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the meaning of honesty

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Honesty is the recognition of the fact that the unreal is unreal and can have no value, that neither love nor fame nor cash is a value if obtained by fraud--that an attempt to gain a value by deceiving the mind of others is an act of raising your victims to a position higher than reality, where you become a pawn of their blindness, a slave of their non-thinking and their evasions, while their intelligence, their rationality, their perceptiveness becomes the enemies you have to dread and flee--that you do not care to live as a dependent, least of all a dependent on the stupidity in others, or as a fool whose source of values is the fools he succeeds in fooling--that honesty is not a social duty, not a sacrifice for the sake of others, but the most profoundly selfish virtue man can practice: his refusal to sacrifice the reality of his own existence to the deluded consciousness of others.

The above quote is taken from Ayn Rand’s definition of Honesty from her book Atlas Shrugged.

Many of you know that I am an Objectivist a follower of Ayn Rand’s philosophy. I believe the quote is from Galt’s speech in the book. If you have not read the book, I highly recommend it. For those of you who think sometimes I am harsh, I am not, I am matter of fact and refuse to make a product for someone when I know it will not work as they would like it. As some have discovered I will not ever compromise myself or my products. That is my reality.

The above explanation of honesty does not apply to most of the outdoor industry in my opinion. However, the explanation does point out why it does not apply. I have recognized that waterproof/breathable is unreal and I am not alone. Therefore, it has no value and is a fraud. You can add to the list all products claimed to end body odor, wick moisture unless of course the fabrics used are wool, cotton, silk or rayon. Additionally all materials that contain a fiber or earth mineral that will increase your energy or keep you warmer when the so called insulation is 1/8th of an inch. There are more fraud products out there but it is hard to keep up with them these days.

The following testimonial was received on Wednesday August 8. I am always disappointed when a testimonial is signed “unknown”. May be the writer will see that his testimonial has been posted in my article for today and will step forward.

“I believe your products, though used primarily as recreational gear, can and should be rated as Life Support Gear.

No other manufacturers of bags, can be compressed indefinitely, without losing loft, and in my own testing, when I'm soaking wet, the bag is saturated, crawl into it, you will be warm, given adequate ground insulation, in freezing rain/fog, without a shelter of any type. I know Jerry doesn't recommend this, but the fact that you can be sick or injured, in exposed, hypothermia inducing conditions and if you can get into your bag, you will be warm. And the bags he makes to work with his Freedom shelter, define the survival bag. When I pack, Jerry's bag is what everything else is built around”.

– Unknown

During the past 30 years I have received a number of letters from people who have found themselves in a dire situation and they survived as a result of having one of my sleeping bags. While I did not have a sleeping bag with me when I was lost I did have a Lamilite insulated parka, Lamilite insulated leg jackets and Lamilite insulated mukluks. Of course these clothing items were worn over my fishnets so I am very comfortable stating a testimonial to myself. I survived very well and was never cold.

I have gotten to the point in my thinking that the difference between living and dying when you are out in the wilderness is how well your clothing, sleeping bag, etc. deal with water. Water is as I have said before is the enemy of the human other than drinking it when out in the wilderness then it is your survival.

Gerry Cunningham who started Gerry Outdoor Sports Industries was in my opinion the father of the modern outdoor industry. He wrote a booklet published in 1971 titled “How to Keep Warm”. When I visited him in those days I always took a dozen copies having read it and gave it to the outwear manufacturers I was calling on so they would learn about staying warm. I am not sure if any ever read it. Today other than myself I doubt if any one working in the outdoor industry even knows of its existence, pity. The following subject from the booklet is; “The Science of Clothing”

“Now let us discuss some practical means of adapting our clothing to accomplish the conditions necessary for cold weather comfort. Remember that although fashion dictates our dress in most cases, many of these principles can be accomplished in the most fashionable outfit. There is no need to be cold”.


Starting with the skin and the need to prevent body moisture from entering the clothing, the requirement is for an air space around the body so the moisture can evaporate and the vapor laden air can then move freely out the neck opening. (This statement should tell you very clearly that ALL of the close knit base layers being sold are not what you want to wear as a first layer because it will NOT allow the body moisture to get away from your body) it will not force itself through the clothing if it is free to leave by an easier method. (This is why you always want to wear loose fitting clothing, preferably not knitted) ventilating net underwear is the answer to the problem. (This was my first introduction to fishnet underwear and I then found out one of the companies I worked for indirectly actually made the fishnet material which I started buying to make them) so called “insulated underwear” should not be worn next to the skin. Start out right by keeping the body moisture out of your clothing. Wear ventilating net underwear.”

Gerry’s booklet is looking to the past to solve problems of today. This means making the impossible possible!!!

Not many people actually get lost but it does happen. Therefore, one’s greatest reason for survival has to do with the clothing you wear. If what you wear does not allow the moisture produced by your body to easily escape and that will mean it builds up in your clothing and if the environment that you are in is cold ALL of the moisture in your clothing will get cold and absorb your body heat very quickly. That is when chills set in. So the clothing you are wearing is now your enemy. Just look in your closet or draws to note the clothing that you have been persuaded to buy based on factious information.

Dressing right can save your life as I found out and I was subject to -20 degrees F with wind chill that may have pushed the temperature to -50 F.

The last paragraph of Gerry’s booklet may have had merit in 1971 but today absolutely not. I quote; “With today’s knowledge of materials and physiology, there is no reason not to enjoy the outdoors in winter as well as summer nor is there any reason to be miserably cold watching a football game”. Tragically he has been shown to be wrong. Since he passed away several years ago he did not know how dumb the outdoor industry has developed. People in the industry do not know about materials, they absolutely do not know about human physiology, and from my observation they have zero interest in learning. I have spoken with a number of the chemical companies and mills asking how their products work and all I get back from them in response are gibberish. The people that I have spoken with at these companies remind me that the unreal is unreal!!!

I am still waiting for ONE company to offer to come to Grand Junction so they can prove to me that the product they offer actually does what they claim. I am not holding my breath!!!

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