My Journey From Desert To Office

I didn’t take the decision to hang up my spurs casually.

The cowboy life has been a part of my family for generations. My Father and Mother, their parents, their parents’ parents and the settlers that came before them. My abandonment of the cowboy life has been something that I’ve been wrestling with for years, it represents a final breath of the Old West and a step into a brave new world of modernity that has existed in the urban centres of our country for decades.

So what made me throw in the proverbial towel? Why did I feel the need to forsake the identity that has been handed down to me like a priceless heir loom for so many decades?

Money.

I grew up on a ranch in the Deep South. [Only true Southerners capitalise the ‘D’ and ‘S’, it’s indicative of a deep respect for what our forefathers went through to settle the land and goes some way to presenting how important it is to our identity.] I spent the majority of my youth outside, riding horses, herding cattle, fixing fence and making a nuisance of myself. I never considered what a life spent inside might be like, because I never thought that I would live one.

Unfortunately, the days doing those little jobs fixing fence and herding cattle were numbered, I just didn’t know it yet.

Today, my line of work is far removed from what it once was. When I explain my job to new friends they often make a face, as if to say: ‘That’s actually something people do?”

You see, I sell and design custom glass manifestations. They’re the vinyl stickers or decals that are stuck onto floor-to-ceiling windows and doors to prevent people from walking into them. They may seem a little insignificant in the grand scheme of things, but in many states they are mandatory in public buildings.

As these glass manifestations are mandatory for most buildings with floor to ceiling windows, I get regular calls from folks looking to make their building’s safety compliant and they’re always surprised to see a cowboy delivering their vinyl stickers.

You see, unlike many of my other friends who have traded in their cowboy hats for suits, I’ve stuck to my roots…to a certain extent.

As many of my customers note to me: ‘You can take the man out of the Deep South, but you can’t take the Deep South of the man.’

I’m proud to still speak with a thick Southern drawl, something that will probably be with me for the rest of my life and I don’t feel complete unless I have my stetson with me. Much to the chagrin of my daughters, I still drive a large pickup truck to all of my business appointments, regardless of whether I need the trunk space or not, and in my mind no summer weekend is complete without a good old-fashioned BBQ.

The cowboy spirit is an indomitable one that can exist in all sorts of environments. I’ve lived the true cowboy life and now I’m happy to say that I’ve done what it takes to keep the tradition living on.

5 Cowboy Campfire Must-Haves

Planning a Camping Trip Soon?

A cowboy on a camping trip is a wonderful thing to see.

The great outdoors is arguably where we are at our most comfortable; after all it’s where our forefathers made their fortune and where our traditional attire was designed to be worn. It’s in the wide open spaces of the Yosemite National Park or the lush green forests of the Acadia National Park that our true nature is revealed.

We are men and women of the river. Followers of dusty trails and craftsmen of our own destinies – there is perhaps no better way of understanding American freedom than pitching a tent out in the wilds, starting a fire and sleeping peacefully on the ground that our forefathers have struggled for centuries to tame.

But before you even think about packing your saddlebags for your next excursion into the old West, make sure that you bring along at least a couple of these authentic cowboy essentials:

LXK2 Little Martin

Even if you’re out by yourself doing a bit of soul searching, a portable, clean-sounding acoustic guitar is essential for a camping trip. All you need to know is a handful of chords to string together a heartfelt ode to the good ol’ days. However, if you’re camping with a group, then you should certainly think about learning a few campfire basics just in case you’re called on to lead a rousing singalong.

Survival Knife

A good sharp knife is an essential piece of gear that has been carried by cowboys for centuries. Whilst you should avoid purchasing any knife purely for its ornamental value, it is important that your survival knife has at least a passing aesthetic value.

Although we aim for everything that we carry or wear to have an innate practical purpose, it’s important to remember that our culture also demands that we ascribe to a certain level of ornamentation.

Kemo Sabe Boots

Whilst you may balk at the price, you’ll struggle to find a better boot anywhere else in America than at Kemo Sabe.

This is a brand that understands how boots should be. They create a range of meticulously crafted handmade boots that are both hard-wearing and finely decorated. Although you might well think that it makes sense to spend less money and buy more than one pair boots, the truth is that two (or even three) pairs of boots will not outlast one pair of Kemo Sabes.

BioLite CookStove


Forget about rubbing sticks together for hours on end, this cooking stove is the perfect answer to the modern cowboy’s needs. The BioLite CampStove 2 is a perfect addition to your camping arsenal, providing a simple way of creating and controlling a wood fire. Simply feed the stove with your wood fuel and then use the power to cook your food, light your campsite and even charge your phone. It might not be a traditional campfire, but it’s portable, practical and safe.

The Range Tent

Although you might be attracted to the idea of stretching out underneath a blanket of stars, camping without a tent is not always recommended here in the States. Not only can predators like bears and snakes attack when you’re in a vulnerable position, but the elements are often not best suited to this kind of rough-sleeping. Still, if you’re going to use a tent then it may as well be a traditional cowboy tent. This Range Tent from established tent-makers Ellis encapsulate what is great about traditional canvas style setups.