#110: The SEVENTY2 Survival System – Uncharted Supply Company Founder & CEO Christian Schauf (Sandlot Jax & GORUCK Games 2023 Series)

Thursday July 20, 2023

Most emergencies last less than 72 hours. Luck favors those who think the most about their preparation before an emergency even occurs. For this episode, Fran Racioppi is joined by Christian Schauf, founder and CEO of Uncharted Supply Company, live from the 2023 Sandlot Jax and GORUCK Games. Christian launched Uncharted with an investment from Shark Tank after pitching the SEVENTY2 survival system; a kit designed specifically to keep you alive for the first 72 hours of a crisis. 

Fran and Christian unpack the secrets to securing an investment from the Sharks, the up’s and down’s of entrepreneurism, and just what is in the SEVENTY2. Christian also shares his three keys to successful product design and why there are no life hacks on the road to success. 

Learn more about Christian Schauf and Uncharted Supply Company and pick up your SEVENTY2 or follow him on social media. 

 Read the full episode transcription here and learn more on The Jedburgh Podcast Website. Subscribe to us and follow @jedburghpodcast on all social media. Watch the full video version on YouTube.

Listen to the podcast here

The SEVENTY2 Survival System – Uncharted Supply Company Founder & CEO Christian Schauf (Sandlot Jax & GORUCK Games 2023 Series)

Christian, welcome to The Jedburgh Podcast.

Thank you for having me.

Day two, Sandlot Jax & GORUCK Games. It’s been a party out here. The band picked up in the background so it’s going to turn it up.Uncharted Supply Company Founder and CEO, Christian Schauf, joins Fran Racioppi on The Jedburgh Podcast

It is a sweaty party for sure.

You came from Utah. I came from New York. We came down here. Both of us, we’re right next to each other, which is great and awesome being next to you guys.

I haven’t seen the sun since maybe September 2022 and then you drag me into this. Not only 82 or 83 degrees but I know a lot of guys here that are savages. You’re not carefully getting drugged into these impromptu workouts. It’s not that I’m not generally ready for these things but it’s a lot of things working against me.

At the same time, I’m generally not ready for this.

No. There was no warning.

The sun’s been a beat down but great atmosphere. Jessie Graff showed up as my co-host. She’s doing the obstacle course here in a little bit but we’re going to talk about preparation. I love it when I saw that you were here and you were going to be talking. It was important to me to take a few minutes to sit down with you. The tagline of the show is, “How you prepare today determines success tomorrow.” You embody that with Uncharted because it’s all about survival and the equipment that you rely on.

A little bit of knowledge about me. I spent 13 years in the 10th Special Forces Group and 3 years on a mountain team. That was all about the gear. Do you have the gear to survive? You got to have the skills but you got to have the gear. You got to know how to use it. That was super important to me. I want to talk about Uncharted because you founded the company in 2016. What was the opportunity that you saw in a competitive market?

A little bit of a step back. I grew up on a dairy farm. Farmers are capable people. They know how to fix things and how to work through whatever. They’re fixers and doers. That was how I grew up for eighteen years. After college, I started playing in a band. To make a long story short, that led me to 39 trips to the Middle East. Our band got asked to go and play with Armed Forces Entertainment.

Uncharted Supply Company Founder and CEO, Christian Schauf, joins Fran Racioppi on The Jedburgh PodcastWhen we were over there, we learned that there were 300 bases not getting entertainment because they had these old PA systems that would take a C-130 to fly to a base. You need to have a landing strip. We built a PA system to fit into a Black Hawk, which allowed us to hit all these little GSS and fobs. For 8 years of my life, I was not only playing in my band doing 150 shows like that but I’d take The Pussycat Dolls, System of a Down and Spin Doctors over.

These guys were looking at me to take care of them and guide them around. Inherently, I started thinking about, “How do I take care of these guys? How do I plan?” If you’re in the military, you can get to a base and you’re going to leave the next day and that turns into a week. Do we have toothpaste? All those little things. I was living a life like that and then I took a job in California. It sprinkled one day and everybody’s like, “I’m not coming over.”

Stay home. The world is ending.

