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He Did It! AMK Employee Completes Epic Cross-Country Bike Ride

Thursday, November 24th, 2011

Vern at the ‘finish line’ in Pismo Beach, CA.

Wow, it seems like only yesterday that our Product Regulatory Manager, Vern Schrum, strapped on his cycling shoes and started peddling in pursuit of a life-long goal – to ride his bike coast to coast. Well, earlier this week he did it.

Ostensibly tracing the ACA’s Southern Tier Route, Vern set off in St. Augustine, FL, in late September and eventually completed his journey 3,382 miles and 61 days later in Pismo Beach, California, near where he grew up and where family and friends were eagerly waiting to congratulate him.

Vern embarked on the trip in part to raise awareness on and funds for cancer research (he had lost his own father to the disease at early age) and in part to complete a meaningful goal before hitting the big 5-0. It’s evident from reading his final post reflecting on his journey that the trip has had a major impact on him that will last far beyond this week:

My emotions when I started were of excitement, anticipation and I would be lying if I didn’t say some fear of the unknown. But if we didn’t attempt things we were afraid of we wouldn’t get to experience the excitement of life. I wouldn’t have seen the cotton fields of Alabama, the cliff dwellings of Texas, the pecan trees of New Mexico and many other amazing places our country has to offer. The thing, however, that I will never forget is the kindness and generosity of the people I met along the way. Strangers who would shake my hand and wish me luck or ask to say a prayer with me or invite me to stay at their home and have dinner with their family. The kindness I received was amazing. There are truly kind people in this world. If you have ever thought about traveling by bicycle and life provides you with the opportunity, take it. It will be the adventure of a lifetime.

Vern, your pursuit of your goal has been a huge inspiration to everyone at the company. Congratulations on achieving it!

Where it began – St. Augustine Beach, FL.

For a recap of and great images from Vern’s bike trip, check out his blog on crazyguyonabike. To donate to cancer research, visit Vern’s dedicated page on the American Cancer Society’s Family & Friends’ site.

AMK-Sponsored Team Tecnu Extreme Makes Strong Showing at Adventure Racing World Championships

Friday, November 18th, 2011

Team Tecnu at finish line of Adventure Racing World Champs Race

AMK is proud to announce that our favorite group of adventure athletes, Team Tecnu Extreme/Kailash (featuring AMK’s own Kyle Peter), battled the globe’s top-ranked athletes on the rugged terrain of Tasmania to clinch 12th place at the 2011 Adventure Racing World Championships.

This was no small feat considering the epic nature of Australia’s biggest expedition race and the team is still beaming with pride at their achievement – one that now ranks them as the top team in North America.

Team Tecnu competed against 80 other four-person teams from around the world. The ‘Tassie’ course, which consisted of 700 km of extremely challenging geography, took the team six days and 19 hours to complete.

“It was one of the most beautiful and diverse races of my life,” said team captain and lead navigator Kyle Peter.

For the Tassie World Champs race Peter assembled an international dream team made up of Brazilian and Tecnu veteran Marco Amselem, seasoned American adventure racer Ryan VanGorder and Canadian Liza Pye. The team battled sand dunes, freezing temperatures, aggressive white water rapids and knee-deep mud all while navigating their way to the finish line on Tasmania’s beautiful Northwest coast.

“We had a great race,” says Peter, “and it has only made us more excited for the upcoming 2012 season where we hope to keep on moving up the ranking board.”

Be sure to follow Tecnu Extreme Adventure Racing for the latest team news, including the upcoming announcement of their 2012 racing schedule.

Congratulations Team Tecnu!

 

 

Tender Employee Embarks on Ride of a Lifetime

Tuesday, September 27th, 2011
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Vern in Tender’s NH offices

Vern Schrum, Product Regulatory Manager for Adventure Medical Kits and our parent company Tender Corp., has begun the process of crossing off a major item on his Bucket List. The 49-year-old, who we all turn to whenever questions pertaining to the FDA, EPA and other important sounding acronyms come up, recently set out to ride his bike solo across the country.

