Category Archives: Uncategorized

E-Neighborly.com…

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If they can have websites to help find dates, then why not neighbors?

This is Greg with a tranquilized grizzly. He is a good friend of mine, a member of my SAR team, an uncle to my son, and a hard worker. Unfortunately for me, he just got a job as a wildlife ranger based out of Gatlinburg, so he can’t be my neighbor. I figure I can try to get him settled as close to me as I can though.

So, if you have any of the following opportunities:

  • Caretaker at your seasonal home
  • Room rental
  • Small home or cabin rental
  • Land you are willing to let him put a tiny home on
  • Land you are willing to parcel out for sale
  • A small home or cabin for sale

And it is within 45 minutes of Gatlinburg, preferably on the Townsend side.

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Shoot me an email at bigpigoutdoors@gmail.com – Put “Greg” in the subject line.

So here is Greg’s neighbor profile:

5’10 – 200 pounds. He can cook and keeps a clean house

A former UT football player, he can move really heavy stuff if you need help.

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A seasoned Search & Rescue pro that can help save your life if needed…

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With a Masters in Exercise Physiology, he can get you in shape, give you nutrition advice, or anything else along those lines. He is a fast learner, getting handier by the day, and a great conversationalist.

Trained to deal with bears, wild hogs, and a host of other wildlife, he is skilled with firearms and has the versatile skills that come with working in remote areas. He has also cleared federal background and drug testing requirements.

Once upon a time, you counted on your neighbors. They were your helpers, your lifeline to the community, your protectors, and your friends. In our disjointed world, they are not valued as much nowadays, but if you are looking for a good one, then here is your chance.

Please push this out on your social media if you have friends in that area.

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Experienced Framers Wanted…

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Want to trade your skills for a Survival, Tracking, Land Navigation, or Foraging class?

Two of my main guys have stuff going on this week, so I could use the help Wednesday, Thursday, and/or Friday this week and possibly Monday and/or Tuesday of next.

Email me at bigpigoutdoors@gmail.com and we can figure out a plan. Location is in the Deals Gap area of North Carolina.

TeamBUSAR.org…

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Three years ago I was at a crux. I had resigned from my backcountry law enforcement ranger position, found out we were having a baby, and started planning our move to North Carolina. I remember reading a text from my MMA coach that he sent out to the team about training and priorities. I was in Florida on vacation, and he was right. I realized that I could no longer dedicate the time and energy to that sport, with new priorities entering my life. I left the gym, leaving part of me behind.

The same was true of my LE Ranger position. While I will never regret my decision to leave, there was a part of my soul that missed the most rewarding facet of that job…

Search and rescue.

I have been extremely fortunate to have a career filled with adventure, but there has only been one time in all those years that emotion has swept over me so strongly, I had to walk away.

Ten years ago, I was on a search for two off-trail hikers on the Spruce Flats Falls manway. I was just getting into the law enforcement division, but got teamed up with “Rambo” Ricky Varner who knew the area like the back of his hand. We located the couple, who were forced to spend the night out, and walked them out to Tremont.

There, patiently waiting, was their family, and what ensued was one of the most tender reunions I have witnessed. They don’t always end that way, but reuniting a family with their missing loved one will move the most calloused soul.

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Photo credit: http://www.thegreatsmokies.net/spruce-flats-falls/

And so two years ago, fueled by a desire to be pushed by a group of hard-core guys, a penchant for the misery of off-trail rescues, and the aspiration to help others, I started recruiting a band of outdoor misfits to form an elite search and rescue team. Our mission would be simple. Prepare for the toughest missions the Smokies can offer..

  • Off-trail rescues
  • Extended carryouts
  • Winter rescues
  • Missing aircraft
  • Technical and swiftwater rescue

With the promise of bad weather, long hours, no pay, and dangerous work, they started to trickle in one by one. First an adventurer racer, then a paddler and climber, then a helicopter pilot, a doctor, a flight medic, a Special Forces veteran, a neuroscientist, another wildlife ranger, and the list went on.

Original flyer:

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As diverse as the crew was, they all had in common the desire to help others in need and the ability to push themselves physically and mentally to build a professional team.

