Now is the Time. Memphis is the Place.

Your Next Adventure Starts Here: Memphis’ Outdoor Outfitters

While we all know that the siren song of air conditioning can be tough to resist, these bright summer days are also the perfect time to step outside and get your nature fix. Although there are plenty of fun outdoor activities to enjoy without any equipment or experience (everyone loves a stroll through the park), if you’re seeking a bit more adventure, we’ve got you covered. Whether you’re looking to pick up a new hobby, treat yourself to some updated equipment, or casually forsake civilization to try your luck in the untamed wild, check out these three locally owned shops to get geared up.

Outdoors Inc.

Photo: Emily Jordan

Founded in Memphis in 1974, Outdoors Inc. now features locations in Midtown, East Memphis, and Cordova (as well as Jackson, TN). Though it began as a paddling supply company, over the years the company has expanded to carry performance outdoor equipment for climbing, camping, biking, skiing, and snowboarding, as well as a wide variety of apparel. Outdoors also hosts a series of events, including the country’s longest running annual cyclocross bicycle race, canoe and kayak races on the Mississippi River, and year-round climbing classes at their Cordova store.

  • C901: What’s your favorite product that you carry?
  • Outdoors Tech: I like our Jackson kayaks because they’re made in Sparta, TN. They’ve also got a wide variety of styles from beginner to expert, and they cater to fishermen, whitewater paddlers, rec kayakers, touring, etc. It’s a great design–they’ve got insanely comfortable seats. As a company as well, they’ve got great customer service, and they pay their employees well. They’ll even throw in a free Nalgene or tackle box with some of the kayaks.
  • C901: What’s your favorite outdoor activity in the Memphis area?
  • OT: I love kayaking out on the Mississippi.

Grivet Outdoors

Photo: Emily Jordan

Founded out of the owner’s home on N. Cooper, Grivet started business as an online retailer less than three years ago. While it continues to offer a broad online selection, the company has grown rapidly since 2015, and has now established its first brick-and-mortar location in the Cooper Young neighborhood, right at the intersection of Young Ave. and Blythe St. Even as they continue growing and exploring, their focus remains on building the outdoors community in Memphis and helping people to find their passions. As part of this mission, Grivet hosts group runs on Tuesday nights at 6pm, and runs a monthly hiking group.

  • C901: What’s your favorite product that you carry?
  • Coleman Whitsitt, Grivet Owner: My favorite piece of gear is the Altra Superior 3.5 Trail Running Shoes.  It’s my go-to trail running and hiking shoe, as it’s light in comparison to most other trail shoes, but still has enough support and cushion for long trail runs. All Altra shoes feature a FootShape toe box that allows for natural toe splay and a zero drop design that promotes a more natural posture and alignment. The steps add up quickly and the zero drop platform lessens the impact of each step. We actually have an exclusive color for this shoe and are the only retailer in the country that carries the Black/White color!
  • C901: What’s your favorite outdoor activity in the Memphis area?
  • CW: I love going to Shelby Forest to run on one of their several trails, camp in a tent or cabin, or just to enjoy a simple picnic by the lake.  My favorite trail there is the Woodland Trail Loop.  It’s through a dense, beautiful forest and filled with wildlife. It’s also much hillier than one might expect, making it one of the more challenging trails around Memphis.

Revolutions Bicycle Co-Op

Photo: Emily Jordan

Revolutions was founded back in 2002 in the basement of First Congregational Church in Cooper Young, where it remains headquartered. Its mission is to build a more inclusive community by getting people out on bicycles, helping to create a healthier, more connected, and more livable city. The organization repairs, rents, and sells bikes, as well as offering a variety of classes and programming to the public. This month, check their calendar to catch one of their Bike Share 101 or Commute 101 classes, or stop by on a Sunday afternoon during their open shop hours to get help with your own bike repairs.

  • C901: What’s your favorite product that you carry?
  • Doug DuBose, Head Mechanic: With what we have in the store, I would have to say my favorite bike would probably be the Raleigh Technium. They’re just a great piece of equipment. If you ask Sylvia though [Revolutions’ Executive Director], she’s probably say her favorite piece is a cargo bike.
  • C901: What’s your favorite outdoor activity in the Memphis area?
  • DB: I like the greenline a lot because I commute every day. I ride on the roads and deal with traffic, and I know how to do that, but I love being able to ride the greenline and go stress free. I can ride fifty miles on the greenline and just not worry. There really is a big difference between riding in traffic and riding sans traffic.

With so many incredible options and resources in Memphis, it’s time to grab some gear, get outside, and make your own adventure.

For more ideas, check out our post on Ways to Enjoy the Great Outdoors in Memphis.

Did we miss something? Let us know!

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