Adventure and Leadership

Adventure and Leadership go hand in hand

Climber, drawing, overhang,clr

Hi Douglas Hansen here,

I would like to welcome you to the Hansen Specialty Services website.  I have been building this website with the idea of sharing the knowledge and ideas about adventure, leadership, and other things I have learned  over the past years.  In addition, this website provides an avenue to offer some specialty services, and quality products.

When I first started working for the National Park Service, I ran onto a quote from John Muir, which I really liked, see if you also enjoy it.

Walk quietly in any direction and taste the freedom of the mountaineer.

Mtnlogo Color greenCamp out among the grasses and gentians of glacial meadows, in craggy garden nooks full of nature’s darlings.

Climb the mountains and get their good tidings.

Natures peace will flow into you like sunshine into trees.

The winds will blow their own freshness into you and the storms their energy.

While your cares will drop off like autumn leafs.


“I don’t like to be Cold”

Cover, How to Stay Warm V 1.0 150dpi

Now available at

I love it when I talk to people about winter adventures and winter survival.   I frequently hear, “I could not do that because I don’t like to be cold.”  I think to myself, “Do I have a big sign on my forehead which reads dumb?” Heck, I do not like to be cold either, and for that matter, I do not know anyone who does like to be cold.

Like driving a car, learning to sew, paint, or do any other skill, there is a good way to go about it, and a silly, or unproductive way.   Staying warm is no different.  By understanding some basic winter FUN-damentals, winter can change from enduring the cold until spring rolls around, to Winter FUN

There are key fundamentals or principles which if understood, make it as simple as ABC, when it comes to staying warm.  This long-awaited book goes over these easy to understand and work with principles which may sound crazy but really do make good sense.  For example,  “If your feet are cold, put on a hat.”    Another misunderstood fact is, “people do not get cold, they lose heat . . .”  By understanding the ways the body loses heat, you can avoid that uncomfortable, and possibly deadly, feeling of being cold.

You can prevent heat loss by understanding the “principles” of staying warm.  “First, we do not get cold, we lose heat.”   There are five ways that occurs:  Conduction, Convection, Radiation, Respiration, and Evaporation.  By understanding how these things work to rob our heat away from us, we can prevent heat loss, thus we STAY WARM.

Another example, which by itself will make an incredible difference is, knowing your head and neck accounts for the majority of your heat loss.  Some figures suggest the head and neck account for as much as 75% of the bodies heat loss!

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 Lost in the Wilderness?  What would you choose?

Let’s look at these choices:

A GPS or Global Positioning System Device.

gobal positioningGPS:  A global positioning system uses information from satellites’ that are orbiting the earth.  By knowing the position of the satellite(s) it is possible to use angles, and a little math to figure out our location, on the face of the earth, and our elevation

These can be quite accurate, to about a hundred feet of your exact location.  Even more so with some other GPS tools and electronics.  GPS’s are like any other electronic gadget.   As long as all is . . .

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Vasque Redwing


The Definition of Compromise is . . .

hand shake almostHead banging, wow, it lots of fun, and when you stop you get to enjoy the headache that comes with it.   To most people they figure a compromise means one party wins and one

Read more at: Compromise is supposed to be a win.


Hiking Trails and Peaks to Bag

HikingHiking is great fun, a place to share friendship, get exercise, learn, be one with nature, and much more.  Click here, or on the title, or the picture to go to a list of “peaks to bag,” trails to hike, and places to explore.

Like what you see here at Hansen Specialties?  Well, may we suggest sharing it with a friend.  If you really like it, start an upside down pyramid._

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Safety Super Star Book for kid’s and Parents

Cover, Safety Surper Star

Click here to get a FREE APP so you can read it on your computer, tablet, I-pad, I-phone, or android,  when you purchase your Safety Super Stat eBook.

