Take Dad Camping in an off-grid UNIMOG adventure

I love to explore, and I am always looking for new and unique experiences to enjoy around our great state of Alabama. I also enjoy spreading that knowledge on to the followers of Alabama Outdoors – because hey, sometimes you don’t think there is anything to do around here, and that can be the farthest from the truth. So, today’s adventure that I think you might love experiencing with a partner or even making it a great Father’s Day outing is off-grid camping inside of a German UNIMOG vehicle. Epic!


How did I hear about it?

I found Case Rock ECO Retreat on Airbnb, and it is run by Rachel and Glenn Evans. They had a listing for an “Off-Grid UNIMOG Zombie-Free Adventure,” and well…I am not going to pass that up. Better yet, you might think an off-grid experience would be quite a drive to get to, but this get-away is located in Kimberly, Alabama. So for me, living in Birmingham, that is a short 30-minute drive to be one-with-nature.

Find it here on Airbnb.


About the Off-Grid UNIMOG on Mog Mountain in Case Rock ECO Retreat

The UNIMOG is on Mog Mountain and is one of three Airbnb spots at the pet-friendly Case Rock Eco-Retreat. The main area to sleep is inside a 1966 UNIMOG used on the film sets of The Walking Dead and The Hunger Games. It is a four-wheel-drive military vehicle. There is a comfortable wooden pavilion that houses the Mog. It includes a kitchen, a living and dining space, an observation deck, a sleeping loft, an outdoor shower, and a composting toilet. All of this overlooks a fire pit and plenty of trees to hang your hammock up and chill.


Renting Off-Grid UNIMOG Adventure

Booking a rental for this adventure through Airbnb was quick and easy. Rachel and Glenn are “Super Hosts” through Airbnb, which means most everyone has a really great experience. There is an extensive House Rules section which you are strongly encouraged to read. Do not let this intimidate you. It is only in place to ensure you understand you will be off-grid and that you do not step into a situation you are not prepared for. For example, showing up thinking that you can drive your BMW right up to your campsite. Negative.


The Adventure Begins…

Upon arriving at Case Rock ECO Retreat, you will pull into the drive and take a right where you can park beside their goat pen. This is where your vehicle will stay, so as I said up top – do not think you will drive your car anywhere. Even if you have four-wheel drive, it will not make it on the very rough road to get to your campsite. You will be greeted by Glenn, who is very lovely and accommodating, and he will drive you the rest of the way in a UTV.

What should I pack?

Though the UNIMOG is off-grid, there are still plenty of accommodations where you do not need to bring too much gear. I recommend bringing the following to have a fun and comfortable stay:

  1. Bring a cooler packed with drinks, food (dinner & breakfast), and of course, the ingredients for S’mores. Psst, we have an excellent video for S’more recipes here. Remember, once you are out at the MOG, the only way back to your car is the long walk back down the entry road. Doordash or going out to a restaurant will not work here.
  2. Pack bug spray. The Mog Mountain pavilion has several citronella candles, but nothing beats on body/on gear protection. I recommend Sawyer Permethrin spray to treat any clothing you will be wearing as well as your hammocks or accessories. I use it on all my adventure trips.
  3. Bring a hammock. When I stayed the night, a hammock was already hanging, but I was unsure how long it had been exposed to weather and the elements, potentially causing the fabric to become thin and not secure. So, I recommend bringing your favorite hammock. I hung my ENO up between the two pavilion posts and was in heaven.
  4. Bring a towel. The beautiful Locust Fork River is a quick walk from the MOG, where you can swim and play in the water. Case Rock ECO Retreat provides bath towels but recommends using your own towel to dry off from the river. I brought a Nomadix Pack Towel because it packs down really well and isn’t bulky.
  5. Bring a change of clothes. Upon arriving, wear something comfortable, and that will keep you cool. More than likely, the temperatures will be warm by the time you check-in, so wear a good pair of breathable performance shorts, and a t-shirt paired with shoes that can grip terrain like Chacos. There are a little over 100 acres of property here with hiking trails, so you will get sweaty if you explore, so lightweight performance apparel is key here. Temperatures will more than likely dip at night, so always pack a long-sleeve, hoody, or light jacket, even if you do not think it could possibly get cold.

