Tag Archives: hiking


Outdoors, Inc. Co-Owner Honored by University of Memphis

In current times, specialty retail stores that remain open for fifteen years are spectacular. Moreover, specialty retail stores that consistently open its doors for forty years are anomalies. Joe Royer, along with co-owner Lawrence Migliaria, have accomplished a feat that most entrepreneurs still consider a dream. For the past forty years, Outdoors, Inc. has “outfitted human-powered recreation.” Exceptional service, product knowledge, and product purchasing practices allowed Outdoors, Inc. to reach its current level of success.

engroyerThis past April, Joe Royer received the “Outstanding Alumnus Award” from the University of Memphis’ Herff College of Engineering in recognition of past and present achievements, mainly in the ways of Outdoors, Inc. and his philanthropy as a board member of Tennessee Parks and Greenways Foundation, Mississippi River Bicycle Trail, Greater Memphis Greenline, and his position on the Advisory Board of the Wolf River Conservancy.

Royer’s engineering background compels him to focus on efficient design (weight, length, flexibility of products) specifically on bicycles and boats. A knowledgeable staff that rides, runs, and climbs is critical to understanding the slight differences within the above categories in different products.

“Every human being is different…which makes every bike build, shoe fit, backpack choice, and ski/snowboard binding mount unique. Our staff has paddled in Glacier Bay, Alaska, completed coast-to-coast riding tours, trekked around the world, completed marathons, and climbed around the continental United States. We hire daily users to ensure our customers safety and satisfaction in their adventures.”
– Joe Royer, President and Co-Owner, Outdoors, Inc.

After arriving in 1967 for the University of Memphis Engineering program, Joe Royer has watched the Memphis outdoor community continue to grow as numerous climbers, cyclists, runners, trekkers, and the sort call Memphis home. While the Memphis outdoor experience expands, Outdoors, Inc. expands in conjunction with the Bluff City to currently include five locations.

Upon questioning Royer about the reasoning behind Outdoors, Inc. success, he replied, “[Our] best skill is to not underestimate Memphians. They are running the Boston marathon, climbing the Matterhorn, and paddling the Mississippi. Memphians are strong and need reliable gear as apparent in our daily interactions. [Our] stores, for the past 40 years, have consistently offered high-performance products for customers.”joe and lawrence

While the success of Outdoors, Inc. is in part due to the management, a large part is also attributed to the knowledge and experience of the staff. Within the staff at each location, there are cyclists, runners, skiers, paddlers, climbers, and hikers. A collection of the staff has completed bicycle tours from the Pacific to Atlantic Ocean as well as simply commuting to work via the Greenline. Five of OI’s bicycle technicians have attended the U.S.A Cycling training center in Colorado Springs. Further, staff members have paddled in Alaska’s Glacier Bay, the Sea of Cortez in Mexico, the Colorado River through the Grand Canyon, and many other rivers in the continental U.S. and Europe. Employees have also hiked the entire Appalachian Trail, climbed the Matterhorn in Switzerland, and attended Mt. Rainier climbing school in Washington State.


Written By: Marie Mason, Outdoors, Inc.






Factors That Make or Break Your Backpacking Trip

Your backpacking experience is only as good as the gear you take. There are several precautions you can take to make sure your backpacking trip goes smoothly.

  1. Proper Pack Fit: Your back is aching, your head is throbbing, your neck is about to fall off. You should have gotten your pack properly fitted. If you ordered your pack online, chances are, you have not had it fitted to your torso. It doesn’t go by shirt size. “I wear a medium shirt, so I must require a medium pack frame.” Wrong. Having an ill fitting pack could mean extreme discomfort for you. If you have an old pack and feel it is time to check and see if it really does fit you, we suggest bringing it in to your local outdoors store to get an assessment.
  2. Proper Boot Fit: Just like a pack fit, a pair of improperly fitted boots can cause you great anguish and hinder your backpacking experience. In order to prevent a poor boot fit, bring in the socks you plan to wear with your boots and get your foot measured with a Brannock device. Boot fitting is an art and there are many different aspects to the perfect fit. For more information visit Great Outdoors boot fitting guide. Once you have purchased your boots, it is good to try them on in the evening after your feet have swollen during the day. Also, we suggest purchasing your boots several months in advance of your trip so that you will have ample time to break them in. It is never a good idea to wear brand new boots on a backpacking trip.
  3. Loading Your Backpack Correctly: Making sure you fit everything into your pack is one thing, but distributing the weight correctly is certainly another. Most of the weight of your pack should reside on your hips, not your shoulders and back. To make this work, you need to position the heaviest items closest to your back in the middle of your pack between your shoulder blades. If you are going off-trail, it should be up a little higher in the pack, still positioned up against your back. The farther away your weight is from your back, the more your straps will pull on your shoulders and lower back.
  4. A Good Mattress Pad: After a long day on the trail, all you are going to want is a good night’s sleep. A comfortable and compact-able mattress is key in this equation. With outdoor gear technology getting better every year, it is not too hard to find a small, but effective blow up mattress for your backpacking trip. If you are extra concerned about space, you can invest in a ¾ mattress that leaves you feet hanging off. Really, how much padding do your feet need when you are asleep? Not much. Save space and be comfortable, too.
  5. Know the Weather You’re Approaching: When you are planning your trip, make sure you scope out the weather before hand. You will need this information to plan what gear and clothes to pack.  If the weather is somewhat unpredictable where you are headed (for example Mount Washington, New Hampshire), look into previous years during that same time. It is better to be over-prepared than under-prepared in these situations.