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The Tower of Mordor

Tuesday, July 5th, 2016
Photo: Matthew Parent

All Photos: Matthew Parent

Adventure Medical Kits’ Adventurer Gareth Leah’s Pico Cão Grande Expedition

A dark tower of volcanic rock shrouded in clouds dominates the unearthly landscape. Formed millennia ago when high-pressure magma solidified inside the vent of an active volcano, its presence is foreboding. This is the peak of Cão Grande, a 370m volcanic plug situated deep in the jungle on the island of São Tomé in sub-Saharan Africa.

Prior to the expedition, I’d spent a year planning (mainly dreaming) of the day I would be able to visit this island whose landscapes resembled a scene from a Jurassic Park movie. It was a project I knew was ambitious on so many levels. Everything had to be carefully planned and arranged, as the island offers almost nothing in the way of purchasable goods or medical help. If something was to go wrong, we would be on our own.

Arriving on the island was a cultural eye opener. Stray dogs running wild through the busy streets, a seven-person family riding a single 125cc motorbike, a balancing act fit for a circus performance. Navigating the narrow roads that winded south from the capital we arrived at Agripalm plantation, the furthest point we could reach before being forced to continue on foot through the jungle. A 3km hike through thick jungle and we emerged at the base of the wall, greeted unknowingly by a 100m high roof that jutted out some 30m. There was no information on the peaks rock formation prior to arrival and standing at the base we gained a very real sense of the task at hand.

image003        image002         image004

We climbed in 14-hour shifts every day for 4 weeks and had only 1 attempt on each pitch to make it happen before we had to leave the island. In the end we established a new 15 pitch 455m line up the wall, which goes at F8b (5.13d). We named it Nubivagant (Wandering in the clouds).

When we at last stood atop the peak, we were blown away by the magnitude of the challenge and not just by the climbing! It had been wrought with difficulties, many of which had threatened to end the project from the start. Luggage problems, blown battery chargers, generator issues, snake bites, jungle logistics, currency exchange, sickness and stuck vehicles all looked that they would stop us in achieving our goal. However, with each new obstacle that stood in our path, we would find a solution, though none were what you would describe as “traditional”.

Having now completed the route and with time to reflect upon the island, the peak and the people we have encountered along the way. I am thankful in all that I have gained from the trip which amounts to a lot more than just a new route, but new friends, skills and an understanding of a life where people are masters of their environment.

About Gareth
Gareth Leah is a worldly adventurer, passionate writer, business developer and rock climber. Born and raised in UK, he discovered rock climbing and quickly became obsessed with adventure and the unique problem solving qualities it presented. Leah owns his own guiding company and is currently living in Mexico, where he is working to grow climbing as a community, culture and sport through development of new climbing areas, local communities projects, and industry education and awareness. He supports a number of causes that benefit climbers such as, the Access Fund and Climbers Against Cancer. See more at www.GazLeah.com.

Essential Gear for the Journey:
Bug Spray – Natrapel
This stuff works great. I like the non-Deet option and it smells great.

Ben’s Face Net-Great to have when the bugs were fierce.

Ben’s clothing spray – We sprayed the entire basecamp with it. Tents, clothes, sheets etc and it definitely worked at keeping the bugs at bay.

Adventure Medical Kits Comprehensive- This was amazing to have. There were a handful of cuts, small health issues such as diarrhea, fever, headaches, vomiting, all the good stuff you get from visiting a jungle that no ones really been too. I think the really good thing about this was the book. When people were becoming sick, i used it to help diagnose the problem and decide on a solution.

Adventure Medical Kits Ultralight Watertight .7– It is great to have in the backpack. It has all the essentials needed to deal with common problems. If you can’t fix your problem with this kit, you’re up a creek and need an EMT anyway.

Dental Kit – I never used it in the end, my fillings held out. However, I did use it on one of the locals who developed a MASSIVE abscess in his molar. The information in the pack gave again helped me diagnose and decide the best solution. Using some broad spectrum antibiotics and this kit I was able to clean the wound out, numb the pain and he is now perfectly back to normal. Huge success!

10 Essentials Every Hiker Should Carry

Monday, June 27th, 2016

Lost-Photographer-0540

Headed out on a hike or even a multi-day backpacking adventure? Make sure you plan ahead for emergencies. We’ve assembled a list of the key items you should make room for in your pack.