This new 37 page book,is available on  Published by Kindle, it is a great book to minimize the risks kids face as they grow up.   It can be used and read by young kids on their own, but it is better read in several sessions with parents or other older person to explain these things better, and teach them how you would like them to deal with them.  Maybe use it as a way to spend positive time with your children; bed time, or anytime.  As you go through it, explain positive ways to avoid these possible hazards, and go over ways to deal with them.

The book points out many safety concerns, and it allows room for you to hone it in on how you would like to present the information, and for your unique situations.  We all live in different locations, with different safety situations.   Rural areas have there unique ones, as do urban and city areas;  Plus you get to spend time with these special gifts to your life.


The Wolves Inside – Which will you Feed?

wolvesWe all struggle with the negative and positive feelings we have inside.  This article shares some concepts which the advertising industry is well aware of, and uses to sell us products.   With these ideas we can sell ourselves a better experience of life.   Did you know positive inputs (thoughts) only count for one, and negative inputs count for as many as eleven.  That means we have to be sharp if we want to stay afloat.

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From our “GOOD READS” Section

Seeds of Greatness:

seeds of greatnessThe Ten Best Kept Secrets of Total Success:  Denis Waitley, known authority on personal development, has discovered ten simple but profound secrets for living a fruitful, happy and successful life. In this book, ten basic truths help you to discover, nurture and actualize your real resources – to do exactly what you want to do in your life.

Waitley, a jet fighter pilot, programs simulations engineer for the Apollo moon project, behavioral shrink, etc, etc, and down to earth, for the better part, is a good speaker, writer, and has something to say.  I personally enjoyed this book, have listened to his tapes sets, and attended some of his speaking presentations.  We all have something to offer each other, sometimes it is just sharing things we already know about, but in a different more understandable way, so it clicks with us.    Like all good information it is principle based.  Well worth the invest of a few dollars, and time.

Mountaineering,  the freedom of the hills

Mountaineering freedomThe bible of mountaineering,  a must have for anyone pursuing the mountaineering skills.  In its eighth edition, with a long history of explaining many of the skills used in mountaineering.

May I suggest, even though you read it in a book, you find a skilled instructor to explain the big picture to you.  I learned how to rappel, by reading in this book, 2nd edition, and came very close to finding out the answer to that question of whether or not there is life after death.

When done correctly, it is like driving a car, yes there are risks, but there are many rewards as well.

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Climbing Lost Arrow Spire in Yosemite National Park

Lost Arrow Tip, Travers1

Traversing back to the Rim of Yosemite Valley after climbing the Lost Arrow Spire.

Yosemite Falls at night.As we climbed out along the small ledges to get to the crack system on the outside of the pinnacle, we tailed the end of our rappel line. The idea we had in mind was to carry the end of the rappel line to the top, and then pull it tight, and slide across back to the rim.  We had never heard of anyone doing this, but it was the only way we could figure out how to make it possible, for us, to do this coveted Tyrolean type traverse.  If we had someone to throw or shoot a line across, from the rim, it would have been much easier, but we made do by tying several ropes together and tailing them behind us.

The idea was rather scary because we had to leave our rope tied to a tree, all day long, with no one to protect it.  Animals (both types) could have caused problems which I would rather not like to think about.  In the past I have had mice chew straps off of equipment to get at the salt from our sweat.  I could only imagine an animal smelling the salt on the rope, and deciding to eat the rope part way through, leaving just enough for us to trust it and then . . . Who knows what other things could happen to an unattended rope?  But we had no choice.

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Checkout this Hypothermia Article.  Hypotherma is the number one Killer of the outdoor Recreationalist


The body closes down blood flow to your skin first, then to your hands and feet, to maintain that all important core temperature of 98.6, if it drops below 80 degrees Fahrenheit the person will be on deaths door step.

Understanding how the body keeps itself warm and cools itself down, is key to warm feet and hands. Did you know if your feet are cold you should put on a hat? True, that and drinking plenty of fluids, along we good foot wear makes winter outing fun.

Did you know the head and neck account for 50% to 75% of the bodies heat loss, and if your feet are cold you should put on a hat?   By doing this, the body can send warm blood to the less important areas.


