Welcome to Bat City Outdoors


News: Paddling Texas: A Guide to the State’s Best Paddling Routes available for order.

Waves of live music, heaps of barbecue, personalities like Kinky, tireless Texas fight football fans, electric get-downs on 6th Street, it’s all right here. And still people treat each other like neighbors – Austin is just right.

Even so, that urban just right can bake on like sun-dried mud. When it does, it can only be scraped off in the outdoors. Luckily, Austin has some of that too. It’s in the rivers and ravines and with the waterfolk and wildlife that are Bat City outdoors.

Here you’ll find stories about the outdoors in Austin and beyond. And, you’ll find information to help get you out there.

Thanks for reading,
Shane Townsend

Bat City Outdoors |
From Austin. For Outdoorsfolk Everywhere.


Chasing Rumor: A season fly fishing in Patagonia

Patagonia has published a fly fishing book about it’s namesake. Besides being a clever marketing idea, the book is a good read.

Written by smokejumper and fellow fly fishing nut Cameron Chambers, the book tells the story of Patagonia’s monster trout, how they got there, and the people who chase them. It’s a story well-told. And for travelers and anglers alike, a tale well worth a read.

We’ll see if this book’s success opens the door for other namesake-honoring books by Columbia Sportswear, Osprey, Marmot, Arc’teryx, and others in the industry.

wpid-2015-06-01-18.51.07.jpg.jpegPick up a copy at my favorite faceless book monger: Amazon.

At Home in the Woods: Living the Life of Thoreau Today

Inspired by hundred-year-old writings of Thoreau, Vena and Brad Angier abandoned their urban lives and took to the forests of British Columbia to start anew. In 1951, their story was published as “At Home in the Woods: Living the life of Thoreau today.” Although their “today” was a lifetime ago, their questions are contemporary, their compulsion alive in many of us, and their story is as captivating as ever.   

Pick up a copy of the latest edition at my favorite faceless book monger: Amazon.

New one in Garden & Gun: Mountain Showdown

Looking back, I’m not sure if he was my dog or if I was his pet gringo.

We met in Marquina, a freeze-dried and sun-scorched Quechua village in the foothills of the Andes in Bolivia. After a three-thousand-mile journey, I hopped out of a Land Cruiser and took one step toward what would become my new home for a short while. Lobo stood from the dust and debris, set eyes on me, and lorded over what he knew to be his home – permanently.

Illustration by John Cuneo.

John Cuneo Illustration

Read this Good Dog story in the June/July edition of Garden & Gun.

Get the digital edition here. Pick up a hard copy at Barnes & Nobles, national airport newsstands, or your local grocery store’s magazine aisle. Or subscribe here.

About Garden & Gun

Garden & Gun is the only magazine that moves from the sporting life to lush land and gardens, from architectural pursuits to adventurous travel, from food and drink to visual splendor. Garden & Gun is an idea about how to live— how to live a life that is more engaged with the land, the literature, the music, the arts, the traditions, and the food. It is about appreciating the richness of the South and knowing how that understanding can enrich one’s life and translate beyond Southern geography. It is about a life well-lived.


Preparing Fish & Wild Game

Preparing Fish & Wild Game

Food was the first motivator for hunting and fishing. And, while many of us catch and release most of the fish we catch and donate some of the meat we take each year, food is still at the center of our farm-fur-fin-and-feather-to-fork food chain and the traditions that, well, feed it.

Hunting and fishing families have long culinary traditions around how animals are processed, cooked, and served. Meanwhile, many people are coming to hunting and fishing –thanks in no small part to the writings of Michael Pollan, Jackson Landers, and others — and they are starting from scratch with game as food.

From either perspective, “Preparing Fish & Wild Game” is a worthwhile resource. The book presents more than 200 pages of images and instructions on how to process, prepare, and serve wild game.

Pick up a copy at independent booksellers or from my favorite faceless book monger: Amazon. 


Patagonia’s Simple Fly Fishing

Many a new angler is being drawn to fishing by America’s discovery of the thousands-year-old Japanese tradition of tenkara fishing. Tenkara is, in essence, flyfishing without a reel. But fear not: Tenkara is what happens when flyfishing and cane poles cuddle up.

simpleflyfishing.jpgWant to know more?

Patagonia’s Simple Fly Fishing: Techniques for tenkara and rod & reel is a good resource for those moving from cane pole to tenkara, baitcast to fly, and from beloved abode to beautiful river banks.

Beginning April 8, 2015, you can pick up a copy at independent booksellers or from my favorite faceless book monger: Amazon.

The History of Fly Fishing in 50 Flies

Ian Whitelaw’s History of Flyfishing in 50 Flies is enlightening, instructional, and beautifully illustrated. If you’re a flyfishing aficionado – aspiring or otherwise – this book really worth exploring.


The book recounts the history of the 2,000 year-old pastime and the flies, techniques, and technologies that have defined it.

Publishing house Stewart, Tabori & Chang will release the book on April 7, 2015. You can pick up a copy at independent booksellers or from my favorite faceless book monger: Amazon.

A Peek Inside Paddling Texas

Even if you don’t feel like getting out on the water right now, take a look. You might change your mind once you see what’s waiting for you.

Images from inside the 40 float trips featured in “Paddling Texas:A Guide to the State’s Best Paddling Routes” by Shane Townsend published by FalconGuides (November 2014) and set to the music of Abby Mott and Her Band with permission. See more at PaddlingTexas.com