While it may seem silly to carry them on your short hike, you’ll be grateful for these aids when you might need them.

 

 

 

 

 

The Essential List:

The most important thing you can pack before any adventure is knowledge. Know your abilities, know the area you are traveling and know the weather.

Navigation:

A compass and map of the area you are exploring. If you pack a GPS, always bring along extra batteries or a map/compass as a backup. Not sure how to find your way. Consider a navigation course to learn the skills. REI.COM sells a variety of GPS units including this Garmin.

GPS
Sun Protection:

Up high in the mountains or in harsh desert sun, sunglasses and sunscreen keep your eyes and skin protected from the sun’s rays. A broad rimmed hat works wonders out on glaciated terrain. Try SOL Sunscreens, great for when you’re in the mountains or in the water.

SOL
Insulation:

It might be sunny at the start of your hike but temperature and weather can change in an instant. Be sure to pack an extra layer based upon the worst weather you might encounter. Bonus, bring along a light hat and gloves and you’ll save 20% of your body heat. Try Mountain Hardwear’s Whisper Jacket, it’s light and packs to the size of a baseball.

MH
Illumination:

Carry a headlamp. Repeat, Carry a headlamp! Even if you plan to end your hike by dark, delays can happen, darkness comes quickly and you’ll be able to continue on even in rugged terrain. The Petzl Tika is fit for the job.

Tikka
 

 

First Aid Kit:

Nothing ruins a hike faster than blisters, bee stings, scrapes and cuts. Bring along a first aid kit stocked with supplies you might need. Not sure how to treat ailments? Adventure Medical Kits’ products include pre-labeled pouches and a first aid manual with how-tos.

0125-0290 AMK Ultralight Watertight 9 RT copy
 

 

Fire:

And then Man or Woman had fire. Staying warm and dry is key in the event you get stranded out in the wilderness. Bring along fire cubes or a fire starter kit so you can light a fire easily.

0140-1230 SOL Fire Lite Kit STRT

Multi Tool:
A knife, multi tool and duct tape can be super handy for almost any need. Cutting, fixing and taping are a handy wilderness skill!

Food:
Make sure to carry at least an extra day’s worth of food. We like hearty bars and snacks that are lightweight and packed with fuel.s and map of the area you are exploring. If you pack a GPS, always bring along extra batteries or a map/compass as a backup. Not sure how to find your way. Consider a navigation course to learn the skills. REI.COM sells a variety of GPS units including this Garmin.

Water:
Carry a water bottle or reservoir. We don’t recommend drinking out of streams unless you have a filter or water purifier. Be sure to note water availability. Adults should have about 2 liters of water for a daylong hike. Stay hydrated by drinking water before you begin your hike, small amounts through the day and later refuel post-hike.

Shelter:

Day hikers are most likely to leave this off their list, but they shouldn’t. It could make a huge difference if you need to shelter someone who is hurt or find yourself in a downpour. Consider packing a light tarp, bivvy sack or emergency blanket.

0140-1138_SOL_Emergency_Bivvy_Laid_Out
Other items you may want to consider:

Insect repellent, Blister treatments, whistle and signaling device.

0006-6878-Natrapel-6oz-Eco-Spray-STRT

3 Useful & Life Saving Items You Should Take On Your Next Adventure

Tuesday, June 14th, 2016

Reflection of mountains and trees in water, Moor Lake, Yoho National Park, British Columbia, Canada

3 Insanely Useful & Life Saving Items You Should Take On Your Next Adventure

So you are heading out to explore the Allagash Wilderness of Maine, backpacking in the Sierras or mountain biking an old logging road. You’ve got the gear packed and the posse assembled, but have you thought about the fact that you’ll be 20 miles from a road? That means your crew will be depending upon each other in case something goes down.

Prepare for anything and get #AdventureEquipped. Channel your inner Scout with a few simple items that could make you the hero if you and your buddies are stranded out in the wilderness. Trust us, you’re friends will thank you for taking these along.

 

The Doctor is in

Accidents can happen. Carry a first aid kit and you’ll be ready for bee stings, punctured wounds, sprained ankles and a host of other emergencies. The Ultralight watertight .9 is an easy take- along filled with all the supplies you’ll need. It even comes with a handy first aid guide and is housed in a waterproof zip lock bag in case your canoe capsizes.

