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Die Living. What does that mean to you? You see our guys jumping off mountains with wing suits, fighting in armed conflicts, hunting the unspoiled corners of the world, and generally being larger than life. But, what if none of those things interest you? What if your life feels smaller than you want, but you don't think it should be a pursuit of quiet desperation? We all have different limits and desires, our message is that you should find the ragged edge of those desires and push the limit.
A discussion in the SOFLETE Team Room got me thinking about all the stupid things I’ve done that could have shortened my stay on this earth. Sometimes those things were necessary or at least unavoidable. The extremities of combat or the exigencies of professions like emergency services place practitioners in situations that demand an acceptance of risk. But a lot of times my narrow escapes were the results of being under-planned, under-trained, or under-aware.
When heading out into nature for any extended period, nutrition is the most important element of preparation. We can belabor over what type of weapon to bring if we’re hunting, what kind of gear to pack given the weather and environs, and what cool new toys and gadgets to include in our pack.
Roughly the size of a domestic house cat, the African giant pouch rat has far superior olfactory receptors, making them ideal for sniffing out buried land mines and TNT. A few factors come into play when working with the rats: mainly that their training starts when they are pups.
The most key element to any extended time spent in the wild is a sensible pack out. Seeing as it’ll be carrying everything that’ll help you survive and that you’ll be carrying it every mile of your trip, a decent inventory needs to be both sufficiently stocked and light enough to not make your trip hell.
You don’t always need to head to the middle of nowhere to get your climbing fix in. In fact, plenty of cities are beginning to feature some of their natural crags and ledges for climbers to enjoy without breaking the bank on a weekend climbing adventure.
Whether whitewater rafting, jumping out of a perfectly good airplane (or off of a perfectly good bridge), climbing up mountain faces or simply spending a solitary week in the rough, people like us tend to need a bit more from our trips.
When I was a senior in high school I was dead set on joining the army and heading to basic training as soon as possible after graduation. My Dad, a retired 1SG who joined during Vietnam to see the world told me "the army will be there, take your summer and backpack around Europe. You may never get the chance to again". He told my brother the same thing. Neither of us listened.
Early last spring I began talking to a couple buddies about planning a backcountry fishing trip in MT or WY. After some late nights tying flies and having a few drinks, we made phone calls to some contacts and settled on the Winds in Wyoming.
One phone call in particular stood out with the question “Are the guys in your group tough?” and the answer “Ahh, yeah we think so”.
That was all we needed to hear, the route was planned.
Emei Shan is the site of the first Buddhist temple built in China during the 1st Century CE, and still regarded as one of the country’s holiest sites today. While many of the mountain’s original temples have been lost to fires or other unfortunate ends, about thirty of them still dot the mountainside and can be visited on a two-day hike to the top.
Last time the SOFLETE HQ Crew was in Ouagadougou,there was a coup (say that ten times fast). Looks like things were a little hot there yesterday as well. When you're traveling in the developing world, make sure that your hotel is setup with some degree of security and ask for an internal room off the street if possible. And remember, It's always a good idea to stay alert.
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