Becoming a gearhead

Today I began what I assume will be my journey to becoming a gearhead. What is a gearhead? It means someone who is really nerdy and annoyingly knowledgeable about gear, in my case, about outdoor gear.

My new part-time job at Atmosphere (formerly Coast Mountain Sports) gets me access to a website called 3point5.com. This is a website that has technical information about all sorts of gear, from auto gear to outdoor gear to tactical gear and more. There are online learning modules to teach me about A-Z gear stuff, kind of line a gear university.

Today I learned about Spyderco, which is a knife manufacturing company. Spyderco is 35 years old and was started by a family selling knife sharpeners out of the back of an old converted bread truck. Now they produce top of the line folding knives, or so I hear and read.

Spyderco S

Spyderco S

The reason I chose to start with Spyderco as my first learning module is because my roommate has an ungodly obsession with their knives. He is what you’d call a knife conoisseur and falls into a fit of crazed cackling every time he receives his latest Spyderco order in the mail. So I was curious about what they had to say for themselves, because according to him, they produce the perfect affordable pocket knife.

Spyderco’s prices are really quite reasonable after you learn what their materials are. They boast knives made from stainless steel: Japenese (VG-10) or American (CPMR-S30V); or 100% rust-free steel called H-1, which contains .1% nitrogen to prevent rusting; or Chinese steel (8Cr13MoV), which has .8% carbon in it, which supposedly makes it good for edge retention (meaning it stays sharp longer).

In addition to that, they use a variety of materials and unique designs in the hand grip to create a handle that is slip-resistant (due to cross-hatched texture), light (fiberglass reinforced nylon or carbon fiber), durable and ergonomic. “The company has been accused of designing in the dark because its products look strange,” says Spyderco’s educational module. It then goes on to explain that the strage look is due to the ergonomics of the design: lots of curves to fit your fingers, holes for easy of opening folded blades, and lightness.

I don’t own a Spyderco knife yet, but after reading the online module–which reads like kind of like an online dating profile if you love knives (you know, makes it look all shiny and perfect and stuff)–I will certainly be putting in an order soon. It doesn’t hurt that as an Atmosphere employee, 3point5 unlocks product discounts after you read each company’s training module.

This is just a sample of how excited I am by the gear and technology I will learn from working at Atmosphere. I also plan to start doing gear reviews as I get more gear and put it to the test, so stay tuned for that. There is a lot of great gear out there and technology continues to get better and better.

My next project is to learn about Arc’teryx because there is a product knowledge presentation in a few weeks where a representative from the company comes to the store and educates us about new products. I plan to read up on Arc’teryx so I can pepper the rep with some intelligent questions and really learn something for myself.

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One Response to Becoming a gearhead

  1. Pingback: In the Wild Spaces

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