Wilderness Survival Kits, Tips & Training About A.Ranger Rick 173rd ABN/SETAF Bardolino / Rentals Useful Links Wilderness Survival Skills Wilderness Survival Tips Wilderness Survival Training




Hello 173rd sky & Caserma Ederle Soldiers!
This Page Here Is Dedicated To You!



Now listen up ya'all!  Especially you "barrack rats" who are afraid to venture off Caserma Ederle. Because you guys & gals are stationed here in Italy (Vicenza) and you live just down the road from where I live here on Lake Garda. I thought I would share with you some of my favorite things to do and see here. And not just here on Lake Garda but beyone the borders of Italy too. And below is just the beginning of a long list of things to do and see here, and so stay tune for some more stuff to be posted. Hooah!

Wanna learn more about Italy, Lake Garda or me? Visit my "Facebook" page.
Click Here!



FREE Small Unit Outdoor Survival Classes

That's right, I offer FREE outdoor survival classes to squad & platoon size units. And so if you've got a squad or platoon that's interested in attending some of my classes, then com'on by and check out my "SOF-SOS Survival Training page." And then all you gotta do is...

(a) Contact me via email (sossurvivalkits@live.com) or cellular (347-3435029) to arrange a class.
(b) Schedule your class at least 30 days out in advance on a Tuesday, Wednesday or a Thursday.
(c) There must be at least 15 but no more than 45 soldiers who will agree to attend my classes.

Note: To view my qualifications, bio, etc, click on my "Army Ranger Rick" page.

Sound fair and easy to do? You betcha! And so now it's up to you guys & gals from the 173 rd & AFRICOM.



Asiago Land Navigation Course

Did you know there is a 96 point / 16 square kilometer land navigation course located 65 kms north of Vicenza near a town called Asiago? 

And did you know I designed and developed it? Yep, I sure did. And it's been revised, expanded and updated three times since 1992. And the last time I revised & updated it was back in 2006, in which I handed over three (3) complete set of instruction books to the AFRICOM G-3 Office. And inside these books it listed..

1. How to get to the Asiago land nav course.
2. How to successfully conduct the land nav course.
3. Maps showing where all the 96 points are located.
4. NCOIC / OIC safety briefing instructions and do's & don't's.
5. Individual/team hand-out cards containing 6-8 grid coordinates.
6. Grade sheet for verifying the correct points were successfully located

LATEST UPDATE: As of this past summer (2011) I turned over to the AFRICOM / G-3 Office a set of 96 new land nav signs / points because I heard some of the old signs were starting to badly deterioate or were missing. Along with 24 x new clipboards with the map of Asiago acitated on them with a small compass attached to them too. So I hope all you soldiers from AFRICOM & the 173rd Airborne Brigade appreciate what I have done and you will take care of and use my land nav course often.

FYI: Before I retire from the Army back in 1993, I tried to convince and win some support from SETAF (now AFRICOM) and some of the Airborne units in helping me to build this course up in the Asiago area. But no one would help nor provide me any support or assistance. And so I had no choice but to go it alone and design & built it myself. And it was only after I designed the layout, made all the signs and emplaced them and took some soldiers up to Asiago on their "off time" to test it out. It wasn't long before some of the Airborne units heard what I did and asked me if they could use my land nav course too. But they could only use it in civilian clothes as it was considered a "non-approved" training area. But as of today I heard soldiers can now start using it in their duty uniforms because it has been approved as a training area.

What did I get out of all this work? Whoopie-doo, a freaken Army Achievement Medal (AAM). Wow, big deal. But what's been more important and rewarding to me is to know that since 1992 thousands and thousands of soldiers have used my land nav course and will continue to use it for many years to come. And so listen up 173rd Airborne Brigade "unit commanders: The next time the AFRICOM G-3 office asks you for a damn detail of soldiers to go up to Asiago to either check on it and or to replace some of those points / signs there.. STOP BLOWING'EM OFF! As this course only benefits you and your soldiers in not only teaching your inexperienced soldiers in how to use a map & compass but help your experienced soldiers in maintaining their land navigational skills too.              



Wanted - Possible Volunteers
 Needed For a New Land Nav Course

Did you know I am interested in building another land navigation course? Yep, a 24 hour, 50 kilometer, one-way/direction land navigation course that would start at Asiago and finish at Folgaria, or vice versa.

And so this coming spring (2012) I may contact AFRICOM / 173 rd to ask if they would be interested in helping me make this new land navigation course. I will design the course layout, make the signs if they will provide me some good navigators, preferably some Ranger & SF qualified NCOs or officers to emplace these points/signs. And based on the number of personnel I am provided, the mountainous terrain and distance we would need to cover, I estimate it will take about 2-3 days to position these points/signs.

I will also recommend AFRICOM & 173 rd develop a special award to be given to those who can successfully complete this land nav course. Such as a challenge coin that reads "(Name) Has Successfully Completed the Asiago-Folgaria 24 Hour / 50 Kilometer Land Navigation Course on (Date)."


Col. Darby

Hey 173rd Airborne Brigade "Sky Soldiers!"
And Anyone Else Who Thinks They Can Walk
40 Miles / 64 Kilometers in 12 Hours or Less!