Accommodations to expect

I had a wonderful time staying at MOG Mountain and sleeping in the UNIMOG. It was the perfect balance of off-grid camping with the convenience of glamping and not overthinking about what to bring. Perhaps, we will call it off-grid glamping. It is a beautiful place to bring friends or family, relax, enjoy a unique experience, and not feel like you are entirely roughing it. If you know someone who wants to get into camping but may not be the most outdoorsy person, I 100% recommend the UNIMOG experience as their introduction into the outdoors camping world.


You will have a small kitchen with a gas stove, a place to sit and eat, an observation deck to climb up on, a composting toilet (think fancy outhouse with the feel of an indoor bathroom), and an outdoor shower with hot water. Case Rock ECO Retreat will also provide bath towels, sheets, soap, body wash, shampoo, conditioner, and paper products (toilet paper). I had a wonderful experience, and I believe you will also. Have fun exploring!



Needing a gift for the dad in your life? Shop here for great gifts from top brands he is sure to love! 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

5 Ways to Celebrate Dad on Father’s Day

Life is full of little adventures. Many of our favorite memories are when our Dad came to us and said “Let’s go”, and even if it was just a quick trip to the hardware store, the mailbox, or a planned family vacation, to you it was a grand adventure with your Dad. This Father’s Day, celebrate the man in your life who showed you that adventures truly begin with love—let’s go.


  • Strengthen your bond and go workout together

A lot of us have been working from home still or putting in more hours, so this Father’s Day be active with the Dad in your life. No need for competition, staying active is good for the soul and so is the quality time together. Either go for a run outdoors, plan a garage workout at home, or hit up a local gym to try something new. 

Shop below for gifts he can use during the workout and will end up loving. 


  • Grab your gear and go on a unique outdoor adventure

Does the Dad in your life enjoy exploring the outdoors in his off time? If so, plan an outdoor adventure that he has yet to check off his bucket list. Alabama is filled with many unique adventures and places to explore, from caves to waterfalls and in between. Surprise him with an off-grid ‘glamping’ adventure in a 1966 UNIMOG vehicle with Case Rock Eco-Retreat or a custom camper van decked out with all of the necessities from Gearbox Adventure Rentals.


Interested in a more primitive camping adventure? Plan your weekend around a hike he has been wanting to do or somewhere that you know has a great spot to hang a hammock and relax. We suggest a weekend getaway in the Sipsey Wilderness as there is so much to do and you choose where you want to set up camp. With over 25,000 acres, there is trout fishing, 45 miles of trails, and waterfalls. After all, it is called “The Land of 1,000 Waterfalls”.

Click below for gifts Dad will love for an outdoor adventure. 


  • Go local and hit up the golf course + a brewery 

Looking to stay nearby this Father’s Day weekend but still wanting to plan something out of your normal weekend activities? Spend the day touring the city and being outdoors. Make a tee time at a new course and find a local lunch spot or brewery after for some much-needed grub and ice-cold beverage after a day on the green. This is definitely a “Dad day”. 

Click below for gifts for Dad that are great for a day on the course and around town.


  • Go on a road trip and getaway to the lake or beach

This may be a common go-to trip in the summer for Alabamians but it is always a good time and who gets tired of being by the water when it is so hot out? Maybe this time go somewhere new or surprise him by planning all of the food and grilling. Once you’re packed up and hit that open road, the worries are gone and vacation has begun.

Click below for gifts for Dad that are perfect for road trips and long days in the sun and water.


