Wednesday, May 30, 2018

Making informed decisions about gear.

Seven years ago, almost to the day, I posted about going camping to test your emergency gear.  It wasn't the most popular, commented on, or viewed post on the blog, but it was a turning point for the network.  It attracted the attention of some very influential people in the preparedness industry that shared the post, and even wrote about it on their own websites.  Soon after that, readership began increasing, and the momentum never stopped.

The whole idea was to go camping off grid and test the efficiency and durability of your gear in a live scenario.  How much fuel was needed to cook a meal, light your campsite, power your comms, etc.  Being informed with this, one could better estimate how much fuel to stockpile, but more importantly what gear you owned that didn't meet your needs for whatever reason. 

Now, seven years later, the online footprint in the preparedness community has grown beyond what we might have imagined back then.  Many of us turn to onine resources for recomendations about specific gear.  What flashlight shines brightest, what stove boils water fastest, which pack is best are all popular questions that we turn to gear reviewers for answers.  However, it seems as though almost everyone in the online preparedness comunity today is out to make a buck.  Most review sites never seem to post anything negative about the products they show and often display ads or affiliate links to those products they have promoted.  Usually because they are given these products for free, and well, if they don't post positive reviews, companies simply stop sending them stuff to write about.

So how do we avoid the fake reviews and get real information that can help us choose our gear?  Simply look for review sites that offer simple comparisons of different products.  One such site is Gear Lobo.  This site doesn't actually TEST the gear or offer any recomendations, but simply comapers features of similar products to help you decide what might best fit your needs.  It's time we became a little more discriminating in our online research.  Look for comparison sites instead of reviews.  Keep in mind that positive reviews might have been paid for, or are simply there to promote sales...and watch out for sites with an abnormal number of ads for products.

Once you have made an informed decision, take your gear out camping and test it out.

Websites linked to in this article may have paid for placement.

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