Freelance Projects: Published books, columns & articles…

Endorsements:

“Tom Watson’s presentations reflect many years of hard-won wisdom and knowledge.  I’ve spent much of my life in the outdoors, and still learn volumes every time I hear Tom speak. He always brings depth, insight, and an ability to pass on incredibly useful information in an accessible and concise manner.  His…writings and presentations are worth every minute of your time.” – Tom Koshiol, Outdoor Youth Program Director / Crow River Trail Guards

Tom has been a regular presenter at the Outdoor Adventure Expo for more than a decade. His experience, charisma and knowledge has made him a fixture at the event and we are always excited by the presentations he has to offer.” – Peter Marshall, Presentation Coordinator, Adventure EXPO, Midwest Moutaineering.

“Tom has been a regular contributor to our Guide Outdoors blog at SportsmansGuide.com for years. His expertise and passion for the outdoors comes through in simple, easy-to-understand articles that our customers find both informative and entertaining.” – Rob Prigge, Manager of Copywriting and Editing, Sportsman’s Guide

“I have worked with Tom for several years. He is a reliable freelance write and a top professional in our industry.” – Bobby Whitehead, Publiser, Outdoor Guide Magazine

Current Freelance Activity

AGLOW-2018-BEST OF SHOW-PHOTOGRAPHY

MIDWEST OUTDOORS18-COLUMN HEADER

Monthly column on being self-reliant in the outdoors, featuring skills, tips and other back-country know-how.

OGM18-MAGAZINE HEADER-JAN

Monthly series on all things kayaking: tips, skills, other on-water techniques…

TOM-PRAIRIE NOTEBOOK HEADER

Weekly outdoor column on all a variety of outdoor & natural science aspects of prairie environment in western Minnesota.

 PADDLING.COM HEADER

Frequent articles on all aspects of sea kayaking

SPORTSMANSGUIDE HEADER

“Camping 101” column expanded into a variety of backcountry topics including safety, “how-to’s”, and gear reviews…

Published Books

(Click on Title at end of description to purchase on Amazon) 

BOOK COVER-BTC-2018-3RD ED.

BEST TENT CAMPING – MINNESOTA/3rd Edition

Even if you are a casual car camper, finding that special campsite where you don’t have to feel as though you’ve just pitched your tent on someone’s treeless lawn, is a special treat. Minnesota’s state parks and state forests, as well as the campgrounds within our two national forests offer myriad campsites in appealing rustic settings all throughout our  state. Each listing offers personal insights into these specially chosen sites and what each campground has to offer.  This 3rd addition is completely updated and features color photos of every listing...BEST TENT CAMPING – MINNESOTA

 

BOOK-CAMPER CABINS-AWARD STAR

BEST MINNESOTA CAMPER CABINS


Featuring over 100 camper cabins throughout Minnesota, this 
is my third guide book for Menasha Ridge Press on their AdventureKeen publishing label.Camper cabins in our state and county parks as well as those inboth the Chippewa and Superior National Forests offer campers a step up from a tent while offering a mostly rustic adventure. This book offers all the features of the cabin plus a brief overview of the park or unit in which it’s located. Third Place “Best Book” – Association of Great Lakes Outdoor Writers – 2017 Best Minnesota Camper Cabins

BOOK-COVER-60HIKES-2018

60 HIKES WITHIN 60 MILES – 

MINNEAPOLIS and ST. PAUL 4th Edition

Looking for a good day hike within an hour’s drive or less of the Twin Cities? “60 Hikes….”  describes routes within and beyond the city limits that take hikers through country lanes, around lakes in our regional park system and even along old railroad right-of-ways, to enjoy the Minnesota countryside that makes up so much of our metropolitan and adjoining areas. Descriptions include features along the routes as well as the plants, animals and other attractions you might encounter along the way. The new edition will feature many more photos of trailheads and scenes along the route.60 Hikes-Minneapolis 

 

BOOK - SURVIVOR

 

