What does it mean to "Explore with Confidence?"

'Explore with Confidence' is more than a tagline for Outdoor Element. It's  about believing in our untapped potential and conquering challenges. It's a mindset that empowers us to embrace the unknown, discover our true capabilities, and set out on epic adventures with unwavering self-assurance.

In honor of Father's Day, I would like to share a snippet from my personal journey that showcases how my father instilled in me the unwavering belief that we're all capable of achieving remarkable feats and embracing the unknown.

My dad taught me many things as a child. He encouraged me to try new things. Pursue my interests. To not see barriers as stopping points. Just challenges.

I remember attending summer scout camp in Texas when I was about 12 or 13 years old and my dad was my scout leader. We were hiking back from some activity with a couple other scouts to attend a merit badge class. Just as we began cresting a hill, we suddenly heard grunting and snorting from some animal approaching us really quickly. 

At the top of the hill, not far from us, we saw a massive bush -- maybe a scrub oak -- and before we knew what was happening, Dad, in his Master Drill Sergeant voice he immediately directed us behind the big bush.

It looked something like this  (photo courtesy of redpandanursery.com)

oak bush

Just as we hustled around to the back of it, we saw the beast through the limbs of the bush coming around the other side!

A huge bull coming right for us!

We'd go one way, and then he'd go the other. Back and forth, around, and around we went. It was a stare-down dance around that big oak bush. . .three scouts, my Dad and a bull.

Finally, the bull tired, slowed and then stood still. We slowly, carefully backed away and continued on our path with incredible respect and caution. 

No bull about it, my dad taught me to think on my feet, dare to dance and ultimately find my way despite any imposing obstacle. Thanks, Dad for saving us and teaching me so much about overcoming whatever obstacle is in my path! 

(Crazy enough this was my second encounter with a bull and a parent. My mom taught me some incredible life lessons in another bull encounter. What are the odds?! Guess it runs in the family. So grateful for these life lessons and --  so many others that didn’t involve livestock.)

This mindset propels me in all I do, both personally and professionally. I’ve always loved being outdoors, hiking, camping, running, playing sports, learning new skills, pushing myself, growing and achieving. So grateful my dad kindled a competitive spirit and natural curiosity in me, which has fed my confidence in exploring all things.

My vision for all Outdoor Element gear is to spark that same confidence in outdoor adventure through innovative gear. So get outdoors. Learn along the way. And rest assured you have the tools & skills needed to experience the best outdoor adventure.

 Mike's dad

Dad seated outside his home in Texas, wearing his Native American ceremonial garb, highlighting his military experience in the Army 


Super fun grandparents

The not-so-serious side of my folks and my four girls 


Thanks, Dad for teaching me to “Explore with Confidence” and to have fun while doing it!

How has your dad influenced you? What does it mean to you to explore with confidence?


  • Memorable adventure! Your scout camp reminiscence captures the essence of ‘Explore with Confidence’ – a journey guided by shared experiences and leadership bonds

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  • The message of strongly handling life, as your father taught you, is well conveyed by your honest regard. Your experience inspired me to persevere through obstacles on my own path to gaining confidence.


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