0125-0290 AMK Ultralight Watertight 9 RT copy

A $20 Box Could Save Your Life

Who ever said $20 doesn’t buy anything? Then they haven’t explored the immensely useful items inside the Survive Outdoors Longer Traverse survival kit. Packed into the small tin are essentials like water purification tablets and water storage container, fire starter with flint, emergency blanket and signaling mirror. The box covers the basics of water, shelter, fire and signaling. The Traverse is easy to slip in your bag and weighs about 6 ounces.

0140-1767_SOL_Traverse_STRT

A Knife with a Purpose

About the size of the palm of your hand, the Phoenix incorporates 8+ survival tools into a small pocketknife size multi-tool. The contents include a fixed, serrated and drop point bladed knife, 3-7mm wrench, flat head screwdriver, fire starter and flint striker, LED light and signaling whistle.

 

0140-0838_sol_phoenix_open_light

 

How NOT to Get Stranded Out in The Wilderness

North, South, East, West, you thought you knew where you were going but now you’re lost. Of course, knowing the terrain, watching the weather and knowing how to use your compass is key in the wilderness. Check out these links below to learn the skills, scout the terrain or get a read on the weather.

Learning Map & Compass Skills

http://www.adventuremedicalkits.com/blog/2009/04/navigation-basics-map-and-compass/

Learning Wilderness First Aid and Rescue:

NOLS http://www.nols.edu/wmi/courses/wildfirstaid.shtml

REI https://www.rei.com/outdoorschool/wilderness-medicine-classes.html

National Weather Service http://www.weather.gov/

 

 

“Seriously, You Guys Saved Our Lives”

Wednesday, February 27th, 2013

Read below climber Paul Warman’s first-person account on how Adventure Medical Kits’ Heatsheets Emergency Bivvy helped save his life and that of a friend, after the two had become stranded near the summit of British Columbia’s Bugaboo Spire.

Hello,

I would like to take a moment to give a heartfelt thanks to you guys. If it wasn’t for your HeatSheets Emergency Bivvy, we would not be here today.

Paul Warman on Bugaboo

Click image to view video of climber Paul Warman’s rescue near summit of Bugaboo Spire.

Long story short, in August 2008, myself and a friend were trapped on the top of Bugaboo Spire in a bad storm awaiting rescue for 56 hours. When pulled, we were hypothermic, out of food, water and hope. The silver emergency blanket we had taken along was shredded by the wind and we were forced to spend the final 20 hours on a super narrow ledge with your Heatsheets blanket “bag,” which we sliced to cover us both.  It was probably about the most intense field test one could subject a product to — high altitude, UV,  snow and rain, windy as hell, etc. I still have the tattered remains of the bag. It did the job where the others had failed miserably the first night. This thing kept going – providing a 20 degree increase in temperature, I’m guessing — and was enough to keep us alive.

As a climber who tends to be a bit on the cheap side, I had seen your bivvies at Mountain Equipment Co-op before the climb and thought that they were too expensive. I opted instead to buy a cheapo silver one – BIG MISTAKE.  Following my experience on Bugaboo Spire, I don’t even let friends go out without your Heatsheets Bivvy on trips. If they complain about the price, I calmly pose the question, “How much is your life worth?” and then slap a new one in their hands.  Because there is no doubt that the durability of the silver ones just doesn’t hold up.

In fact, I still have both blankets from the trip (or what’s left of them) and the silver ones look like a shredded sheet of clear polyester. Yours, although no longer really usable (crampon spikes don’t like anything soft), would still work in a bind.  The bright orange coating helped greatly in enabling the helicopters to locate us when the whiteout cleared for a few quick seconds, allowing for a quick extrication off of the mountain.  By “quick,” I mean there was only a four-minute window for the next bunch of days, which means if we hadn’t gotten off the ledge when we did we would not be here today.

My message to you fine folks is of genuine heartfelt thanks. Your Emergency Bivvy Works! Others just fail in comparison.