HOW TO THINK LIKE A SURVIVOR

If you’re a Rambo wanna-be or a hard-core “prepper'”- forget this book! But if you want to learn more about what’s the concept behind most of the basic survival techniques we’ve been taught, “How To Think Like a Survivor” offers insights into the “why” behind the “how” of being self-reliant. The skills and tips presented within these pages are pretty much standard survival steps and techniques we’ve learned from several sources. I’ve tried to go beyond just offering suggestions of what to do in various emergency situations to explaining why these steps should be taken. Your mind is your best survival tool and a Positive Mental Attitude will do much more for you than a fancy piece of gear.How To Think Like A Survivor

BOOK-KIDS-AWARD

KIDS GONE PADDLIN’ 

 Published as part of a series introducing children to a variety of outdoor activities, Kids
Gone Paddlin’ shares many years of kayaking in Alaska, including taking kids out onto the Pacific Ocean for their first experience on the water in a tiny craft. This book shares basic paddling concepts on boats, gear and technique – to instruct and entertain – but mostly to share in the joy of paddling. Second Place “Best Book” – Association of Great Lakes Outdoor Writers – 2008 Kids Gone Paddlin’

BOOK-RANGER RICK KIDS GUIDE TO PADDLING

RANGER RICK’S KIDS GUIDE TO PADDLING –

A newer edition is out under the title Ranger Rick’s Kids Guide to Paddling. It includes info on paddle boards, too. I was not contacted regarding any input into this updated version, but it does contain much of the information found in the original book.RANGER RICKS GUIDE TO PADDLING

BOOK-RAILS-TRAILS:MINNESOTA

RAILS-to-TRAILS MINNESOTA

This guidebook features trails throughout Minnesota that were developed using old railroad right-of-ways. I wrote all the narratives, provided many of the photos for this project that does not bear an individual authorship but rather an acknowledgment of contributors. First edition published in 2016. Available through the Rails to Trails Conservancy

BOOK-BIRDS OF UPPER MISSISSIPPI

BIRDS of the Upper Mississippi River and Driftless Area 

An anthology of articles and stories reprinted from Big River magazine includes an article I wrote on birding from a kayak along the backwaters of the Mississippi River at Winona, MN. Lots of interesting articles on the birds along the river in SW Minnesota.
(Please contact me if you are interested in a copy).

 

Association Awards:Writing/Photography

OWAAExcellence In Craft Recognition

Outdoor Writers Association of America

_________________________________________________

AGLOW LOGOAwards in Craft Recognition

Association of Great Lakes Outdoor Writers

__________________________________________________

2019

-AGLOW – 1st – PHOTOGRAPHY/OUTDOOR SCENIC – “A Spider’s Necklace”

-AGLOW – 1st – PHOTOGRAPHY/OUTDOOR RECREATION – “Shoreline at Dawn”

-AGLOW – 2nd – PHOTOGRAPHY/OUTDOOR RECREATION – “Pacific Paddler”

-AGLOW – 2nd – PHOTOGRAPHY/OUTDOOR SCENIC – “Waiting for Mama”

-AGLOW – 2nd – BLOG – “Flaming Food for Fire Starting”

-AGLOW – 2nd – MAGAZINE-TRAVEL – “Prairie & Bison Tour”

-AGLOW – 3rd – MAGAZINE-CAMP – “Sleep Warm,Sleep Safe Outdoors

2018

– ALGOW – BEST OF SHOW – PHOTOGRAPHY

EXCELLENCE IN PHOTOGRAPHY – PETE CRUZA AWARDAGLOW 2018 CRUZA AWARD-PHOTOGRAPHY 

-ALGOW – 1st PHOTOGRAPHY/OUTDOOR SCENIC – “Pelican Peek”

AGLOW-AWARD-2018-FIRST PLACE-PHOTO-OUTDOOR SCENIC

2017

-AGLOW – 1st – MAGAZINE/TRAVEL – “Toddlers in the BWCA”

-AGLOW – 1st – BLOG/OPEN – “Magic Moments:Kayaking Alaska”

-AGLOW – 3rd – MAGAZINE/FISHING – “Day in the Life of a Charter Boat”

-AGLOW – 3rd – BOOK/ “Best Minnesota Camper Cabins”

