8 Great Outdoor Companies in Ohio

Ohio has a long and proud tradition of hunting, fishing, and spending time in the outdoors. That long tradition includes outdoor companies being started by enterprising outdoors enthusiasts. These companies exist in a number of outdoor categories, but they all have one thing in common. To help other Ohio (and those around the country) sportsmen and women have the quality gear they need to truly enjoy and succeed at their outdoor pursuits.

Click here for my list of eight great Ohio-based outdoor companies.

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Another Outdoor Goal Down…

So I know it has been awhile since I have updated my blog, but I am finally back and plan to post more regular updates in the future. Now on to the good stuff…

We have been having unbelievable weather so far this spring here in Northeast Ohio. Warm temperatures, not much rain, and generally steady weather which is pretty unusual to say the least.

However, you won’t hear me complaining. That’s for sure. The great weather has given me a great opportunity to attack my outdoor goals for this year and has also made my pursuit of my goals that much more enjoyable.

To read about my outdoor goals for this year, go here.

So after tackling my first big challenge and goal of filling my spring turkey tag, it was time to start targeting my next goals. The most obvious one to start working on was catching the three pound or bigger bass. However, I felt like that was going to me one of my toughest goals considering that I have been bass fishing for as long as I can remember and have yet to achieve this goal.

Taking advantage of the wonderful spring weather, I hit my favorite fishing hole for the second time on May 2. I expected a fairly quiet day of fishing and was just planning on maybe catching a couple small fish and just sort of shaking the rust off of my fishing skills.

On my first cast of the day, I threw my favorite weightless purple rubber worm out in front of the small dock at the pond I was fishing. The lure was only in the water for a second or two before a bass inhaled it. I could tell right away that it was a good sized bass.

The fight didn’t last long and after a close call at the bank of the pond, I landed the bass. I have caught a ton of bass in my life and I knew right away that this one was big. I grabbed my scale and sure enough that fish topped out at 3 pounds and 3 ounces. My second outdoor goal of the year was completed!

I never expected to have completed two of my goals this early in the year but could not be happier about it. Check out the picture of the bass below and look for more posts soon!

pb-bass

On Friendship…

As any outdoorsman (or outdoorswoman) can attest, the camaraderie of enjoying the outdoors with good friends only enhances the pleasures derived from the experiences. Yes, catching a trophy fish or watching the sunrise over a frozen corn field is a great experience in and of itself. However, when those same things are done with close friends they are exponentially better.

Now, I’m not saying that enjoying solitude in the great outdoors from time to time is an unpleasant experience; quite the opposite in fact. Those moments where you can reflect on life in private are invaluable. However, this post is about friendship so I’m going to focus on that today.

I’ve always been of the mindset that a person doesn’t need an extreme number of friendships in life. The thing that I find to be much more important is the quality of the friendships that you do maintain. Personally, I would say that I have about 5 friends that I consider to be close relationships and 1 person who I consider to be my best friend. Now, every person has their own definition of what a best friend is. To me, it is the friend that you would do anything for, can tell anything to without being judged, and the friend whose company is always enjoyed to its fullest. Funnily enough, that friend for me, the person I am closest to, (i.e. my best friend) is the one who lives the furthest away from me.

When I first met my best friend, we were about 520 miles driving distance apart. How the heck did we meet you might ask. No, it wasn’t in some strange chat room or something like that. No, it was actually an online college class that brought us together. Now, I have taken a ton of online college courses before and would be hard-pressed to name you even one other person from any of those classes. The only one is another one of the 5 close friends I mentioned above who I happened to also meet in the same class as my best friend. Anyways, for me, I always just did my work in online classes with any interaction limited to class discussions. However, for some reason, I felt a push to get to know this one person better.

There was a class project that gave students the option to work with a partner. I would usually have just done it myself and had that be the end of it. However, in this case, I emailed my now best friend and asked her to work on this project with me. That is totally out of character for me, but there was just something about the little information I did have about her that told me I had to get to know this person better.

To make an extremely long story short, we spent the rest of the summer (it was a summer class) chatting online just about every night, usually for several hours. We just immediately hit it off. I don’t think we even talked about the project for the entire first week! So our friendship grew faster than anything I had ever experienced before and we became best friends.

Having been best friends with her for somewhere around nine months now, I can honestly say that I have learned more about what true friendship really means in that time than in the rest of my 23 years combined. The paths that led both of us to take the same online class from two different states is tough to fathom, but I do believe that we were meant to meet and have the special friendship that we do.

Having a few close friends instead of many distant ones is just the much better choice in my opinion. That way you can put the effort into the friendship that it takes for that friendship to last and be fulfilling for both people.

When you then spend time doing outdoor activities with those close friends, the amount of fun had by all only increases. There is a certain amount of giving each other a hard time about missing a shot or losing a big fish, but that is all part of that outdoors camaraderie that I mentioned before. So in the end, here is my advice. Work hard to maintain some close friendships and get out into the woods or to the lake with those friends. One day, you’ll be thankful that you did.