Australia Post Network Disruption
Australia Post Network Disruption
If you haven’t seen the news … Australia Post is in it again!
From the 4th to the 7th September, Australia Post dropped has announced they’re temporarily suspending Collection Services from businesses just like CF as they struggle to cope with the demand across the network.
Once collections resume on Tuesday we believe there is going to be a knock-on effect so. Ordering in advance where possible is our hot tip.
We appreciate your understanding of any delays during this time of disrupted service.
Get your kit together, and keep safe. Like before, we’ll get past this
– The CF Crew
Review of Crossfire MkVII Pack by RedBeard Tactical
Take a closer look at the crossfire MKVII with RedBeard Tactical
Chris Bamman Tests out the Crossfire DG8 in Wetland Conditions
Australian Adventurer Chris Bamman gives the new DG8 a thorough test as he camps overnight in local wetlands. View the pack in action.
Max of MVT Reviews the DG3
Max is a tactical trainer and author, a professional soldier with extensive experience in British elite forces and as a paramilitary contractor. Since 2013, Max has run Max Velocity Tactical (MVT), a training company conceived to offer professional combat training for responsible citizens. Here he provides training for US Special Operations Forces and Responsible Citizens.
Max has established a reputation for being on the leading edge of tactical live fire and force on force training. He’s dedicated to developing and training tactical excellence at the individual and team level.
In this 2 part video series, Max takes a thorough look at the DG3 3-Day Patrol Pack. Each component of the pack is looked at in-depth.
View the breach of over 20 elements in less than 45 seconds.
This will give you a glimpse of our tactical breaching systems capabilities and the broad operational experience standing behind them.
SAN breaching, for when every second counts.
Crossfire is Proud to be the Sole Agent for SAN Pty Ltd. in Australia
Crossfire is the sole agent for SAN breaking technology in Australia. For world-leading electro-hydraulic tactical breaching kits which incorporate innovative technologies with light materials, allowing to be easily carried and operated by one individual and obtain a powerful set of tools that can break into any structure in top speed, contact us to learn more.
Backpackers travel for distance rather than for the purpose of summiting mountains, though both backpacking and peak-bagging might be done on the same trip. This type of travel allows you to access remote areas on your own power. Trips may range from a couple of days to months depending on your objective. Seasoned backpackers recommend carrying no more than 1/3 of your body weight.
Duration & Elevation: 2 days – multi-week trips over varying terrain.
Technical: No technical climbing involved.
Pack: Carrying complete shelter, kitchen, layers, water, and fuel.
Pack weight ranges between 16 and 25 kg.
Fitness Attributes: Strong legs / “mountain chassis”, endurance.
Example Trip: The Overland Track, Tasmania.
Peak baggers are in it for the summit. Peak bagging is done with a light pack and minimal supplies. Generally, these trips don’t involve any technical climbing gear like ropes and harnesses. Typically, they are single days or overnight trips. Backpackers might add on a peak bagging day to their trip, in which case they will establish a camp and leave non-essential equipment behind while they climb a nearby mountain.
Duration & Elevation: Long, hard pushes over 1 to 2 days.
Technical: Grade 3-4 scrambling possible.
Pack: Carrying light packs with layers, first aid, water, and fuel.
Pack weight range between 9 and 15 kg.
Fitness Attributes: Strong “mountain chassis”, stamina and strength.
Example Trip: Mount Kosciuszko, Mount Townsend, Rams Head.
Alpine Climbing is done at high elevations in the “high alpine” and climbers will expect to travel over rock, ice, or snow. In contrast to hiking, climbing by definition means that your arms come above your head to help pull your body up an ascent. These ascents are “fast and light” and typically involve the use of technical gear such as helmets, ropes, and harnesses. Because of the need for technical equipment, these trips require a specific skill set and/or a guide.
Duration & Elevation: 1 long intense day, or as part of a multi-day expedition.
Technical: Grade 5+ climbing.
Pack: Carrying layers, climbing gear, ropes, water, and fuel.
Pack weight range 15-25 kg
Fitness Attributes: Strong “mountain chassis” for approach, grip and upper body strength for the climb.
Example Trip: Cathedral Range State Park, Balls Pyramid, Mount Coolum.
Reference: Mountain Athletics
Most of us master shoe-tying in primary school and don’t give our laces much thought after that. If your boots start to wear on your feet in uncomfortable ways, though, you’ll be glad to learn a few new lacing tricks that could help improve your comfort. Here are three simple ways to lace your boots to help relieve foot discomfort.