  • Go spend quality time with him at home

If you don’t have the option of going on a full weekend getaway, plan some things around the house for the Dad in your life. Work on a new project together or help him tackle some of his to-do’s in the yard. Make sure he has the right tools and gear needed to scratch any project off his list. If he doesn’t, gift them to him and surprise him by helping out. End the day with an at-home cookout where he can sit back and relax and enjoy uninterrupted time with you and maybe enjoy a game of disc golf or cornhole. 

Click below for gifts for Dad that are great for lounging at home and backyard cookouts.


Looking for more gift ideas for Dad? Check out all of our Father’s Day gift ideas here! 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

Top 10 Gifts for Father’s Day 2021

Are you still struggling to find that perfect gift for the world’s best dad? Here are some items that the Dad in your life is sure to love this Father’s Day.

On-Running Shoes

The do-it-all sneaker with comfort to spare, Dad will love a new pair of On-Running Shoes. With styles for everyone, like the super-comfortable On Cloud, the sporty On Cloudflow, or the supportive On Cloudswift, Dad will be ready for anything and everything.



Yeti Rambler 20

Perfect for on the go dads who want a hot cup of coffee or cold glass of tea, wherever they are! From the pool, to the car, to the trail, this Yeti Rambler keeps drinks at the perfect temp, all day. A no-slip powder coating and the MagSlider lid keep this cup in his hand and his drink inside without spilling. With plenty of colors, he can rep his favorite football team and enjoy an ice-cold anything this summer!


Coastal Cotton T Shirt

Let dad rock his laid-back style in, well, something actually stylish thanks to the Coastal Cotton Men’s Island Cotton T-Shirt. Comfy enough to wear in any weather and just the right fit so it doesn’t have to get tucked in, dad will love this vintage-inspired shirt. 


Free Fly Men’s Breeze Shorts

Comfortable bamboo fibers and a simple look make the Free Fly Men’s Breeze Shorts an easy gift for Dad. A stretchy waistband and drawstring ensure the perfect fit, while the side pockets transition seamlessly from workouts to lounge days. 


Patagonia Men’s Capilene Cool Daily Shirt

Long summer days call for a shirt that’s as comfortable as it is protective, and the Patagonia Men’s Capilene Cool Daily Shirt does it all. A stretchy, moisture-wicking, UPF 40+ shirt, this long sleeve keeps dad from burning so you can save some sunscreen. Perfect for paddling, fishing, swimming, or hitting the beach, this will be dad’s new favorite shirt; maybe buy two so it doesn’t start to smell. Not that it matters, thanks to the HeiQ Fresh durable odor control, which keeps this shirt fresh long after the wearer isn’t.


Patagonia Men’s Baggies Longs

Come to any event prepared for a quick dip in the pool or a dive off the cliff with the Patagonia Men’s Baggies Long. Made from bullet and adventure-proof Nylon, these swim trunks have a DWR finish and a classic fit with various fun colors and prints to choose from. These UPF 50+ plus shorts also feature a drawstring for the perfect fit and three pockets for valuables (make sure he empties his pocket before hitting the pool though). 


Southern Tide Men’s Sun Farer Shirt

Keep Dad stylish this summer with the Southern Tide Men’s Sun Farer Shirt. A perfect gift for Dads who love a comfy t-shirt for any occasion, this Southern Tide Tee is 100% cotton for all-day wearing. The vintage graphic lets it dress up or down, so he can wear it everywhere.


Goodr Sunglasses

Deck out Dad in some slick shades this summer with the uber-fun and uber-comfortable Goodr Sunglasses. With nonsense names and no-nonsense features, these polarized sunglasses are sure to please. Their special powder-coating wicks moisture and prevents bouncing, while the durable frames are lightweight and shatterproof to ensure years of use. Get Dad some sunglasses he actually wants for Father’s Day.


Black Diamond Spot 350 Headlamp

Dad can hit the trail, the crag, or the grill, after dark, thanks to the Black Diamond Spot 350 Headlamp. This Black Diamond Spot 350 offers peripheral lighting for close-range activities like sorting gear, cooking, or reading in camp and it sports an IPX8 waterproof (fancy way of saying really waterproof) housing. Give Dad the gift of light, anytime, anywhere. 


