When I first started HBF Outdoors (Hike By Faith) I did so with the intention to share my outdoor adventures and my passion for Pennsylvania forests and parks. Since 2013 HBF Outdoors has grown further than I expected. This past spring I had the opportunity to plan and lead a five day backpacking trip on the Laurel Highlands Hiking Trail with a group of adventurers from across the country and Canada, and now I’m in the beginning stages of planning that same adventure again called #LHX2018.
Over the past few years I’ve also had the opportunity to connect with some great brands that I continue to support today in my role as either a brand ambassador or a partner which has given me the opportunity to do gear reviews. But here is the thing…
I’m tired of doing gear reviews.
It seems every time I jump on social media someone has posted a gear review of the same gear someone else or even myself has done in the past. I mean, we’re all entitled to our opinions and my opinion of a piece of gear will most definitely differ from someone else, and there is nothing wrong with differing opinions. Simply…
I’m tired of doing gear reviews.
Please know, my feelings towards gear reviews is no reflection on my loyalty to the companies I represent and the gear I use. As a matter of fact I think by NOT doing gear reviews my focus will shift and my time outside in the woods will be more enjoyable, and my representation of the brands I support will be more authentic. Let me explain..
If I’m not thinking about shooting and producing a video to express my opinion on a piece of gear I’ll be more focused on my surroundings, the outdoors, nature. And besides, many of the video reviews I see these days look more like an infomercial with the person explaining to viewers the specs of a piece of gear. All of which is information I can easily get from the companies website. And unboxing videos, well…never mind.
If I’m not thinking about a gear review I’m more focused on actually using and enjoying that piece of gear I have come to trust. I prefer to get outside and enjoy the lifestyle I have chosen to live and as a result share it with others as a means of inspiration. When I am focused on that goal, sharing gear from brands I use and trust on my social media comes naturally instead of forced.
Earlier this week I ventured into the woods for some R&R. I set up my hammock, tarp, campfire, cook set and hung my pack before boiling some water to make lunch and a cup of coffee. I walked away for a moment to gather firewood and when I returned I looked over my camp, took in the thick forest view and the quietness of my surroundings. As I took a deep breath I saw my set up and thought; “I want to remember and share this deep green quiet moment.” So, I took a picture. Later I posted it on social media and tagged the brands that were featured in my camp set up. Why? Because the brands I use on all my adventures I use because I trust the gear, believe in their company, and have built a relationship with their brand. By tagging them in my adventure pics I’m not only showing them and others what gear I’m using, but I’m also saying to the brand, “thank you for designing and manufacturing great gear so I can go on awesome adventures like these.”
I believe the best review I can give the brands I trust and am loyal to are done by authentic representation through my outdoor lifestyle. Not through preplanned forced reviews.
Yes, I’m tired of doing gear reviews, but I’m not tired of representing the brands I’m committed to and trust. I will continue to share my love for the woods and hopefully inspire you to get outside. And I will proudly show you what gear I use as well as the brands that have a major role in gearing me up to get me outside and feed my passion.
Thank you to the brands that equip me for outdoor adventure. Keep up the great work and I’ll do my best to represent you through my lifestyle and authentic representation.
For a list of brands I partner with and use check out the left side bar of my website.