Trust, an Important Part of Relationships

Why Trust is Worth itWell worth the investment.  Ever gave trust some serious thought?  Fact is, it is the fundamental foundation of almost everything we do.  By being able to trust we free up a tremendous amount of energy, and forego the anxiety associated with the fear, uncertainty, and other negatives associated with distrust.  Personally, it changed my paradigm.

Survival Skills:  Building a Fire, or Not . . .Untitled-2 

To build or not to build, that is the question.  Building a fire is not a black and white thing.   Each time you should consider the big picture: environmental impact,  is one really needed, or do you just need a way to stay warm, or will the energy trying to build one, gather wood, etc. going to compromise your overall situation?  It may be better to find shelter from the wind, use dry leafs, grass and such to make improvised down.  The principle behind most insulation is, “creating tiny dead air spaces, to prevent the heat from conducting away.  If you know the five ways you lose heat, you can work with them to eliminate them, or minimize them.  Conduction, Convection, Evaporation, Radiation, and Respiration.   Prioritizing and staying on top the changes (Situational Awareness), is very important.  This article talks about whether you should build a fire, and if so, how to do it correctly, so all your efforts don’t go up in smoke.

Motivation and Goals

Lion Roar saying webA feature article which addresses all four parts of goal achieving: Choosing or selecting goals, building a plan to reach your goals, the skills required for getting from A, to B, to C . . ., and ultimately, how-to motivate yourself and the principles associated with these things.


 ♣Presentations Available:

Pyramid 2

The “ART” of building up-side down pyramids

These are available at NO CHARGE and For a Fee, contact us for details.

Technical Rescue,  Winter Survival Skills,  Avalanche Awareness, and Leadership, Team Building, and Reaching Goals,  Backpacking, Concepts and Skills of Life (EQ, IQ, etc.), building upside down pyramids,  and others.  Or you suggest a topic.

“By Endurance We Conquer.”

Shackleton, team, syergy, leadership and team work

Eric Shackleton and his team of adventurers, “an excellent example of Synergy (Leadership, Team Work, and a worthy goal.)

The Shackleton Family motto, “By Endurance We Conquer,”  proved to be a guiding light in a bleak situation.  They may have known they were destined to set an example of what can be accomplished when good leadership, good team players, and synergy come together. 

Although, they had more important things to do: make their own rescue and continue to survive while doing so.  This is one of the greatest feats ever.  Their ship, the “Endurance” had become hopelessly stuck in the ice of Antarctica.  With no one to even try to rescue them, they spent the next two years surviving in one of the largest, most inhospitable, bleakest and coldest, deserts on earth.  During this time they teamed up to stay alive, make a living using the bleak environment and their resourcefulness.  The ad for team members read like this one:

Shackleton adBelieve it or not, he had over 5,000 men apply.  Had it been this day and age, I am sure many women would have applied as well.  Ultimately, they spent over two years surviving, planning, dealing with the challenges of depression, cold, personalities conflicts along with working together in unpleasant situations, and more.  While doing this, they had to come up with a plan to fabricate their own rescue.  No one was coming for them and they knew that.  It was a time of war.  Before leaving Ernest offered himself and the crew to fight, but was told to go on his expedition.

The Explorers Survival Series

Artical in the works, a commentary on theShackleton Survival Experience, “What on earth allowed them to survive such an ordeal?”


Specialty Projects include . . .

Norris, Chuck, Texas RangerDo you have a specialty project, which maybe you would like some help with, or have someone else do?  Well, maybe we can help.  We have a fairly broad skills set, are pretty good at solution finding and engineering various things.  For example:  Chuck Norris, was filming a part of his series called, :Walker, Texas Ranger,”   It was an old time scene where they were doing a river crossing in covered wagons. Someone was to fall out in the river and have to be rescued.  All was find except when time to film the scene the river was not much more than a creek.

What had happened is the location scouting took place in the spring, when the spring runoff had filled the river to capacity.  The filming was in the fall, and runoff was over.   Their location scout had heard about another project we had done for a TV commercial, where we had engineered a water level adjustment device.   With which we were able to make a two to three foot deep creek over six feet or more deep.