Every week for two years, in every weather condition, we have met at a local park to workout together, carrying our SAR packs and kettlebells, pushing the levels of fitness higher and suffering through grueling fitness standards. Every month, the team has assembled for some form of training, be it technical, swiftwater, tracking, land navigation, wilderness medical, rescue swimming, working with K-9 teams, or just a tough off-trail scramble.

Leaving the comfort of our homes and families to respond to missions, we have carried out patients on the icy Appalachian trail. Rigged up ropes to haul the injured hikers up to safety. Searched for a downed plane during hypothermia inducing weather. Assisted with joint technical rescue training. Responded to many calls only to get cancelled en route when the victim walked out. Searched the dark trails for a missing hikers. Assisted in the body recoveries of recent fatalities. And taken vacation days and cancelled personal plans to respond when called.

The team did all this, and more, to be an asset to the Search and Rescue operations of Great Smoky Mountain National Park and help those in need. The park is working constantly to overcome staffing and budget challenges. We hope to help them by pre-deploying on high volume weekends and holidays, which will reduce our response time and allow us to assist with the P-SAR (Preventative Search & Rescue) program.

The BUSAR Team is the finest group of professionals I have ever worked with. They are my friends, my mentors, my teammates, and they have helped fill that tribal void in my life. I am proud of all they have accomplished and all that they will going forward.

So today I am announcing our team website, Team BUSAR, and the exciting news that we got our non-profit status. For the last two years, except for three donors, we have paid for everything out of our own pocket. Our gear, our training, gas, meals, etc. We have done all that because we desire to help.

Now we are asking for your help.

With over 11 million visitors to the Smokies, there is a good chance that you or someone you care about may need help out there at sometime, so please consider helping us by the following:

  1.  Jump onto our site and read the bios of this dedicated group of professionals
  2. Push this message, and our website, teambusar.org out on social media, hiking forums, email groups, and word of mouth. The more the better, as just that action may find us the help we need.
  3. Like us on Facebook, TeamBUSAR Facebook, and invite all your friends to do the same
  4. BUSAR is a 501(c)3 non-profit, so please consider donating if you are able –  Donate to BUSAR
  5. If you know someone who is looking for a charitable tax deduction, please send them our way.  I am more than happy to chat by phone or meet up to explain our vision. Our team not only has a worthwhile mission, but with half of the team being veterans, it makes a difference in their lives as well.
  6. If you are aware of any grants or foundations that are inline with our mission, please email us at  – busarfoundation@gmail.com

 

To date, the BUSAR project has been one of the most fulfilling chapters in my life. This team would have never started without the hard work and dedication of those on the team and their support of their families. To all those involved, current and former, I give thanks.

Thanks to Chief Ranger Steve Kloster, who has been advising me since it’s formation, along with Jared St. Clair, TN District Ranger, who took over the SAR Coordinator role. Thanks also goes out to all the members of the Smokies Tech Rescue team, Kevin Moses and the cadre of B-TRTE for tech training, Chuck Hester of BLRI, and Brian Osgood and the BCRS crew for loaning us equipment for swiftwater training.

What was birthed two years ago, is now starting to stand on its own two feet. The feet wear muddy boots, the bodies are now hardened by countless workouts and training missions, and the spirit stands by waiting for the call and ready to help. The path ahead of us is clear, we are prepared, and ready for the journey. We invite all of you to join us in this mission to help others, by helping us…

BUSAR!!

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Move, Jump, Climb, and Lift Like Tarzan…

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Photo: Breaking Muscle article linked below

During a recent search and rescue operation, I was launched off the trail, landing upside down 10 feet down the mountainside. I was grateful to be uninjured, grateful for years of falling in judo, and grateful I had started a new mobility routine several weeks ago.

I had heard about MovNat last year from one of their instructors, but it was only recently that I started to explore it as I was looking to add some mobility work into my fitness routine. The founder, Erwan Le Corre, describes the system in this article –     MovNat Explained

The practicality of the system to my line of work is unquestionable and we have already incorporated some of the exercises into our weekly SAR team workouts.

Here is a video from the Youtube channel : MovNat Founder

After watching all 195 videos and reading everything I can find online, I was happy to find out that there will be a workshop on Saturday June 24 in Knoxville at Irontribe Gym. Needless to say, I am excited about training with them on that day and wanted to spread the word about their program.

MovNat Elements Workshop