MOX rocks

Midwest Outdoor Experience gets meaner, greener

By Josher Lumpkin

Photo: Midwest Outdoor Experience features a number of available activities including kayaking. MOX takes place Oct. 2 and 3 at Eastwood MetroPark

This weekend, one of Dayton’s most anticipated annual events will take place, ushering all of us outdoor enthusiasts into the fall season. I’m talking about Midwest Outdoor Experience, of course, and if you’ve never been, it is a great time filled with adventure, activities, music, food and beer!

Hosted by Five Rivers MetroParks and a whole slew of sponsors, this free event, formerly known as GearFest, is sure to please all those who love spending time outside. Whether you’re a casual weekend camper or a hardcore outdoor enthusiast, there’s something for everyone at this year’s Midwest Outdoor Experience.

Lucy Sanchez, outdoor recreation events coordinator for Five Rivers MetroParks, generously took some time out of her day to tell readers what they can expect from this year’s event.

“Well, one of the sponsors, Mike Sells, is going to be bringing in the Jeff Lenosky Bike Trials,” Sanchez says. “Jeff Lenosky is a professional bike stunt individual, and so it is all about control and balance. It’s just this really incredible thing where he jumps over people from the crowd and can balance on a very small beam and things like that. So, that’s a new demo area for the event.”

There is also plenty for those brave souls who are not content just watching the action. Those who wish to experience the rush of participating in wheeled sports in a unique way will be thrilled to take a ride on the pump track, a new attraction to Midwest Outdoor Experience this year.

“A pump track is essentially a track where people, instead of pedaling to go around it, actually use like an up-and-down motion to move themselves throughout the course,” Sanchez explains. “We are going to be doing some cat and mouse chases throughout the event, as well, so there will sort of be a competitive side to it, as well as just allowing people to get on it throughout the event.”

Bicycles and helmets will be provided for those who want to take a trip or two around the pump track.

In addition to all the new activities taking place this year, 2015’s Midwest Outdoor Experience will also feature many of the same festivities that made previous years’ events great, such as slacklining.

“The slackers are going to be coming back, and this year they are going to be doing duels,” Sanchez says. “So at different times throughout the event, they are actually going to be competing against each other, and getting the crowd involved. We are also going to be doing a high line, where we will have a slacker going across people’s heads and potentially across the lagoon, as well.”

Your wallet will be full and happy about the free admission and free camping at Midwest Outdoor Experience throughout the weekend. You won’t even have to waste gas driving home in the evening, just pitch a tent and hang out
for the weekend.

“This year’s camping is bigger than ever,” Sanchez says. “There’s a scout camp going on, so we’re going to have several hundred scouts camping with us, as well as the Klymit Family Campground powered by True Heights Equipment Outfitter, so they are going to be providing breakfast until supplies run out for anybody staying in the campground overnight on Friday. People are welcome to stay with us Friday and Saturday night.”

Another important aspect about this fantastic weekend packed full of fun is how hard MetroParks has worked to minimize the event’s impact on the environment.

“The event is waste-free. So we are bringing back the reusable pint beer cups,” Sanchez says.

Vistors’ first beer at the Great Lakes Beer Garden will cost $10 and will be served in a stainless steel pint cup. Each beer thereafter will be charged the refill price of $5. Those who received a reusable pint at last year’s event can bring it from home and pay only the refill price.

“We are also asking all of our food vendors to go waste-free by providing all of the food in reusable or compostable material,” Sanchez continues. “So, we are really excited about the event—that it is growing bigger, we have more exhibitors, more sponsors than ever, more content than ever, but also that, even with all that growth, we are lowering our impact.

“We are going to have a full lineup of musicians, a lot of local and regional acts on our stage this year,” Sanchez says. “WYSO is manning a stage for us and it has really brought in a plethora of musicians and local talent.”

As in previous years, there is plenty for your furry, canine companions.

“We are going to be having Subaru Buckeye Dock Dogs this year,” Sanchez says. “They bring in a lot of competitors, but people are welcome to sign up their dogs for the competitions. Team Zoom is going to be there doing different types of agility demonstrations, as well as an individual that does bike skijoring, which essentially is sled dogs pulling a bicycle.”

There will, of course, be food trucks, outdoor supply vendors, a used gear sale area and tons more events and demonstrations. Be sure not to miss out.

Midwest Outdoor Experience will take place Friday, Oct. 2 from 6-10 p.m. and Saturday, Oct. 3 from 11 a.m.-7 p.m. at Eastwood MetroPark, 1385 Harshman Rd., in Dayton. For more information, please visit

Reach DCP freelance writer Josher Lumpkin at

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Josher Lumpkin is a nursing student and aspiring historian who enjoys writing about music and geekdom of all kinds. He is especially fond of punk rock, tabletop gaming, sci-fi/fantasy and camping with his wife, Jenner, and their dogs, Katie and Sophie. Reach him at

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