With this post I am officially hitting a major milestone here on the forum. I have always appreciated knives since my youngest days. I was raised to be an avid outdoorsman and knives were always a part of that. They were however always just a small part of a larger hobby like hiking, camping, hunting or fishing. Around 9 years ago I had just one premium folder and it was a Benchmade. It was a good knife and one day I decided to gift it back to the person who had given it to me. This left me without a high quality folder so I then picked up my first Spyderco. I was instantly bit and not long after that I found this forum. I lurked on here for a long time and knives started to really become their own hobby. Then about three years ago I jumped right in and joined the forum. Like many of us I had been on a few other forums but none of them really grabbed me like this one. I don't think that I have ever hit 500 posts on any other forum and I was kind of shocked when I hit 1,000 posts on here. Now it is even harder to believe that I have hit 5,000! This GAW is partly a thank you for enduring my sometimes overbearing presence here on the forum.
This is a truly unique place filled with great people. First of all it starts with the personality of Sal and Spyderco and that trickles down through the forum. That also attracts a certain type of people with amazing character. This forum is my safe haven from an Internet world where mutual respect is getting increasingly hard to find. The folks on here continually treat each other as if they are speaking to each other face to face and I appreciate that. However, it is not just the way people carry themselves around here that makes it great but it is the genuine comradery and desire to help and give that make this place great. I have tried to do my best in that regard and many others do too. From the very beginning I was grateful that Cliff and the Deacon and many others were so generous with their knowledge when questions come up. Many other forumites are always willing and usually eager to post comparison pics or help with sharpening tips. I try to answer questions whenever I can and I try to be a part of the helpful generous nature here. I have bought knives at the seconds sale for forumites who could not attend and I have given a forumite a ride to the SFO when he was in Denver. I have also been on the receiving end of some generosity here. Most recently Goldenspydie hooked me up with four amazing knives from the seconds sale. Thanks Eli! I also got hooked up by my man Xplorer with three sheaths. First was one for my Sprig. After I posted that I lost mine he reached out to me and offered to make me one for free. He took the time to find out exactly what style and color I wanted and it came out great. Then a little while later I sent a Cruwear Military that I got at the seconds sale to Xplorer so he could mod it for Surfingringo. I snuck my Street Beat into the package and asked Xplorer if he wouldn't mind making me just one more sheath. Well, he made me two! I gave him full creative freedom with it and his desire to please was so high that he made two different sheaths just to make sure I was happy. Thanks Chad!
Xplorer had one condition though. He wanted me to give something back to the forum and to make it public. I have been wanting to do a GAW for a while and decided this was the perfect time. It is the holidays and I am hitting a milestone so here we go. I wanted the GAW to be something truly special and one of a kind. I was gonna give a way a nice folder but knowing my luck it would be a knife that the winner already has. I thought about this for a while and finally came up with a plan. I hope your sitting down because here it comes. This GAW will be for a custom Spyderco Mule with a sheath done by our very own Xplorer! I reached out to him about this idea and he was enthusiastically on board.
Here is how it will work. I will provide the Mule and I will send it to Xplorer. The winner will be able to communicate with him about what they want. You will be able to specify colors and materials as well as whether or not you would like a lanyard hole but beyond that Xplorer will have the freedom to adapt as needed. I assure you he has a strong desire to please and it is his goal to make every knife better than the last.
I will now list the requirements for entry as well as the requirements for winning.
First let's get one thing out of the way. After much thought it was decided that I cannot risk Xplorer's contribution to the GAW by shipping over seas. I want to say that the mix of people on this forum from all over the world is one of the things I enjoy about this forum and to see so many people from different cultures all get along so well with so much respect is inspiring. If you are not in the US or Canada then you may still make an entry into the GAW on someone in the US or Canada's behalf. In fact, I will allow anybody to make their entry for another forumite. Just keep in mind that there is only one entry allowed per person. If multiple people give their entries to the same person then that person can have multiple entries but each person may only make one submission whether it is for them or another. I hope that makes sense.
EDIT: Spyderco/Sal has offered to cover international shipping so it is open to all!!!
To enter you must:
1) have at least one post on this forum before I posted this thread.
2) post in this thread with the words "I'm in!" or "I'm in for (insert forumite here)" as well as including in your post a number between 1 and 999. Only one entry per person please. I have already chosen the number and have a time stamped photo of it.
3) share one thing you really enjoy about the holidays. I'll go first.
Food! My family are foodies and we embrace the gluttony that is the holidays.
4) promise to take a moment and deliberately appreciate someone in your life during this holiday season.
To take possession of the knife you must agree to:
1) use the knife and enjoy it.
2) never sell it. If for some reason you don't want it anymore please gift it again.
Well, within reason, if you have kids to feed then of course, sell it. Otherwise this is should always stay a gift.
3) do something nice for the forum and make it publicly known. It does not have to be a free knife like this. Just whatever you are comfortable with.
4) post a pic of the finished product in this thread.
The GAW will end in one week on midnight on Christmas eve night. I will announce the winner sometime on Christmas day.
I still haven't decided which mule. I'll let you all know when I decide which one.
I have to close this with a big thank you to Xplorer for making my 5,000 post give away such a unique and memorable one. I am just buying a knife and giving it away. That is easy. He is doing all the work and generously donating the materials. THANK YOU!!!