Matt Gibson, 28
Co-owner, Clintonville Outfitters
2869 N. High St., Clintonville
614-447-8902

You're obviously an outdoors store. What do you offer goods for?
Camping, backpacking, rock climbing, paddle sports. And then we also hit on the active lifestyle gear. We carry a lot of product that's not just for an outdoor enthusiast type... but for people who want to go out and walk their dog and stay dry and have a hat and gloves that keep them actually warm in the winter.

What's your biggest seller?
Right now it's the Vibram five-finger shoes. They are basically gloves for your feet-completely flexible heels, individual toe pockets. They're actually quite healthy for our feet.

You've hiked the Appalachian Trail, among other adventures. How long did that take you?
Six months and two days.

What was the best part?
Getting into town and getting a shower after 10 days on the trail. Once your body is in shape, you just try not to run out of money, and keep your head in it.

What got you interested in all this adventuring?
I was just drawn to the outdoors. I'm an Eagle Scout. And I was basically in that to go camping. I actually transferred from a troop in New Albany to a troop in Columbus that was more active so I could go out more.

You worked for various outdoor retailers before opening your own shop two years ago. Why'd you finally do it?
You've just got to grab life and run with it. My wife and I-we don't have children. We don't have a huge mortgage hanging over our heads. So it was now or never.

How has the community received you?
At first, the main question we got all the time was, "Is this a chain?" We just had to pound into people's heads that we're just two local boys who opened a store.

Is there a big adventuring community in Central Ohio?
We don't have big mountains. We don't have raging white water. But we've got lots of stuff surrounding us.

You actually offer classes - some of them free - yes?
We're about the only store in town that offers classes and clinics. We take hikes. We demo our kayaks. We're an adventure store, so we do adventures outside the store.


Kristy Eckert is the editor of Capital Style.