Yea, that's right, you read correctly. I'm talking to all you "bad ass" 173rd Sky Soldiers, Paratroopers, Rangers, Special Forces and Wannabes.
For the past several years I have been advertising on my website here and spreading the word down on the base in Vicenza (Italy) about needing some volunteers. I needed some soldiers to help me test out a special road march route dedicated to Colonel William O. Darby located out here on Lake Garda. But after waiting two years in which a few soldiers did contact me and offer to help, they either changed their minds or coped out, same thing.
And so what I did for the second time two years in a row (2010 & 2011) on April 30th the same day Col. William O. Darby was killed at Torbole - Lake Garda. I walked it alone. Which the first time I walked it I did it just under 14 hours, and the second time I walked it I did it just under 12 hours. Not bad for a broke-dick, 56/57 year old Ranger. And come April 30th 2012, I plan to walk it again, anyone interested in walking it with me? Probably not.
Well, now that I got it all set up and I made a Youtube "training video" on it called " The 173rd Airborne Col. Darby 40 Mile (Lake Garda - Italy) Ranger Challenge ."  I plan on contacting MWR and both, AFRICOM and the 173rd Airborne Brigade Headquarters Commanders in challenging them and their units to try to beat my record time of 12 hours.
Now just in case some of you are not familiar with Col. Darby, he was one of our nation's greatest legendary heroes who helped train and organize one of the first US Army Ranger units and was killed on April 30th 1945 at Torbole (Lake Garda) by a Germany 88mm shell. To see where this town and monument is located just go to this link here: 

And for those of you who would like to learn more about my " 173rd Airborne Col. Darby 40 Mile (Lake Garda - Italy) Ranger Challenge ," just view my Youtube training video below. Note: There are four (4) parts to this training video, to view the short version just view the most important Parts I & IV and skip II & III. And so check it out. Hooah! Rangers Lead The Way!



Why You Should Come Out To Lake Garda and NOT Go To Garmisch...

Did you know whatever you can do up in AFRC Garmisch you can do here on Lake Garda too?

The big difference is, you don't have to spend hours on the road or spend a lot of money on fuel and autostrada fees to go all the way up there when you've got good ol'Lake Garda here about an hour away by car or train from Vicenza.

And if you've never been here on Lake Garda, or if you have but you have only been to a few places, then you don't know what [else] you're missing. To me, Lake Garda is a hellova lot better place than Garmisch and Jesolo Beach too. We have a lot more beautiful beaches, panaramic mountains, old castles, amusement parks, discotheques, restraunts, night clubs, bars, and lots more stuff too numerous to mention here.

And most important.. ..Yes guys, we've got lots of beautiful women here (and handsome young men for you ladies too) who come from all over Europe. And English is the second most spoken language here on the lake too, followed by German, French and Spanish.

Rick at Lake
Rick and Bicyle

And two of my favorit adventures that I have enjoyed doing was to bike and kayak entirely around Lake Garda (160 kms = 100 miles) in 3 x days. Which my buddies and I could have done it sooner if we had not stop at every town for a glass of wine or a beer. A great way to burn off calories and excess weight.

And so if you want to learn more about Lake Garda, what to do and places to see then stay tune as I plan to post some more information here coming this April 2009. And not just about Lake Garda, but other interesting and exciting places to visit here in Europe too. For example..


Have you ever heard of the War & Peace Show?

You haven't? Well it's only Europe's largest five day private military fair held every year in July (22-26) at a place called the "Hops Farm" located just outside of Dover - England.

And yep, I've been going there myself every year and I gotta tell you.. it's an awsome and fantastic place to visit for a couple of days. They have everything there, hundreds of military vehicles on display and hundreds of military vendors selling everything from military jeeps, armored vehicles, deactivated weapons, machine guns, bazookas, mortars, radios, bayonets, uniforms, EVERYTHING! And most of this stuff can be legally purchased and shipped back to the states too.

No BS! And on top of this, everyday there are daily shows, demonstrations and reenactment battles that you'll think you're living in the past during WWII, Korea, Vietnam, and the cold war too. And if you're an American soldier, active or retired and you wear your uniform there, you will be well treated, make a lot of friends and every evening it's PARTY TIME!

There is so much stuff to see and do there it's unbelieveable! And most of the people who go to this yearly event stay at the camp grounds that's located right there on the Hops Farm. There is just too much stuff to see and do there it's best you log onto their website and check it out at:


If you would like more information or if you are interested in following me up or meeting me there, just send me an email. Which by the way, Normandy Beach, St. Mere Eglise, Point Du Hoc and some other famous WWII battlefields are not too far away from Dunkerque (France). Where you will need to board the ferry to Dover (England), about 300 miles away. So there's something else you might want to think about seeing while you're that far up in northern France. So stay tune for some more information about this, or if you can't wait, just email me.



WANTED: Meals-Ready-to-Eat

Do you have some MREs laying around in your room or home that you don't need or want? If you do, I'll pay you $ 5.00 per MRE. What do I want with them? I have a lot of Italian friends who keep asking me for them, some of who are "softair" wannabe soldiers. Not to mention, I use these MREs for some of my survival training too. And so if you got any for sale, let me know. Unless you wanna trade 4 x MREs per (1) SOS Survival Necklace or Keychain.   Note: I will not buy them if they are sealed in an MRE box, only if they are loose meals.

Note: I will not buy them if they are sealed in an MRE box, only if they are loose meals.



* Stay tune AFRICOM & 173 rd Airborne Bde, more stuff to come and to be posted here soon. Hooah!





Uncle Sam

Why It Pay$ To Join
The U$ Army.

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