego a bag and instead use a top quilt that’s made specifically for a hammock. Typically, top quilts are light and compressible, so they’re easy to carry into the backcountry.


Use a Sleeping Pad

An alternative to an under quilt is an under pad, which you place beneath you inside the hammock. You can use a standard foam or inflatable sleeping pad, but be aware that these can slip and even slide out of the hammock as you move around while sleeping. Some hammocks have an inner compartment that holds a foam or inflatable sleeping pad and prevents the pad from shifting.

Another option is to invest in a pad made specifically for a hammock. These not only have side sections that fold to conform to a hammock, but some also feature materials that reflects your body heat. You can also find sleeves that slip over a pad and have reflective materials to help you retain heat.

Rig a tarp above your hammock to protect you from the elements. Buddy Lindsey

Rig a Tarp Above the Hammock

If you rig a tarp above your hammock, it can block wind, rain, and snow, and also trap heat. Keep in mind that it’s best to place the tarp as low as possible. Once you’ve attached the tarp to a spot on the tree just above your hammock straps, pull the tarp corners as low as possible and secure them. On the market you’ll find a wide variety of rainfly and tarps from several hammock manufacturers.


Rest Your Head on a Pillow

To stay warm in winter, you should prevent your skin from pressing against the hammock fabric as much as possible. So, pack a travel pillow, and also cover your neck and shoulders as you sleep.


Layer Your Clothing

It’s a good idea to wear many layers when you camp in winter, even when you’re using a hammock. This will allow you to regulate your temperature to keep from getting too hot or too cold. With a little practice, you’ll even learn to add and remove clothes without leaving the cozy confines of your hammock.

It’s wise to keep extra clothing inside your hammock at all times so it stays warm and readily available. Also, be sure to remove snow from your clothing before you get into your hammock. While this might sound obvious, it can make a big difference in keeping you dry and warm.


Stash a Hot Water Bottle

Here’s a trick hangers have used for years—fill an insulated water bottle with boiling water before you go to bed and stash it near your feet. This will help warm your whole body during the night.


Looking for help with your holiday shopping list this year? Check out our holiday gift guides for ideas for everyone on your list! We want everyone to enjoy the outdoors, and we work to build loyalty one connection at a time. Visit one of our stores or take advantage of our shipping or curbside pickup! #BeOutdoors


Written by Marcus Woolf for RootsRated in partnership with Blue Cross Blue Shield of AL and legally licensed through the Matcha publisher network. Please direct all licensing questions to

Featured image provided by Andy McLemore

Cozy Winter Retreats: A Guide to the Best Cabins in Alabama

Please note: due to local and state guidelines surrounding the Covid-19 pandemic, some information below may not be accurate. Before you travel and plan your next adventure, make sure to check each business/park/campsite for any closures or guidelines and for the most up to date information. Enjoy your cozy winter retreat and holiday adventures in Alabama!


When the first blast of cold air descends on Alabama, it makes us dream of cozying up to a warm fire in a rustic cabin. And for outdoor lovers in Alabama, there are three state parks where you can rent old stone cabins, many with handcrafted fireplaces and other amenities for a comfortable getaway.

While the cabins are rustic, they include creature comforts you won’t get while camping—think TVs, kitchen appliances, and showers. Plus, the great advantage of these cabins is that they lie within state parks, so you also have quick access to trails for hiking and biking. And after a day of adventure, you can relax around the fire with firewood purchased in the state park.

The cabins come with some impressive history, too: In the 1930s, members of the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) built the cabins as part of the work program that brought relief to unemployed Americans during the Great Depression.

To help you plan your retreat, we’ve detailed the features of cabins in each park, plus suggestions for outdoor activities during your stay.


Monte Sano State Park

Monte Sano State Park features 14 cabins, including 11 CCC cabins built in the Arts and Crafts style. All of the cabins, except #7 and # 8, have stone fireplaces, and some come with a screened-in porch that’s perfect for relaxing in warmer weather.

Measuring 500 square feet, the CCC cabins have a studio layout, with full and twin beds, a love seat, dining table, full bath, heat and air conditioning and cable TV. In the kitchenette there’s a microwave, oven, fridge, toaster and coffee maker.

Best picks: For more privacy, try to snag cabin #10 or #11, as these are nestled in the woods and more secluded. For a bluff view, choose #6, which also has a screened-in porch. If you bring a pet, you can stay in #7 or #8, but keep in mind that these don’t have fireplaces.

Outdoor Fun

Covering more than 2,000 acres, Monte Sano State Park has 22 miles of hiking, biking and running trails, and the adjacent Land Trust Monte Sano Preserve covers about 1,100 acres, with more than 20 miles of trails.

You’ll enjoy nice bluff views and easy, flat ground if you hike the South Plateau Loop in the park. For a short hiking or biking loop in the park (about 4 miles), begin at the biker’s parking lot and take the Sinks Trail to the Stone Cuts Trail and pass through a lengthy hallway of stone. From the Stone Cuts, you can retrace your steps or loop back on the Sinks Trail or Mountain Mist Trail.

For a loop hike or bike ride over diverse terrain, begin at the Land Trust Bankhead Trailhead and take the Bluff Line trail through a hardwood forest with small streams and falls. Then, turn onto the Waterline Trail to descend a singletrack path, or scramble down boulders in a creek basin to reach Three Caves, a limestone quarry dating to the 1930s. From Three Caves. The Alms House Trail weaves through remote woods to deliver you back to the trailhead.


