State of the Wild - 2022
League of Wildness,
I’m writing this correspondence on January 20th, 2022. I tested positive for COVID yesterday and am displaced from my home indefinitely due to the devastating effects of the Marshall Fire that destroyed our entire town on December 30, 2021. In August of 2021, David, who co-founded The Wild Gym Company LLC (aka monkii) resigned from the company. Shipments of several products have been delayed for several months due to the global supply chain crisis. This has made sales a challenge - it’s hard to sell when you are out of stock. I am not sharing all this because I want you to feel sorry for me. Please do not. Has life been better? Of course it has. Has the past year been challenging? Hell yeah! But that’s kind of the point - life is not easy and the obstacle is the way. We could have given up many times and docked our ships in safe harbors, but that is not the way of the wild. Fail or succeed - we always want to be the “man in the arena”. These obstacles have served to make me that much more excited for what is to come. There are wilder times just over the horizon. Get your mind right.
The support that we have received as a company and that I have received on a personal basis have been beyond anything I could have ever imagined. You guys are more than a community - you’re family. Ken Brock (@brock_blades) has mentioned this to me multiple times and I’m grateful to have a Wildman like Ken to remind me of this. I’ve had tons of similar conversations through Instagram, email (digital penpal @CraigElgin), and various other mediums that we are now able to communicate through. I appreciate you all helping us continue to be a little wilder everyday.
The feedback from those that have received Stoic has been wild on a whole new level. I can best describe the initial reaction as resonating on a much more visceral level. Stoic seems to be deeply resonating with people’s ‘why’ and they LOVE the standing experience. What do I mean by why? I believe that Stoic offers an opportunity to be “training” when otherwise it would be quite difficult to do so. And that is exactly the why I’m talking about. Our lifestyle is not conducive to taking the easy path in life. In fact we don’t take a beaten path at all - we create our own. With Stoic, you are squeezing every last bit of opportunity from your unique circumstances and leveraging that to make yourself wilder. That’s what I mean by your why - it’s a lifestyle dedicated to the practice of wildness.
Regardless of the challenges, the campaign still raised $750K on Kickstarter and Stoic was brought to life. I recognize it was not our best campaign and for that I apologize. We changed reward levels which only created confusion and then retreated. I’m still embarrassed by how that all went down, but can promise you that it will never happen again. There is a bright side - we finally realized what Stoic actually was - a gym for your feet. It may not seem like a big deal, but having clarity as to what a product is and who it's for is priceless. The “gym for your feet” thesis has been the guide ever since then and I’m proud of what the product has become. Did we make mistakes along the way? Absolutely. We’ve done our absolute best to rectify these mistakes and show you all the respect that you deserve. Stoic is a highly complex product and we’ve learned a ton going through the process. This means that for the next go at a more ambitious product we can apply these lessons so that we do not make the same errors.
To quote Erl, the Wildman of the North, “Stoic is your best idea so far!” (thanks, Erl). We are still waiting for the remaining components of Stoic to arrive and once they get here we will be sending those out to backers ASAP. There will also be approximately 400 Stoics available that we will put up on the website relatively soon. I expect these to sell out immediately so if you are intent on getting a Stoic I would not hesitate once they go live. I’m super excited about the “wobble” feature for Stoic as well. I have a prototype I’ve been experimenting with for over a year and it is wild-approved. The wobble feature is a rounded piece that threads into the bottom of Stoic and adds in a whole new balance experience. The way standing on Stoic with the additional wobble feature lights up the musculature in your lower leg cannot be understated. It feels almost like you're standing on water and epitomizes the concept of active standing. Needless to say - I’m feeling extremely optimistic about the future of Stoic and continuing to build out ways to create an environment for movement.
