Goon Raccoons, Gear for Regular-ass People
To properly tell you about Goon Raccoons I’ll first have to tell you about Black Powder Red Earth. BPRE is a graphic novel series (and now video game) series that revolves around the world of private military contractors. It’s got quite a heavy emphasis on realism in gun illustration and lingo used by pipehitters that live in desert countries and are bankrolled by Saudi royalty to do some clandestine shit. It’s pretty fun.
Their community is a mixed bag. There are some folks with relevant experience to the material, for sure. But even more populated in their servers and Patreon are couch commandos and the terminally milsim-minded. But hey, it’s a comic book. What would you expect? I kept my involvement mostly casual. That is, until I saw Goon Raccoons posted in a medical section.
Now, you might’ve seen me in the discord before. Being overly concerned with opinions on medical gear is an unhealthy obsession of mine. I pour over IFAKs the way most dudes like to judge rifle builds. The product was the RAC-PAK, and the owner of Goon Raccoons was a guy named Crux.
So I blitzed into his inbox like it was 1914 Belgium. His response to me basically kicking in the door and flashbanging his intellectual property and products was to meet me with an open mind and an appreciation for the feedback and interest. Needless to say, his counter attack worked. Cordial and professional shitposters on my internet? I wasn’t prepared.
We talked about who the RAC-PAK was really for. Folks who want medical gear, but maybe they don’t have the training we all wish we did. Every item within is pretty self explanatory, which lends a lot of value to someone who hasn’t had something like Stop the Bleed.
Digging into that user-level realistic mindset with Crux illuminated a lot of other topics that we came to agree upon in such a way that I knew we had to do an interview. He tussles with Redditors, strikes a healthy balance between culture and practicality, and puts NODs on a trash eating raccoon as his company mascot. This guy just had to be featured on TKB.
Q: What is Goon Raccoons, and what was the inspiration that started it?
A: Goon Raccoons is a gear company with a strong focus on building an online community around Personal Data Security and firearms. I’ve been obsessed with computers and techy stuff since I was a kid and guns kind of just worked their way into my life through Call of Duty and various other games that dropped as I was growing up. Of course being a deviant child with a computer led me to boards like /k/ where I may or may not have had a tripcode back when the word filters were still active because apparently that’s just what you do when you’re 15 and discover the chans for the first time. A certain thread called Gear Queer General popped up and my love for the more tactical side of gear began. Eventually I found my way into the Quality Tactical Gear community but at this point they are not fans of me.
Originally the name was a joke about me from our gaming community Discord. I grew up in the woods and eventually moved to Houston to find more work in the armed security industry, and like most Mall Cops and Gecko45s of the world I have a strong love for guns and gear. From there the idea that a raccoon would be digging through piles of tactical gear looking for the one or two good items in that pile eventually led to the silly mantra of the company: “We dig through the trash so you don’t have to.”
Q: I know you’ve had some previous drama with the Quality Tactical Gear crowd, care to go into that?
A: Oh this is a good one. So a few years ago a couple of guys on the QTG subreddit created a pyramid that they dubbed ‘The Gearamid’. The original Gearamid appears to have the intent of telling a complete noob what to buy to be ‘WROL/SHTF ready’ but seems to be entirely focused on the guns and the gear that goes with the guns, mainly focusing on the ‘cool’ aspects instead of what you may actually need gear like this for. The Gearamid came up in conversation one day on the BPRE Discord so a few of us decided to get together and remake it. I got with one Active Duty guy and one guy who is basically a walking encyclopedia on gear and got to work creating what I would say is a more refined version.
The three of us spent a while making what we called The Gearamid 2.0, this time around with a very strong focus on equipping an individual for realistic situations first, and larping or higher service second. We also included recommended training classes and courses for each tier which the original neglected to do. The lowest tier for us focuses entirely on Every Day Carry while working your way up presents more refined goals of getting yourself ready for working in a team environment or assisting in disaster recovery. I made a roughly 25 minute video on Youtube explaining the intent and reasoning behind the entire thing and posted it over to QTG since they were the ones who originally created it.
At some point one of the more prominent guys over there wrote up a wall of text on why I was completely wrong about my very loose recommendations for armor (At the time I believe I recommended HESCO L210s for most users, that’s what I have in my carrier) and that led to the subreddit following suit and getting mad about the video to the extent of the original creators demanding that I remove all association and delete the video off of Youtube. I shared a link to his post and pinned it on that video so I don’t give anyone the wrong info on armor but I’m gonna say they don’t like me or my company much after that. Ironically that guy writing up that post combined with the QTG Discord apparently blowing up about it got that video a couple thousand views in the first day and got me a good handful of new users in our Discord. I guess Reddit is good for something after all.
Q: Community is a large part of these DIY gear companies. Many out there hinge on very tactical images, some on pure memes. Goon Raccoons seems to strike a balance. How do you cultivate that?