-AGLOW – 3rd – BLOG/FISHING – “Walleye Weekend”

– OWAA – 3rd/MAGAZINE – OUTDOOR FUN & ADVENTURE – “Kodiak by Kayak”

2016

– AGLOW – 1st/PHOTOGRAPHY – “Outdoor Rec-Kayaker at Dam”

– AGLOW – 1st/MAGAZINE – “Boating/Boat Safety”

– AGLOW – 1st/MAGAZINE – “Wisconsin Rustic Roads”

– AGLOW – 2nd/MAGAZINE – “Carrying in Public Parks”

– AGLOW – 2nd/WEB ARTICLE – “Surviving On Icy Waters”

– AGLOW – 3rd/WEB ARTICLE – “Homemade Fishing Lures”

 2015

– AGLOW – 1st/MAGAZINE – “Back Country Back Up”

 2014

– AGLOW – 1st/MAGAZINE – “On The Road – Kodiak”

– AGLOW – 2nd/MAGAZINE – “Expanded Waterways”

 2013

OWAA –  1st/MAGAZINE – PRESIDENT’S CHOICE AWARD

 “In the Wake of Ancient Fishermen

OWAA-PRESIDENTS AWARD

– OWAA – 1st/MAGAZINE – “Fishing From A Traditional Kayak”

– OWAA – 3rd/MAGAZINE – “Paddling For Birds On The Mississippi”

 2012

– AGLOW – 1st/MAGAZINE – “Survival Sensibilities”

– AGLOW – 1st/PHOTOGRAPHY – “Kodiak”

– AGLOW – 2nd/PHOTOGRAPHY – “Kayakers”

– AGLOW – 2nd/MAGAZINE – “Paddling For Birds On The Mississippi”

– AGLOW – 2nd/WEB ARTICLE – “River Hazards”

– AGLOW – 3rd/PHOTOGRAPHY – “Orca”

 2011 

– AGLOW – 3rd/MAGAZINE – “Alaska Uncorked”

 2010

– OWAA – 1st/MAGAZINE – “The Light Within the Darkness”

– AGLOW – 1st/MAGAZINE – “Paddling & Camping on the Mississippi River”

– OWAA – 3rd/MAGAZINE – “Reading the Weather”

2009

– AGLOW – 3rd/MAGAZINE – “Kodiak Kaleidoscope”

 2008

– OWAA – 2nd/MAGAZINE – “Rhymes For The Modern Mariner”

– AGLOW – 2nd/MAGAZINE – “Seven Steps To Survival”

– AGLOW – 2nd/BOOK – “Kids Gone Paddlin’”

 2004

– OWAA – 2nd/Magazine – “Rediscover a Kayaker’s River”

 2002

– OWAA – 3rd/Magazine – “Welcome to the World of Sea Kayaking”

 2001

– OWAA – 3rd/Magazine –“Outdoor Ethics”

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  PUBLICATIONS OVER THE YEARS….

Adventure Kayak / Air Alaska / Alaska / Alaska Journal of Commerce / Alaska Outdoors / American Survival Guide / Appleton Press / Arrow Trade / Backpacker / Big River / Birds and Blooms / Camping Life / Canoe & Kayak / Canoeroots / Coast To Coast / Concealed Carry / Cowboy & Country / Family Motor Coaching / Fish Alaska / Friendly Exchange / Guide Outdoors / Outdoor Guide Magazine / Highways / Jakes / Kayak Touring / Living Bird / Mercer Visitors Guide / Midwest Outdoors / Minneapolis-St. Paul / Minnesota Trails / Minnesota Sportsman / Montevideo American-News / Northern Pilot / NSAA Journal / OCEAN / Our Mississippi / Outdoor Guide Magazine / Outdoors Unlimited / Paddling.com / Sea Kayaker / SKI / Sportsmansguide.com / Sports Parade / Timber Harvesting / Trailer Life / TravelHost / Whitetails / WildBird / Women in the Outdoors / Young Buck Outdoors

…and the one for which I am most proud:

EAGLE SCOUT BADGE-BSA

Eagle Scout – Troop 22 – Minneapolis
Boy Scouts of America

 

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