Sincerely,

Paul Warman,

Cochrane, Alberta

Outdoor Retailer Summer Market 2010 Round-up

Thursday, August 12th, 2010

Many of us at Adventure® Medical Kits just got back from another busy but great Outdoor Retailer Summer Market — the trade show for leading outdoor manufacturers and retailers, which takes place the first week of August in Salt Lake City, UT.  Prior to and during the show, AMK was recognized by OR’s organizers as one of its ’40+ Legacy Partners’. The initiative, which included special call-outs on OR’s website and signage on the convention floor, honored AMK as one of only 54 companies that has exhibited at Outdoor Retailer for at least 40 shows. Below is a summary of other highlights that occurred during OR:

 

SOL ORIGIN & CORE LITE MANIA!

Buyers and media alike couldn’t get enough of the company’s first ever line of Essential Tools, the SOL Origin and Core Lite. The Origin was prominently featured on the local Salt Lake ABC affiliate and Park City Television, among a plethora of other media outlets. Representing AMK’s first entry into hard goods, the Origin and Core Lite — which will also be the first products to be released under the newly minted SOL brand — offer a multitude of survival components that will save your bacon, if you’re lost, hurt or stranded in the outdoors. Among other items, both the Origin and the Core Lite come with a fully featured knife — a folding AUS-8 locking blade with easy-grip handle that includes a built-in LED light and single-frequency, pea-less whistle. Both products will hit store shelves later this year — just in time for the holiday rush!

AMK ATHLETES IN THE BOOTH

Plenty of AMK’s athletes and other industry notables stopped by the booth, including International Mountain Guides‘ partners Eric Simonson and George Dunn. George recently became the first person to ever summit Mt. Rainier 500 times. An amazing milestone. Congratulations George! Only 500 more till you reach 1000, right?  Women’s World Mountain Bike Champ Rebecca Rusch also hung out in the booth. Rebecca was preparing to compete in the Leadville 100, which is coming up this weekend. Rebecca won the event in ’09 and is gunning for the two-pete this year. Best of luck, Rebecca!

Rebecca Rusch hanging out in the AMK booth

Throughout the show, AMK was also helping to raise money for Epicocity’s Elephant Ivory Project, which aims to end the practice of elephant poaching in Africa. National Geographic Channel’s Young Explorer grant winner Trip Jennings and the Epicocity Crew are currently raising funds for a forensic biology expedition to the remote jungle of the Democratic Republic of Congo this fall, with the goal of saving wild elephants from the illegal ivory trade. You can help the cause directly, by donating money to the project here.

During the OR show, AMK also donated DEET-free Natrapel® 8 hour insect repellent and Ultralight/Watertight medical kits to the Four Corners School of Outdoor Education (FCS), a Monticello, Utah-based non-profit organization that provides outdoor education on and about the Colorado Plateau located in parts of Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico, and Utah. According to executive director and founder Janet Ross, the Natrapel® 8 hour was sure to be an indispensable item for the trip the FCS was organizing for a group of outdoor industry leaders to the Canyonlands and Arches National Park, following the conclusion of OR. To learn more about the great work the FCS does, go here.

It’s hard to believe it already came and went, but it was another amazing Summer OR show for Adventure® Medical Kits. Now the real work begins, getting the new products onto retailers’ shelves – oh yeah, and preparing for Winter OR 2011. It’s, like, only six months away!

Ask the Doc Mailbag Round-Up

Friday, July 2nd, 2010

Here are some questions that people reading our blog have submitted recently…

Q: How do I verify the expiration date on your oral rehydration salts?

A: The manufacturer of the oral rehydration salts we use does not include and expiration date on the package, as rehydration salts aren’t classified as a drug by the FDA.  Because this product is fairly inert (unlike a pharmaceutical), I wouldn’t have a problem stocking a packet that was a few years old in one of my own kits.  However, if you are concerned that your product is too old to be used safely, you can contact our customer service department and arrange a replacement.

Q: What are the differences between the SOL Thermal Bivvy and the Heatsheets Emergency Bivvy?

A: The Heatsheets bivvy is made of a single layer of metalized polyethylene, making it very lightweight.  It is a true emergency product in that, while being easy to repair and resistant to tearing, it won’t stand up to repeated heavy use.  Also, because the material doesn’t breathe, you will have condensation when you’re inside it, making your clothing wet.

