About Us

Welcome to GearDisciple.com!

When you’re looking for reliable information on hunting gear, camping equipment, or the latest EDC items on the market, finding a site you can rely on can be tough. My brother Matt and I are avid outdoor enthusiasts, and we found ourselves in a constant struggle to stay informed. Whether we were looking for gear reviews or just tips, it was always a challenge to know if the information was trustworthy or even legitimate. So how’d we solve this problem? We made our own site.

Our Goals

Our goal has been simple from day one: provide the information you need to be prepared. Whether you’re preparing for a hunting trip or simply looking for a new pocket knife, we strive to be a go-to source for the most well-researched and unbiased information on the web. We understand that an active lifestyle isn’t just about the gear, so simply providing a list of reviews isn’t enough. Rather, you need the knowledge to know what gear you need (and don’t need!) and the information on how to use it. We will never try to sell you a product that we don’t believe in ourselves.

How Do We Approach Reviews?

Not all review sites are created equal. As outdoor hobbies have grown in popularity, so too have fly-by-night websites looking to make a quick buck off giving you questionable information. Having been disappointed by gear that got glowing reviews from other sites, we never want to have a reader go through that experience. Thus, we take our review process very seriously.

First, we always try to spend as much hands-on time as possible with the gear we review. Reading a specification sheet or a manufacturer’s advertisement rarely tells a complete story, so we understand the importance of putting the equipment to the test. Sometimes this is a quick process if we are reviewing a relatively basic item. However, we often spend weeks or even months with items before finally publishing our reviews.

Second, we understand that not everyone uses their gear the same way. While the testing we do does a lot to inform our opinions, we also realize that different people may have different experiences. We take these perspectives very seriously. Whenever we are constructing a review, we spend hours scouring customer feedback and forums to see how consumers are actually using and enjoying a product. Are there issues? Is the equipment reliable? Are there features or uses we missed? We want to know, because the more information we collect, the more we can pass on to you.

Finally, we try to approach this site with open minds and flexible philosophies. That said, there is one aspect we will never compromise on. We are never paid for any product review we post on this site. We feel strongly that a paid review is a biased review, and that posting a paid review is simply not fair to a reader. At times, we will accept a free sample of a product from a manufacturer, but they are never allowed to compensate us or influence our final review.

It’s Not Just About The Products

As we mentioned, this was never intended to be just a review site. Rather, we strive to create a one-stop shop for all the information you need regardless of your outdoor hobby. That’s why we created the Knowledge Hub section of GearDesciple. My brother and I spent a lot of time around hunters, gear enthusiasts, and survival experts. Although many of these people are extremely welcoming and willing to share their knowledge, some are not. This closed-off “gatekeeping” approach inhibits newcomers to the sport and hurts the hobby as a whole. Our Knowledge Hub is designed to counteract that.

The informational articles we write are designed to appeal to beginners and experts alike, as we understand our audience is extremely diverse. We put a lot of time and careful research into every article we write, but the Knowledge Hub articles earn special attention. When you are first starting a hobby, developing a basic foundation of good information is vital to your safety, enjoyment, and continued growth. Whether you’re looking to start deer hunting or are trying to decide what gear you actually need for your EDC, you are likely to find an article in our Knowledge Hub.

We Want to Hear From You!

Lastly, we want to make it clear from the start that this site is a two-way street. Without our readers, we couldn’t continue to pursue our passions and develop this site. Whether you have a compliment or a criticism, we want to hear from you. Have a product you want to be reviewed? Have a hobby you want to learn more about? Have you had a different experience with an item we tested? Let us know! We’re always just a message away on our contact page.

Finally, A Word of Thanks

Most importantly, we want to express our sincere appreciation to our contributors and readers. Without your support, we couldn’t continue to grow as individuals and outdoor enthusiasts, and we certainly couldn’t continue to provide the knowledge we share on GearDesciple every day.

So, Who Are We?

As we mentioned before, GearDesciple is a family effort. We’d like to take a moment to introduce ourselves.

jared russo close up photo head shot

Jared Russo

Hello, everyone! My name is Jared and I have been a lifelong outdoor enthusiast. Believe it or not, I didn’t grow up in a very outdoorsy household, and neither of my parents had ever been camping or hunting in their lives. However, my best friend in middle school appreciated nature more than anyone I’ve ever known, and his passion quickly transferred to me. From a young age, we would hike for hours through our local trails, exploring and discovering as much as we could.

This passion stayed with me through life, and I continued to love the outdoors in college. After my junior year, I decided to take a year off and fulfill a dream I had held for years: hiking the Appalachian Trail. Although I succeeded in my through-hike, the experience also left me with frustrations. I had spent what little money I had on the various pieces of hiking gear for this trip. While some items worked wonderfully, others did not. For example, the backpack that I had read so many glowing reviews about barely lasted my first week. Hundreds of dollars went to waste. I did not want another person to have this experience.

Having realized that many review sites are less-than-trustworthy, I set out to do better. I began talking to other enthusiasts and asking what they wanted from a review site. More importantly, I asked them what information they wish they had known sooner. I began to understand that people did not just want to know what gear they needed, they needed to know what gear they didn’t need. Further, it wasn’t just about the gear, but how to use it. Slowly, GearDesciple evolved into a complete source for all survivalist, hunting, and EDC information.

As the site became more popular, I realized I needed help reviewing the gear and writing the articles. On a late-night phone call, I reached out to my brother Matt and somehow convinced him to join my project. He became a wonderful asset to our team and I’ve never been more proud of the site we created.

matt russo close up photo head shot

Matt Russo

Hi, Everybody. I’m Matt, and I’ve been with GearDesciple for around five years since my brother Jared conned me into joining the fun. Unlike Jared, I was never particularly into the outdoors growing up. While he spent seemingly every waking moment on some adventure or another, I was much more likely to stay at home reading a book or playing video games. Despite this, Jared never seemed to stop nagging me to join him. After I had begrudgingly gone on a few hikes with him, I slowly started to understand the appeal. Looking back, I can’t believe that it took me so long.

Having spent my fair share of nights in poorly made tents or hiking with uncomfortable gear, I grew tired of bad information about sub-par equipment. Thus, when Jared asked me to join GearDesciple and help him review equipment, I jumped at the opportunity. This was not only a learning experience for me but an opportunity to give back to a community that has made me the person I am today. Although I have a lot of fun testing equipment and writing reviews, I take the process very seriously as well. We never stray from our mission of providing the most honest, thorough, and experience-driven information we can.

As someone who became an outdoor enthusiast later in life, I want to open the doors to newcomers and share as much knowledge as I can. The moments I have spent camping or hunting have been some of the best of my life, and I want those experiences to be possible for everyone.