After the debut of her Facebook Watch series 'Eva Shockey's Outdoor 101,' the industry trailblazer spoke with our editor.
No one in the outdoor industry has the gravity-level attraction of Eva Shockey.
She's upbeat, smart, experienced, and beautiful. She's seen some serious changes in the last couple years of her life, but still comes across confident she's on the right path.
Most importantly, she's down to earth, undeterred by being the daughter of one of the hunting industry's icons, co-hosting outdoor TV shows, and amassing a social media following that rivals some major media networks.
Seriously, look at her Facebook page's numbers. They surpass those of Outdoor Channel, Outdoor Life Magazine, and Bassmaster.
Capitalizing on that following, Eva Shockey has introduced us to a new-yet-familiar side of herself in the Facebook Watch digital series Eva Shockey's Outdoor 101. It's an intimate look at a young family's exploration of the great outdoors, supplemented with generous helpings of tips and tricks that we can all get something out of.
Shockey described it herself when we spoke over the phone, and her enthusiasm for the new endeavor was undeniable.
"It is an outdoor lifestyle digital series on Facebook Watch," Shockey said. "It's a relatively new platform, and a really, really cool opportunity. They reached out to us last year, and it's something I've never been a part of. I also get to be the main host, which is a lot of fun, and on top of that it's with my husband Tim and our daughter Leni."
The six episodes all debuted in December of 2018 on Facebook Watch, and are available to view at any time from just about any device with a web browser or Facebook app.
Outdoorswoman Eva Shockey invites us along as she and her family head into the wilderness, giving us one-of-a-kind hacks to better the experience.
Posted by Eva Shockey's Outdoor 101 on Friday, November 30, 2018
"We tried to make it as 'real life' as possible," Shockey said. "You'll see when you watch the series that there are a lot of elements that are just in-the-moment, and there's me filming on my phone, because that's what I would normally be sharing with the public on social media. We tried to make it just an expansion of my social pages. You can only get so much when you go on Instagram and see a fifteen second video, or you see a screenshot or snapshot of a really cool adventure we took. But you don't really understand what they are really doing behind the scenes. This is supposed to bring viewers there with us, it's supposed to feel like you're part of our family."
Why's that so important? She expanded her thoughts: "We really wanted to motivate people to get outdoors and enjoy Mother Nature and everything it has to offer. You might not realize you don't have to go 5,000 miles away from your house. You can go in your own state, like we are as we're exploring North Carolina. We're showing people who might not realize it that there are fun adventures at your fingertips."
The entire collection of released episodes take place in North Carolina, Eva's newly adopted home state. She said they chose North Carolina because "We looked at the map and said we wanted to live somewhere where we can spend a lot of time outdoors, where we have a lot of opportunity for beautiful scenery and beautiful adventures."
Shockey said the resulting family adventures highlighted in the series are "just as fun, if not more" than anything she's gotten to do up to this point in her life. That's saying something, considering the experiences she's had working in the outdoor industry.
"To be totally transparent, I've spent my whole early 20s, mid-20s traveling all over the place with a crazy schedule. Now I'm a mom, and a wife, and I still have that bug where I want to be outdoors, but I'm changing diapers, and I'm cooking dinner, and doing all the things that I signed up for because I love those elements. Eva Shockey Outdoor 101 is kind of trying to show people you can do both. You don't have to give up on your old life because you just got married, or because you moved to a new place."
Thoughts of expanding to other states have been discussed, and if the series should continue, that's an idea Eva wants to explore. For now, there's plenty in North Carolina to see and do.
One of Eva's highlights from the six episodes came on her fly fishing trip to the Watauga River, which she said felt like it could have been a mountain trout stream in Colorado or Wyoming, "but really we were only two hours from our front door." That was, admittedly, her first attempt at fly fishing. She wasn't necessarily great at it, but she tried, she was committed, and she showed that bit of vulnerability we haven't really seen from her.
"I will be the first to tell you that I'm willing to take that position as the person who's not good at something or that is trying something new and they look kind of silly, if it means other people are going to feel comfortable trying it. Really, that's just my history of my career the whole way through," Shockey said with a laugh. "I'm always the one trying something new, and who's showing people, 'If I can do it, you can do it.'"
As she continues working on the balance of being a mother and involving her daughter in her adventures, it's come down to a matter of inclusion without pressure.
"Tim and I are hunters and we love to fish, but we don't really care what she chooses," Shockey said, like a seasoned parent. "The cool thing about this series is that you don't have to be a hunter or a fisherman to watch it and enjoy it. You don't have to be a mom or a dad to watch it and enjoy it. It really appeals to so many different people."
That's exactly what projects like these are supposed to do, and after a full viewing of the series, you can't help but agree.