Norris Chuck Jpeg (2)

Chuck Norris (lower right) talking to the director. You can see part of our water level adjustment device in the back ground.  When working with swift water, one must be careful, it is very powerful.  Imagine 62 pounds per cubic foot, and a river contain a lot of moving cubic feet!

They contact us on short notice, but we were excited to have the opportunity, so we took the gig.   Our team worked all night long building a water level adjustment device for the filming of the show, on the next day.  I must admit, I was stressed out of my mind. Usually we have a little extra time to work with it, experiment, and test it, but not this time.

We also learned about a possible hazard which I had never heard of.   We were working with big tarps, with which we would put rocks on the up stream end and then walk down stream and drape the tarp over our structure.  The tarp provided a water proof cover, and the weight of the water up stream anchored the tarp to the bottom of the river, which worked very well.

The hazard?  In our line of work we must stay situationally aware all of time.  We work in many different situations, some which are not that familiar, and some are very common.  Building water lever adjustment devices was out there.  Anyway, we realized as we were laying the tarp along the bottom of the river, that if someone was to trip and fall, and at the same time let the tarp go, it would flow over them, pinning them to the bottom of the river!   Wow, how would we rescue someone from that situation?  The weight of the river was so heavy there was no way we could lift it off them?  Maybe we could run upstream and try to lift the rock from it, and a slowly  get the water to flow under it?  The best answer we could think of was to outfit the team with knifes they could open quickly, with one hand, so they could the entire person out.   Just cutting a hole for them to breath would not work, they would still be pinned to the bottom of the river.  Fortunately we did not have to deal with that situation.

Motivational and Entertaining

Brochure, Motivational V 2.11To Download your own PDF copy of this brochure which talks about several presentations we have available, click on the picture, or title above, to go to the motivational page.  There you can down load a PDF copy of this brochure.    Just call and we can look at your interests, and ways we might assist you in developing them: 719-285-5733  Drop us an email at:

The First Ascent of Back Off!, a frozen waterfall


. Photo by: John Ross

Back Off!, with two climbers approaching the top of the first pitch. Shown here in prime condition, although conditions change; as was the case on the first ascent.  Check out why it was named, “Back Off!” and what it is like climbing it.  Click this hyperlink to read an article about this extreme ice climb.


My tongue stuck to it, like I was putting it on a frozen steel pipe.  Click here to learn about the winter safety and survival skills.

Climbers approaching Windy Corner, Mt. McKinley

I stuck out my tongue to touch on of the icicles hanging from my mustache, and it froze it as if I were putting my tongue on a freezing-cold steel pipe.

Denali, the great one, as the natives called it. In the lower 48 it is better known as McKinley, 20,320 ft. “The Coldest Mountain on Earth.”  Actually climbing Denali, is like climbing a twenty-three or twenty-four thousand foot peak in other locations. This is due to how close it is to the North Pole and the Coriolis effect, which thins out the atmosphere near the poles. This picture show us Windy Corner, about 14,000 Wind Chill Factor Chartfeet.  We figured that with the temperature was about -145 degrees when you figured in wind chill. The wind was so intense it would knock you off your feet and you would go sliding down the mountain. Luckily, we were tied together with a rope, which served two purposes: 1. to allow your partners to stop you from hitting the bottom of a hidden crevasse, to stop a fall down the icy slope, and to keep the smart ones from going home.Goat, NF copy

 “This site also has Useful Check-Lists”

Wilderness Check ListA Wilderness Outing Check-List :  

This contains a list of items you may choose to take with you on your next outing. Everything from T.P. (Toilet Paper) to rope, stove to sleeping bag, ground insulation pad to sunglasses, and more  Tape it to your wall to have it handy for each trip, or make copies so you can make individualized lists.   Currently, I am working on an equipment article, which includes a more extensive equipment list.

