Friday, June 25, 2021

Taking the GHB for a Walk

Not actually Erin.
& is used with permission.

Wednesday night I was gifted with a surprise bit of energy (perhaps as a result of eating too much ice cream after dinner) and developed an odd craving to go for a walk around the neighborhood. Normally I hate exercise, this seemed like a welcome way to burn off calories before bed, and to my surprise it was neither overly hot nor humid despite being Florida in midsummer.

Not being one to pass up an opportunity, I decided to see if the rebalancing of my Get Home Bag had worked, so I loaded up and walked around my neighborhood. We have two main streets off which many cul-de-sacs branch, and one street is straight and the other curved, which forms a capital D in shape. This makes a handy 1.1 mile loop for walking because it's a fixed distance, requires no turn-arounds, and I end up where I started. 

There's really not a lot to say about the walk itself, other than the fact that I completed it with no pain. This is remarkable when you remember that for the past few years I have complained about back pain and received a diagnosis of arthritis in my lower back. 

This good news tells me some important information:
  1. Either my back is getting better from the treatment it gets and exercises I do for it, or I have successfully configured my GHB so that it doesn't put strain on my back, or both;
  2. I am not carrying too much weight in my GHB;
  3. I can walk at my normal rate with it on. 
Points 2 and 3 are of critical importance when it comes to a GHB, as the entire point of having one is to Get Home with it, and if it's so heavy as to cause you pain or to slow you down then it's worthless. 

I will confess to being quite surprised at #2, as I have a noted tendency to overpack. One of my favorite sayings is "I can always lighten a pack by removing items, but I can't conjure gear out of thin air" and so I expected it to be too heavy. 

My GHB with chest rig on top. 

In regards to point #1, I suspect that the answer is either "I successfully configured it" or "both" as I still have chronic aches whenever I have to do a lot of lifting, such as bringing in groceries. I think the two biggest factors inherent in my successful rebalancing are using a chest rig to reduce backpack weight and adding a battle belt to my GHB so that much of the weight is born on my hips instead of my shoulders and spine. 

I realize a lot of this information isn't meaningful without pictures. Now that I'm confident I have the configuration squared away, I can begin taking pictures of my bag and the modifications I have made. 

Test your preps, folks, even if it's as simple as taking your BOB or GHB on a walk. If there's a problem you'll want to know about it now, when you can fix it, rather than in an emergency when you can't. If there isn't a problem, you'll get some good exercise and  peace of mind knowing that everything is in good order and works as it should. 

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