Leatherman MUT

I get it, you like the idea of buying the Leatherman Military Utility Tool (MUT) that is specifically designed for the M16/AR15 platform, you like the idea that it was designed by some SFCs from the Army Marksmanship Unit at Ft Benning, and that it was field tested in Iraq and Afghanistan for two years before its release… but it sells for about $160USD. You would rather get something else like some fancy mag pouches with kydex inserts, or a new daypack because even though you already have two, you’ve realized that when you’re wearing them it looks like you’re about to kick a door and that you probably need a regular looking day pack. Trust me, I get it. Picture this though, you’ve pulled up to the range to zero the new laser or optic you got in the mail and you realize that you’re drawing a lot of attention because you’re a geardo and your rifle looks like you might have stolen it out of Garand Thumb’s Pelican case when he wasn’t looking. You step to the line, load a mag, chamber a round, flip the safety, fire a group as tight as possible and surprise surprise, you need to make an adjustment. Now you’re the guy with the expensive mag pouches trying to figure out if a dime will fit in the adjustment screws. 

Triple Aught Design Fall Film Festival

This season Triple Aught Design is hosting a film festival and is showcasing some outstanding videos from all over the world of their fans sharing their passions. I put together a short film with the team of some caving and rappelling and am honoured to have been approved for their festival. Please click the link to see my submission, my second submission, and if you like it please vote! If you want to be the first to know about new videos the best way is to follow me on Facebook or on Instagram.

Video and editing by: Jeremy Meuris

Salomon XA Pro 3D Trail Runners

It all started with a post I saw on Mark Owen’s (@markowenseal) Instagram feed. Nothing even over the top really, just a bunch of dudes, wearing Salomon XA Pro 3D shoes with Multicam pants. At the time, I was in the market for some new trail shoes so obviously, this piqued my attention. When a former member of DEVGRU posts a photo like this and says “ Best mid weight shoes ever”, I knew I had to check them out. I don’t imagine Mr. Owen was paid by Salomon to endorse their shoe, but considering at least his demographic, they couldn’t have asked for a better endorsement.

Beyond Clothing - PCU Level 5 Glacier Shock Softshell Jacket and Pants

After a lot of digging around, I finally managed to pick up all the pieces of the Protective Combat Uniform (PCU) system. Since its inception in 2002, there have been many progressions in outerwear technology that have inevitably made PCU inferior in some ways, but in my opinion as a total system, it is still at the top of the heap. Speaking specifically about the level 5, the most versatile level in the system, the use of Epic fabric made by Nextec does a great job of blocking the wind, but at the same time, it doesn’t trap moisture produced by your body within your clothing system. When you consider those benefits and then look at how thin and tough the material is, Epic is hard to beat. Because the jacket allows for moisture to escape, I’m able to stay more comfortable during high-intensity activities in the cold rather than if I were to use a Goretex which acts as a vapour barrier. After three years and two Glacier Shocks later, I think it’s a good time to write the full review of Beyond Clothing’s level 5 system.

Millbrook Tactical HQ

On the last day of August, I was lucky enough to attend the Millbrook HQ grand opening just a few kilometres away from their old location on Iber Road in Ottawa. All the elements you know from the old location have been brought to their new home at 129 Willowlea Road. The difference now is that Millbrook is in their own detached building, and for the public, the showroom has been upgraded stylishly with a tasteful combination of modern displays and reclaimed barn wood. It would seem that with every year that passes, Millbrook Tactical grows more prosperous. The question, of course is, what is the key to their success?

An open letter to Jason McCarthy of GORUCK

Open discussion for all about the GORUCK Challenge, which is nearing 6 years young and remains our flagship event:

How are we/Cadre doing in line with our goal of Building Better Americans? If you have any feedback on anything at all (events themselves, operations, how we can better help you get your friends to show up), please post below. Good idea, Bad idea, Positive feedback, Negative feedback. Have at it. Even Wednesday whatever drama, just don't get out of hand :)

The worst thing you can answer with is silence.

Thank you all for growing this badass community tens of thousands strong all over the country and the world.
Jason McCarthy

Backpacking List - Working towards ultralight

A new year brings new gear! I remember when I first started to buy camping gear, my goal was to see if I could get everything to fit into one bag. I had a large ALICE pack that was modded to fit more than the regular 50L capacity, but it wasn’t large enough to accommodate my hand-me-down synthetic sleeping bag and much of anything else. As the years when by, I did my research, talked to people with more experience, and over time I picked up items that were smaller and lighter. 

Below is a list and a video of where I’m at for the 2016 summer season. I still have some improvements to make, and if you have any suggestions or comments, please share below or on YouTube. I’d love to know what you think! Do take note though that I haven’t included my food, water or clothing. I’ll be doing another video to cover those items. 

Arc'teryx LEAF Atom LT - Review

Many years ago I learned a valuable lesson about purchasing gear from a waitress. I was out to celebrate an anniversary with my wife at a restaurant called the Lobster Trap. My wife ordered the lobster bisque and I ordered the clam chowder. I was surprised when the waitress stopped me and said, “No, you don’t want the chowder, you want the lobster bisque”. I had my heart set on the chowder, brushed off the recommendation, and was surprised with how forward our server was. Curiosity got the better of me after a few sips of the chowder though and I asked for a spoon of my wife’s soup. When the waitress came back to bring us our drinks, I ordered myself a bowl of lobster bisque. 

Camping Checklist - Prep and Packing (late summer/early fall)

When I first started getting into camping the hardest thing to do was to fit everything into one backpack. The source of my problems, I came to realize, stemmed from two problems. First, the vast majority of my gear was entry level with almost no consideration for packability and weight. Second, and this is what’s probably most important, is that I was bringing too much crap. The more I spend time in the woods, the more I realize, you don’t actually need very much! Something that holds true for me especially is that the more I bring in, the more likely I am to lose a piece of gear. 

GORUCK Selection Kit List with Stony Smith 014

The first time I met Stony was during my first Challenge, Class 524 in Toronto. I had read on another blog that he had done the Challenge the year before, and I saw the video he made of the creation of our team weight. This guy was dedicated. During the event he was quiet, except for when someone needed help. He was always willing to assist the team by carrying someone’s ruck or to lend a hand. I imagined he knew what we had in store, but instead of spoiling the surprise, he just let us experience the Challenge fresh.

Fast forward a few years, he’s still the same friendly guy. He still comes out to Challenges (Class 659 video, Class 1571 video), and works with people to help them through the events. Except now he has a glorious face forest, and his muscles are a bit bigger. When I asked him if he would mind doing a segment with me about his gear, he didn’t bat an eye. Always willing to share, and always down for telling a good story. We need more guys like Stony. Damn Skippy!

*Note - There will be another video coming out Saturday morning that will outline some of his ruck and boot modifications and what he wore during the challenge. Follow my page on Facebook, and you'll know exactly when it comes out.