I’m sitting at my desk as I feel the floor gently ‘bounce.’ I work on the 11th floor of an office building in downtown Washington DC. Being at the top of the building and next to a small bridge, it’s not uncommon to feel small ‘shutters’ of movement as a large truck passes by.
Was this a truck? An earthquake? An explosion? The bounce subsided for a few moments as my coworkers and I stood and stared blankly at each other.
The air is thin at 14,000 feet. That’s a little over two and a half miles straight up. At that altitude, the oxygen available is only 61% of that which is available at sea level. Breathing and heart rates will be more strained, struggling to find oxygen. That’s why fitness is both paramount and completely irrelevant.
When it comes to altitude sickness (acute mountain sickness), it doesn’t always matter how physically fit you are. Being as in shape as possible is still important and if you don’t do what you can to prepare your muscles for the riggers of non-stop uphill hiking, you’re going to have quite an interesting time.
What Bryan and I have been focusing on are a mixture of physical fitness and gear choice. We plan on arriving to Colorado a few days early for the GORUCK Ascent to try and get a head start on the acclimatization process. In a best case scenario, we would need a good couple of weeks at altitude to truly acclimate but a few days certainly won’t hurt. Also, having quality lightweight gear will make the hiking less strenuous on our bodies. [Read More…]
If you remember my previous post about the GORUCK Challenge I completed, it’s an evolution that takes strangers and individuals and transforms them into a team.
The GORUCK Ascent will be no different. While there are no bricks involved, this will be a 100+ hour challenge in it’s own right. Multiple 14,000 foot summits, mission planning, land navigation, survival and medical courses; this won’t be easy.
On May 7th, I completed the GORUCK Challenge (class 031) in Rehoboth Beach, Delaware and will be forever changed. If you aren’t familiar with the Challenge, it’s billed as a team event that lasts 15-20 miles and around 8-10 hours. Although, the cadre loves to under promise and over deliver.
Straight from their site, here is the Challenge in a nutshell:
You and your fellow Challenge takers all wear GORUCK backpacks throughout the Challenge. Yes, your bags will be weighted down with bricks, but if the Challenge were easy you wouldn’t sign up. In fact, the greatest hurdle is signing up. We are proud that the pass rate is over 98%.
You won’t know the route but it showcases the best of every city. Think of it as a guided tour. The miles don’t disappear on their own, and 8 to 10 hours can feel like a lifetime. Welcome to our version of good livin’.
Even though we just reviewed the near identical twin brother of this kit, the sixth kit in our Pocket Sized Survival Kit series is the Pocket Survival Pak Plus from Adventure Medical Kits.
As the name implies, it’s quite similar to the standard Pocket Survival Pak. But this kit has some tricks up its sleeve.
What I like about these past two kits from Adventure Medical Kits & Doug Ritter is that the packaging includes a section on “Improving The Odds in Your Favor.”
It urges you to not only go over the survival instructions before stowing your Pak, but to also practice with it beforehand.
The advice makes sense no matter what Survival Kit you’re using, you can never practice too much before you’re in the situation where you “have” to use it.
If you’ve been following ITS Tactical for any amount of time you can tell that we are big advocates of being prepared. For some reason though, it takes a massive disaster, natural or otherwise, for people to be shaken into even just thinking about being prepared let alone actually taking the steps.
Much of the Pacific is being rocked by this most recent earthquake/tsunami and Japan is getting the brunt of it. The death toll continues to rise and this is no laughing matter. Now is the time to be prepared. Actually, yesterday was the time to be prepared. [Read More…]
The fifth kit in our Pocket Sized Survival Kit series is the Pocket Survival Pak from Adventure Medical Kits.
Doug Ritter, founder of Equipped to Survive, worked with Adventure Medical Kits to develop this Survival Pak. As you’ll soon read, this kit is full of high quality items, but also has some great notes in the packaging that aims to better equip you for survival.
The fourth kit in our Pocket Sized Survival Kit series is the Ultralight Survival Kit by Lifeline. You may remember the low scores I gave the last kit by Lifeline, so you can understand my apprehension when I found out that this one was from the same company. But looks can be deceiving and I was willing to put this kit through its paces.
I like their tag line on the front of the packaging:
“A mixture of essential items to help you survive if lost or stranded in the outdoors.”
That’s the key thing to remember with all of these kits. A good kit should include some of the basics and have multiple uses for each item. There is no true ‘one size fits all’ kit, but most do contain a few truly essential items that, when paired with your creativity, can help you survive in an otherwise difficult situation. [Read More…]
The third kit in our pocket sized survival kit review series is the Weatherproof Survival Kit model 4434 by Lifeline.
This kit was interesting. When I stumbled across it, I found it odd that it was so inexpensive for being so full featured. Since it met our research criteria we went ahead and ordered it off of Amazon, but is it truly a pocket sized survival kit?
Some things may surprise you as we take an in-depth look into this kit.