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Courage For The Outdoors

Get The Experience Wanted For Memories Needed From Local Outdoor Guide Company

Article by Julie Brown Patton

Photography by Courtesy of Millsap Adventure Company

Originally published in Brentwood Lifestyle

When Matt Millsap isn't collaborating with construction industry veterans to renovate Nashville-area historic homes or buildings, he's helping people climb cliffs safely, take exploratory hikes and create outdoor adventures that fill hearts with happiness. 

Matt, and his wife, Jaime Millsap, just launched a new business called Millsap Adventure Company.

"We're excited to connect clients with the outdoors, and help them take their adventures to the next level, whether that be for half day and all-day hikes, fly fishing, rock climbing, camping overnight or for more extended, weeklong trips," affirms Matt. "There are a ton of places and terrain that I have extensive experience with out West. For example, I know firsthand about the Joshua Tree, Rocky Mountain and Yosemite national parks."

Matt says taking guided trips to Utah, Colorado, Arizona and California are popular with Nashville area residents. However, he and his certified instructors also are just as happy to assist clients with trips to nearer locations, such as Chattanooga. 

Among therapeutic benefits of securing adventure guides, industry sources count the following:

  1. First and foremost, hiring a guide can help adventurers stay safe while pushing physical, psychological and emotional boundaries. Guides also have first-aid training as a precaution.
  2. Companionship:  For solo travelers, hiring a guide means more than just having someone there to ensure one's safety. An excellent guide will answer all questions, educate on local customs and culture, and find ways to entertain clients and keep spirits high.

  3. Regional knowledge:  Excellent adventure travel guides have strong understandings of the area where they operate, including understanding of trails, conditions, weather and risks. 

  4. Tour personalizations:  While having fun times, guides can tailor to clients' skill levels.

  5. Nature can rejuvenate one's soul in pure, and sometimes unexpected ways.

  6. Getting outdoors can strengthen family bonds, reinitiate friendships and relieve stress.

  7. Tackling outdoor adventures can yield a sense of accomplishment, self-awareness and gratitude.
  8. Outdoor adventure seekers learn new skills, some of which are great lifelong applications.

"Being outside is my passion. I believe the glory of nature was made for us all to experience, so I really enjoy sharing it. Not everyone was able to grow up like I did, camping and hiking. Being outdoors is great for our spirituality and helps our mental health," says Matt.  

Millsap Adventure Company guides are ready to assist all levels of clients, "from neophytes and beginners to moderates." 

Another advantage for Millsap Adventure Company clients is that guides cook during camping trips. "Our packages include the food and beverages needed. Although we may pick up lunch at a restaurant while heading out of town after a longer camping adventure," Matt says. 

Jaime says they provide a thorough checklist ahead of outings, and use intake forms to ensure clients are prepared and know what to buy or what can be rented from the company. For example, they have two, fully outfitted recreational vehicles that can be rented:  Harvey, a 31-foot Jayco that sleeps up to eight people, or Honey, a 25-foot Winnebago that sleeps five persons. Jaime says all that's needed is food for the RV refrigerators and clothes for the traveling closets. 

"Our checklists are customized according to the type of adventure, the locations, travel needs or not, and particularly the time of year or season," adds Matt. 

Jaime and Matt indicate they even can provide itineraries for their RV clients regarding where to stop, what to see or where to gather certain supplies. Jaime adds that their recommended travel plans are as structured or as flexible as clients desire.

In addition to viewing postcard-worthy scenery and capturing irreplaceable memories on outings, clients can learn many interesting notations about themselves, notes Matt. "There are universal laws for the outdoors. It's wonderful to see people discover that they can do it. They often learn so much about outdoor adventures not having to be overwhelming or scary. And, they discover the benefits of self-reliance," he adds.