Welcome to Edition #5 of the weekly Survival On Purpose Newsletter. This week I think we are actually on schedule.
So, before I get into the topic of gear reviews, I want to tale just a minute and brag on my 18 year old son, Luke. You may remember, a few months ago he was working on his Eagle Scout Project. In fact, you may have helped support his GoFundMe account to raise the money for materials. If so, thanks again! Anyway, Luke had his Board of Review last week and he passed! He has joined the elite ranks of men who have earned the right to be called Eagle Scouts.
I don’t know if you know this, but somewhere around only 4% of boys who join Scouting make it to the rank of Eagle. That works out to less than 1% of the male population. And, just because I think it is cool, here are just a few famous folks who are Eagle Scouts ( I just picked a few). Neil Armstrong (the first man on the moon), Willie Banks (world record holder and Olympic track star), President Gerald Ford, Ross Perot,Steven Spielberg, Sam Walton (founder of Walmart), numerous astronauts, several Medal of Honor recipients and possibly one of my favorite guys- Mike Rowe from Dirty Jobs.
Can you tell I’m proud of Luke? OK, I’ll stop bragging on him now and get on with the newsletter.
Actually, I think it’s about time for a word from our sponsor. This week it’s the Instablade emergency credit card knife. I have got one of these and I have to admit the first thing I did with it was cut my finger. It is sharp!
Speaking of sharp, I have some really sharp friends I hope to meet in January at SHOT show in Vegas. Jon from Wingman115 and Andy Tran from Inner Bark Outdoors will both be there and I just got approved for a media pass so I can get in. I actually had the pleasure of having dinner with Jon and his wife earlier this year when our family took an old fashioned road trip from Atlanta to San Diego and back. They are really good folks. I have not met Andy in person but I hope to in January.
By the way, if you aren’t subscribed to their channels you are missing some great videos. You can click the links above to check them out.
Oh, one more thing before I forget. John at Hawg Holsters called me to tell me he is extending the 20% discount for Survival On Purpose viewers for the rest of this year until December 31, 2015. Just go to his website https://www.hawgholsters.com/ and use the coupon code SURVIVALHAWG. He also told me he is setting up a mobile kydex shop so he can go to events like gun shows and make custom holsters right there while you wait. I think that is a great idea. So be watching for him at a gun show near you.
OK…now..finally. Let’s talk a minute about gear reviews. Every now and then I get a comment on one of my videos sort of implying that I am not being totally impartial because I got whatever I am reviewing for free. And I have to admit, it is a legitimate concern. I mean, the reality is the person making the comment doesn’t know me from Adam’s house cat so why should they trust what i am saying? I get it, I really do.
However (you knew that was coming, didn’t you?), I do my best to be as thorough as possible while demonstrating whatever I am reviewing so you, the viewer, can make an informed decision based on what you actually saw as opposed to what I said. Now I realize that some things lend themselves to this approach a lot better than others and there are times when my opinion has more of a part to play in the final judgement. Quite frankly, that’s when my track record over the course of 350+ videos comes into play. Either I have proven myself trustworthy or not, based partly upon how well you agree with my assessment of the gear that was able “speak for itself” and partly on just whether or not you think I’m being honest. Bottom line, the only person who can decide that is you.
Because, yes, I get gear sent to me at no cost (free) to review. If I didn’t there would be a lot less gear reviews on Survival On Purpose. Contrary to what a lot of folks think (I know because I used to be one of them), unless you are a REALLY big channel, there is not a lot of money coming in from YouTube videos. I seriously would do way better by the hour flipping burgers. I’m not complaining, just stating facts.
Yeah, some might say, but you get all that free stuff. And I have to admit, that was really cool for a while. And, honestly, it wasn’t even as much the free stuff itself as the sense of achievement that my channel had finally gained enough legitimacy for companies to send me samples to review. But I have to tell you, there is only so much stuff you can actually use and my local grocery store won’t take beat up knives and flashlights 😉 Again, I’m not complaining, just explaining. I now consider the biggest benefit I receive from the free stuff is content for the channel. YouTube is sometimes like a hungry monster that must be fed.
So what if a company sends me something (for free) and i don’t like it? Well, most likely I won’t waste my time making a video about it. Even though I have been really trying to keep all my videos under or around 10 minutes for the last few months, I still have 2-3 hours total time invested in a single video. I just don’t see much point in doing all that to say “I don’t like this”. Honestly, there have only been a few times when I got something I didn’t review; partly because I try to be selective and do my research up front before I agree to test something. And, if the item is really fine and it’s just a matter of personal taste that I don’t like it, I try to be clear about that and let you make up your own mind. I’m not going to trash something just because I don’t like it.
I can really only think if a handful of videos where I just totally thought the item was a failure and I released the video anyway. And, yes, one of them I’m thinking about was a Schrade (I know, hard to believe isn’t it?). And I released those few just because the gear just did not perform as expected or advertised and I did not want folks to buy something for survival that could leave them in a compromising situation.
So, to wrap all this up, all I can promise is that I will continue to do my best to live up to the first point of the Scout Law, “A Scout is Trustworthy”. If at all possible, my intent on all gear review videos is to let the gear speak for itself so you can judge its performance for yourself. Hopefully, I can continue to help you make informed decisions about stuff you are considering buying. That was one of my initial goals when I started Survival On Purpose.
So…I think that is probably more than enough for this week. You would probably laugh if you knew how long it took me to type all that. I hope you stay tuned for more gear reviews and even some non-review videos I have coming up. And I also invite you again to check out this weeks sponsor, the Instablade. It’s pretty cool.
Remember, Survival Is Not An Accident!