The SOL Thermal Bivvy is made from a much more durable 2-ply non-woven fabric material with a metalized coating.  It will work as a primary sleep system in temperatures down to 50 degrees or provide about 15 degrees of extra insulation when used over a standard sleeping bag.  In emergency situations, this bivvy is much more comfortable to occupy, since you can use the Velcro side opening to regulate heat and moisture inside the bivvy.  Of course, the trade off with the Heatsheets bivvy is that the SOL Thermal Bivvy is bigger and weighs about 4.5 more ounces.

Q: Does your space blanket hold cold in and protect from the heat outside. I want to cover dry ice and boxes of bottles. If it can cool a little that would be better than nothing at all.

A: The Heatsheets blanket will help keep cold from escaping, although it is hard to quantify by how much.  The studies done on this material focus on heat reflectivity, although the same principle is used to make metalized heat shades like reflective cooler interiors or automobile sun shades.  If you do try it, I’d be interested to know how well it works.

Q: I have just ordered and received the Trauma Pak with QuickClot from LA Police Gear (excellent company).

I consider myself a fairly well prepared individual (various Red Cross First Aid, WMS Wilderness First Aid Course, CPR, AED, etc.) and intend to keep this small trauma pak kit in my shooting/range bag, along with other general first aid supplies (my heavily modified AMK Day Tripper – actually, it’s mostly just the bag any more with so many various add-on kits and items).  Fortunately, I live in Dallas and have excellent access to high quality emergency medical aid – but certainly would not want to just stand there for 5 to 7 minutes until EMTs arrive for a problem.  I intend to keep the kit sealed in the original package and watch the expiration date.  What I am writing about is the instruction sheet – was hoping that more information was on the exterior of the package or available on your web-site (if there I couldn’t find it).  Just don’t want the first time reading any specific, particularly new information to be during an actual emergency.

Is it possible to get a copy of the instruction sheet by e-mail or on-line?

A: You make a good point about not waiting until an emergency to read key medical information.  I will post a copy of the instructions on our company blog, located at www.adventuremedicalkits.com/blog.

Q: Going to Botswana in June 2010.  Should I use DEET repellant or not?  I don’t know the pros and cons.

A: There has been quite a lot of research done concerning the safety of DEET – much more than can fit in this email.  To break down the basic issues: DEET is an extremely effective insect repellent, and it has been on the market for half a century with very little (if any) known toxic effects.  That being said, some have argued that DEET may have adverse health or neurotoxic effects.  The EPA, which regulates insect repellents and insecticides, has evaluated the merits of these controversial studies and concluded that DEET is still safe for human use, with 30% concentrations such as Ben’s 30 Wilderness formula being safe for use on children above two months of age.  One other potential downside of DEET is that it can melt synthetic fibers and plastic, such as Gore-tex jackets, fishing line, or nylon clothing.

If you are concerned about DEET, I highly recommend using Natrapel 8-hour, which is made using a 20% concentration of the ingredient Picaridin.  Picaridin has been widely used in Europe for around 20 years and has made its way into the US market over the last few years.  It is just as effective as DEET and will not affect plastics, so many people prefer it to DEET for that reason alone.

Personally, if I am on a backpacking trip in high infestation areas, I use Ben’s Max 100% DEET because it has always worked for me, and that’s what I trust, although some of my coworkers swear by Natrapel 8-hour.  As long as you’re using a CDC-recommended ingredient (such as DEET or Picaridin) and following the label instructions so that you’re applying it often enough, you should be able to keep insects at bay.

Q: We purchased the Suture/Syringe Kit from Adventure Medical Kits but were disappointed not to have instructions for use. Can you recommend a book(s) for those who might need to deal with the contents in an emergency?

A: Because this kit is designed to be purchased and used by professionals only, we don’t include instructions in it. Suturing wounds, administering injections and IV’s, and performing field surgery are not practices that are advisable for a novice to perform – these types of procedures require professional instruction with hands-on demonstrations and significant field experience. In a case where surgery or suturing is indicated, it is best to stabilize the patient as much as possible and either evacuate the patient so medical care can be obtained or await wilderness rescue. If you are traveling in an area where sterile supplies may not be available at a local hospital, this kit (or the smaller Suture/Syringe Medic) can be given directly to the medical practitioner to ensure the use of safe equipment.

Q: I have a Thermo-Lite 2.0 Bivvy and it is a bit stinky.  Can I put it through the laundry?  How do you recommend it be cleaned?