It’s important to note that the lacing techniques described here aren’t a substitute for getting the right fit when you buy your boots. For that, you need to see a combat or hiking footwear specialist such as Crossfire. It is also important to note that these are not the only methods, in fact, I am sure you will have your own tried and tested ones. If you do, please feel free to share.
Simple and versatile, it can keep your heel from slipping.
When your heel is slipping excessively as you stomp, you probably have too much interior volume at the top of your foot. Cinch down your boot and hold it in place with two surgeon’s knots: Once secured, these hold fast where they’re placed and won’t work themselves loose.
- Pull out any slack in the laces, snugging the boot over the top of your foot.
- Locate the two pairs of lace hooks closest to the point where the top of your foot begins to flex forward; you’ll be tying a surgeon’s knot at each of these pairs.
- Wrap the laces around each other twice, then pull them tight; be sure to run the lace directly up to the next hook to “lock” in the knot’s tension.
- Repeat Step 3 at the next highest set of lace hooks.
- Finish lacing the rest of your boot in your usual way.
Alleviates pressure points on the top of your foot.
If your well-tied boots start to create a pressure point on the top of your foot, window lacing (aka “box lacing”) can help alleviate the problem:
Unlace the boot down to the hooks that are just below the pressure point.
- Re-lace by going straight up to the next hook and then crossing the laces over.
- Finish lacing the rest of your boot in your usual way; alternatively, you can tie a surgeon’s knot at the lower and upper edge of your window for a snugger hold.
A stopgap remedy to get you back to the trailhead.
If your toes are in a world of hurt, this stopgap measure can help you make it back. This trick works by relieving pressure in the toe box:
- Completely unlace your boot.
- Lace it back up—but skip the first set of hooks; this opens up the toe box and takes some pressure off your digits.
If your toes always hurt when you put your boots on, it’s time to get a different pair of boots. A Crossfire footwear specialist can fit you in boots that will give not declare war on your feet and keep you in the fight or doing what you want to do.
Always carry a spare pair of laces or enough paracord to suit your boots. You just never know when Mr Murphy will raise his head.
Light Assault Boots
Light models with flexible midsoles are excellent for a fast-moving environment that requires support but not at the cost of excessive weight. Critical areas such as the outside shank area, sole compound ( Think VIBRAM) and abrasion level? Is it a European or Hot climate boot (ie inner booties). Does it have features such as extreme abrasion-resistant materials like SuberFabic® to protect the boot whilst fast roping?
These range from mid- to high-cut models and are intended to operate in a close country environment. The jungle boot should be puncture-resistant to protect you from stepping on sharp objects. Roll-Stop Ankle Stability is critical to reducing injuries by preventing ankle roll while moving on uneven terrain and on long stomps. Avoid wet environment injuries with cutting edge tech like the Advanced Sieve™ technology from Rocky. It circulates air in and water out as you step out. The old one-way outlet holes on the inside of the boot went out with the Mk111 SMLE.
These are designed to carry heavier loads on multi-day trips deep into the boondocks across any terrain Most have a high cut that wraps above the ankles for excellent support. Durable and supportive, with stiffer midsoles than lighter footwear, they are suitable pretty much for everything.
Hiking Boot Uppers
Materials impact a boot’s weight, breathability, durability and water resistance.
- Full-grain leather: Full-grain leather offers excellent durability and abrasion resistance and very good water resistance. It’s most commonly used in backpacking boots built for extended trips, heavy loads and rugged terrain. It is not as light or breathable as nylon/split-grain leather combinations. Ample break-in time is needed before starting an extended trip.
- Split-grain leather: Split-grain leather is usually paired with nylon or nylon mesh to create a lightweight boot that offers excellent breathability. Split-grain leather “splits away” the rougher inner part of the cowhide from the smooth exterior. The benefit is lower cost, however, the downside is less resistance to water and abrasion (though many feature waterproof liners).
- Nubuck leather: Nubuck leather is full-grain leather that has been buffed to resemble suede. It is very durable and resists water and abrasion. It’s also fairly flexible, yet it too requires ample time to break in before an extended hike.
- Synthetics: Polyester, nylon and so-called “synthetic leather” are all commonly found in modern boots. They are lighter than leather, break in more quickly, dry faster and usually cost less. Downside: They may show wear sooner due to more stitching on the outside of the boot.
- Waterproof membranes: Boots and shoes billed as “waterproof” feature uppers constructed with waterproof/breathable membranes (such as Gore-Tex® or alike) to keep feet dry in wet conditions. Downside: The reduced breathability created by a membrane (compared to the ventilating mesh used on some nonwaterproof shoes) may encourage feet to sweat on summer days. Unfortunately, unless you’re wearing gaiters, no boot is waterproof if you’re up to the waist in the wet stuff.
