People often ask Christian Schauf, founder of Uncharted Supply Company, for an example of when the gear his company makes saved someone’s life.
“We don’t get a lot of life-or-death stories because our gear typically fixes the situation before it gets too serious,” Christian explains. “For example, I have countless stories where our Zeus battery jumper was used to start a dead car in the middle of winter. It takes 30 seconds, but without it, they could have been stranded for days.”
Between global instability and record numbers of novices exploring the outdoors, safety is at the forefront of conversation.
“There are a lot of brands that talk about exploring and adventuring … And how to get out there,” he says. “But there’s not a lot talking about how to get home safely or how to fix a difficult situation when something [unexpected] happens.”
Uncharted takes a different approach. “This company is as much a mission as it is business,” Christian points out. “Our goal is to make the world a safer place.”
Selling gear that can save a life comes with a lot of responsibility.
“We rigorously test our gear before it goes out to the public. I’m constantly in the wild, doing hard things and making sure the gear stands up to it. If I’m going to put my name on something, you can be sure that it’s not going to fail you,” he says.
In one such instance, Christian was deep in the Yukon. He brought several prototype products, including a new water bottle, with him. During the trip, the water bottle gasket failed and leaked, prohibiting him from using it as a way to keep his sleeping bag warm at night. He spent the next several nights in temperatures of 15 degrees below zero without a key element in his plan for staying warm. Upon return, the gasket was redesigned, retested and put into production.
The Seventy2 Pro backpack prototype went through similar testing. It was used daily for four years, and when it finally came apart while hauling an 80-pound elk quarter out of the mountains, the Uncharted team studied the weak point, modified it, and made it even tougher.
To ensure the quality of every product they sell, Uncharted works with doctors, military special forces, bush pilots, hunting guides, and other outdoor professionals to ensure their products fill niches and meet needs that are otherwise being neglected. “If someone is already doing something well, there is no need to reproduce it,” Christian says.
The team mentality continues in the office. Christian is the first to point out that the Uncharted team — particularly Mike Dufner and Kate Cier — is to thank for the company’s success.
Mike is his right-hand man and the company’s chief financial officer. According to Christian, “Mike came in a few years ago and has literally become the left brain to my right brain. He has helped us navigate some difficult times, created structure where there wasn’t any and covered for a lot of my weaknesses.”
Katie, the company’s marketing manager, is also Uncharted’s longest-standing employee.
“Marketing manager simply doesn’t do her justice — she is constantly solving problems I didn’t even realize we had, and going above and beyond her job responsibilities. When we’ve been short staffed, or overwhelmed, she’s brought her friends and family in to help get the job done, and I will forever be grateful for her sticking with us through some difficult early times,” says Christian.
That inner-office team mentality extends to the outdoors, where your adventure buddy is just as important as the gear you’ve brought along. The former is up to you — but for the latter, Uncharted is there to make sure you’ve got what you need when things don’t go as planned.
UNCHARTED’S GO-TO GEAR FOR YOUR CAR
The Seventy2 Pro Survival System: A survival kit that’s equipped to get you out of nearly any situation imaginable.
The Zeus: A battery that’s powerful enough to start anything with an engine and can be used as a flashlight or to charge your devices.
The Extractor: A tow rope rated for over 17,600 pounds — that’s nearly four Ford F-150s.
FOR YOUR ADVENTURES
Triage Kit: A waterproof first-aid kit that’s small enough to fit in your pocket.
The Park Pack: A flop-free fanny pack with interchangeable add-ons.
The Seventy2 Shell Dry Pack: A 32-liter pack with triple protection against wetness.