Adventure Retailers 5

Backwoods is Fort Worth’s One-Stop Shop for Lovers of the Great Outdoors

It’s something of a cliche that men don’t like to shop. Wives, girlfriends, mothers and daughters drag their reluctant menfolk to malls, force them to carry bags and render opinions, while the guys dream longingly of the great outdoors. The next time a shopping trip looms on the horizon, the man will struggle to fabricate an excuse; unless, of course, the trip involves a stop at Fort Worth’s Backwoods. For over three decades, this outdoor living megastore has catered to men and women who thrive on adventure and the thrill of exploration. More than just a store, Backwoods has evolved into a lifestyle center that offers demonstrations and a range of events.

Tim Martin understands the Backwoods ethos better than most. The manager of the Fort Worth location, Tim has been a part of the Backwoods team since 1996.

“It was my first job after I graduated from TCU,” says Tim. “It’s been a great company to work for, and is family-owned.”

Backwoods first opened in Fort Worth in the late 1970s at a location off University Drive. A relocation to Camp Bowie Boulevard preceded its final move to 2727 W. 7th Street in 2008. What precipitated the move? Kayaks, of course.

“Our prior location was only 5,500 square feet,” says Tim. “We decided to start carrying kayaks, so we needed more space.”

Visitors to Backwoods can now explore 17,500 square feet filled with everything you need for a weekend in the wild: from tents to mountaineering gear, barefoot running shoes to fly fishing poles, Backwoods has the gear travelers want.

“We cater to outdoor adventure of all kinds,” says Tim. “We are Fort Worth’s one-stop shop for backpacking, camping, and fly fishing, and we’re the only specialty luggage store in town.”

It makes sense that a store with Backwoods’s dedication to the outdoors strives to get out into the community. Backwoods Paddlesports, located on the Trinity River near downtown, offers canoe and kayak rentals. Backwoods also sponsors tour stops for outdoor-related films on the festival circuit. This endeavor, made possible through a partnership with the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth, has upcoming screenings from the Banff Mountain Film Festival.

As for Father’s Day, if there’s a dad in your life whose idea of going “out” for dinner centers on a campfire, Backwoods has you covered with a range of gifts. The second-floor gear area tends to lure male shoppers, as does the fly fishing department. If you’re looking for something truly special, stop by the store on June 13th, when a Benchmade Knife representative will laser-engrave blades in honor of the holiday. A selection of Bellroy wallets always make popular gifts, as do Backwoods’s five-hour fly fishing schools. Of course, the outdoors are for everyone, and Backwoods caters to more than just a male clientele.

“We’ve been voted best place for couples’ shopping by readers of a Fort Worth magazine,” says Tim.

Young or old, male or female, Backwoods has what you need to enjoy the natural bounty of North Texas and beyond. In fact, the next time you stop by, you might just need an extra backpack to haul out all your gear.