A Real Hotshot

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Last week we grew a staggering 15.2%, which is great because growth is the most important thing we can do right now. If you're enjoying this, please tell a friend (we'll even pay you to refer friends using the link at the bottom of this email). Let's keep this momentum going! I'd be eternally grateful for your help. - Ethan

Kam French

Kam French is a former Wildland Firefighter and EMT with a Region Two Interagency Hotshot Crew of the Bureau of Land Management. As Wikipedia summarizes, "a Shot Crew, officially known as an Interagency Hotshot Crew (IHC), is a team of 20-22 elite operators which mainly responds to large, high-priority fires across the country and abroad. They are assigned to work the most challenging parts of the fire and are considered strategic and tactical experts. Hotshots are a National Resource and their deployment is tightly controlled. Hotshot crews are one of the most highly trained, skilled and experienced type of wildland firefighters. They are qualified to provide leadership for initial-attack and extended-attack on wildland fires. Hotshots are trained and equipped to work in remote areas for extended periods of time with minimal logistical support." He specializes in saw operations, fire suppression, fire line construction, and medical assistance. Prior to wildland firefighting, Kam served eight years in the United States Marine Crops, most recently as a Sergeant.

After 3 seasons with his IHC, Kam left to settle down with his fiancé and their kids in northwest Ohio, where he continues to work as a public servant, Airbnb Superhost, furniture restorer, and coffee roaster.

You can find him on Instagram @front6coffee and Twitter @KameronFrench2.

Kam's Eight Essentials

Kam French's Eight Essentials

#1 Front 6 Nomad Light Roast Coffee: (Kam roasts and distribute's this.) This is my expensive hobby. The name was inspired by our former Lead Saw, a very charismatic man named Bear. I did Google University to learn how to create the website, then learned to roast and source coffee. All of the designs are based on actual people I worked with on the Hotshot crews: who they are and what their avatar is in my mind.

#2 LMNT Keto Electrolyte Powder Packets: We work really long hours, in the heat. A lot of people don't mineralize their water, which is a mistake. We have heat casualties all the time. I've seen and treated it first-hand. People don't know how to work in an environment like that. Hydration is absolutely key. LMNT is a really good brand for this.

#3 Garmin fenix 6X Sapphire Premium Multisport GPS Watch: It has GPS, it has maps. I'm able to plot points. With this watch, I'm able to tell which direction is home, which way to safety, and so on. We're constantly in direct communication with plane and helicopters and this lets me mark safety sites and medevac sites. It tracks all of my workouts, so I can see my progress. And this thing is durable: I banged it up over two seasons and you can hardly tell. I can't speak more highly about my Garmin.

#4 Nalgene Tritan Narrow Mouth BPA-Free Water Bottle: Hotshot crews have a very anti-microplastics culture. We are there to save the forests, why would we be just smashing water bottles? So, there is an environmental aspect to having a refillable bottle. It's also just practical. Again, hydration is key. I will also note, there is a difference between a wide mouth and a narrow mouth. More is getting on target with the narrow mouth, as opposed to just sloshing around.

#5 AsperX 2-Pack 10000mAh USB C Output Portable Charger Power Bank: You can bring it along anywhere. It supports USB-C. You just never run out of battery. I've found it useful not just in austere backcountry environments, but also everyday.

#6 Salomon Men's XA PRO 3D Gore-TEX Trail Running Shoes: I became a big Solomon guy from my buddy who was a communications enabler for SEAL Team 8. He swore by Salomons and I wore them during our training and found them to be an incredibly durable trail running shoe. And that's what you do when you're on a Hotshot crew, you run.

#7 Iron Divide Fireline Organizer: This is from a company created by a wildland firefighter. We are always writing stuff down. We take our own weather, which requires frequent notations. We need to track wind speed, wind direction, changes in smoke columns, etc. A good firefighter is a thinking firefighter. This helps.

#8 North American Rescue Gen 7 Combat Application Tourniquet: I will never, ever go and cut without a tourniquet. I even carry one in my car. A lot of fatalities are preventable if the person knows how to self-treat their own wounds. Other than tree strikes, cuts are our biggest concern. I'm all about bleeding control, so this is an essential part of my everyday. I gave one to my buddy who cuts a lot of wood on his property just recently.

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