Summer is officially over, and while it may not feel like fall quite yet here in the Southeast – boy, are we jumping at the chance to get outside in cooler weather. We’re already dreaming up weekend sailing trips, hiking excursions, and generally any outdoorsy activity (we can include porch sitting, right?) knowing that the promise of lower humidity is around the corner.
Whether you’re into hunting, fishing, cycling, or camping, these ten Southern companies are a breath of fresh air for the outdoors industry, with innovations ranging from gear and apparel to marketing and media. So lace up your hiking shoes, fill up your water bottle, and get ready for your next adventure.
- Raleigh-based Lawson Hammock is the creator of the Blue Ridge Camping Hammock, a hybrid tent-meets-hammock that’s been rated #1 by Backpacker and Outside Magazines. The patented product is lightweight (as in, only weighs four pounds lightweight), weather resistant, flying insect resistant, and rip-proof. Sure, it’s not glamping, but one look at their Instagram account will have you scheduling some PTO faster than you can say “campfire chili.”
- The GreatOut is an Austin-based marketing and software platform exclusively for businesses serving clients in the great outdoors. Their full-service, digital performance offerings help fishing, hunting, and adventure sports outfitters, lodges, and guides find and retain customers. Because no one should pick a whitewater rafting guide based on his SEO skills.
- Chattanooga-based Escadrille is a cycling sportswear brand creating innovative training, racing, and off-bike apparel for bicyclists. The company was launched in 2012 with $10K from a University of Tennessee business competition. Last year, Bob Bury, an original member of the management team at REI, joined Escadrille as CEO, and they’ve raised over $400K to continue developing the product line.
- Nashville-based Misadventures is women’s outdoor an adventure publication created in response to both the lack of women in major outdoors-industry magazines and the lack of outdoors-women in conventional women’s magazines. The company began as an online magazine in 2013 and their first print edition launched in Barnes & Noble last year.
- Austin-based Outrider is an online booking platform that facilitates transactions between hunters and landowners. Landowners list their land for hunting and hunters book hunts effortlessly. The company recently raised $50K to scale the platform. We’ll be watching their progress from our deer stand and trying to get “Airb-n-buckhunter” to catch on.
- Badfish is a Charleston-based company creating a multichannel network and digital platform for fishing. Essentially, Badfish is an online community for anglers and fishing enthusiasts to watch, submit, and explore top-notch fishing videos, discover new fishing locations, share experiences, and get inspiration for their next adventure. One fish, two fish, red fish, doesn’t sound like a bad fish at all.
- Raleigh-based Sportsman’s Box is a monthly delivery of gear and supplies catered toward the hunting and fishing lifestyle. Like Birchbox, but for someone who might actually be able to identify a birch tree. Each month, subscribers across the US and Canada receive 3-5 field-tested products to use on their next excursion. Subscriptions range from one month to one year.
- Based in Little Rock, Arkansas, Our Tracts is an online marketplace for daily hunting and fishing excursions. Users can search and book affordable day hunting opportunities on private land, day fishing opportunities on private waters, and shooting and scouting on private lands. In turn, landowners earn money from their property and have added peace of mind from a nice little thing called liability insurance.
- Lexington, Kentucky-based YouSawMe has developed The Prizm, a customizable reflective & LED vest for walkers, runners, and cyclists. The vest features 20 LED color selections and 20 flashing modes that increase visibility from one mile away, plus it’s waterproof, only weighs 11 ounces, and has a battery that lasts for 50+ hours of illumination. WeSawYou and WeWantOne.
- Based in Miami, BoatSetter is the #1 boat rental community that connects boat owners and boat captains with anyone wanting a nautical adventure. Users can search based on criteria like location, dates, length of time, type of boat, and whether or not they need a captain. (So, just to test it out, we’re booking a trip on a 60-foot captained yacht from Miami Beach as soon as possible…). The company has raised $6.9m in 3 rounds since founding in 2013.
Are there other outdoorsy companies we missed? Share with us on Facebook!