Selling equipment helps student pay for school

CorrespondentFebruary 12, 2014 

Raleigh resident Mike Rothwell doesn’t have any bootstraps listed in his inventory, but he has been pulling on his own.

And if you happen to need boots, he might be able to track them down for you.

The N.C. State senior from Salisbury is the Mike in Mike’s Outdoors, an enterprise started out of necessity by a college student trying to pay his way and help his mother, a teacher who recently had cancer surgery.

With a plan to pursue a master’s degree in marine biology, the accidental businessman focuses on classes Tuesday through Thursday and pursues outdoors gear Friday through Monday.

Hopefully, he said, “This will pay for at least part of grad school.”

On a Facebook page, Rothwell, 24, lists used and new items that he finds at auctions, yard sales and anywhere else. He targets goods he can resell if he can’t use them himself. Recent listings included tents and other camping supplies, a gun cabinet, a camouflage all-terrain vehicle, a sit-on skeet thrower, patio heaters and bicycles.

A consumer looking to buy an item from a reseller should research to make sure the item will not be a mismatch that ruins the buyer’s camping trip or other outdoors experience, Rothwell said.

“I try to help people out. With the camping gear, I’m more familiar with,” he said. “I’ll sit there and have conversations with them going over the options on what’s good for you and what’s not.”

If that requires finding equipment to meet a specific request, Rothwell will hunt.

“If it’s something that I’m not too familiar with, I’ll ask them about specifics about what they’re looking for,” he said. “Or I’ll tell them what I see and whether I can get it for them.”

Check out Rothwell’s finds at Mike’s Outdoors at

Boating class: The U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary will offer a one-day “About Boating Safely” course designed for central North Carolina.

The 8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m. course will be held at Nationwide Insurance Service Center, 4401 Creedmoor Road, in Raleigh on Feb. 22, March 22, May 3, May 31, June 28, Aug. 9, Sept. 20 and Oct. 18.

Materials cost $35. Register by contacting Ron Sanders at 919-781-5917, or email

Birthday boat: Drop by the Sanitary Seafood Market and Restaurant on the Morehead City waterfront noon-3 p.m. Sunday for Sylvia’s birthday celebration.

Visitors are likely to hear retired outdoors columnist Bob Simpson’s tales of restoring the wooden Core Sounder, which was built locally and launched Feb. 14, 1933. Find directions at

Comment ending: Friday is the final day to comment on proposed 2014-15 fishing, hunting and management regulations. Submit comments at or email

Cape Fear banquet: The Cape Fear Wildlife Foundation’s second Low Country Seafood and BBQ Banquet and live and silent auctions will be held 7-11 p.m. March 15 at Coastline Convention Center in Wilmington. Tickets cost $50 solo or $75 couple. Contact W.C. Lanier at 910-795-0292 or

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