Patagonia Black Hole Duffel 55

Any good adventure requires a bag that keeps up, and the Patagonia Black Hole Duffel 55 stays strong through any punishment your Dad can come up with. A bomb-proof nylon with rugged webbing skeleton, this spacious duffel packs up everything you need for long trips. It’s DWR coating and puddle-guard keep moisture out and the easy-haul handles stow for convenience. Trust us, Dad wants this bag.



Still looking for more gift ideas for Dad or looking for somewhere to take him for the weekend? Check out all of our Father’s Day ideas here for gifts and 5 ways to celebrate Dad this Father’s Day! 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


Father’s Day getaway: Go Explore Bankhead National Forest and the Sipsey Wilderness

We know what you’re thinking- the weather has warmed up and it’s time to get outside, until you do and you are immediately reminded of the humidity and Alabama summer climate. Most can’t imagine going camping as temps and humidity rise but if you do, the Sipsey Wilderness and William B. Bankhead National Forest is a great place as most adventures will include water as the destination. 

Known as the ‘Land of 1,000 waterfalls’ the Sipsey Wilderness will make you feel like you stepped out of Alabama and into the tropics with only an hour and a half drive from Birmingham. 

Even if the Dad in your life has been to the Sipsey Wilderness, chances are he hasn’t hit all of the spots. With over 25,000 acres of National Forest and waterfalls, there is plenty to explore. So grab Dad and let’s go!


Find your plot of land & put a stake in it

Image provided by: @the_frugal_doodle on Instagram

Since the Sipsey is a Wilderness area, wilderness camping is permitted and offers primitive and established campsites for many experience levels. Even though some campsites you come across on the trails may have water and firewood accessible, you will not find fully developed campsites as you would when you go car camping at a recreation center or State Park. 


When staying in and exploring the Sipsey Wilderness just make sure to follow all Leave No Trace principles. So while you hike around, find a cozy spot where you can set up your campsite for the weekend or even just the night and explore somewhere new the next night!

If this level of primitive or backcountry camping is not quite your speed, there are multiple developed camping areas within Bankhead National Forest that are great for families or if you love camping while having a few accommodations like a shower, water pump, and maybe even electricity hookups. A few nearby options are:


  • Clear Creek Campground One of the most popular recreation areas and located on Lewis Smith Lake giving you access to swimming and boating.


  • Brushy Lake Campground First some, first serve with 13 campsites makes this one a serene getaway and less crowds.


What to cook

Night one it is best to be prepared with an easy meal. If you decide to rough it in the wilderness, freeze dried meals are a no-fuss, no-mess solution and it fits right in with your outdoor adventure. If you were able to bring a cooler or are car camping and are looking to show off your Gordon Ramsey skills, here are some easy and delicious meals you can make. Just remember if you are backpacking, it is best to keep it light and always wherever you go- pack it out.

We recommend the JetBoil Zip Stove for primitive and car campers alike as it is compact and boils water in just over two minutes. Make sure to get fuel, and any accessories you need like cooking pots, a coffee press, and utensils. Read on for another fresh meal idea as you take on the weekend on the Sipsey Fork.


This is possibly a given if you are planning an outdoor adventure, but hiking is a great activity for Father’s Day and the whole family! With 25,000 acres and 45 miles of trails in the Sipsey Wilderness, there is a trail for any level of hiker! Hiking is even better in the Sipsey Wilderness as there is so much to explore. From waterfalls, caves, and breathtaking views, you will not get bored.

One spot we love to explore and is a must-add to your itinerary is “Big Tree” which is the largest tree in Alabama reaching 150’ in the sky. The hike is an 8.5 mile out and back trail; however, we suggest starting at the Thompson Trailhead even though it is a little longer, the terrain is easier and prettier! 

