Craig Morgan has let his love of the outdoors inspire much of his music. His song ‘Bonfire’ climbed to No. 4 on the Billboard Hot Country Songs chart. It also gave due respect to the lighter side of exploration: those great moments in nature with friends.
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Morgan tells Outdoors.com that he not only let exploration empower many of his lyrics, but he hopes most of all, that his love of the outdoors trickled down to his family. The 58-year-old U.S. Army veteran shared that getting outside is what he does to unwind. Though he is usually a solo explorer, his fondest times are with others.
“My favorite outdoors memory is hunting with my kids,” he says. “I will never forget sitting with my children, each one of them separately on their first hunts. The conversations we have when we are in the outdoors, whether it’s hunting or snow machining or fishing, the conversations we have are so much more in depth than anywhere else because we are not distracted by all of life’s interferences.”
The singer-songwriter believes that hunting stuck with him more than other activities because of the solitude it brings. He cites the calming influence that being alone with nature can bring; noting that it’s also one of the few times in his life where he is not being driven or rushed to accomplish something. He can literally sit and enjoy the outdoors.
Being outdoors was a passion that was instilled in him from an early age.
And from his mother.
Morgan describes his childhood introduction to hunting as a necessity. The family needed the kill for the meat, first and foremost. The very first hunt he went on was with his mother, when he was barely old enough to assure a good shot. She sat him in her lap and the pair of them made his first kill. He learned to appreciate what that kill meant immediately, too.
“It is important to approach hunting with an attitude of appreciation for the outdoors. Every time you take an animal you should be grateful for it,” he says. “You don’t have to have the latest and the greatest equipment, you do need dependable equipment and to be familiar with it.”
Morgan served on active duty for almost a full decade in the US Army. He was a member of the 101st and 82nd Airborne Divisions and remained in the reserves for six years. He is also a survival trainer that may be more comfortable under the stars without a tent than around that bonfire he wrote about. Though he would have his pocket knife—and probably an emergency fire starter—whether you saw him at a festival or foraging.
“When I’m in the woods, I have a sense of calm that I can only get when I’m there,” he says. “The outdoors are THE place I go to get away from my career.”
Craig Morgan chronicled his life in his memoir, God, Family, Country, which was released in September 2022. Morgan opened up about the people, places and experiences that have shaped him both as a person and as an artist.
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