My name is Clint Emerson, and I’m your new GearScout editor. I spent 20 years in the Navy’s SEAL Teams, from SEAL Team Three to the National Security Agency and Naval Special Warfare Development Group. Like every professional soldier, I learned to appreciate my gear—especially when it saved my life. There’s a saying among operators: “If you take care of your gear, your gear will take care of you.”
Gear is also just plain cool, whether it’s as simple as a carabiner or a tourniquet or as complex as an outboard motor or a parachute. I don’t know about you, but there have been a number of times when first discovering an awesome new piece of gear, I’d say to myself, “Where the fuck was that when I was climbing Mount Kilimanjaro?” or “That would have been nice when bullets were whistling overhead in Iraq!” If only…
But gear is nothing without know-how. Guns or go-bags, tents or tackle, knives or neoprene—you have to know what it’s for and how to use it. Luckily, our current moment of global pandemic and social unrest has one positive side effect: Self-reliance, long minimized by technology and urban life, is important again. Awareness, preparedness, and being a capable human are cool. And gear plus skills equals freedom.
Like any good SEAL, I like to shoot, fight, feed, and stay fit. Recently, I’ve been trolling #vanlife, and I’ve just come off a monthlong cross-country road trip—24 states, 11,000 miles, ridiculous amounts of coffee—so nomading across America in a pimped-out ride will certainly make its way into Gear Scout. I feel you need a healthy balance of rural and urban environments, analog and digital gear, and, of course, throwing stars and sniper rifles.
My goal for GearScout is simple: Find gear and tell you about it. And there is so much badass gear to discover. I find word-of-mouth is best—nothing beats a first-person story about some piece of kit for making me say, “I gotta have it, right fucking now!” And now, I can request great finds from you, my readers. You are all gear scouts now. Hit me up at firstname.lastname@example.org.
I’m not one for ridiculously long articles discussing every stitch, screw, and solder joint. My guess is, if you’re anything like me, your attention span sucks—I consider myself lucky if you’re still reading this. So each article will be kept brief. I’ll focus on the 4 W’s—the who, what, why, and where, along with a BLUF (bottom line up front). This format parallels most special-ops mission briefs. That way you get exactly what you need to know without all the bullshit.