The Importance of Doing Your Research

ResearchYou probably just got some awesome new gifts for Christmas, maybe an axe, a slackline, machete, or a water purifier. No doubt you’re eager to get out this weekend and put it to use, but have you done your research? You might think your new gear is simple to use, but it might require a little more knowledge than you think.

Some gear is more straightforward than others. A machete, basically a hunk of metal that people have been swinging for thousands of years, is much more user-friendly than a cutting edge water purifier that uses UV light and comes with a manual. But even if the gear itself is simple, proper use, care, and technique aren’t always as obvious.

It doesn’t do you any harm to brush up on your new equipment and know how to use it properly. Sure, it can be fun to learn from hand on experience, but that can often backfire. Let’s say you got a brand new Wetterlings axe for Christmas. It’s beautiful and you love it. Instead of looking online for the proper way to use an axe, you head straight for the woods, thwack the head of your axe into a knot, and break the handle trying to wrench it lose. You definitely learned from that hands on experience, but your new gift is busted.

Before you head out to the woods to use your new toys, do yourself a favor and brush up on how to use your gear. You’re probably not the first person to own whatever it is that you got for Christmas. Plenty of people put gear through its paces and write about their experience online. You can find all kinds of advice, reviews, and tips for proper use and care of equipment and gear. Outdoor Gear Lab is just one of many sites where you can find detailed reviews. If you’re the type who likes making their own mistakes, by all means, do it. Just know that you don’t have to!

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