Several times during Eva Shockey’s Facebook Watch series “Eva Shockey’s Outdoor 101,” as she’s hiking through Pisgah National Forest or trudging up a trail to Linville Falls, she’s stopped by awestruck fans — almost always men — who want a photo with her. She cheerily obliges while her husband, former pro hockey player Tim Brent, stands off to the side.
To the viewer not versed in the world of celebrity hunters, this movie star treatment might seem perplexing. But really, it’s not. Shockey is the exceedingly telegenic face of not just hunting (she built much of her following as the co-host of her father’s Outdoor Channel TV show, “Jim Shockey’s Hunting Adventures”) but of the outdoors lifestyle as a whole. In addition to her TV background, Shockey is an author with the distinction of being the first woman to make the cover of Field & Stream magazine and she has a social media following of more than 2 million.
Promoting the benefits of an outdoors lifestyle is the message behind the new “Outdoor 101” show, a streaming Facebook series of nature lovers’ road trip adventures featuring Shockey and Brent, and sometimes their toddler Leni Bow and their little dog Piper. All six episodes of the first season focus on North Carolina excursions, all a manageable drive from the family’s home near Raleigh.
“It’s about embracing the outdoors and getting outside your comfort zone,” Shockey said in a phone interview.
The episodes offer more than just a chance to watch Shockey and her family have fun outside; she gives tips for making the adventures easier — covering what type of gear to take and what kinds of outings are realistic with a toddler and a small, lazy dog (that’s her description of the dog, not mine, from the Blue Ridge Parkway episode).
Now with a family — she and Brent met at an outdoors show in Raleigh and have been married three and a half years — Shockey has less time for hunting and is more interested in activities that can involve the whole family.
“Hopefully we’ll be having more babies, so we’ve transitioned to more of an outdoor lifestyle where we can have the whole family involved,” Shockey said. “We wanted to stay in our home state of North Carolina and find the beauty here. It’s a positive, healthy lifestyle and a good one for a family.”
One episode of “Outdoor 101” involves a family friendly stroll to Linville Falls and a drive on the Blue Ridge Parkway. Another episode gets a little competitive, as Shockey and Brent wager over a bass-fishing excursion at Jordan Lake. In yet another episode, Shockey tells Brent that they’re going on a hike, but it’s really a “wilderness yoga” date in Boone. Every episode — they run about 12-15 minutes in length — includes a bit of history about the place they’re visiting.
Calling North Carolina home
Shockey and Brent are both originally from Canada, but make their home near Raleigh because Brent, now a commercial real estate broker, fell in love with the area during his time playing for the Carolina Hurricanes.
“He loves Raleigh and North Carolina so much, and he knew it had so many opportunities for adventure,” Shockey said. “We’ve planted roots here. We had no family or friends here, but we’re building a home here now.”
Shockey insists the show isn’t just for those who already embrace camping, hiking and fishing. She wants to make the city mice among us feel just as comfortable in nature as the country mice do.
“That’s why we created the show, to reach the people who maybe don’t know much about the outdoors or are intimidated by it,” Shockey said. “We give them hacks to make it easier — if you have a toddler or kid, here’s how you can do it. Watching someone else like this helps.”
It also helps that no matter what they’re doing, Shockey and Brent seem to be having fun. Even when Brent’s comfort level is tested (watch Shockey try to kiss him on camera at Falls Lake), you can tell they’re having a good time. Maybe that will make viewers more inclined to get outside and find adventure.
But for those who are reluctant, Shockey said it might be easier to take baby steps into the great outdoors.
“Try small ways,” she suggested. “Go to a park and look at animals — something that’s not so far out of your comfort zone that you’re not enjoying it. I’ve found when you start small, then the next time you can do a little more . . . you don’t need to be in the mountains for a week, you can do it.”
Shockey isn’t overbearing, but she’s passionate about the outdoors lifestyle and how healthy it is for families, so her “just do it — but have fun” attitude comes through.
“A lot of people find excuses for why they can’t get outdoors — new mom or new job or XYZ. You can make the time, you can bring the kids. That’s why we show how to do it. It also helps kids learn to love the outdoors.
“The excuses, everyone can make them but you can make an effort and it’s worth it.”
Watch ‘Eva Shockey’s Outdoor 101’
You can find all episodes of “Eva Shockey’s Outdoor 101” streaming at facebook.com/EvaShockeysOutdoor101.