You go from farmers and the military, these guys that are doers and fixers to people that are dependent on somebody else to fix a situation. It hit me across the head. It’s like, “This is a different kind of human.” I was trying to figure out what I wanted to do next and what my legacy was. I kept going to all these guys that I’ve met throughout my life.

Uncharted Supply Company Founder and CEO, Christian Schauf, joins Fran Racioppi on The Jedburgh PodcastI’m like, “I want to build something.” I always said, “If you were away from home and your ten-year-old son was home alone, what could you give somebody like that that would tangibly change the situation for the better?” That’s where we started. We built a 72-hour kit. It did well. We have a big line of products. That’s where it started and how we got going. The need slapped me across the face and I was like, “This seems like in my wheelhouse. I’m going to go for it.”

Let’s talk about the 72-hour bag because you went on Shark Tank. I feel very fortunate. You’re the second Shark Tank. I don’t know what the right term is but you received the partnership or the investment. I previously had Sarah Apgar who founded FitFighter. Daniel Lubetzky invested in her. Why go on Shark Tank?


Marketing, 100%. I had just started. I like to say we because we have a team now but back then, it was me, a laptop and my life savings.

You crowdfunded it.

I built the first kit and I said, “I’m going to launch this thing. I’m going to guarantee fulfillment for the holidays.” That meant I had to order before we even started getting orders. I wrote a $300,000 check, a substantial part of my life savings. I’m going for it. I don’t care. Fortunately, we end up selling more than that.

You’re sitting in a 1944 Dodge truck, the very same conversation may have happened in my house.

Uncharted Supply Company Founder and CEO, Christian Schauf, joins Fran Racioppi on The Jedburgh Podcast

I’m a big believer in burning the ships because a lot of people have a lot of outs. You start doing something, it gets hard, there’s a better opportunity, more money, then you’ve wasted time. You burn the ships and go for it if you believe in it. That’s what I did. The crowdfunding campaign set records and then Shark Tank called and that exploded on us. We sold triple what they thought we would during the show when it aired. It was like, “I should probably get some other people to help me and build a business.” It was a fun start. It was a wild ride.

[bctt tweet=”Burn the ships and go for it if you believe in it.” username=”talentwargroup”]

Shark Tank, I went into that. A lot of people are going, “We need all this money. We’re going to put this high valuation on us.” My belief was that people at home are watching this show and they might not know business that well but they know if the Sharks are talking positively about you or negatively. I want them to talk positively about it. I want them fighting over us because that’s going to drive sales. Everything I did was a decision to make sure the Sharks were like, “I want this deal. You guys are great. I’m going to kiss your butt to try to get you to agree.” That worked in the end.Uncharted Supply Company Founder and CEO, Christian Schauf, joins Fran Racioppi on The Jedburgh Podcast

That’s a great way to approach it because it’s a strategic look. It’s about the holistic picture and you do. You see people go on. Take it outside of Shark Tank. Take it into people who have conversations. Entrepreneurs who have great ideas and have conversations with investors every day are looking at the short term, “What’s my bank account going to look like when this person signs on to my team?” They forget the whole big picture that results from it.

Entrepreneurship is not easy. You’ve got to think around corners. You got to think about what every step means two years from now. It’s a wild ride. Even back to Shark Tank, it was an awesome opportunity. It put us on the map for a lot of people. Our email list went from 10,000 to 120,000 overnight. Even that, that’s worth $1 million. Real emails from people. You can then talk to them for free. It’s such a great opportunity. I’m still thankful for it.

Talk about the SEVENTY2 Survival System as well. What did it contain? What does it still contain? It’s still one of your top products.

What started for me was earthquakes. I’m a kid from Wisconsin. I moved to the coast. You hear about earthquakes and earthquake kits. I started talking to people and they’re all like, “I don’t have them but I need one.” I go, “There’s something here.” The thing that stuck in my head was that there was a statistic that 95% of all survival situations are resolved in 72 hours. I go, “You don’t need a bunker. You don’t need $100,000 worth of stuff 95% of the time.”

It sounds great but living in California, most people are in an apartment. They move every couple of years. Money is tight. What can you give them that fits in their closet that’s going to get them through 95% of the situation? To me, that’s a compelling sales pitch. That’s what we built. There are a lot of first aid kits out there that sell by the quantity. 1,000 pieces of first aid kit but 900 band-aids never saved anybody’s life. What we think about is being able to fix a bunch of things once because if we can fix it, then we can go back and restock.

