Wow! Twelve years! The seeds of Walkabout Outfitter were planted a long time ago while hiking along the Appalachian Trail in NC. I was on a backpacking trip with my scout troop and we came upon some thru-hikers. They had huge bushy beards with enormous packs on their backs. They were headed toward Maine and I stared at them in awe. How could a person walk 2000 miles with a backpack? Many years later I “quit my day job,” sold everything, and started my own thru hike. Along the way I made some great friends, experienced some of the best America has to offer, and hopefully inspired some more little kids to do the same. Today after serving Virginia for 12 years I hope we continue to awe and inspire you.
That’s the foundation for Walkabout Outfitter, but that’s not how it all got started. No, it all started over a cup of coffee! I moved to Lexington, VA in 2003 and needed a new coffee maker. You see, I’m a coffee snob, and I like only good coffee so naturally I went to my local kitchen shop, Ladles and Linens, to see what they had. This little fireball of a girl, Tina, with shocking red hair sold me a high end coffee maker before I could say “French Press.”
That was the real start of Walkabout Outfitter! I was working for FEMA at the time, and I had to travel a lot but wanted to spend more time with Tina, so I began looking around for a position in Lexington, and thought I could open an outfitter. I wanted to bring my AT experience to Lexington, and I had a vision of creating a store that you wanted to visit just because you liked going in there and looking around and hanging out. We opened our first store in 2005, and after 12 years and 6 stores, it remains very important to me for customers have that same experience for our customers.
We have also had the pleasure of working with many great staff that are the face of Walkabout Outfitter. Without them nothing would be possible and I thank them dearly.
A lot has changed for me personally over these last twelve years. First off, Tina called me not long after we got Walkabout open and suggested we get married. I said sure, and less than a week later we had a beautiful outdoor wedding! Now we have two boys, Alex 9 and Finn 7. We have experienced many things together; marriage, childbirth, business success, business failures, cancer, cancer treatment, recovery, survival, life again. We are thankful every day to our great loyal customers and our fabulous staff that has made the Walkabout family strong for 12 years.