pocket monkii 2:
I’d been chomping at the bit to upgrade pocket monkii and so I was extremely excited to launch the Kickstarter for pocket monkii 2 back in August of 2021. The campaign raised $525K and a quick aside, my long-time friend and Wildman Jon Geurts made me aware that both Stoic and pocket monkii 2 had the exact same number of backers at 2,729. That’s pretty wild. For pocket monkii 2, we literally made everything better - materials, design, ease-of-use, strength, durability, the training - everything is better. It’s the small details that matter and the subtle changes we made to a larger grip diameter, new pouch design, upgraded webbing, a new outdoor anchor, and much much more all add up to make something truly special. I’m confident that pocket monkii 2 will be a huge hit for many years to come - it’s evergreen. It’s a timeless training modality and the system is sophisticated in its simplicity - it’s simple and it works. We put a significant amount of money down way back in March, 2021 to start production of pocket monkii 2 early. Based on this timeline, they should have been shipped to backers no later than November, 2021. However, the global supply chain crisis exploded this timeline and as of writing this we expect to be fulfilling pocket monkii 2 in March, 2022. We will have about 1,500 pocket monkii 2’s and a small number of Outdoor Anchor 2.0’s that will be available on the website after we have fulfilled Kickstarter and Indiegogo. Like Stoic, they will go sell quickly so do not hesitate to grab one once they go live.
We just dropped a major training update coming to the monkii App. The update consists of the new programs that were a part of the pocket monkii 2 Kickstarter as well as the training for Stoic. We received this review from Andy N. about the monkii App, “your training app is exemplary; imaginative and diverse programming that’s intuitive to use and easy to follow”. The term “imaginative” struck me - it made me think back to my days training in the wild. (A very brief background for those who have no idea what I’m referring to: In 2007 I was a Wilderness Ranger and to stay in shape for my final season of college athletics I built an all-natural Wild Gym in the wilderness. I squatted logs, lifted rocks, and did pullups on tree branches. Here’s a video if you want to see for yourself.) Everything I did while training in the wild was imaginative from creating the actual pieces of “equipment” to coming up with the workouts. I believe this approach has trickled down into the monkii training of the present - there just isn’t anything like it that If you haven’t checked it out already, you can get the new training programs here.
So, what’s next? Here’s what we’re working on for 2022:
Get psyched for a Kickstarter launching this Spring for a strength-focused product. I’ve been using the prototype for a year and it’s 100% wild. My excitement is further peaked by how this new product completes the training ecosystem - strength, cardio and core. Stay tuned for more.
Get MB2 back in-stock. MB2 is such a classic training device we’d be foolish not to keep them around.
We’re in the process of creating a new cam buckle that will not only make MB2 better, but open the door for many new devices that utilize a cam buckle.
Build out the accessory line. We have final samples/designs for a Universal Door Anchor, Tactical Outdoor Anchor 2.0, and detachable footstraps for pocket monkii 2.
We have another product that I’ve been testing for over a year and I cannot wait to share. The clue I will share is that it makes all your existing monkii gear better. It will not be launched via Kickstarter, but will instead be launched via an internal campaign only open to League of Wildness members.
Launch a subscription training program. I love the existing monkii app and it does an excellent job delivering workout content. However, it cannot be updated in real-time and making updates is a long and laborious process. In addition to the current monkii app, I envision a daily workout subscription that is holistic in content and agile in delivery. It would combine all of the existing (and future) gear into a thoughtful progression and also provide more tactical content for mobility, flexibility, and nutrition.
I’ve been in the X-Lab for the past few years working on a blend for the perfect electrolyte. The background: hydration has always been a challenge for me, especially on my bigger adventures. I would buy other electrolyte blends, but always ended up tweaking them with my own additions. I finally decided to start from scratch and make my own custom blend. The ingredients are all-wild and it’s delicious. The only question left is: Do you want to try it?
- The League of Wildness is our family. Kim and I want to make sure that we are providing the League with value. How will we accomplish this? Communication and content. There are so many nuances to living the wild-lifestyle supported by the League we want to make sure we update and inform you all on a regular basis. It’s all about maintaining an active conversation so that we can all keep learning and keep getting wilder.
Thank you for reading this far and for supporting us over all these years. Many of you are multi-time backers and/or purchasers and we would not be here without you. We are thankful and eternally grateful.
This concludes the first ever State of the Wild address.
Stay wild and we’ll see you out there,
-Dan and Kim