With the survival kit, it was about the most likely things that could happen to you, whether it’s an earthquake, a fire or an injury. Make sure we had a wide range of products that sustain life. The human body needs the same basic things. You need the right temperature scale. Not too hot, not too cold. You need water. You maybe need food after a while. You may need some medication.Uncharted Supply Company Founder and CEO, Christian Schauf, joins Fran Racioppi on The Jedburgh Podcast

You may need some communication. It’s about putting all those things into a kit that was lightweight. That wasn’t bogging somebody down if they had to move. Putting in a shell that can be protected if there are rats or moisture because people keep these things in their basements. It was just being thoughtful. Nobody had done it and we did.

What do you think about product design? You talk about building something and we got one of the bags here. When you think about all the components, the durability and what’s going to go into it, how are you thinking through that?

There are three things I think about a lot. One is the quality of the product, having good stuff in there. An example is when COVID hit, I sent an email to everybody saying, “You’ve got an N99 mask in your bag.” People didn’t even realize the value of that when we were selling them but we’d thought about this ahead of time.

This is why you bought the bag.

People are like, “How did you guys know?” I’m like, “I didn’t know but I know if you put something good in there, it’s going to solve more problems.” High-quality stuff. The other thing people don’t think about is what happens in an emergency. That’s when you freak out. Unless you’re somebody like you that’s been in Special Forces training for this all the time. You’re used to operating with elevated adrenaline heart rate.

You still freak out. You just figure out how to make that go quickly.Uncharted Supply Company Founder and CEO, Christian Schauf, joins Fran Racioppi on The Jedburgh Podcast

You’ve seen more pitches is what I have to say. You stood in the baddest box more. The first time you see a fastball, you don’t even know what to do. It’s like organization. It’s color coordination. If I open up our survival kit and you open up the insert inside, everything’s organized by need. It’s like air and vision, warm and food. The first aid is a big red thing that says “First aid.” If you need first aid and you open that up, you can eliminate 80% of the stuff in the bag and focus. You’re starting to make better decisions, calm down and go in the right direction.

You got a checklist. You got somewhere to go.

In the back, we have a color-coordinated checklist that matches that pocket that walks you through. For me, it’s the organization, high-quality stuff and instruction. Those are the important things. The other thing I’ll add is simplicity. A lot of times, people want to put all this stuff in there. We talk a lot about tourniquets. As you know, a tourniquet can cause damage if you don’t know how to apply it well. When you take that logic across all products, it’s like our water filter.

You fill a bladder with water, screw the filter on and squeeze. It’s super simple. Some water filters have pumps, wires and hoses and you’re like, “I don’t know if I’m even drinking the water that I purified.” It sounds silly but I always think of the iPod. When the iPod came out in that click wheel, it was so simple. Simplicity is the best answer. I think about simple solutions that help people in their time of need as well.

It’s so important whenever people are faced with stress. I run leadership programs for companies and athletes. We use what I call the five components of a performance mindset. Everyone says, “What separates you from every other SF guy who talks about leadership?” I say, “I’m not teaching philosophy. I’m given some very simple steps.” What do we build leaders for? What do we build people’s confidence for in emergencies? It’s to deal with volatility, uncertainty, complexity and ambiguity. The more tools in a checklist format that you can give someone to do that makes their ability to respond much easier and faster.

I’m working on a book. One of the things I was writing a lot about was success versus fulfillment. Even talking about shortcuts or cliff notes versus truly mastering a subject. When you go back to that, talk about volatility and uncertainty. Do you know who falls off quickly? It’s the guy that took shortcuts to get to the end. The guys that persevere and the guys that have sat in the batter’s box a lot and watched a lot of fastballs come by have experience and reps.

[bctt tweet=”Do you know who falls off quickly? It’s the guy that took shortcuts to get to the end.” username=”talentwargroup”]

You got to put the work in. We’re in a society where so many people want to avoid work.