Ostensibly following the Adventure Cycling Association’s (ACA) Southern Tier Route, but with some minor tweaks, Vern’s journey will take him from St. Augustine, FL, to San Diego, CA. He’ll then head north, connecting with the ACA’s Pacific Coast route, before finishing up in Arroyo Grande, CA. The once-in-a-lifetime trip will see him cross through seven states and cover more than 3200 miles. He expects to finish the ride in 75 days, which will include 10 off days. We spoke to him prior to leaving for Florida.

Q. So Vern, why the big trip now and can I have your cubicle till you get back?

A. Well, hitting 49 this year has prompted me to ‘you know what or get off the pot’! In April I decided if I don’t do it now I will always find an excuse not to do it.I am also dedicating this trip to my father, who passed away from cancer at a young age, and to all those whose lives were cut short by cancer and were unable to do that one thing they always wanted to do.

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Vern has packed plenty of AMK and Tender gear into his panniers, including the new as-yet-released breathable SOL Escape Bivvy, which he’ll be rigorously field testing throughout the journey.

Check back here for regular updates on Vern’s progress and on crazyguyonabike, where he’s also blogging. And if you feel the urge, donate to a Cancer Research charity.

Be Safe Vern. See you in December!

Team Tecnu Takes Top Spot at Gold Rush Mother Lode Adventure Race

Wednesday, September 14th, 2011

Big congrats to AMK’s own Kyle Peter and the other members of Team Tecnu Extreme Staphaseptic, who won the Gold Rush Mother Lode Expedition Race this past weekend.

AMK's Kyle Peter & Team Tecnu Crew at Finish Line of Gold Rush Mother Lode

AMK’s Kyle Peter (pictured second from left) & Team Tecnu at Finish Line of Gold Rush Mother Lode

The team, which AMK also sponsors and supplies various survival and first aid items to, finished the race more than four hours ahead of second place Dart-Nuun and Team Gearjunkie.com/YogaSlackers, which took third place. The four-day long event saw four-person co-ed teams attempt to cross a 275 mile (442.5km) course of rocky, challenging terrain in the Sierra Mountains of California.

Said Team Tecnu’s Kyle Peter, “Thank goodness for AMK’s Blister Medic, Ultralight/Watertight .7 and SOL Survival Blankets. Believe it or not you get hurt, develop lots of blisters and are really cold while traversing the Sierra Mountains in 3 days on 1.5 hours of sleep!”

Taking top spot in the race means Team Tecnu automatically qualifies as the only U.S. team that will participate in the upcoming World AR Championships, which kick off on Oct. 31st in Tasmania. Way to go Kyle!… Now back to work.

What’s the Best Medical Kit for Disaster Preparedness?

Thursday, February 10th, 2011

Q: I live in an Earthquake Zone, and I was wondering which medical kit would you advise for me if a quake hits and I need to help some people, as well as a kit I can keep in my home?

A: If you are planning on administering care to other victims, you will want a kit with enough contents to treat a large group and an organization system that is easy to use in an emergency. For this reason, I recommend ourMountain Series Comprehensive kit, which contains a wide range of wound care supplies for trauma scenarios like those encountered during an earthquake, as well as our Easy Care organization system that organizes contents in injury-specific pockets with quick-reference instruction cards. The Comprehensive makes a great home preparedness kit as well, since it contains a number of specialized medical instruments that are difficult to improvise and might be impossible to obtain during an extended disaster scenario.

What’s the Shelf Life of QuikClot?

Monday, January 31st, 2011

Q. What’s the shelf life of a Quickclot bag? Is there one? It’s entirely possible that I’ll never use it, or may use it within a few years – so I just want to make sure it’ll survive in the bag for a year or few years.

Thanks.

–Nick

A. Hey Nick,

An unopened package of QuikClot has a shelf life of three years. The only Storage No-No — don’t leave a pack of QuikClot in direct sunlight for an extended period of time. Other than that, QuikClot can be stored at  high or low temperatures (even below freezing). Please note: once the package has been opened, QuikClot loses sterility and should be used immediately.

Glad you have QuikClot, Nick. Here’s hoping you never have to use it!

Best,

AMK

AMK’s Kyle Peter Takes on 15 Peaks in Desolation Wilderness

Saturday, September 25th, 2010

Only 13 more peaks to go!

