Heading to Tampa, FL for work - Anything bushcrafty available??

Discussion in 'Florida' started by Ol Grizz, Apr 8, 2017.

  1. Ol Grizz

    Ol Grizz Scout

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    Title about covers it. I'm heading to Tampa, FL for work (first week of June). I won't have a ton of time (and no rental car) but I would like to explore the bushcraft possibilities if there are any. Flight times are tight but I should have some daytime hours on my arrival day. Most working days I'll be tied up until 5:00pm.

    I'll be staying in a hotel near the Convention Center. I know there is a riverwalk along the Hillsborough River (and smart enough to guess already that it's probably not real safe at night). I also know there are some unique restaurants in the area and am planning to get to Ybor City for one evening (a friend and I share an enjoyment of good cigars and I hope to get him a present if possible). Other than that, please give me some input.

    What bushcraft possibilities exist in the area? Good local outdoor stores, militaria shops (new or surplus), neat things to do, etc? I'm open to any and all possibilities but I need some direction. Thanks in advance for any and all suggestions.
     
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  2. USPCompact45

    USPCompact45 Scout

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    Mons Venus...J/K!

    :dblthumb:
     
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  3. happywanderer

    happywanderer Scout

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    Tampa Bay Aquarium is very good if you're interested in sea life. Tarpon Springs isn't too far from there as well. Old Greek community with a history of sponge harvesting. Cool history.
     
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  4. Ol Grizz

    Ol Grizz Scout

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    Yikes! :8: Have to be careful how I word this as I don't want to get banned. But that isn't quite the "experience" I was looking for, thanks just the same. I'm libertarian enough to say "to each their own" but that probably isn't where I would expect to spend any time. :18: Now if the show included alligator wrestling.....
     
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  5. USPCompact45

    USPCompact45 Scout

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    Just throwing that out there for you brother!
    Sharing is caring!
     
  6. Ol Grizz

    Ol Grizz Scout

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    @USPCompact45 , I appreciate the information, I really do. I could pass this along to some of the other folks I know that are coming into Tampa for the same work situation. ;)

    If I was a whole bunch of years younger I would be jumping on that. Last time I was inside one of those establishments I saw too many idiots flexing their porn/beer muscles. I'll bet little has changed. Besides, I'm such a "lightweight" now that if I plan to imbibe more than one adult beverage I'm at home on the couch. Easiest way to avoid all manner of problems. No sense breaking that tradition.

    But hey, I learned something from your post. Would have never heard of the place on my own. That's what I'm interested in hearing - experience and recommendations from those who have local knowledge. :4:
     
  7. USPCompact45

    USPCompact45 Scout

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    @Ol Grizz I was just playing my friend. I lived there a few years back and when friends would visit that's where they wanted to go.

    On a serious note: there are a lot of gun ranges in Tampa. You don't need a license and they have a lot of guns to rent. Just a real idea for you as I didn't mean to derail your thread. If you have any specific questions feel free to PM me. Its been a few years since I left but I might be able to help.
     
    Last edited: Apr 8, 2017
  8. hidingpool

    hidingpool Scout

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    Always nice to find resources not local to you. Palm fiber (great tinder), seashells and other beach finds, etc. Used to be some great nature trails on the Pinellis side of the bay,don't know if you'll have the time for that. Make sure to get a cuban sandwich in Ybor.
     
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  9. SamD

    SamD Supporter Supporter

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  10. SamD

    SamD Supporter Supporter

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  11. Ol Grizz

    Ol Grizz Scout

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    @USPCompact45 , I know you were funning me! ;) One of the things I like best about BCUSA is that most folks have a good sense of humor. Shoot, I spend most of my life laughing at myself! No worries, you didn't derail anything.

    Now getting a chance to experience some new "boom sticks" could be right up my alley. Be even better if the ranges have some evening hours. I might be able to round up a group to go. Please feel free to list any range names you remember. I'll be happy to let my fingers do the Google-fu. Thanks!

    @hidingpool , that's a great suggestion. The problem is that I'm a far north fella. I would have no idea what are good resources to scavange while I am there. I have no problem shipping stuff home as long as it meets the standard USPS caveats. Please feel free (anyone) to chime in on good natural resources I should try to find.

    @SamD , thanks for that tip. I have gotten their catalog in the past. If they are anything like some other catalog folks with a retail store, their store inventory is different from the catalog (usually larger with different products). Might even pick up a few bargains. I'll definitely check them out. Thanks!

    Anyone, what else should I be scouting for in Tampa?
     
  12. WILL

    WILL Guide

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    Tampa in June is going to be wicket hot and humid. Between 5-7 PM it's usually raining that time of the year. Right after it rains and before dusk when the mosquitoes come out is probably the best time of the day to get outside. The rain cools everything off. The Little Manatee River State Park is close to Tampa and may not be totally submerged, but expect to do some fording. I like the trail head right off US 301 near Saffold road.
     