Fishing in the Sipsey

Image by: @jasondwalls on Instagram

If the Dad in your life likes to fish, he will truly enjoy you taking him out on the Sipsey Fork. The Sipsey Fork is the fly fishing destination for Alabamians looking to cast out their line and reel in some trout. As the Sipsey is stocked with trout several times a year, it is a put-and-take location which means you can take your catch back to your campsite for dinner.

So head out on some trails for a nice day hike and look for a good spot to throw your line in. Make sure to bring a good cooler with ice to store your fish so it stays fresh for your dinner. Just remember to keep in mind how far you are hiking and how heavy your cooler can get with extra contents.

Before your weekend adventure or on your way to the river, make a stop at the Riverside Fly Shop in Bremen, AL to chat with the guides and buy flys. They are so helpful and will be able to tell you what flys to get, their go-to spots, and you can even sign up for a guided trip.

Click here for more information on Trout fishing on the Sipsey Fork. This includes important information about the Smith Dam and the generation levels as water levels can rise 10-15 ft in minutes. So be prepared and have fun on the river!


Chasing waterfalls + swimming holes

Waterfall and swimming hole hikes aren’t just for the Moms or kids, they are for everyone exploring Alabama in the summer heat and need a cool dip in the water. Plus, who doesn’t love a good waterfall? As we mentioned before, the Sipsey Wilderness is called the “Land of 1,000 Waterfalls” so you better be adding a couple of these to your weekend plans. If you don’t make it a destination, chances are you will still come across a few along the way.

One of our favorite spots is Kinlock Falls as it is a short hike that leads you to a beautiful cascading waterfall and an even better swimming hole. Kinlock Falls is also considered Alabama’s Natural Waterslide. A lot of visitors bring tubes and slide down the falls as it is not very steep and the top is accessible from the side. Slide at your own risk or just bring a tube to float in the swimming hole and catch some rays. 

Other top waterfalls in the Sipsey and Bankhead National Forest to check out are Sougahoagdee Falls, Parker Falls, Mize Mills Falls, and Caney Creek Falls



Ready to be outdoors this Summer? We have the Summer outdoor gear you need to get you back on the trails! 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

Father’s Day Memories from Our Homewood Team

Father’s Day is an opportunity to make cherished memories. Make sure to make the most of this Father’s Day ( June 21!!) and plan a special outing with Dad.

If you are looking for things to do, we have some ideas on how you can spend Father’s Day outside.

Does your dad love waterfalls? Her’s a list of the best ones in the state. Or, you can plan something a little more low-key, like watching the sunset together. We have a list of the best places to watch the sunset in Alabama.

Another tip: Start writing down pieces of advice, memories, or funny moments with your dad.  And take photos! You will be glad you preserved those moments later.

Some members of our Homewood team shared some of their favorite memories, pieces of advice, and Father’s Day gifts with us.

What is one of your favorite memories with dad?

fathers-day-dad-daughter-camping-trip“This is a picture of me and my dad at a Father/Daughter camping trip when I was in 2nd grade. On this trip my dad showed me how to pitch a tent and how to make the perfect smote.” Allie Moody

What was your favorite Father’s Day gift?

fathers-day-john-nuckols“For me, it would be technical fabrics like merino wool socks, T-shirts. Also, quick-dry materials. The fabrics work really well and last well. In terms of gear, it would be Leatherman and Swiss Army products because they are well-designed and last really well.” John Nuckols

Nuckols said his son also usually gives him the gift of his time.”We spend the day together and do whatever we want. Hiking.Movies. Hanging out. Food is always involved. He is a graphic designer/artist, and sometimes I get a special piece of artwork.”

