The Legend of the PhoenixPhoenix-Fabelwesen

In Greek mythology, the Phoenix is a long-lived bird with fiery plumage that is cyclically reborn. Near the end of its life, it settles into its nest of twigs which then burn intensely, reducing bird and nest to ashes. Out of the ashes, a fledgling Phoenix rises – reborn and renewed.

So goes the story of Backwoods. Founded in Wichita, Kansas in 1973 by Lewis Mull, Backwoods has taken many shapes and forms over the past 45 years. After a challenging 2016 that necessitated the company seeking protection of the bankruptcy courts, Backwoods has risen out of the ashes – reborn and renewed.

As of March 1, 2017 Backwoods is under new ownership and management. Internally, we refer to the revitalized organization as Backwoods 2.0. We’re a smaller company now, with 4 brick and mortar stores, an e-commerce website, and an adventure travel business. We are deeply committed to returning Backwoods to its former glory.

For the last 45 years, 3 things have not changed at Backwoods: our exceptional store staff, a love of the outdoors, and a burning passion for outfitting our customers with the gear they need to Go Outside!

Backwoods President, Kevin McConnell, fly fishing with his daughter in Louisiana

Backwoods President, Kevin McConnell, fly fishing with his daughter in Louisiana

At this very moment, we are in the process restocking the hiking, camping, fly-fishing, and travel brands you’ve come to know and love at Backwoods. Over the next several months you will see many other exciting changes and enhancements to our stores and websites. So please, come back to the reborn and renewed Backwoods. Give our team members (many of whom have been at your service for decades) another chance to earn your trust and your business.


Kevin McConnell

P.S. Remember to Shop Local,  Be an Outsider, and leave it better than you found it!

6 Responses to “A letter from the President”

    • Pam Cherek

      Hi Ruth! Thanks for your comment and well-wishes. Patagonia will not be in the stores right away, but many other brands are being stocked now, including Osprey, Icebreaker, Prana, and more. We are working with Patagonia to hopefully stock them in the future.

  1. R Kerr

    It would have shown actual consideration for your customers if you had emailed us BEFORE our local stores closed. You’ve been sending me emails for years, but there was not a word in any of them to warn me before I drove across town to the Norman Backwoods week before last — only to find an empty space that appeared to have been hurriedly cleared out in the dead of night, with a For Rent sign on the front door.

    • Pam Cherek

      Thanks for sharing your thoughts. We’re sorry there was not an email sent out announcing the closing of the Norman store. That location was closed prior to the sale of the company (which happened March 1st). We understand that customers were frustrated, and we do hope that you’ll give the “new” Backwoods another chance. The OKC store is open and being run by the same dedicated management team that has been there for decades. I recognize that OKC is a less convenient location, but we’d love to invite you to swing by if you’re ever in the neighborhood!

  2. I am excited for Backwoods! It is one of my favorite stores and have shopped at Backwoods since 1976. Over the years I have met a number of sales associates who have become my “store friends” and look forward to saying hi to them whenever I drop in the store. I have taken two Backwoods Adventures trips and can tell you each was a wonderful experience! A great store and great people!

    • Pam Cherek

      Thanks for the kind words, Bill. As Kevin mentioned in his letter, we are committed to bringing Backwoods back to its former glory and beyond. We will be expanding Backwoods Adventures, as well. Good things are on the horizon. Thanks for being part of it!

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