Kyle Peter, Adventure Medical Kits’ East Coast sales manager, adventure racing pro par excellence and all-round thrill seeking freak, is at it again. This weekend Kyle is attempting to scale 15 peaks in Desolation Wilderness, the wilderness area located along the crest of the Sierra Nevada mountain range.

Kyle and two friends, Dennis Wilkinson and Mats Jansson, kicked off their journey early this morning. The loop the three will be traveling covers 35 rugged miles and about 15,000 vertical feet. The 15 peaks they will be scaling range from 8,600 ft to 10,000 ft in elevation.

Kyle will be posting pics and updates throughout  the weekend here. You can also track the trio, who are well equipped with AMK gear, including  Ultralight .7 kits, Heatsheets Emergency Bivvies and QuikClot Sport, at TrackMe360.com.

Best of luck, Kyle!

AMK’s Kyle Peter Completes Western States 100

Friday, July 9th, 2010

Congratulations to AMK East Coast Sales Manager Kyle Peter, who recently competed in his first 100 mile race — the Western States 100. Known for its grueling terrain, the Western States 100 takes place in late June, in California, starting at the base of the Squaw Valley ski resort and finishing up at the Placer High School track in Auburn.

Kyle recuperating post race
Kyle recuperating post race

Over the course of the race runners climb 18,000 feet and descend a total of 23,000 feet on mountain trails before they cross the finish line. Runners finishing before the 30 hour time limit for the race receive a bronze belt buckle; those who finish in under 24 hours receive a silver belt buckle. Kyle, an accomplished adventure racer and member of Team Tecnu, snagged a bronze buckle, finishing in 169th place at a time of 26:35. Read below his account of the challenges he experienced during his first stab at an ultra marathon:

This was by far the highest quality event I have ever competed in, and that includes Ironman and Primal Quest. After the race, I definitely developed a new outlook on the pace of adventure racers – Adventure Racers, we are slow!

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AMK’s Kyle Peter and Team Tecnu Race in the Swamp Stomp!

Tuesday, February 16th, 2010

Below is a race recap from Kyle and Team Tecnu on the Swamp Stomp Adventure Race that took place over the weekend.  They completed the race and came in 3rd out of 28 teams (that is their third 3rd place finish in a row!). Up next…. the Endorphin Fix 2-day race in West Virginia in March.  Congratulation to Team Tecnu on another great race!

Team Tecnu

Team Tecnu

Swamp Stomp 2010
Team Tecnu Staphaseptic
Kyle Peter, Mari Chandler, Keith Bushaw, Leslie Reuter

The 2nd race of 2010 took team Tecnu to about one hour north of Tampa, FL to race in the Swamp Stomp.  Plotting the course Friday night near the banks of the Homosassa River proved that the race would live up to its name.  30 miles of  river-paddling in a maze of waterways cutting though the swamp and miles of  swamp travel ton foot and even bike (yes…I said bike) though thick wet swamp ooze!

Saturday morning we started with a 14 mile paddle on the Homosassa River Trail that we finished in around 4th place, but we transitioned quickly at the ‘Chaz’ Campground and headed out onto Bike #1 in first place. Biking mostly on paved roads we grabbed a few CP’s and cruised into the transition to Trek 1 holding our lead.

Paddling through the Fog

Paddling through the Fog

Trek 1 was a relatively straightforward rogaine in Withlacoochee State Forest.  After 5 hours of running we cleared the section.  Most points were 100-300 meters from a trail or road, but with no features in flat Florida, the team relied heavily on pace counts to get the CPs.

