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The inspiration behind VSSL’s ‘Build Your Own’



VSSL is all about being prepared.

When I started VSSL (pron. vessel), it was to make sure people were properly prepared for their outdoor journeys. As a kid, I would make rough versions of what are now VSSLs so that my best friend and I would have the necessary gear for our adventures, mostly in case things didn’t go as planned!


Later in life, I was showing my own kids how to prepare for their time in the woods, and they really seemed to like it. The product that I had been “making” since I was their age took on a whole new meaning. I realized it could be about more than me, or my family being prepared, but that there was a massive number of people out there who were heading out not fully ready if things didn’t go as planned.


I came to understand that there are 3 parts to the “preparedness equation” and leaving one of those out leads to inadequate readiness.

  1. Education. If you don’t know what it is you need, or why you need it, or how to use it - you won’t bring it.

  2. Inadequate selection. There just hasn’t really been a product that carries the right amount of quality gear in a compact form that fits an outdoor lifestyle. Most of the preparedness gear is bulky and has unnecessary or poor quality components.

  3. Time. You know what you need, you know where to get it to assemble it all, but quite frankly, you don’t have the time! You are only heading out for a few hours (how most rescue stories start). So you don’t want to spend hours going from store to store gathering what you need. You just want to grab and go and have peace of mind knowing that you haven’t forgotten essential gear.


I also came to realize that “being prepared” means different things to different people. And depending on your skill level and intended activity, that can mean content selection that varies quite drastically from user to user. We created the option to “Build Your Own” VSSL to allow our customers to create a VSSL that is specific to their adventures. When it comes to first aid, it’s crucial to have the components that are important to you! Being able to customize that component selection ensures that you’ll have what’s important to you for your intended activity.


And with VSSL, we strive to check all 3 parts of this preparedness equation. September is preparedness month, and for us, it’s the month we really want to focus on making sure you’re prepared by offering a discount on all of our preparedness products.


This isn’t a road we walk alone. There are some incredible free resources out there that also showcase preparedness. Locally, we partner up with BC AdventureSmart. They have an incredible platform for the “education” component of readiness. While they are local to BC, their program has been adopted around the world and they provide some super valuable trip planning and preparedness advice: https://www.adventuresmart.ca/tripplanning/planning.htm


We fully understand that in September a lot of you are heading out hunting, fishing, camping and we want you to be well prepared. So please make sure wherever you’re going, LEAVE A TRIP PLAN! Tell someone where you’re going and when you’ll be back. And of course, make sure you’re bringing adequate supplies for the duration of your trip PLUS a little more in case something happens along the way. Have something extra for warmth, a way to start a fire (if allowed in your area!), a method for purifying water and something to signal for help (a whistle, mirror, light - or all three). And to notch it up a bit more, throw in something for cutting wood (make a shelter?), some first aid gear, and a way to patch up ripped clothing. Rope can also be super useful. You might need it to help build a shelter or just hang up wet clothes. Coincidentally, all this and more is part of our flagship VSSL Supplies.


And have fun out there! It’s an incredible time of the year and getting the most out of it means being prepared. If you’re ready for an emergency, you’ll enjoy the time more. Heading into the woods not knowing if you have what you need can totally take away from the experience.

Thanks!

- Todd and the VSSL Crew