Q&A 55: Surplus Gear and Finnish Culture w/ Jari Laine of Varusteleka

Today we have a Q&A guest: Jari Laine, CEO of Varusteleka. Jari is active in the Finnish reserves in addition to his role as CEO, and exemplifies the company’s practical expertise in designing and producing topicality military gear as well as sourcing all manner of surplus. Located just north of Helsinki in Finland, Varusteleka ships worldwide (including to the US for a flat $9.99). You can browse their whole extensive collection at Varusteleka.com.

Now, for our questions with Jari:

00:00 – Introduction
02:17 – Natural fibers vs synthetics
04:51 – What can Americans learn from Finnish culture (besides sauna)?
05:43 – How to deal with mosquitos
07:42 – Särmä short-shorts?
08:30 – Cool but utterly useless military gear?
10:10 – Biggest shortcoming of Finnish gear?
13:05 – Varusteleka sales, international vs domestic Finland?
14:25 – Prioritizing product people need vs high-profit products?
17:11 – Is there a place for the 9mm SMG in a modern military?
19:33 – How do Finns feel about the huge number of Finnish surplus guns in the US?
21:34 – News about Finnish Brutality 2022?
22:34 – Difficult country or region to find surplus from?
24:37 – How to repair merino wool cuffs and elbows?
25:44 – What does Jari think of the WWSD?
27:13 – Why does Finland still use 7.62x39mm?
31:13 – Anything specific you always do in the US when visiting?
33:10 – Strangest piece of milsurp you have been offered?
34:59 – How does Varusteleka actually find surplus goods?
36:53 – Were WW2 puukko knives private or military issue?
38:36 – Is surplus from particular countries consistent in quality?
40:40 – How are modern-day relations between Russia and Finland?
42:12 – Does Varusteleka have any clothing items with absolutely no plastic?
44:07 – What do Ian and Jari enjoy about the other’s countries?
46:33 – Who would win a hand-to-hand fight, Jari or Vladimir Putin?


  1. “(…)Who would win a hand-to-hand fight, Jari or Vladimir Putin?”
    As side note, last is author of Judo: History, Theory, Practice book
    Also whilst is hard to conclude result without actual fight keep in mind that https://budodragon.com/how-good-is-vladimir-putin-at-judo/ he also trained Sambo for many years whilst acting as a Russian agent
    SamBO (Self-defense Without Weapon) was originally developed for military combat usage, as opposed to Judo, which was create for more competitive/exercise usage, rather than combat (for which jiu-jitsu was used).

  2. I have been issued with two pairs of (seemingly identical) boots while in the Polish Army; those from 1987 still serve me well as reserve hiking boots; the second pair, issued in 1989 fell apart after three months, together with communism. The gear made in 1960′, 1970′ and first half of 1980′ was generally of excellent quality (which does not mean it was always well designed). Then there was a sudden and universal drop in quality, while the system became moribund

    • I have seen the same drop in quality with NVA surplus. Late 80ies is cheap and falls apart. Items made before that were well made and just as good what the average NATO soldier had.

  3. My MY MY What a wonderful & informative interview!! A small comment I believe that the english language is ideal for understanding BUT when we know more we do better! To become better at English ( or any language) when you SING in the language you can get the Accent & tone of the language …Best songs are FOLKSONGS of the culture …this way you also get a free fun history lesson also It also helps to be in a social situation ( Barbecue with moderate drinks is good) . choir is ok too ,the god thing can help..its the EXERCISE that helps more than the belief. As to the Finns.. Guns GREAT but the lingo scares me tho I give it a go ….the saunas are GREAT!

  4. Judo vs Jiu jitsu… Anyway I reckon Putin would win regardless, there are pictures on the internet of him riding a bear “I assume they were taken from some of documentry on R.T so accurate” which suggests, he is well hard really. Know what I mean, no top on riding a bear. Xi of China I reckon after 8 pints would be a brawler, but like riding a bear topless… He hasn’t. Vlad, the man is like a cross between Tyson Fury and Chuck Norris; hard as feck. So no I give the who is “hardest round” to Putin personally. Unless anyone can prove otherwise, in which case don’t drink tea.


    • I stand by that comment, untill “Jari” oooh, look at me I am a Finn; rides a bear semi naked and has it published on the internet. Well, suffice to say I will back the chap who already has.

      “We can all go round saying I’d ride a bear semi naked can’t we; actions not words Jari, actions.”

  5. Ride a Panda pissed for 80yrds Xi.

    “Well done for bringing China up to an amazing; if problematic place”

    But ride that Panda show Vlad who’s boss.

    Everyone will clap worldwide; be like Yuri gagarin in the 60’s.

    • Hypersonic missiles that go over the south pole “ooooh!” ride a Panda topless, pissed; and deliver global communism. Everyone will be happy; think about it.

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