It’s a hack society, a life hack. It gets you nowhere.Uncharted Supply Company Founder and CEO, Christian Schauf, joins Fran Racioppi on The Jedburgh Podcast

I was talking to a guy about YouTube. He’s been very helpful with our YouTube. They talk about what are YouTube hacks. My point was, “It’s not a hack, it’s the process.” There’s no hack.

There are best practices.

This is a process. These are the things you have to do. You have to have a good thumbnail. You have to use Google ads. You have to have some hook in the beginning. This is not a hack to get around something. It’s just the way it works. If you don’t want to do that, then you’re not going to get there. We’ve had a lot of nice conversations about having to make hard decisions and execute. It all comes down to that preparation and how you think about it.

You guys have gone on to be in over 200 stores. You have the online presence but you’ve got the survival systems, first aid kits, power systems, rafts, bags and supplies. How much differentiation of different products are you looking to put out there and how do you think through these new things and new products that we want to come into the market?

The first thing is looking at what the most common problems are for most people. That’s good business. You got a big upper funnel you can target. Like our battery jumpstarters, do you know how many people have dead batteries all the time?

If you look over here, someone has graciously turned my ignition switch. I don’t know how long that’s been like that but what I can tell you is there’s 0% this truck start.

That happens. You get a hunter that goes out hunting for a weekend and they leave a dome light on. When you come back, there’s no service. You have to walk 5 miles to find service. We’ve got a little battery jump starter. In 30 seconds, you got your car started. That is a good simple solution to a common problem. That’s the one thing I think about a lot.

Uncharted Supply Company Founder and CEO, Christian Schauf, joins Fran Racioppi on The Jedburgh PodcastThe other thing is, “Is somebody doing it already well?” If somebody’s doing something well, usually, I don’t want to compete with it. I try to find unique ways to approach it. Our Pack Raft is very unique. We made a hip pack that’s very unique inherently with what it does. We’ve got a little Triage Kit over here that’s a lightweight first aid kit with gear repair. When we did a bunch of research and the thing we learned is most times gear was breaking first and that caused an injury. Everybody’s got band-aids. If you got zip ties, baling wire and duct tape and you can fix your ski binding, you’re not going to injure yourself and be stuck out there.

It’s having the insights to do things, answer the questions and get ahead of it. One of the funny things is a lot of times, I get interviewed and people go, “Do you have all these life-saving stories?” I’m like, “Not really because we stop it so far ahead of that.” If your car doesn’t start and you’re stuck in the middle of nowhere, that is a life-or-death situation. If in 30 seconds you started your car and drove home, it’s not. I’m proud of that but it shoots me on the foot because we don’t get these dramatic stories.

How do we get people to not think about preparation in these simple terms? Part of it is in education. It’s not all doomsday prepper. It’s not all this catastrophic event that’s going to change the world like the way we think about it. These are very simple things that happen every day. How do we get people to think like that?

That’s a million-dollar question. What I find most interesting is that the people that are the most prepared think about it the most. It’s military guys, police officers, outdoorsmen and hunters. They understand my brand super quickly and go, “I’m going to buy some of this stuff.” It seems like it’s the people that live in our nerfed-up society and don’t push it that also don’t think they need it because they just call AAA or Amazon Prime something. They do whatever.Uncharted Supply Company Founder and CEO, Christian Schauf, joins Fran Racioppi on The Jedburgh Podcast

COVID freaked people out. Even the pandemic pushed people to explore nature more and get outside. It’s showing people how much they don’t know. In my perspective, it’s having guys like you and people who know this stuff that are experts in this stuff, forcing people to come face to face with the fact that they need to pay attention to this and take control of their life as well. It’s a long slow process because our society is very safe. This is the safest time ever to be a human. People generally can find an answer to fix things until that doesn’t work or something big happens. That’s when they’re going to need us.

They’re comfortable. That safety has created this element of comfort. It’s hard to even call it complacency because you’re right about seeing pitches. Your analogy there is most people haven’t seen a lot so they don’t know. What they do is they have a little bit of naivety that sits in their minds and they go through life. You can come out here to this beautiful park and go to this fitness festival but you don’t understand also what’s going on here. There are cops everywhere.