What’s the best piece of advice your dad gave you?

fathers-day-jeb“He always has told me a plan is something to deviate from. So when some wild stuff has happened in life, or on some excursions, I have always told myself that so I can change midstream and not be stressed that it ‘didn’t go as planned.’ A plan is something to deviate from has been so good for me.”  Jeb Blackwood


Let us help you find the perfect gift for your dad! We want everyone to enjoy the outdoors, and we work to build loyalty one connection at a time. Visit one of our stores and choose curbside pickup or standard shipping! #BeOutdoors

5 Ways to Celebrate Father’s Day Outdoors

Father’s Day is nearly here, and while every dad appreciates new clothes and gear, one of the most valuable gifts you could give him is quality time. We have some ideas on how you can celebrate your dad and enjoy the outdoors at the same time.

Spend the day on the trail

If the dad in your life loves clearing his mind on long hikes through the wilderness, pick one of his favorite trails, and plan a day excursion. You could pack a picnic to enjoy in a clearing or set up a hammock and just relax for a while. 

fathers-day-dad-outdoors-trailYou could also surprise him with a new trail that you think might be a new favorite. If he’s a new dad and hasn’t had the opportunity to hike as much as he would like because of family duties, surprise him with the Osprey Poco Child Carrier. Its family-friendly features include a removable drool pad, toy attachment loops, and a zippered lower compartment large enough to stash a diaper changing kit. 

Spend the day on the water

Does your dad count down the hours until he can head to the lake? Does he look for excuses to take his boat out? Is he drawn to hikes that include waterfalls? Does he talk about fishing trips from long ago? Congratulations, you’ve got yourself a water dad. 

There are studies that have found people living near bodies of water tend to feel healthier and happier. A marine biologist, Wallace J. Nichols, Ph.D., even wrote a book about the physical and psychological benefits of water called Blue Mind.

So why not reward him with some restorative time on the water? Plan a kayaking or canoeing trip or book a weekend at the lake or beach.

Spend some time in the backyard

I know it seems like we have all spent a lot of time at home lately. But we have been working from home, going to online classes, and managing a lot of stressors that can cast a shadow over the joys of just hanging out at home.

So plan a day where he can relax and unwind. Does he like to barbecue for the family? Then buy everything he needs for a cookout! Does he like to play cornhole or disc golf in the backyard? Then stock up on his favorite appetizers and beverages and set up the game!

Watch a sunset together

Whether you make the dad in your life an awesome late-morning brunch at home or spend the weekend on the lake or at the beach, the perfect way to end the day is to catch a sunset together.

According to Psychology Today, studies show appreciating natural beauty may boost well-being, increase generosity, and enhance life satisfaction. You could visit one of Alabama’s awesome lookout spots or just find a spot near you and enjoy.

Work on a pet project together

Does the dad in your life have a pet project outdoors that he never has time to complete? Maybe you should offer to spend the day helping out. Does he want to organize his garage or start a backyard garden? Is he trying to finish some landscaping projects or build a backyard climbing wall? Make sure he has the right tools and gear needed to scratch that project off his list. Then end the day making some gourmet s’mores!

Let us help you find the perfect gift for your dad! We want everyone to enjoy the outdoors, and we work to build loyalty one connection at a time. Visit one of our stores today or shop online and choose curbside pickup or standard shipping. #BeOutdoors

Father’s Day: Fishing with My Daredevil Dad

By Natalie Ferguson

(With a background in retail and a love for wellness, travel, and the outdoors, Natalie Ferguson joined Alabama Outdoors in 2016. )

fathers-day-fishingGrowing up in Colorado, our family spent a lot of time in the mountains and just being outdoors.

My dad, the adventure-filled, thrill-seeking, outdoor enthusiast, has taught me most of what I know about all things outdoors. From the bunny slopes to class-five rapids and everything in between, he has paved the trail and shared his wisdom.

Passion for the outdoors

My dad firmly believes that “You can do anything you want to, you just have to want to.” This piece of advice has stuck with me over the years and is at the forefront of anything I strive to do.

He shared his passion for the outdoors with me, and now that I have grown to love the outdoors as well, I love hearing his thrilling stories about his daredevil days, from his trip to climb Mt. Rainier that he turned down, which ended up being life-saving (for him), to when he flipped over in his kayak and almost lost his life in a log jam. 