- Insulation: Synthetic insulation is added to some mountaineering boots for warmth when hiking on snow and glaciers.
The midsole, which provides cushioning, buffers feet from shock and largely determines a boot’s stiffness. Stiff boots might not sound like a good thing, but for long hikes on rocky, uneven terrain they can mean greater comfort and stability. A stiff boot won’t allow your foot to wear out by wrapping around every rock or tree root you step on. The most common midsole materials are EVA (ethylene vinyl acetate) and polyurethane.
- EVA is a bit cushier, lighter and less expensive. Midsoles use varying densities of EVA to provide firmer support where needed (e.g., around the forefoot).
- Polyurethane is generally firmer and more durable, so it’s usually found in extended backpacking and mountaineering boots.
Hiking Boot Internal Support
- Shanks: These 3–5mm thick inserts are sandwiched between a boot’s midsole and outsole to add load-bearing stiffness to the midsole. They vary in length; some cover the entire length of the midsole, while others only cover half.
- Anti Puncture Plates: These thin, semi-flexible inserts are positioned between the midsole and the outsole, and below the shank (if included). They protect feet from getting bruised by roots or uneven rocks.
Rubber is used on all boot outsoles, the type and. Additives such as carbon are sometimes added to some different brands of boots to boost hardness. Hard outsoles increase durability but can feel slick if go you in rocky environments
- Lug pattern: Lugs are traction-giving bumps on the outsole. Deeper, thicker lugs are used on backpacking and mountaineering boots to improve grip. Widely spaced lugs offer good traction and shed mud more easily.
- Heel brake: This refers to the clearly defined heel zone that is distinct from the forefoot and arch. It reduces your chance of sliding during steep descents.
Your boots should fit snug everywhere, tight nowhere and offer room to wiggle your toes. Try them on at the end of the day (after feet swell) and with the socks, you plan to wear.
Know your size. It’s best to have your foot’s length, width and arch length measured professionally Foot volume, another key to a good fit must be assessed. A good guide is your runners’ size and what brand it is ie Nike, Reebok.
You can also measure your foot length via a ruler measuring from the centre of your heel to the middle of the big toe to find your size. Double-check length later by pulling the insoles out of the boots and standing on them; you should have a thumb’s width of space between your longest toe and the end of the insole.
Try on boots at the end of the day. Your feet normally swell a bit during the day’s activities and will be at their largest then. This helps you avoid buying boots that are too small.
If you wear orthotics, bring them along. They impact the fit of a boot.
Wear appropriate socks. Familiar socks help you more quickly assess the fit and feel of new footwear. Make sure the thickness of the socks matches what you intend to wear. And before you head out for that stomp go with synthetic rather than slow-drying cotton socks, which are more likely to give you blisters.
Spend some time in the boots. Take a stroll a home before venturing out into the wild blue yonder. Walk up and down stairs. Find an inclined surface and walk on it.
Fit issues to share with your footwear specialist: You don’t want to feel odd bumps or seams, or pinching in the forefoot, nor toes hitting the end of the boot when it’s on an incline. If the boots are laced firmly and you still feel space above the top of your foot, then the volume of the boot is wrong.
When shopping online, consider a brand you’ve worn before. Most boot companies tend to use a consistent foot model over time, so the fit is likely to be similar.
Change your knot strategy: How you lace your boots can change how they fit. See our previous blog on lacing to improve your fitness.
Consider aftermarket insoles (a.k.a. Superfeet). Insoles come in models that can enhance comfort, support or fit—or all three.
Gone are the days when backpacking and hiking consisted of strapping on a huge external frame and lumbering through the sticks or up to a mountain in the back blocks with an aching body. Trends in backpacks these days err towards minimalism and thoughtful, ergonomic design with the use of the latest and greatest in materials and space-age polymers/carbon etc.
Wilderness Equipment (WE) approach consists of simplicity, functionality, and reliability. The constant problem with ‘design’ is that there will always be a better way. Since the beginning, WE have worked to improve the durability and function of all of their products whilst also reducing weight. Under demanding use in the outdoor education sector their packs and tents are uncomplicated in their operation, totally reliable during programs and, in the event of a mishap, ‘field repairable’ without the need for special skills or training. The harsh reality is that WE also expect them to significantly out-perform other brands, something you can’t do by being just the same. Today, WE are confident that all popular, current WE products can hold their place in the range, unchanged, for years to come.
Crossfire is a proud partner with WE with both sharing the same demand for excellence and providing non-sense equipment without compromise
Duty belt discomfort is a common complaint and a significant health and safety issue for uniformed police personnel. Pain in the low back, hip and pelvis can be caused by pressure exerted by the edges of the duty belt, holster shank and other equipment attached to the belt. Further compounding the problem is the length of time officers are required to perform their job behind the wheel of the patrol car.
