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[pct-l] Free Gear Explanation

Let me see if I can express this more clearly. I spent the weekend at the Outdoor Retailers Show in Salt Lake City. I was surprised at the gear I could yogi from manufacturers just for promising to test it and post on the various lists my impressions of their gear, good or bad. It occurred to me that other people on the lists would also be interested in free gear. This would provide the manufacturers with a much wider, more diverse group to test their gear on and expose their new products to. As we are frequently “buy influencers” for other people’s gear purchases, this could provide the manufacturers with considerable bang for their buck as far as exposure is concerned. The manufacturers most interested would, at the start, be most likely new, foreign, or special use manufacturers. Main stream manufacturers with new products, especially products that depart from their norm, might also become interested. I’m not at all sure this will work and it could easily take a year or two to get rolling. We don’t have a lot to lose and the price is right. I’ve been thinking about the best ammunition I could use when approaching these people for us. The best plan I can come up with is a separate list for gear testing. Your opening post would include info about you as a backpacker, shipping address with your real name, etc. I’m thinking about putting them in a separate folder or something at the list site so manufacturers can pick for themselves whom to send samples to. Gear reports and discussions would also be posted to that list allowing manufacturers to easily read and evaluate them. It validates the whole process and let’s them see this isn’t just a scam I thought up to get gear for resale or personal use. The list I created is www.egroups.com/group/backpackgeartest . If you join, please be sure to send just an email with your info and blurb. I will direct the manufacturers to this list. If you want to discuss this idea, please do so on this list so as not to clutter up the test site. Obviously, the more “real” people we

 get on this list for them to chose from, the more impressed they will be. Please don’t “pack” the list… we’ll get caught and blow the whole thing. What do you think?

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