Kalispell, MT


The life of an outdoor television producer is pretty rewarding, but probably not as glamorous as you might think. For every luxurious month-long African safari, there is a somewhat less exotic grassroots hunting or fishing trip closer to home.\

Nevertheless, I consider myself extremely lucky to have travelled the world in pursuit of elusive game and wild outdoor stories. But not every trip is chock full of adventure. Some of our biggest obstacles revolve around the weather or our good friends in the airline industry.

As much as I hate to admit it, there are even times when the warmth of 400 grams of Thinsulate is simply too warm and the waterproof protection of a Chip-A-Tex waterproof membrane is slight overkill. Sometimes a great all-around leather boot with a Vibram sole is all you need; something classic and effective.

This was the case in Kalispell, MT a couple of weeks ago. Outdoor Channel managing producer Jeff Murray and I travelled to Montana - the home of Ducks Unlimited TV host Huntley Ritter - to capture a series of production elements for the upcoming DUTV season.

It is kind of a big deal, considering this is Huntley’s first season as the host of the best waterfowling series in the outdoors space! Too biased? Maybe. But they are the leader in wetland conservation and it’s hard to argue with their success.

The forecast called for rain but Huntley assured us the weather reports were less than dependable. Apparently the old adage, “If you don’t like the weather just wait 5-minutes and…” you get the picture. Apparently this is the universal rationale offered to anyone from out of town. When Mother Nature refuses to cooperate, it becomes even truer.

Taking Huntley’s meteorological evaluation to heart I left my weather-ready boots at home and instead packed my chocolate apache lacers. Tough enough to step off the beaten path for work, the boots are still good looking enough to wear up and down the streets of Whitefish, MT searching for a good dinner spot. We chose the Tupelo Grille (it rocked, by the way).

Well, as it turns out, Huntley was half right. After two days of shooting between Kalispell and the base of the Swan Mountains, we enjoyed a little nice weather. Nothing a few outdoor professionals couldn’t handle. I even found the perfect stump for a boot picture.

My next adventure is taking me to Portland, OR for a little hiking and a lot of fishing. I’m hoping you, the Chippewa faithful, might be able to suggest a boot? If you or a loved one have spent any amount of time soaking up everything that the Pacific Northwest has to offer…I hope you’ll offer up an opinion right now!

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Mike Garner Outdoors
mike garner outdoors

Chippewa has teamed up with Mike Garner, a lifelong sportsman and television personality with a love for everything outdoors, to bring you Mike's journey across the United States in his Chippewa boots.

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