Season 1,

035: Tim McGuire- How an adventure story led to a career in the Outdoor and Adventure Travel Biz

September 21, 2017

Show Notes

Tim tells us how he got hooked on the Outdoors and Adventure Travel and has some good career advice for those wanting to start and Outdoor or Adventure Travel career.

First Exposure to the Outdoors

I think you know I took a much different path than most. I literally had never backpacked, camped or spent a night outdoors in my life until I was 21 years old. I happened to be a senior at San Diego State and most of my time had been working on a business degree. I was, I think they called us yuppies back then, working towards a successful career and you know probably selling copiers or fax machines. I also happened to be on the soccer team and played soccer for SDSU for a few years. In order to to get my degree I need to take a couple of college electives. I remember trying to find an elective that was you know easy and fun and help my grade point average a bit. So I came across a class that kind of puzzled me, it was called wilderness and the outdoor experience. So I had no idea what that meant but it sounded easy and fun so I signed up for it. I remember going the first day and it was held in a large auditorium type room of about about 400 seats. I made sure to sit well towards the back so if if I wanted to get out of there I could. As I sat and watched our professor walked into the room, walked down the aisle and a small little dog followed him. It was happened to be a guy I think a lot of your listeners might know, professor Jeff Salz. He proceeded to tell a story about a trip that he and a friend and I think one other person had taken down to Patagonia to attempt an unclimbed route on Mt. Fitzroy. Again this is all brand new to me. He’s showing slides of their snow cave they lived in for weeks. Now I hadn’t been to a national park or anything I mean nothing. My dad was military US Air Force lived in England for a long time. I understood the family goes to a national park that’s not even I don’t know what we did, not digging my parents at all but just sort of the circumstance of the time and our family. So I’m now in this class watching Jeff tell this amazing story of just horrible conditions and this attempted climb and on the descent his best friend actually dies! I’m watching this going I want to do that, not die bit it was just so fascinating to me. So I was immediately absorbed and part of the class in order to get your grade you had to go on outing and write a journal about it. So again I’m watching these slideshows from various presenters and so ignorant. My very first outing, first time outdoors by myself I took a Greyhound bus, I think it was because my car wasn’t running at the time, from San Diego to Lone Pine and and climbed Mount Whitney. I want to say it was it was probably August or early September. I didn’t have any real issues, I was in pretty good shape. Well that’s yeah so that sort of, that tees up the the next part of the story which is I had to rent the gear . So I looked around, in those days you looked in a phonebook you couldn’t couldn’t google it, but I looked in a phone book and found out about a store not too far from San Diego State called Adventure 16. I’ll never forget that day, you know driving down and walking into the store. It was almost like a Wizard of Oz moment where you just walk inside this kind of nondescript building and all of a sudden there’s a cabin in front of me, I’m listening to bird tapes and crickets and the smells of pine trees. There’s an old dog and they’ve got campfire memories burning and I’m like oh my gosh this is amazing so that was my first exposure to the outdoors.

Things we talked about

Adventure 16

Mountain Travel-Sobek

Eagle Creek

EastPak

JanSport

Nike

Keen

Pacific Crest Trail Association

Advice, tips

I think you know me, hopefully these are opportunities for folks to learn and understand how different paths get you to where you are. There’s not one right way. I’ve been very fortunate and ended up having terrific roles with great brands and a terrific family that’s been very patient with me. When it comes to advice choose great companies, not only the companies that you’d like to work for but that you share interests with or appreciate what they’re doing. I’ve been very fortunate and choosing great bosses. I always pay attention to that. Ricky Schlesinger and Steve Barker at Eagle Creek in the early days; Paul Delorey and Jim Thompson at JanSport; Peter Ruppe at Nike. Choose your boss wisely. Don’t be afraid to bite off more than you can chew take risks, be bold!

Other Outdoor Activities

Glamping

Favorite Books

Make Your Bed by William H. McRaven

Best Gear Purchase under $100

Coleman Comfort Cot

Eagle Creek Pac-It System

Connect with Tim

tim_mcguire@vfc.com

 

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