A: I wouldn’t recommend machine-washing a Thermo-lite 2.0 Bivvy (now renamed the SOL Thermal Bivvy).  To clean it, wash it by hand using warm water and mild soap, and hang it to dry.  Open the velco side-vents as far as they go to aid in drying.

Q:  Could you tell me yourself or direct me to a site that would explain the usual procedure to treat a deep open wound, especially using the products of AMK.  Recently I had an episode where I cut my finger with a chain saw and luckily I had some quickclot at home which stopped the bleeding quickly until I could get to the hospital. I was by myself and had to drive myself to an emerg. clinic nearby. They simply deadened the finger with a shot(wow!), soaked it in a Betadine solution and stitched it with 6 stiches. Then wrapped it in a splint and gauze.

But what would I do if something like this happened out on a hike or wilderness trip? Could this be handled with substitute or similar medical products and medicine?

A: As you found out, stopping the bleeding is the most important step to take when confronted with a laceration, so it’s good to have a pack of QuikClot on hand at home and in your pack if you’re in the wilderness.  Once bleeding is under control, the best way to clean and close a wound is to irrigate it (preferably using an irrigation syringe) to clear out debris and then to hold the edges closed with wound closure strips (or butterfly bandages).  This technique is explained in detail in Dr. Weiss’s Comprehensive Guide to Wilderness Medicine, and you can see an improvisational technique, should you find yourself without the requisite supplies here: http://www.adventuremedicalkits.com/blog/2008/07/dr-weiss-advice-wound-irrigation-technique/

Most of our most popular kits contain an irrigation syringe and wound closure strips, including the Ultralight / Watertight .9, Weekender, and Hunter.  If you already have a medical kit and just need wound closure supplies, we also offer the Wound Closure Medic, which you can find here: http://www.adventuremedicalkits.com/product.php?product=95&catname=Wound%20Care%20%20/%20Burn&prodname=Wound%20Closure%20Medic.

We Don’t Make This Stuff Up….

Thursday, October 29th, 2009

Question:

I really love the products you present. There are many to choose from regarding first aid. That is my problem. I am a hunter and fisherman in the state of Alabama and have never strayed from this state in for my hobbies. I know Alabama is not Africa in terms of large carnivores, but I have had some scraps with a wild hog (hawg, in Alabama), and once was pinned by several coyotes. The hog I killed bare handed, not unscathed mind you, and the coyotes I fought off with a homemade spear i fashioned out of my hunting knife and a long branch while in a pine tree. That stuff was funny then after it was over, but now that I am a father I am thinking differently.

I would like your recommendations for my needs on a medical/survival kit. What I want is three kits. One for each of my two vehicles and one major pack for my home that can be grabbed in case of an emergency like a tornado, etc. I have looked at all your products, but I am still at a loss as to which one would outfit me the best. The most diverse a group with me would be is 3 male adults, two female adults, one male child, and 2 female children. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

Jeremy Smith

Answer:

Dear Jeremy,

Many of us only dream of the adventures you have. Maybe nightmare would be a better word for some of us.

I recommend the Sportsman Hunter or Outfitter Medical Kit for your two vehicles. Both of those kits have a detachable inner bag (kit) you can take with you in the field while leaving the larger kit in the truck.  I would add the QuikClot 25gram Sport to each of those kits.  This is a blood stopping dressing that works fast. I imagine a hawg or pack of coyotes could take quite a chunk out of your leg.

It sounds like you would be a great candidate for the Pocket Survival Pak. Keep this on you at all times. You could work your way out of any jam with it.

For your home I would recommend the Mountain Series Fundamentals or the Sportsman Outfitter kit. All of the kits I have recommended are ideal for either remote areas or when you are cut off from medical care by a natural disaster.

Please keep us posted on any exciting new adventures.

Be Safe,

Frank Meyer, Co-Founder/Marketing Director

Have a question for us? Ask our Experts!

