Preparation for a trip, or away games as I call them, is key. When the coach puts you in the big game and you’ve been sitting on the bench playing Poverty’s Paradise instead of warming up, you’re just not down with Or Properly Prepared. Taking preparation seriously is the only sure way to face Nature’s Fury on equal footing. So do what I do and make good prep your Uptown Anthem. Catch the Six (6) references to Naughty By Nature in this paragraph, including the title? Well Hip Hop Hooray for you.
- Pack Right.
You all probably saw this photo on my social media. A nice neat assembly of my gear needed for the Winter Warfare Training I’m about to embark on. Truth is, I’m still not packed right. I have two pet peeves, not packing something I needed for a trip and packing to much. When on the mountain, trail, glacier or whatever, a massive heavy pack is a major burden. Every ounce counts when you want to go the extra mile or reach the highest peak and you’re gonna need all the energy you can muster. Pack what you think you need, then cut it down by at least 1/4. This neat assembly you see above was after three combinations of gear sets till I got it the way I liked. Weight distribution, proper storage and waterproofing all come into play. So practice till you get it right. Go on smaller trips before your big game and test what combinations are gonna work for you.
2. Practice. Practice. Practice.
Tailor your workouts so they match with what you could be faced with. Go outside and face similar elements (if possible). Go on smaller trips and carry more weight than normal. Talking about doing something is one thing, getting out there and getting some training time in is another ballgame. I’ve meticulously planned trips down to the last inch, but I have no problem scrapping plans after I’ve had some practical experiences in that suggest a change. The latest away game I’m invested in calls for snowmobile traversing long distances, snowshoeing, cross country skiing as well as survival tactics in an Arctic environment. So how did we prepare? We went outside. We climbed high in winter and exposed ourselves to extreme temps to test out our gear. We snowshoed. We went snowmobiling. We ran in the early morning with minimal clothing to get our lungs used to the cold. We tailored our workouts based on carrying logs and swinging an axe. We upped our diets to increase our fat content (this part was the easiest). We practiced, and now I believe we are better for it.
3. Extend your Knowledge base.
I know a lot about the outdoors. I can start fires from scratch, make a shelter and find my way by using the night sky. I still read up on new techniques. I read blog posts from people who recently came from the area I’ll be heading. I read the history of the area. I’m heading to Venezuela in May and already know more about that third world shithole than I do most countries I’ve lived in. So do your research. Do your best to memorize landmarks on local maps. Know the terrain better than the locals. Know what kind of weather you’ll be facing. Where the water sources are. What the food will be like. Research anything and everything. It could mean the difference when the shit hits the fan and your plans get thrown away. Stay flexible, frosty, and follow these steps for success.