The other day a package arrived at the Post Office containing high-end, quality, very expensive outdoor gear for the family. As if it were Christmas morning, we pulled out surprise after surprise: rainproof fleece tactical jackets, a microfiber rain anorak, toasty “camp booties,” a fishing knife, bags of high-tech socks, Meals-Ready-to-Eat, gun swabs, key chain flashlights, and more. All of it for us, and all free! The Zeiger family has a new “job” field testing Wild Things extreme outdoor and tactical gear!This opportunity came out of the blue. A Wild Things Gear Sales Director found the blog and approached us. They will send us products, we will abuse them thoroughly, and write back to them with our thoughts—what we liked or didn’t like, what worked, what could work better, how we’d improve an item. We’re part of group of testers: firefighters, mountaineers, and military experts. We’re the only testers who live in a saltwater environment, so our findings should be particularly useful.
As an added bonus, the packages will occasionally contain “freebies” from the trade shows the Wild Things Sales Director attends around the country. That’s where the knife and MREs came from.
Wild Things supplies gear to the military, so much of it is camouflage, which works well for our needs. I have to admit, though, that we’ll be self-conscious wearing gear that was beyond our means even when we had regular jobs! Kind of like wearing a mink coat and cultured pearls to a soup kitchen . . . .
Ironically, we’ve always been very careful with our belongings, to keep them in top condition for as long as possible. Now, we’re being asked to do the exact opposite, to get down and dirty, rolling around in the mud and the blood and the beer. I may even name one of my jackets “Sue”. . . .
We’d hoped that the first package would arrive in time for Aly to wear some of it on her archaeological dig. Her “good” raincoat came back no longer fit for polite society, it’s a pity she couldn’t have provided that same test for this new gear. But, she’s got an overnight kayak trip soon, and moose season is coming in September, so we’ll have plenty of opportunities to test the gear, and look good while doing it!