Founder's Bio

Picture of James Smith

James Smith

Yes, that's me, doing what I love, playing in the outdoors. As my mother would say, “smelling like the outdoors.”

I have been active in the outdoor world for well over 46 years, and in the skilled outdoor industry for over 30 years. If the phrase “don't judge a book by its cover” was an image, it would be me, as many wouldn’t think I am a true outdoorsman by my looks.

During the pandemic, a friend approached me and said that I had found what everyone is searching for in a career,- a purpose and a passion married together.

I immediately said I don't think my job qualifies for that status. He slapped me on the head and said: "No, I'm talking about teaching outdoor stuff".

At the time, I had been volunteering my knowledge and expertise to an outdoor group which I grew to well over 2600+ members in a 6-year period. He laughed and said anyone who can get this many people outside has a gift.

It took me a while to accept what he was saying before I decided he was right. MyOutdoorJoy was
created in my head on top of Crowders Mountain.

I started looking around and realized that very few companies catered to people with little to no
outdoor experience. So, I set out to create a company that would provide expert outdoor instruction to people searching for classes and events doing different outdoor activities.

Our goal is to share our knowledge as you take part in all the fun and adventures we have to offer.

I hope you take the opportunity to come out, meet us and take the time to meet with members and participants who are just like you.

My Life Perspective: Pushed Into Purpose

Here are just a few of my experiences:
1) Hiked 1730 miles of the Appalachian Trail
2) Climbed Mount Kilimanjaro
3) Certified Open Water SCUBA diver
4) Participated in over 50+ Skydives, highest was 17100 ft.
5) Completed 2 Stages of the Scottish National Trail
6) Led over 400+ Guided Hikes
7) Hosted over 160+ campouts
8) Former Event Leader of Piedmont Hiking
9) Former Co-leader of Outdoor-Afro Charlotte
10) NOLS Wilderness First Aid Certified
11) AED and CPR trained
12) Trained over 1200+ new outdoors people
13) Land Navigation Specialist
14) Hosted 75+ backpacking trips

My journey from a nature loving kid to a pioneering outdoor entrepreneur is a testament to the transformative power of nature and the boundless possibilities that arise when one follows their passion with purpose. Through MyOutdoorJoy, I hope to continue to inspire others to embrace the outdoors, forging meaningful connections and fostering a collective commitment to challenge everyone to enjoy nature.

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