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  13. USPCompact45

    USPCompact45 Scout

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    @Ol Grizz I used to go to Shooting Sports on Dale Mabry. It was the closest to my house. The people were good and they had a gun rental thing called the "Pepsi Challenge" What is meant was that if you rented a 9mm Smith and wesson M&P 9c and shot 25 rounds out of it but didnt like it or wanted to try something else, you were able to bring that gun back and choose any other 9mm to try. The caveat was that you had to choose the same caliber. Their range fees arent bad and either are their ammo prices. If you rent firearms then you need to buy their ammo. Overall I liked it. Not the cleanest or newest but it was fine for me.

    Florida Firearms Academy was opening as I was leaving. A buddy of mine that used to work at the above mentioned range helped open it. Unfortunately he doesnt work their anymore so I cant get you the inside scoop. This place is newer and shinier if you will so if that means anything to you. Not sure of their range fees or ammo prices. They are a little off the beaten trail too.

    Hope that helps brother. Have fun and if youre looking for a solid steak dinner you cant go wrong with Berns Steakhouse. Solid food but a little pricey. Texas de Brazil is also an awesome place if youre with a group of meat eaters. That was the last meal I had before moving back to NY.

    A
     
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  14. WILL

    WILL Guide

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    +1 on a porter-house steak at Berns. I guarantee it will be the best steak you'll eat in your life. About $65 a person for a full meal and drinks, but so worth it. Last time I was there with my wife, we got the steaks with a fully stuffed baked potato, Samuel Smith beers and hit the desert room after. Seriously, presidents and kings eat there all the time.
     
  15. Ol Grizz

    Ol Grizz Scout

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    Thanks, @WILL . I had a feeling that hot & humid would be the order of the day. I'm already planning my wardrobe with that in mind. Hope the rumor here in the North is true, everything south of the Mason-Dixon line has air conditioning.

    I'll see about making the trip to Bern's. I'm usually up for a great steak. All depends on finances between now and then.

    Good tips on the ranges. I'll investigate further.
     
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  16. hdlv

    hdlv Treen Machine Supporter

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    Great food too, that's wear I grew up.
     
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  17. El Duderino

    El Duderino Scout

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    @Ol Grizz, I live in Tampa and have been here 10 years. If you have any specific questions don't hesitate to ask!
     
  18. Ol Grizz

    Ol Grizz Scout

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    Thanks, @El Duderino . I appreciate that. I'm really just looking for any advice on anything remotely bushcraft related. Most of my available time will be after 1700, so daytime activities won't be part of my Tampa experience. I've already scoped out some resources from the tourism folks and AAA. I "think" I have a pretty good handle on places to avoid. Work is taking care of booking my flights and hotel so I don't have much choice on that score.

    I would be happy to hear of any recommendations for outdoor things to do.
     
  19. El Duderino

    El Duderino Scout

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    The problem with Tampa, like most cities, is that to do anything bushcraft related you need to drive at least an hour. And I saw that you won't have a car. Downtown Tampa is nice, but fairly dead at night. It's safe to walk around so you can head over near the Straz Center which is on the Hillsborough River. Maybe a 15 minute walk. There is a popular biking/walking pathway there. I've never been on it, but there are always people using it. I'm sure you know this already - it's going to be hot/humid as balls.

    Also, someone mentioned about heading to the Ybor (pronounced EE-Bore) City section of Tampa. It's the old historic, cigar factory part of Tampa. Nice place to eat (check out The Columbia Restaurant), grab a drink and a stogie and hang out. You can get dropped off anywhere on 7th Ave between 15th St & 21st St. That's where everything is. Check out Tampa Brewing Company if you like craft beer and good food.

    Any other questions let me know!
     
  20. Ol Grizz

    Ol Grizz Scout

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    Thanks again, @El Duderino . I figured that most anything good would be a ways out of town. I was hoping that maybe there was a decent outdoor store or militaria shop near downtown. I have no issues with using public transport and may actually be able to snag a vehicle for an evening foray (that's still very uncertain at this point).

    Any ideas about any used book stores near downtown? Can't seem to find any information.

    Yeah, the Hillsborough River path looks interesting but I'll bet it's a "real rush" after dark - probably lots of opportunities to get caught up in any number of illegal activities. I have no need to get mugged or arrested in a strange city. But I will definitely check it out on a daylight occasion or two. Never know what may be found. And I will certainly investigate the bay if I can get to it. I haven't seen much salt water in my life and am always curious.

    Ybor City is definitely on my short list. I enjoy a good cigar now and again, especially if there is some good craft beer to go with it. Haven't seen anything on the Columbia Restaurant yet, will check out your link in detail. Did see some ads for Tampa Brewing from the tourism folks, sounds like a good stop to me!
     
  21. wacissa85

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    If it doesnt have A/C i can guarantee you the repairman is on his way
     

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