Eric Hanson from Epic Trails TV tells us how he stumbled into quite possibly one of the best jobs in the Outdoor Biz.
I think the general advice is to go do the things that you love. If you want to find a career in this, certainly actually becoming a really competent outdoors person is important. So going and doing adventures, whether it's climbing or going backpacking or things like that are great. I think that people should take a job somehow that gives them some level of credibility or expertise. A lot of that can look like guiding, that's probably the number one way to get some credibility. There's a lot of people who, maybe reached out to me on Instagram or something and say I love hiking can I get a job somehow? I say well, there's a lot of people that love hiking and they need to do something that I think differentiates themselves as more from different than an enthusiast.
There's nothing wrong with being an enthusiast of course. But if you want to work in it, you probably need to get some guiding certifications or some mountaineering skills or something like that or becoming a river guide or a mountain guide or a mountaineering guide.
Then I would also say, find your way in the room with the people who are decision-maker type people. So what I did was I got basically a grunt job with backpacker magazine and that allowed me to go be a part of the Outdoor Retailer Show, which is something we haven't talked about, but it's an event that typically happens twice a year where everybody in the outdoor industry gathers to conduct business.
So then when you're in that room, you're talking and interacting with the marketing directors and the publications. And that's the room where all of the people who are really running the outdoor businesses are, and by being in that room and being able to socialize, drink a beer with those people, or, you know, just meet them has opened up a lot of doors for me. That has been really powerful. So find some way to give yourself some credentials, maybe producing a film, even if it's entirely self-funded or getting a guiding job, and then find a company that might be in your area or your state, and see if you can do something for them on their social media or, some way to get into the circle and that can then open doors. The other thing is that it takes a long time.
“Protect our wild places”Favorite Gear
Connect with Eric
1:38 – 2:29 Introduction to the Outdoors
10:40 – 12:29 Introduction to the Outdoor Biz
39:43 – 41:00 Favorite gear
35:02 – 36:56 Advice