I've spent a huge amount of time on social media groups and various forums discussing things that interest me with mostly like minded people. Invariably someone will come along during a discussion and talk about an item that they have owned for a rather long amount of time or have taken with them to some austere location and drop an vague appeal to authority such as. "I've had this pistol for thirty years and it has never failed to fire. It has served me well."
I used to think to myself that I wish I had such and such a thing that would last me thirty years and never fail. I'd save my money, get one of those things, start to use it and it would fail. Then I started asking questions. "What were the conditions in which you used it?" If it were a gun. "How many rounds through it?" "Do you attend training classes or shoot matches?" If a knife. "How often do you sharpen it? What sort of cutting tasks to you use it for? I started to notice that many times the answers were either vague, defensive, or in a few cases, grandiose. Such as. "I've probably got 50,000 rounds through this gun. Never had a jam. Not once."
Occasionally the standards are much lower than mine. "I shoot 100 rounds per year out of my self defense pistol. I've hunted grouse with this shotgun for thirty years and it's never failed me." Some times what's left out is more important than what is said. Grouse for instance are skittish birds and one rarely shoots more than three or four in an outing.
If you've made it this far you're probably wondering what brought on this latest Wheeler Diatribe. I've just returned from my first and hopefully, not my last trip to Africa for a photo safari. I took a few knives with me, one of which is an original DPx HEST. When I mentioned it to a friend prior to leaving he said. "That should serve you well." He was absolutely correct. It did serve me well and I was glad I had it. Truth be told the only time it came out the sheath was when I was attaching and detaching it to and from the MOLLE panel in my murse. That's right. I didn't use it once. I did most of my cutting and knifely tasks with a Case Sod Buster Jr. But now when asked I can say. "I took my DPx HEST to Africa for ten days and it served me well. :)