ABOUT

We met at an art museum, got engaged in a national park, then she paddled into our wedding in a canoe. Now we’re sharing our love of the outdoors with our daughter in the woods and on the water, pedaling bikes and chasing butterflies. We are passionate about the power of nature and what it can do for your mind, body and soul, and we want to share it with others.

Having a child really lengthens your view. We look to the future and see how disconnected our society has become. The screens, the metaverse, isolation. So many people enjoy getting out into nature, they just may not have the equipment, the knowledge, or the people to go with. That’s where we come in. We’re here to reduce barriers to getting outside. We welcome beginners with open arms. No judgment here. Rent some gear without breaking the bank. Learn how to kayak, mountain bike, or prepare for a hike. Experience wellness like you’ve never imagined, surrounded by fresh air and welcoming souls. Kayak to a beach and create a painting. Laugh with new friends, or connect with current ones on a trip that helps you discover something about the beautiful area we live in, or even yourself.

VALUES

At Forward Outdoor we believe in:

  • Respect. For nature and all human beings regardless of race, gender identity, sexual orientation, religion, political affiliation, age or ability level.
  • Transparency. We will be open and honest about our goals, how we plan to accomplish them, our struggles and achievements in reaching them, and will seek feedback along the way.
  • Generosity. We aren’t here to think small or put up walls. We want to do what we can to support our community, and bring people together around a common goal of getting people outside to experience the power of nature.
  • Diversity. We’re two white people running an outdoor company in an industry where almost everyone looks like us. Our goal is to do what we can to proactively reach out to organizations that support diversity in the outdoors, offer whatever resources or assistance that we can, and listen to what others have to say and respect their experiences.

HOW WILL WE DO THIS?

  • Purchasing from vendors that share our same values and integrate sustainability into their operations. It’s buying tents from a manufacturer that has eliminated plastic from their products and packaging, even though they are more expensive than the industry norm. It’s using low-VOC (Volatile Organic Compounds) paints in our warehouse space. It’s purchasing food for our trips that don’t contain preservatives or chemicals and are healthier for our bodies.
  • Aiming for carbon neutrality. The vast majority of the climate changing-causing greenhouse gasses that we emit come from our 15-passenger van. We chose this vehicle because it takes more customer cars off the road than having people meet us out at a trailhead, and we chose a van over a bus due to the increased efficiency. We explored an electric vehicle, but the only one that could work for us didn’t have enough range to get us to and from our destinations. We also considered the biodiesel version of our van, but unfortunately there aren’t any biodiesel stations in the Milwaukee area. Efficiency is always best, but after that comes carbon credits. Whether it’s planting trees or helping to build a solar farm, we will evaluate the most reputable projects after our first year to see how we can be most effective in accomplishing our goals of treading lightly on the planet.
  • Getting people outside. We have set a goal for Year 1 of generating 1,000 hours outside for our customers. The term “1,000 Hours Outside” originally comes from the statistic that children generally spend 1,000 hours per year in front of a screen, and it’s a mission to combat that with time outside instead.
  • Minimizing Waste. Minimizing what’s sent to the landfill isn’t about just recycling, it’s reusing items first and foremost, choosing suppliers who use responsible packaging, and thinking about processes from the outset so waste isn’t produced in the first place.