I was surprised how many times the Uber drivers have said, “That’s a dangerous place,” or, “That place is safe.” I’m like, “We’re in America.” My Uber driver’s telling me that there’s a neighborhood in Jacksonville and I shouldn’t go over there to that restaurant. I don’t remember hearing that in the past. Things are changing. It’s wild.

You got to think about it. You don’t know how quickly you’re going to be thrust into some of these situations.Uncharted Supply Company Founder and CEO, Christian Schauf, joins Fran Racioppi on The Jedburgh Podcast

That’s the thing about emergencies. Robert Hertz says on Shark Tank, “People don’t think about bad crap until bad crap happens.”

It’s too late. How much snow did you have in 2023?

I’m in Park City. Snowbirds had almost 900 inches. The old record was around 700. I’m not good at math but that’s 25% more than the last record of all time. People were living in tunnels down to their houses. If you’re not ready for that, it’s a real problem.

We saw that all across the West. The drought is over.

At least for a couple of years.

They’re flooding.

It’s funny how mother nature works. We all have been talking about a drought. There are so many elk and deer everywhere. In Summit County, they’re saying a 70% fatality rate of deer and 100% of fawns but we have water. Mother nature has these cycles. Ebbs and flows. It’s powerful, sad and beautiful how things keep bouncing out and keep pushing ahead. It’s pretty easy to get messed up along the way with a ton of snow or a big storm.

What’s next for the company?

For us, when I think about Uncharted and what I need to push on, it’s visibility and how you get people more aware of Uncharted and the need for this stuff. I work on that a lot. We’ve got a nice collection of products for being a young company. We did a big survey with our customers. The net promoter score is how people think about your brand. Our score was higher than Nike, Starbucks, Patagonia and everybody. We have an 85. That makes me proud. That means people love the products. When they spend the money, they’re very happy.

Uncharted Supply Company Founder and CEO, Christian Schauf, joins Fran Racioppi on The Jedburgh PodcastI’m like, “We need to get this in front of more people.” That’s why we’re here. That’s why we’re trying to partner, do podcasts and talk to people. When I started this company, I’m not Mother Teresa. I want to make money but money wasn’t enough. I wanted to leave a legacy. For me, it’d be pretty cool if you could save a bunch of lives and make the world a safer place. That’s what we’re trying to do. As you know, entrepreneurship is not easy. It’s a grind every day. We’re in the fight. We appreciate all the support we can get. This community’s been awesome. We got to keep showing up and the right thing will happen.

What’s the best aspect of it? You’re right. Entrepreneurship is so hard and everything you’re saying over here, I go through every day. Why did I drive eighteen hours towing this truck down here? It’s because we struggle with the same thing. We know we have a great show and conversations. Our branding is great. Everything looks great but you need numbers. You need people to listen. You need to get it in front of your eyes. It’s a great opportunity here to be able to do that and create these partnerships and meet all these people but the work just started.

I was talking to Sal Frisella of 1st Phorm. That’s a big company. We were talking. He’s like, “We’re grinding and trying to build this.” I’m like, “You’re a lot farther ahead than I am.” He’s like, “No. We’re the same.” Even at that level, he’s still feeling what we’re feeling. I have a buddy that has a high-end bike company and they’re beautiful bikes. He’s the same size and growing. He’s probably a little more emotional than me. He gets spooled up and spooled down, depressed and excited.

I was like, “You got to get over the idea that there’s an exit coming tomorrow. You need to get comfortable with this roller coaster every day. You need to stay alive. You need to keep pushing. In those days when you think you’re going to die, you’ve had twenty of them and you’re still here. The odds of the next one’s going to kill you are probably pretty small. Just know that you’re going to get through it. If you keep doing that every day and keep doing the right stuff in the right way, it’s going to work out.”Uncharted Supply Company Founder and CEO, Christian Schauf, joins Fran Racioppi on The Jedburgh Podcast

It’s those small little victories. We had Nick Lavery in here and he wrote Objective Secure. That’s what he is talking about. What are the next objectives that you’re working towards? How do you frame your mind to get there? You don’t need to focus on the whole totality of the problem at once. We got to have that vision and mission. We got to know where we want to go and get there. It’s going to be a series of these small wins. We’re going to fail along the way. It doesn’t mean that it’s fatal.