Theses exhilarating stories tell me so much about who my dad was and is today. He was a competitive skier, an adrenaline junkie who loved to kayak, climb, fish, and almost anything else as long as it was in nature. He gave up most of these activities when he and my mom started our family, as most require too much risk.

No one can catch a fish in anger

fathers-day-fishing-dadMost of these activities, if not all, can take a lot of patience, skill, and advanced knowledge about the outdoors and its elements. My dad says adventurists “take calculated risks, and they know there are certain risks you do not take. So, you know the risk and you take the risk. And that gives you the adrenaline.” 

One activity my Dad didn’t give up was fly fishing. It happens to be one of my favorite pastimes, too. I caught my first fish in Fairplay, Colo., (known to most as South Park) when I was 6 years old, and I was hooked. 

The greatest life skill my Dad taught me from this was patience and respect for wildlife. The patience of learning a new skill: everything takes time and it can be hard to not get frustrated. But, as Herbert Hoover said, “Be patient and calm — for no one can catch fish in anger.” Anglers know this can be true, but most also enjoy the calmness and serenity that fishing brings. I will say that quote isn’t true 100 percent of the time, and let me tell you why 

Fly fishing in Alaska

Once, we went fly fishing in Yakutat, Alaska. I had just turned 16 years old, it was the middle of summer, and even though it was fairly light outside, it was 11 p.m. and we had been exploring and fishing for 14 hours. Let’s just say 14 hours of fishing for a 16-year-old —even if you love fishing— can be tiring. I remember the strong flow of the river as I waded through it, the sights of the wilderness around us, and the smell of fresh Alaskan salmon being cooked over a fire on the shoreline. 

The sun was going down (to the extent it does up North), and so was my enthusiasm. We were casting in this pool alongside seven other avid fishermen, all trying to get a strike from one of the many salmon in that spot. One cast after another with no luck, I began to get impatient. Bored from fishing, cold, hungry, tired— you name it.

Dad, I got one!

My casts were no longer deliberate, and my form was nonexistent. My dad tried to give me pointers and, well, this teenager didn’t want to listen at the time, but he insisted I stay out. Although I felt defeated, I tossed my line in and let it float downstream into the pool, hardly paying any attention. “Ummm, Dad? Help, please! I got one!”

 Not just a salmon but a king salmon. No one could believe it, especially the seven experienced anglers next to me. My pole curved as the fish fought, but we fought harder. My adrenaline had kicked in, and we were not going to give up. 

Being pulled some 50 yards downstream by an over 30-pound king salmon was quite the ride. We did our best to keep him in control and out of the trees and debris so he wouldn’t get tangled and potentially break free. After quite some time, and with everyone watching, we were able to guide him to the shallow water. Then, my dad helped me take the hook out (something that has never been my strong suit).

Time to clean the fish

Little to my knowledge I was about to get real messy. Since I caught the fish, it was time for me to clean it. My dad and his buddies took their time and taught me how to correctly clean a fish and prepare it to bring home, or cook at the fire pit. This is one memory I will never forget.

I am so grateful to share new experiences with my dad and be able to learn so much from him and his experiences over the years. I miss being back home for Father’s Day as we would always have a fun adventure. Thanks, Dad!

Father’s Day is right around the corner, and we can help you find a perfect gift for the dad in your life. Alabama Outdoors wants everyone to enjoy the outdoors, and we work to build loyalty one connection at a time.  Visit one of our stores or shop online and take advantage of our shipping or curbside pickup. #BeOutdoors

How to Plan a Day with Dad in Alabama

Family sits on dock with feet in lake

There’s one thing that your dad wants more than anything this Father’s Day, and that’s to spend time with you. If you’re struggling to plan a perfect day with your dad, don’t panic. We’ve got some ideas — and we know that your father doesn’t care if the day is perfect. He just cares about spending the day with you.