A: I think the balance comes from me taking a more laid back approach when it comes to producing content and running the business. We do have a level of professionalism when it comes to the actual back-end of the company and the production value of our videos but on most days you’ll probably find me in the Goon Raccoons Discord cracking jokes about how I spent thousands of dollars on a rifle for ammo to go extinct before I got to shoot it. In my opinion there are too many guys out there in the ‘Influencer’ and content creation circles that take themselves way too seriously. I was an Armed Security Guard for several years, basically meaning I was Paul Blart with a Glock. The extent of my combat service is in the game SQUAD, drunk off my ass, and yelling at my friends to rally on a position so we can shoot at some pixels. It’s fair to say that it would be ridiculous for me to get out there running around in some killhouse or flat range trying to play tactical barbie dolls and acting like an authority on combat.
Goon Raccoons is a bit of a strange case when it comes to a community built around a content creator. I’m big on the idea of ‘If i don’t know something I’ll find someone who does’ so our Discord server very much reflects that. There are folks in there who know way more about a lot of the more gear oriented subjects than I do and it’s really cool to log in and see discussions going on between those SMEs and regular people like me. At the end of the day I’m just some random civilian who shoots a lot and plays with tech toys, but I like to believe that Goon Raccoons is an opportunity for people to learn things with me as well as an opportunity for me to fill certain niches with tools and supplies like the RAC-PAK.
Q: How did you decide what to put in your RAC-PAK?
A: The RAC-PAK is a great example of several things coming together just right to create something cool. Goon Raccoons technically started back in August of 2019 but a few months after that I found myself working at Minute Maid Park during the Astros World Series games. I was working for one of the security companies that was contracted to work various parts of the stadium and the uniform requirements for the officers was a little strange. We had to wear plain clothes, a company polo and jeans sort of deal. There was a very strict policy against carrying any metal tools like knives or leathermans and we weren’t allowed to wear anything thicker than a standard belt.
At the time I had a belt pouch IFAK from another company that was decent on my warbelt but pretty bulky for what I was trying to do with it with that job so I started discussing options with some friends in the business, an EMT and a combat medic, and we got to talking about the finer points of what should be in a kit for most purposes when it comes to civilian life. Add to that a bit of a traumatic experience if you wanna call it that – having an NPA tube shoved down my sinuses by someone who had absolutely no business whatsoever pushing that tube – and you get my goal of creating a kit where the person using it can’t accidentally cause more damage than is already present by misuse of the kit.
At that point I had a list of parts in mind but didn’t like the idea of packaging the kits myself. I can’t afford an ISO clean room so I had to find someone who has one. I had a short list of companies that I wanted to work with because like any industry there are a lot of hype companies pushing absolute crap. Over time I got linked up with someone who got me in contact with North American Rescue which led to them being the ones to actually produce our kits. I’ve always carried NAR’s CAT TQs so they were one of the best options I could have asked for.
I actually wasn’t planning on selling it but some friends encouraged me to put it on the market so it became our first official product. My original plan was to get a pocket sized kit that I could carry at work and what I ended up with is a pretty reliable kit that can be tossed in a pocket or backpack and possibly save a life sometime down the line.
Q: What’s on the short term horizon for Goon Raccoons for us to look forward to?
A: Over the last month or so we’ve been working on producing two full courses for our YouTube channel and website. Both of these will be completely free with the first one focusing on Personal Data Security and the second focusing on the basics of pretty much every common type of firearm as well as drills and various ways to keep training during times like the current ammo shortage. We’ve got some products in the prototyping phase right now so I can’t really reveal too much about those just yet, but hopefully we’ll be able to drop more info on those later this year.
Q: What are you hoping to grow Goon Raccoons into?
A: A front for acquiring machine guns and PVS-31s. Jokes aside I would love to build Goon Raccoons up to being able to provide equipment that some may call unusual. Anyone can sell you some milspec tactical crap, I wanna make things that solve some problems other companies aren’t looking at. Ideally we keep building up our network of SMEs and bring those folks on to help develop more products. So far my two largest ventures into the scene have been supported by people who know more than I do about the given subjects and it feels right to continue forward that way so there’s never any confirmation bias in what we present. I’d rather an SME call me out as wrong and discuss with me what is wrong and what would be more appropriate than just throw an opinion out there as concrete fact and be entirely wrong about it.
Q: Open topic, anything else you’d like to share or say?
A: To get all of my standard shilling out of the way I would like to point people to our YouTube channel where we already have a brief glimpse at our educational content as well as our website where we sell the RAC-PAK and pretty soon may be expanding into written content. Our Discord is always open to everyone and you can find the link at GoonRaccoons.com or in the description of any of our videos. With that out of the way I do wanna thank you for taking the time to reach out to me about the company and what we do, as well as thank everyone who checked out this article.