Duty belts are designed to carry equipment in a readily accessible manner while leaving the officer’s hands free. The equipment is a necessary part of the job and must be carried on his/her body while working. Duty belt equipment can include a handgun, handcuffs, flashlight, latex gloves, baton, radio and pepper spray canister and can weigh up to 20 pounds (9.07 kg) when fully loaded dependent on duty vest configuration. According to a University of California, San Francisco/Berkeley Ergonomics Program study, discomfort from wearing a duty belt is driven by the amount/weight of equipment on the belt, the placement of those items against the body and the force exerted on the equipment when the officer is seated in the patrol vehicle.
Duty belts are typically 2.25 inches ( 5.71 cms) wide and made of leather. The rectangular brass buckle can be 2 inches ( 5.08cms) wide by nearly 3 inches (7.62cms) high and places uncomfortable pressure on the front of the pelvis and abdomen when driving and/or sitting for extended periods of time. Over the years, the discomfort felt from duty belts has gotten worse because of the increased time spent in vehicles and heavier gear carried on the belt. The addition of radios and extra handcuffs, handguns and spare magazines can add 3 to 4 pounds to the belt.
The belt itself is another source of discomfort. The more rigid the duty belt holster system, the more critical are its shape and location in obtaining a proper fit for the individual. Many leather duty belts can take several years to break in.
Patrol vehicle seats can be another factor in duty belt discomfort. Bolsters on the sides of the seats can produce pressure on the sidearm and radio, which tends to push the officer forward, reducing the amount of low back support. Worn vehicle cushions can exacerbate the discomfort by allowing the officer to sink lower into the middle of the seat.
- Alternatives for the duty belt
- Suspenders are effective because they distribute the weight of the equipment over the shoulders and chest rather than just on the waist. That also means that the belt does not have to be worn as tight, cutting down on pressure exerted on the stomach and waist area. There are safety concerns about suspenders because they can be used against the officer in a struggle, but newer versions act like a clip-on tie when pulled, reducing the risk of injury to the officer.
- Tactical vests or harnesses contain multiple pouches over the chest and back. A harness goes over the ballistic vest and can reduce the need for officers to keep reaching around for their equipment.
- Loading the duty belt
- Avoid placing hard objects (handcuffs) on the lumbar spine. Handcuffs carried on the back of the belt may create back pain from constant pressure on the lower back while sitting in a car. Although that may not be a problem for beat officers who patrol an area on foot, it can cause severe problems in vehicle-based “response” officers. Outside the car, they can be dangerous in a fall, where the spine can be injured severely by the handcuffs.
- Place a soft pouch over the lumbar spine on the duty belt. A good example might be a soft pouch containing latex gloves.
- Flashlights should be compact, light and powerful. Thinner and smaller lights are easier to control and are more likely to be carried at all times. Metal flashlights can be uncomfortable when left in the direct sunlight or held in an ungloved hand on a cold day. Flashlights are often placed on the hood or trunk of a car, so consideration should be given to one with an anti-roll capability. Long, cylindrical flashlights tend to be carried in a flashlight ring. Rings are simple and inexpensive, and are convenient for flashlights that are not regularly carried. Flashlights in a ring with a great amount of vertical and horizontal freedom can make the light insecure and uncomfortable to carry.
- Start with a better belt
The 2003 U.C. Ergonomics Program study found the following belt characteristics effective in reducing duty belt discomfort:
- Rounded, padded edges on the top and bottom. Belts with a hard edge tend to dig in under the ribs, whereas a belt with rounder, padded edges on the top and bottom conform better to the body.
- Lower profile, with a 2-inch thickness (top to bottom) of belt and buckle. Nylon belts that are 2 inches wide resulted in increased officer comfort with fewer complaints of the belt digging in under the ribs and on the rim of the pelvis.
- Washable, moderately flexible nylon material. Nylon duty gear is generally less expensive, lighter, and easier to maintain than leather gear of comparable quality. Leather gear is generally regarded as having a more traditional and professional appearance. One option might be to try a belt that combines both materials, one where the belt is a manufactured nylon duty gear belt that has the appearance of leather, with a ‘basket-weave’ pattern.
- Leather belts with buckle closures have less adjustability than nylon belts and have adjustment holes for the buckle 1.25 inches apart, which can leave the belt too tight or too loose. A belt that is too loose can be problematic in the event of a foot pursuit. A belt that is too tight creates excessive pressure on the officer’s pelvic and hip areas.