Texas Outdoorsmen Answer Nature's Call

Texas Outdoorsmen facilitate local outdoor activities for group members at locations such as Zilker Park, Barton Creek, the Greenbelt and Hamilton Pool.

Photo Credit: Jenna VonHofe

If you came to The University of Texas with a goal to have as many adventures as humanly possible (and study… sometimes), Texas Outdoorsmen can make that goal a reality.

Founded in 2009 by a group of friends, Texas Outdoorsmen is a campus organization with the purpose to connect Longhorns who share a passion for getting outdoors. The executive members plan and organize fun, outdoorsy events for their members such as campouts or hikes, but also encourage their members to share other plans on the group Facebook page.

“We do anything outdoors that we can think of,” said aerospace engineering sophomore Andrew Edmonds, vice president of the Outdoorsmen. “We’ve already had one campout this semester, which involved hiking, very tame climbing and enjoying a watering hole. S’mores were cooked, our food was prepared over a campfire and we got a little stargazing in.”

The Outdoorsmen plan their events based on popularity, price and proximity to Austin, and some of their common events include paddle boarding on Lady Bird Lake, hiking through the Barton Greenbelt, going to Hamilton Pool and relaxing at Zilker Park.

Grant Fielding, a mechanical engineering senior and the president of the Outdoorsmen, said his favorite times with the outdoorsmen are enjoying the outdoors with a campfire and some s’mores and getting to know new people.

“Our big events are two campouts a semester to places like Inks Lake and Krause Springs, or going to New Braunfels to float the river during the day and enjoy a campfire and grilled food at night,” he said.

  

[CREDIT: Karina Munguia]

But aren’t all of these events and supplies expensive? Yes, but students on the Easy Mac diet need not fret. Rather than paying dues upfront like most on campus organizations, the Outdoorsmen embrace a pay-as-you-go policy that allows members to pick and choose events to attend.

“We can still get group rates by taking fees in advance, but we don’t charge someone for a semester’s worth of activities,” Edmonds said. “This allows people to participate in events without committing an entire semester’s funding.” The members bolster the group equipment — tents, cookware, grills etc. — with their own to make things cheaper for everyone.

The one bad thing about hanging out with Mother Nature is that she is not always little miss sunshine. After our multiple “snow days” this semester, we Longhorns know this first hand. But when things get cold or rainy, the Texas Outdoorsmen are ready.

“On campouts, I always have a first aid kit, extra water, extra blankets, an extra rain tarp and plenty of tools to build fires,” Edmonds said. “Really, when it comes to outdoor activities, most challenges can be overcome by having the appropriate materials to tackle them. Having the training to complement the materials certainly helps, as well.”

Who knew that the land of cattle and queso could be such a haven for outdoorsy people? The Texas Outdoorsmen invite anyone and everyone to join them on their adventures, so next time you find yourself aching to soak up some sunshine or eat a real s’more by the campfire, consider them as your companions.