Surviving a January Night in Point Reyes Using My Pocket Survival Pak

Wednesday, August 26th, 2009

Dear AMK,

I am happy to report that your survival kit helped me to survive an unplanned night in Point Reyes this past January. A friend and I went hiking around Abbott’s Lagoon. At the end of the trail, we walked along the beach. It was an overcast, cold day and we didn’t realize how late it was and so it was almost sunset when we headed back towards the trail. It seemed simple enough to follow the beach along until we saw the trail that went around the lagoon. But we got completely disoriented and were not sure where to pick up the trail. We tried to follow close to the lagoon to pick up the trail but this didn’t work (In the morning we realized that had walked to a much further end of the lagoon.) We were lost. And it was already cold.

Before we left for the hike, I returned to my car to get my hat. When I went back I noticed my Survival Kit, which I usually leave in the car. I bought it after I read about the Kim family who had been trapped in the wilderness, in their car, which scared the heck out of me. I took the kit along with me as an after thought. Afterall, it was only a 4 mile hike and it was on a well marked trail in Point Reyes. I rarely bring the survival gear with me for such a short adventure.

Well, we spend thirteen hours there in the darkness as it was January. It got down to the low 20s. We were right near the ocean so we didn’t have a lot of coverage. Luckily we found a little area that was mostly protected from the harsh wind that was blowing. It took us a long time but we were able to build a fire with your kit and keep it going all that time. It’s amazing how much wood it takes to keep a fire going that long.

The sky was cloudy and at one point it started to drizzle. But that only lasted a little bit. Very early in the morning, the clouds passed and we could see the star filled sky. I’ve never felt such relief! In the morning, we were able to find our way back to the trail. We weren’t that far from it, but who knows what would have happened if we had kept wandering around the night before.

Bringing the kit was a last minute decision. I don’t know what instinct made me do that or what angel was looking out for me, but I am so thankful that I took it. I know that hypothermia in windy, cold weather can set in quickly. And there is no more vulnerable feeling than being disoriented in the wilderness at night. I am thankful that we were able to stay put for the long night and set out in the morning. The tools in your kit helped save our lives. So thank you.

Also, it says that if we use this kit, we’re eligible for a replacement. We used most of the tinder, pencil, duct tape. I’d love to get a replacement!

Thanks for the life-saving kit!

Sincerely,
Tara, Oakland Ca.

AMK Response:

Tara- Thanks for passing this story along to us.  We love to hear that our kits are helping people enjoy the outdoors safely, and it’s great that you were able to stay warm during a very challenging situation.  We’re based in Oakland and familiar with the Pt Reyes area (and its winds), so you impressed everyone in the office by being able to get a fire going in that environment.

I’ll put a package of some replacement supplies together and send it your way.

Thanks again! The Team at AMK

Product Testimonial – Heatsheets and Thermo-Lite Bivvy

Wednesday, July 29th, 2009

Here is a recent testimonial that we received from Travis Macy – a Professional Multisport Athlete, racing for Team Salomon/Crested Butte.

Let us know if you have a similar story to share!

“Two years ago, amidst a hailstorm in the middle of the night, I hunkered down and pulled out my space blanket, only to be showered with little metallic shardes that had once been part of the useless clear sheet I held in my hand. Needless to say, that was a miserable night!

Since then, I have been an avid user of the Thermolite 2.0 Bivvy and Emergency Bivvy from Adventure Medical Kits. Whether I’m competing in expedition-length adventure races like Primal Quest or the Adventure Racing World Championship or just out for some training or backpacking, these items are crucial in my gear kit.

Combine one of these bivvies with your choice medical kit from AMK, and you’re good to go. I slept in a single Thermolite 2.0 Bivvy every night at Primal Quest Montana, and the warm sleep provided was paramount in pacing our team to a podium finish.

I highly recommend these products to anyone looking for a high quality emergency or planned-sleep option–and to all of us who have experienced the disheartening shower of metallic shards at 2:00 a.m.!

Travis Macy
Professional Multisport Athlete, Team Salomon/Crested Butte

Share your AMK story or send us feedback!

What’s in Your Survival Pack?

Friday, April 17th, 2009

Comment:

I took an Ultralite .5 First Aid kit and added these Adventure Medical Kit items: 1 person HeatSheets Blanket, Signal mirror, Firestarter, & Whistle.

It is compact, fits easily in a pocket and weighs about 7 oz. Plus it looks cool!

My two cents. Kurt

Response:

Thanks for the comment Kurt! Our Product Development team loves to hear feedback from our customers about how they use our products.  Keep the ideas coming….

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