By Bob Butz
Photos by Andrew Trahan
The Silverado Realtree Edition is the latest extension of a decade-long partnership between Chevrolet and Realtree,® the world’s most effective camouflage pattern.
Read the full article from New Roads magazine below:
NOW YOU SEE ME
The point of camouflage, of course, is to disappear. But in the camouflage gear business, you have to stand out. That was Bill Jordan's challenge in 1985. He wanted to create camouflage that truly matched outdoors terrain.
With paper and colored pencils, he sketched and colored the bark of a giant oak tree. Jordan's idea was to layer the images of twigs and leaves over a vertical bark background to create a three-dimensional appearance that would match a variety of terrain-and make his pattern distinctive.
This concept became Realtree, now known as the world's most effective camouflage pattern. Success, though, was anything but an easy climb. Shoestring budget doesn't begin to describe Jordan's early days. The company's first facility was a rented empty church and two employees-including Jordan.
“The biggest challenge I had is we had to convince a lot of people, including 14 million outdoors enthusiasts, that this (pattern) would work,” Jordan said.
Jordan combined determination with vision and promotion. Eventually, after about five years, Realtree took root and prospered.
In the beginning, Jordan had little beyond his idea and his word. Both served him well then and today.
“Honesty, integrity and treating people as you want to be treated—those things were instilled in me at a very early age, and we follow through with that with the company,” Jordan said.
LEARNING AND BRANCHING OUT
Growing up in the piney woods of southern Georgia, Mike Waddell never dreamed he'd one day host his own hunting show, or that people would line up to hear him speak and buy his signature Bone Collector apparel. As a teenager, he did pretty well competing in turkey-calling competitions. But winning the Realtree Grand American Turkey Calling Contest in 1993 proved to be a huge break.
Soon after, Bill Jordan asked Waddell to be his personal hunting guide. This led to Waddell filming Jordan's hunts and working for the company full time.
With Jordan's blessing, Waddell took his vision and founded Bone Collector in 2009. The entertaining, honest, down-home presentation of the hunting experience became an instant fan favorite.
The show led to trips around the world for Waddell and, eventually, an ever-expanding line of clothing and gear branded with the company’s distinct antlered skull logo.
"Bone Collector has always been a brand that has grown through the support of our fans," Waddell said. "And it all started as just a group of friends wanting to have fun while representing what hunting was all about."
HIKING, CAMPING AND EMPOWERING
Time spent in the outdoors can have an invigorating, enlightening effect. So it was for Sasha Cox when backpacking in Bolivia three years ago. Cox is not exactly a born-and-bred outdoorswoman. She grew up in a large city, but by the end of her college years in northern California, Cox had done some camping and backpacking and was hooked.
Her journey to South America was part of a 10-month backpacking trip around the world. During the trip, Cox realized that men tended to lead these types of activities, and she was a bit frustrated that she didn't have any female role models or teachers in the outdoors.
Cox knew that other women shared similar feelings. Her idea was to create a supportive environment where women could learn outdoors skills, challenge themselves, go on an adventure or just enjoy a weekend away.
The result is Trail Mavens, based in San Francisco. Women-most of whom don't know each other beforehand-come together to enjoy an adventure in state and national parks, talking, laughing and honing their outdoor skills. Groups are intentionally kept small (6 to 9).
Cox’s main advice for would-be entrepreneurs is to dive in.
"If you wait around for the day to be right or everything to be just so, you're never going to get anywhere," she said. "You have to move forward."
SILVERADO REALTREE EDITION
Bill Jordan, Realtree designer and president, has owned Chevrolet vehicles for over 40 years, long before he founded his business as the world’s leading camouflage designer, marketer and licensor.
The collaboration between Chevrolet and Realtree® dates back more than a decade, making the Silverado Realtree Edition a natural extension of that pairing. The Realtree Edition package is offered on Silverado 1500 LTZ Z71 Crew Cab models and includes exterior camo graphics and the Realtree logo embroidered on the front-seat head restraints.
Additionally, interior attributes feature the Realtree camo logo and graphics.
The Silverado Realtree Edition also includes special blackout trim, black bowties, off-road assist steps and black 20” wheels with all-terrain tires.
Also included and particularly helpful for outdoors enthusiasts is the legendary Z71 off-road package featuring Rancho® monotube shocks, Hill Descent Control, underbody shields and the G80 automatic locking rear differential.