Do you see those Instagram posts where it’s like two lines? It’s like what people think entrepreneurship is. It’s an uphill slant. It’s what it is. It looks like somebody having a heart attack. It’s squiggly lines. When I look at that, I’m like, “That is the truest thing I have ever seen.” One day, you’re high as can be like, “We are almost there.” The next day, you’re like, “I think I lost everything.” The next day, you’re somewhere in the middle. Keep going.

We go through it too. It’s funny. It’ll be the same day, I’ll be like, “The show sucks, Everybody sucks. I suck. I can’t talk to anybody.” Something will happen by night and I’m like, “We got the best show ever. We’re going to get all these sponsors.” The next morning, I’m like, “We’re broke and screwed.”

It’s a wild ride and then you’ll be successful someday. Everybody will be like, “That guy got lucky. It happened overnight.” There’s a lot of comfort in talking to other people in the same boat because we all feel the same way. It feels good to talk that out.

As we close out, the Jedburghs in World War II had to do three things to be successful, habits and foundations. They had to be able to shoot, move and communicate. If they did these three things with the utmost precision, then they could focus their effort and attention on more complex challenges that came their way. What are the three things that you do every day to be successful in your world?

It sounds cliché maybe being at a fitness festival but one of the most important things for me is taking care of myself. The seasons affect what I do. In the summer, I get up. I put a 20-pound weight vest on. I go with my dog before sun up and I’ll run 6 or 7 miles. If somebody saw me out there, they’ll think I have Tourettes because I’m yelling at myself and I’m getting it all out. I then go home, take a cold shower and go to the office. I’m so calm and clear. I’m better. If I don’t do that, I don’t have as good of a day. Sleep, doing that kind of thing. That’s one. Taking care of yourself.

I’ve worked hard to surround myself with good people that I trust, whether it’s mentors that can help me or it’s young passionate people helping me build the company. You need to surround yourself with the best people you can. That is harder than ever. I hate to trash a generation but finding a strong work ethic of somebody that wants to dig in is harder than it’s ever been. Surround yourself with that.

[bctt tweet=”You need to surround yourself with the best people you can.” username=”talentwargroup”]

The last thing that I think about a lot is if we lose out on one thing with my brand, it’s price. Our stuff is more expensive than the competitors. It’s because our stuff are ten times better. I could probably cut corners and maybe sell more. If we dropped our price in half, I guarantee our sales would go a lot more but we wouldn’t be selling the same thing. I always tell people, “If I tell you it’s going to save your life, better save your life.”

Uncharted Supply Company Founder and CEO, Christian Schauf, joins Fran Racioppi on The Jedburgh Podcast

If you’re building a brand for the long-term, you got to stick to what you believe in. You’ve got to be able to build high-quality stuff that you can go to sleep at night knowing it’s going to make a difference. Those are the first three things about Uncharted. It’s making sure the product is the best, making sure I’m showing up my best and having the best team I can working on it. That’s a good three.

Those three are great. That’s a great formula. That’s what it takes. We talk about people and processes. That’s it. Those are important things. You have to surround yourself with the right people because you can’t do it alone. We’ve had a couple of conversations about that. Someone says, “I’m going to do it by myself. I don’t need anybody.” Trust me, I’m sure you’ve said that even in the company when you get frustrated. I’ve said it. I’m like, “Forget it. I’ll do it myself.” Everyone’s like, “You can’t do it yourself.” I’m like, “You’re right. I can’t do it myself.”Uncharted Supply Company Founder and CEO, Christian Schauf, joins Fran Racioppi on The Jedburgh Podcast

I walk around the office and I’m like, “How do you do this?” I’m very excited about that because that lets me focus on what I’m better at. We’re not that far into it. I can remember when it was me trying to do everything. I remember driving to UPS and filling out international shipping forms. I didn’t know how to do that but I sit upstairs in my office and we have a big open workspace. I’ll be working on something and I will hear a conversation over here about tariffs in Australia and then a conversation over here about supply chain stuff. I’m like, “This is awesome.” I’ve got people better than me solving the problems. That almost makes me emotional. I’m so happy about that. I don’t have to think about it.

That’s the journey. You’re on an awesome one. Thanks, Christian.

Thanks for having me.


Important Links


To Top of Webpage