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About Us

WildCountry opened its doors 48 years ago.  We are a family owned and operated business located in Normal. We carry only the best brands in outdoor gear, including The North Face, Patagonia, Kuhl, Outdoor Research. Fits, Smart Wool , Darn Tough  Merrell, K2, Keen, Birkenstock and Oboz just to name a few.


Wild Country
When we opened we did have an official mission statement.  Our quest was merely to purvey goods and services and provide the Adventurer with the information, service and education to safely use the equipment we offer and enjoy the outdoors in the QUEST FOR FUN.  We are still dedicated to this principle and participate in this tireless pursuit!  The time line our lineage with pictures can be seen below.


Wild CountryWe take pride in the gear we stock, and the services we offer.  At WildCountry, our motto is: "If We don't have it, we'll do everything we can to get it."  Check out our store located at 203 S. Linden Street, Normal, and you'll find a great selection from many of our key vendors such as The North Face, Patagonia, Kuhl, Merrell, K2, and Oboz just to name a few.


Wild Country
Our staff is well versed and factory trained in the gear we promote. We hold regular training clinics behind-the-scene to make sure we know about the gear we sell.  This means that you won't get a "box-store" answer when you ask a technical question.  Instead, you will get hard facts about the product as it relates to your needs.



Wild Country
These two started it all.  Richard and Noreen Smith had a dream, but unlike many, they made their dream come true.  With dedication, team work, and good old fashion hard work, WildCountry was born.  What was once a cross-country skiing store became an outfitter store with several departments. Departments such as Backpacking, Paddle Sports, Alpine Skiing, and SCUBA (he  logged his 3000 dive Jan 2019 in Raja Ampat) to name a few were added thus making an enjoyable and unique shopping environment.  Much of Dick's expertise came from his experience in the United States Army Special Forces.  There, he honed his skills in winter survival, outdoor camping techniques, and SCUBA and Rebreather diving.  Noreen has been by Dick's side all these years.  Her expertise in the swimwear has earned her the name of Swim Grandma.  You want the perfect fit on a swim suit or swim googles ask Swim Grandma,  She is also a diver and has made over 1000 scuba dives!  WildCountry is truly a "Mom and Pop" store, and this is where it started!


Son of Dick and Noreen, Steve Smith now works in Normal, IL. Steve's roots of the outdoors are similar to those if his father. He too was involved in the Special Forces of the Unites States Army. His experiences and training give him a cutting edge of outdoor knowledge that many aspire to gain. If he isn't at work, chances are he is out running. His love of running peaked several years ago when he completed the Leadville 100, a 100-mile race in the heart of Colorado. Steve's passion for calling for mountains culminated with his successful ascent of Denali in 2004. Steve is a PADI scuba instructor  and a trip leader for one of the many Midwest Diving Scuba Trips. He was the work horse of Grandpa's Warriors on Expedition Impossible, a Mark Burnett Reality show filmed in Morocco.


Jonas join WildCountry in 2007.  He graduated in 2010 with a degree in Kinesiology and is now a full time teacher.  However he continues as a part time sales associate and shares his knowledge insuring the equipment you purchase is right for you. Jonas has been with WildCountry for 15 years


Dan Jones graduated from ISU. He spent two years at Northern Michigan University in the UP and is a Yuper. Dan is well versed in all the equipment WildCountry purveys and has great passion for the outdoors. Dan is the Yak Dwag Master when incomes to installing Yakima Roof Racks?  Want your Osprey pack fitted?  Dan is the GO TO Man.  He just completed Nursing School May 2021.  Dan has been with WildCountry for 14 years.