Take a HikeFather and two sons hiking and talking

No, don’t tell dad to take a hike; instead, plan a hiking trip with dad. Pack a bag full of supplies and head out into mother nature for a day hike. Whether it’s Monte Sano State Park in Huntsville, AL or Red Mountain Park in Birmingham, AL, dad will enjoy a day full of memories with the family.





Stalactites and stalagmites at DeSoto CavernsExplore the Caves of Alabama

Want to stay out of the sun this Father’s Day? Go beneath the surface and explore some of the Alabama’s caves. Lace up your shoes and prepare to take a journey into the earth. From Cathedral Caverns in North Alabama to DeSoto Caverns in Central Alabama, spelunking — or a guided tour — is a great way to stay cool and enjoy a day with dad.





Plan a CookoutSmall family cooks out in park

A cookout gives dad a chance to wear those new clothes you got him and for the family to enjoy a day in together. Throw some burgers on the grill and pull out the comfy chairs to enjoy a day full of memories at home.






Beautiful lake with mountains and blue sky

Spend a Day at the Lake

Pack the cooler, give dad that new shirt to wear and head out for some lakeside fun this Father’s Day. Lake Guntersville or Lake Martin are great places to spend a day with the family, soaking up the sun and making memories that’ll last a lifetime.





Go Golfing

Whether it’s a trip to TopGolf, mini-golfing local or an actual golf course, this gives dad a chance to try on that new polo. No matter how good (or bad) you are, dad will enjoy laughs with the family.



If you are planning a day in the outdoors for Father’s Day, we’re here for you. From hiking to paddling to just grilling some burgers in the backyard, we’ll be happy to help you get what you need. We want you and your dad to have the best day possible — and we know that, for your dad, that’s any day he gets to spend with you.




Text by Jonathan Mendoza

#BeOutdoorsWithDad: Let Us Celebrate Your Dad This Father’s Day!

Amazing, wise, funny, charming, strong, loving, kind, crazy in the best ways: all words people have used to describe fathers to us this week. Now, we’d love to hear about the dad in your life.

Simply post a photo of your dad and tell us a little about him in the caption — did he teach you how to waterski? Or how to catch a fish? Or how to recite pretty much every line in Monty Python’s Holy Grail

Be sure to tag us and use the hashtag #BeOutdoorsWithDad. Not only will you get the chance to celebrate your father, you’ll also get the chance to win one of the items on our Father’s Day Gift Guide.

Post soon: all entries must be received by midnight on Thursday, June 7th.

Here’s a post about Amy H.’s dad, who inspires us by showing his daughter the thrill of adventure — and of facing your fears!

Father and daughter scuba diving with sharks

This Father’s Day I am especially thankful for my Dad, who introduced me to Scuba diving and is my favorite dive buddy. Looking forward to many more crazy experiences like this!!

                                                              — Amy H.

#BeOutdoorsWithDad: Nick B.

Your chance to win one of the items on our Father’s Day Gift Guide ends at midnight tomorrow, June 7th. All you need to do to enter our Father’s Day giveaway is to post a photo of your father in the outdoors  on Facebook or Instagram and tell us a little about him. Don’t forget to tag us and use the hashtag #BeOutdoorsWithDad. Need some inspiration? This post from Nick B. honors how his father taught him to love and respect the outdoors. 

Father and son stand in matching outfits

I want to wish a very Happy Father’s Day to my father Bob. This picture was taken during one of our first trips to the beach. My dad has taken me there so many times I’m not sure I could keep track. We have always shared a love for the outdoors, especially the oceans and its marine life. I remember one trip in particular where we helped rescue a pelican who had gotten a fish hook caught in his eye with the fishing line also going through the wing. That bird flew another day after we removed the hook and line. I have learned a lot from this man, with one of the most important lessons being that we need to take care of the outdoors and all living things that inhabit the planet. This picture is a great reminder of a time where all of those lessons began. I hope I can pass on all of my wisdom and good character to my son, as my dad has for me.

                                                    — Nick B.