When you were a youngster, was the outdoors your refuge? Did you find yourself exploring, watching wildlife or maybe out fishing or hunting at every opportunity? If you were, then we are a lot alike. My favorite past-time, though, didn’t find me outdoors – I was indoors…oh, but what an indoors!
When I was a young lad, between the ages of 7 and 16, all I ever wanted to do was hunt, shoot and fish -- queue up a photo of Tom Sawyer. I was fortunate that during the summer months I lived at a lake in Minnesota. So for twelve weeks every summer, I would literally be outside from 5:30 in the morning until dark. You could find me with either a BB gun or a fishing rod some type or another in my hand most days.
Though the outdoors was my playground, my school, and my refuge, one of the most-favorite things to do did not involve actually being outdoors. In fact, it was probably the only time I liked being indoors at all, and that was when my father or mother would take me to a store that sold outdoor equipment. For me, it was like being in a candy store! So much to see! I never knew there were so many really cool lures! I wanted to buy every gun I saw. Backpacks, knives, fishing reels and rods all made me drool. Going to these stores was an education for me – so much to see, so much to learn…and I wanted it all!
I never had the money to buy much back in those days, so every lure, every bullet I made sure I used with great care, as if it were my last. So, those outings that I had wandering the isles of a Scheels or Cabela’s or one of several other stores, were the dreams that became a little bit of reality for me.
It wasn’t until I was well into my teen years that I learned about outdoor consumer shows. What a bonanza those are! I was amazed that all my favorite outdoor equipment manufacturers could all be found in one place!
These outdoor shows are now a part of my life. From the NRA Show to the Great American Outdoor Show, and several more to boot, I’m at these shows and enjoying every minute of them. Where else can you walk up to a manufacturer and talk to the engineer directly, the very one who designed the product you’re drooling over!
There are consumer shows of all types all over the country; from muskie fishing to pheasant hunting; from deer classics to pheasant and quail fests, there are shows of all types and sizes that you can enjoy just about any time of the year. If you haven’t taken someone to an outdoor consumer show, ever, then you really must go – even if you don’t hunt or fish – they are absolutely mind-blowing! There is everything you can possibly see under the sun…and then some. Take a friend! Take your kids! Take your wife! Truly, treat yourself to this wonderful experience, even just once in your life. You’ll be glad you did. You’ll give your kids the experience of a lifetime!
Break away from the norm; go do something fun! These consumer shows are the fuel for future dreams come true.
A quick Google search will list for you when and where these consumer shows take place. Here are just a few links to explore: