Monday, April 16, 2012

DISCLAIMERS and Other Obvious Things!

It saddens me deeply that there is a need for me to make such a post. While, as the rest of you, I was aware of the overly litigious nature of modern society, I had not anticipated that this type of mentality had spread to the bushcraft community as well. I always wrote with the assumption that we are all reasonable people with integrity, and that the equivalent of “The Coffee Inside this Cup is Hot” would not be necessary when it came to bushcraft, but apparently other people strongly believe that it is.


It was brought to my attention that Iz Turley, of Turley Knives, some of you may know him as Hardwoodsman on YouTube, along with a few of his friends, recently did a whole diatribe on BCUSA about me. What I managed to ascertain from the posts was that he was upset that in my videos I state “This is how YOU do x,y, and z”, rather than saying “This is how I do x,y, and z”, as a result, appearing to be an “expert”. While the post itself was not motivated by genuine concerns, but rather by a personal issue between the two of us, the thread did go on for 73 pages before it was closed as customary for too much disagreement. While I am flattered that I would generate this much attention on an online forum, I figured I should address some of the issues in case there are people out there with genuine concerns. I’ll use this post to just list out all of the disclaimers as well as provide you with my thinking behind them.

1. All statements made on my blog, YouTube channel, Twitter account or any other medium, represent only my personal opinion on the particular issue, unless I specify a different source. I foolishly assumed that this would be obvious considering that this is just my personal blog and YouTube account, but I guess in this day and age even the obvious has to be stated.

2. I am not an expert on any issue concerning bushcraft, survival, camping, or any other outdoor pursuit. This is just a hobby for me. Again, I naively assumed that would be obvious, if for no other reason, the about me section of my blog: “I don’t know much about the woods, but I’m happy to share the little that I do know”. The reason why I do not preface every post or video I make with something along the lines of “This is just how I do things”, is that I believe men should stand behind their words. I do not believe in using disclaimers of that nature as cheap copouts for providing bad information. I do not believe that I am absolved of any responsibility for making a whole video showing people how to do something incorrectly, just by starting out with “This is just how I do it”. I think it’s time we all man-up and stand behind what we say. As you guys know, I am always happy to stand corrected if I have provided factually inaccurate information.

3. I do not make any income in any way from anything related to my blog, YouTube channel, or anything else related to bushcraft or other outdoor activities. Thanks to you guys, for a long time now I have been in a position to monetize both my blog and YouTube channel, but I have refused to do so, so it does not compromise the integrity of what I write about. I do not accept funding from any manufacturer, and if an item is donated for testing, it is disclosed in the review. I don’t make “bushcraft knives”, I don’t sell outdoor gear, and have absolutely no financial interest in the activity. Like they say, “If you want to know the truth, follow the money”. I want to make sure that financial considerations are never a motivating factor in what information I put out.

4. All videos you see on my YouTube channel are intended to be viewed as part of my blog. I have specified that on the YouTube channel, but I am not sure everyone reads it. If you are just watching the videos, they may be out of context, if not viewed as part of the blog.

5. If you decide to do anything that I show you, do it at our own risk. Again, something that should be obvious.  

So there you have it. These are all of the disclaimers I can think of right now. I’m sure Mr. Turley will come up with some other ones, so I may have to update this post as time passes. I hope this addresses some of the issues other people may have genuinely had. If you have any questions, as always, please let me know.

Unfortunately, as an incredible sign of “integrity”, I have been prevented from posting a response on BCUSA by the people who generated the diatribe, so if any of your friends there were wondering about any of this, please feel free to direct them to this post.

I thank you all for reading this post. It is regrettable that any time has to be spent dwelling on this, but I’ll be back to regular programming with the next post and some more of my Mr. Fancy-Pants Expert opinions. ;)

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