Travis Smola

Travis Smola

Staff Writer

Travis Smola is a Staff Writer with Field & Stream. He’s spent the last decade writing about the outdoors on a full-time basis.


  • Writes about all things hunting, fishing, and camping with an emphasis on gear.
  • Conducts real-world testing of today’s most popular outdoor brands.


Travis is a lifelong fisherman and camper who has also hunted for 25 years. He started his professional writing career with a short stint in newspapers. He then spent five years freelance outdoor writing. He joined Wide Open Spaces on a full-time basis in 2020. He spent three years there as a Senior Staff Writer where he wrote news, how-tos, and product reviews. He also shot video for many of WOS’s videos.

Smola joined Field & Stream in 2023 to do more focused writing on outdoor gear. He now writes primarily product reviews and gear guides on everything from fishing rods to the latest in side-by-side UTVs. Although he sometimes relies on past experiences, Travis also does extensive hands-on testing in real world scenarios for all of his pieces to find the true pros and cons of each product.

Over the course of his outdoor writing career, Travis has travelled extensively and interacted with many famous names in the outdoor industry. He’s interviewed famous hunters and anglers such as Remi Warren, Bill Dance, and Kevin VanDam. He’s also hunted and fished with many famous influencers and personalities in the outdoor space. His job has taken him on extensive travels. From yellowfin tuna fishing in Costa Rica to pheasants in South Dakota, Smola continues to expand his horizons in the outdoor space every year.

When he isn’t hunting or fishing, Travis enjoys spending up to a month each year living the van life on the road in his Ram Promaster City camper conversion. Smola designed and built the living space in the van himself with a little help from family and friends.


Travis graduated from Western Michigan University with a bachelor’s in journalism and a minor in recreation. He honed his writing skills at Michigan’s then smallest daily newspaper, The Three Rivers Commercial-News.

F&S Lightning Round

Favorite place to hunt: Southwest Michigan

Favorite Place to Hunt: Southwest Michigan

Favorite Species to Hunt: Whitetails

Bucket List Adventure: Michigan elk hunt (If I’m ever fortunate enough to draw a tag!)

Most treasured piece of gear: My grandfather’s old Marlin Model 60 .22 lr


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