Chewacla State Park

Six rustic cabins at Chewacla State Park make for cozy retreats.

Six rustic cabins at Chewacla State Park make for cozy retreats. Outdoor Alabama


On the banks of Chewacla Lake in this resplendent state park, there are six rustic cabins, including five built by the CCC in the 1930s. All the cabins were renovated in 2003 (with the exception of No. 4, which is new construction) and include a kitchen with an oven and range, refrigerator, toaster, microwave, and coffee maker.

Small cabins accommodate up to four people, while the larger ones hold up to six people. The small cabins have a studio layout with a main bedroom/living area with a fireplace, a queen size bed, and a couch with a pullout full-size bed. Off the main room there’s a bathroom with a shower. Large cabins have the same layout, but with an extra bedroom.

Best Picks: All cabins have lake views, except #1 and #3.** **For the best lake views, choose #4, #5 or #6.

Outdoor Fun

Bring your mountain bike, because Chewacla State Park is one of the best places to ride in Alabama. To experience some of the finest terrain, link together the Kick Six, Rocky Bottom, and Tiger Woods trails in Upper Chewacla. For the biggest thrill ride in the park, take Dell’s Trail and head for the Great Wall of Chewacla. After a steep and swift descent, you’ll speed across a wooden wall at a height of 10 or 15 feet above the ground. After you negotiate the wall, you’ll cross a series of serpentine bridges, skinnies, and a few pumps and jumps.

Chewacla also has several hiking trails that lead to natural and man-made waterfalls. To reach one of the most popular natural falls, you only have to hike about a mile from the parking area near the Creek View Trail. To see the most impressive flow of water in the park, take the Mountain Laurel Trail to Chewacla Falls. Formed by a dam spillway, the falls form a 30-foot curtain of water.


DeSoto State Park

Cabins at DeSoto State Park come with beds, cable TV, and other creature comforts.

Cabins at DeSoto State Park come with beds, cable TV, and other creature comforts. Outdoor Alabama


DeSoto State Park’s four CCC cabins are surrounded by mountainous terrain and beautiful hardwood forest. Each cabin has a bedroom with a full-size bed, plus a living room with a fireplace, cable TV, two twin beds and one sleeper sofa. There’s also a full kitchen, one bathroom and a shower.

Best Picks: Cabin #9 is most popular due its good bluff view. Also, all cabins are pet-friendly.

Outdoor Fun

DeSoto State Park has 25 miles of hiking trails, including numerous paths that lead to waterfalls. While Laurel Falls drops only about six feet, it’s still beautiful, and you can reach it by hiking less than a mile on the Orange Trail, a rugged path with moderate climbs.

Just behind the DeSoto Lodge you can see Lodge Falls, which drops about 25 feet. But, you can get a better look at it by hiking into a ravine and walking on the Yellow Trail.

If you’d rather bike, the park also has 11 miles of trails to ride, including the easy Family Loop near the Lost Falls trailhead. While the Family Loop traverses rugged terrain, it’s generally flat. For a more ambitious ride, challenge yourself on the steep inclines of the CCC Quarry Bike Loop, or try the 3.8-mile Never-Never Land Loop, rated moderate to strenuous. If you’re feeling particularly ambitious, take the DeSoto Scout Trail Exits, where bike racks and benches are located.



Looking for help with your holiday shopping list this year? Check out our holiday gift guides for ideas for everyone on your list! We want everyone to enjoy the outdoors, and we work to build loyalty one connection at a time. Visit one of our stores or take advantage of our shipping or curbside pickup! #BeOutdoors


Written by Marcus Woolf for Blue Cross Blue Shield of AL and legally licensed through the Matcha publisher network. Please direct all licensing questions to


Holiday Complimentary Services

We know the Holidays are busy. Let us give you the gift of time and help you out this season. From safe and convenient shopping options like local delivery and curbside pickup to complimentary gift wrapping in store. We have you covered this season!


Free Local Next-Day Delivery

From now until Wednesday December 23rd, we are offering Next-Day Local Delivery! Here are the details:

  • Free Local (see below) Delivery on orders $99+
  • Delivery address must be within 7 miles of any Alabama Outdoors location.
  • Order must be submitted by 5pm CST for next-day delivery. Orders placed after 5pm CST will be delivered in two days.
  • Orders will be delivered next-day, guaranteed (when placed by 5pm CST).
  • Service ends December 23rd, with the last delivery being the 24th on Christmas Eve!



Curbside Pickup

Want your gifts faster with the same contactless experience and all of the convenience? Take advantage of our curbside pickup at any Alabama Outdoor location! Details below:

  • Visit our online store for the things you need.
  • Select curbside pickup at checkout.
  • Watch for email/text updates providing store pickup info.
  • Call store upon arrival and say you have a curbside pickup.
  • An employee will bring your item(s) out to you.

Easy as that!



Free In-Store Gift Wrapping

We know that wrapping gifts can be a hassle, this year do not worry about running out of time or out tape! So come shop in-store with us this December and take advantage of our complimentary gift wrapping no matter how long your list is.





Looking for help with your holiday shopping list this year? Check out our holiday gift guides for ideas for everyone on your list! We want everyone to enjoy the outdoors, and we work to build loyalty one connection at a time. Visit one of our stores or take advantage of our shipping or curbside pickup! #BeOutdoors