We took off on Bike # 2 still leading the pack, but with a local team hot on our heels.  We grabbed 3 CP’s or so on our way into the deep nasty swamp at the same the time the sun began to set.  The first point we went to in the swamp requited us to leave our bikes at the end of a trail and stomp through the swamp for 100 meters to find the flag.  It was cold, it was our first time moving in the swamp, and Leslie found a keeper spot that sucked her in deep.  Needless to say, we slowed a bit.  We started to bike back out the same trail we used to come in to the CP and saw the local FL team.  I estimated we had about 15 minutes on them.  We also saw Checkpoint Zero and some other teams on the out-and-back section.  Next up on our plan was a group of 4 CP’s that didn’t have a clear connecting route to get them all.  We tried to get them in a loop that appeared to be the most efficient according to the map.  But it turned out that trails in the swamp can easily be covered in 3 feet of water and near impossible to find.  We decided to bike an extra 15 kilometers on relatively fast trails to avoid a 750 meter swamp bushwack with our bikes over our shoulders.  Seemed like the safest smartest thing to do, but turns out the race directors designed the course so everybody had to carry there bikes through the swamp.  The marked trails on the map were really hunters’ bushwacking routes through the swamp than ride-able trails.  Long and short of it we were passed out there by the local team as well as Checkpoint Zero with all three of us getting all points on Bike 2.  We came into the start the Trek 2 30 minutes behind CP0 and 2 hours behind the local team.  Game over!  The intensity immediately dropped and my focus on the maps faded.  We pushed on adjusted our plan for the trek, got what points we could with Leslie navigating us through a 1 kilometer, pitch black, below freezing, thick swamp.

We returned to the TA to pick up our bikes to find out  Checkpoint Zero still in the TA but with 1 more CP than us (a point worth 2 points when most were worth only 1 point).  We also discovered that our bikes cassettes had frozen solid.  Hours of swamp biking, sandy road riding, and 28 degree temperatures are not the best conditions for bikes.  We put on our frozen solid bike shoes, and all of the clothes we had (none of it dry at this point) and set off on the final bike ride (Bike 3).  I have probably been heard saying a half dozen times or so, “This is the coldest I have ever been.”  I don’t think I said it this time because I was too cold to talk, but I truly believe this was the coldest I have been in my live.  All four of us had completely numb feet and hands.  At every CP, Keith would put his bare hands down his pants to warm his fingers, and Leslie would ride without her hands on the bars in order to put them up here shirt to keep them warm.

We pulled into the final TA and transitioned into our frozen solid paddling gear.  When I took my bike shoes off there was a layer of ice between my wet sock and my shoe.  I don’t think that has ever happened to me before.  Not to mention in FL?

We stated Paddle 2 early Sunday morning and preceded to get the mandatory CP’s  They were all located up channels that were feed by springs.  We usually had to wade the last few meters in 72 degree water from our boats up to the spring to reach the CP.  What a welcome change from the frozen socks and PFD we wearing!  Our final CP required one teammate to swim into a deep hole being fed by a spring. As the youngest on the team I won the chance to dive the 10 feet into the clear spring and get the CP!!  I was cold, but the finish line was only 200 meters away, and as a special treat we were greeted by a family of manetees swimming under our canoes as we left the spring.

Diving for the Checkpoint gold!

Diving for the Checkpoint gold!

CP Gold!

CP Gold!

Manatee

Manatee

The Swamp Stomp proved to be a very challenging race both physically and mentally.  Florida doesn’t have hills, but it sure has swamps!  All things considered we are happy with our third place finish, and impressed with Checkpoint Zero’s second place finish and the local teams win.  I won’t speak for the rest of the team, but I will be back.  I want another shot at those swamp ‘trails’ or lack-there-of.

AMK Donates to Earthquake Relief Effort in Haiti

Thursday, February 4th, 2010

To help support the earthquake relief efforts in Haiti, Adventure Medical Kits has donated thousands of medical supplies through the non-profit disaster relief organization AmeriCares.

AmeriCaresLogo
Items AMK sent include topical burn treatments, alcohol-free hand sanitizer, sterile gauze dressings and other materials used for cleaning and dressing wounds.

Following the aftermath of a major natural disaster, materials for treating and disinfecting wounds are typically in high demand for relief workers who are tending to the injured. With its logistical expertise in executing major relief programs, AmeriCares is ideally suited to deliver essential medical supplies to the people of Haiti.

Formed in 1982, AmeriCares is headquartered in Stamford, Connecticut, and maintains offices in India, Sri Lanka and El Salvador. Over its 28-year history, it has participated in multiple disaster relief efforts around the globe.

“It’s our sincere hope that our efforts with AmeriCares, along with the donations we continue to make through other aid  organizations, will in some measure help the Haitian people to weather the very tough days that they face ahead,” said AMK’s marketing director and co-founder Frank Meyer.

AMK sent medical supplies to AmeriCares in packs provided by The North Face.