Of course, this is only a suggested list, you may choose to include more items, or fewer items.  That is what a wilderness citizenship is about, you and your adventure.  If you have questions or you are new to the wilderness, seek out one of the many organized groups, or skilled (at teaching and the wilderness) individuals to assist you.

Learn about Avalanches, Forecasting, and Rescue 


Avalanche Skills: An article written for Emergency Magazine. A good overview and discussion of the principles and techniques of forecasting and rescue.

You will find many informational articles, charts, lists, and more.  Dive in, learn, evaluate, tell us what you think, and share your knowledge.

Information: Instruction, Education, Training, and Seminars.  “School Teaches The Rules, Experience Teaches The Exceptions To The Rules.”   Knowledge is like a key to your dreams, or other endeavors.  Whether it is knowledge about the gear you have chosen, skills about the wilderness, or details about your trip; it is always well worth the investment of time in learning, planning, and preparing for your adventures. 

◊ Equipment and Gear Evaluations: Specialty gear for working, playing, and exploring the vertical and wilderness environments.  “Maximum Efficiency and Simplicity, with a Minimum of Effort and Equipment, While Allowing for a Reasonable Safety Margin.”  Choosing the right gear for the situation can save money, time, energy, and maybe even your life.  Gear featured in this section has be chosen for a number of reasons, which include: Performance, Cost (not just the price you pay), Function and Performance, Versatility, Quality, Durability in relationship with its designed purpose, and others.  We also have taken an extra step on each piece of gear to explain its pro’s and con’s, ways to use it effectively, sizing, and much more.  Ultimately, it is our aim to help makie your adventure successful, fun, and reasonably safe.  

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When to Retire Your “Second Lease on Life . . .” Guidelines.

Article, Summit,Boil your rope,Cover

Cover Story: Boil Your Rope?

Find previously published Articles, tests, and other information from  Books,  Magazines: “Summit, Off Belay, On Sight, Climbing, Rock and Ice, Emergency, the journal of emergency medicine and rescue, Training Manuals, Videos, DVD’s, PowerPoint Presentations, and Other publications.

Learn about things that affect your rope’s life by reading this feature article (Boil Your Rope?–picture to the right) and about a system to help decide if it is time to retire your “Second Lease on Life,” or rope, and other principles.

A Sparkle in the Eye and a Smile on the Lips.

Golden-Smile,-webEver had a day when things just seem to be effortless, and your feel top of the morning?  Well, this article is about a day like that.  Also it discusses some formal meditation techniques that may be of interest.  It seems meditation is a good a skill for solution finding, relaxation and more, something we can all use now and then.

 The Hansen Belay/Rappel/Throw Bag

Bag,Rope,Hansen-Belay-Rappel-ThrowRead details about the rope bag, which was more than just a place to store and protect your rope, it changed everything.  Prior to designing this functional tool, everything pretty much was about coiling your rope: a butterfly coil, a mountain coil, a chain type coil, or a traditional coil, was the limits.  When you arrived at the climbing area, or a location of a technical rescue, you would have to leaf, or stack your rope on the ground, so it would not tangle.  This was the case as your partner led the pitch, and you paid it out.  Also, when you decided to make that rap off the top, you would need to carefully re-coil the rope, (unless you were into rat’s nests) before you threw it over the edge.  Those are just a problems we commonly dealt with.  In this article we talk about ways to use the Hansen Rope Belay/Rappel/Throw bag and more.

“Vertical Rope Skills DVD,” 

DVD,Vertical Rope Skills w

or by phone:     385-414-9294                                     or  Cell : 719-285-5733  

Anyone who uses rope can benefit by investing in their skills, ability, and safety.  Knowledge is like the key to a powerful motor cycle.  It unlocks all that stored up potential you have inside.  Get a copy at No Charge, when you attend our Vertical Rope Skills Course, or the Rope Masters Course.  Watching this “before” you attend a course, will enable you to grasp far more, and get more out of your investment in training.  

  Download your own PDF Brochure Advertising with Hansen Specialty Services

Brochure, mini,Advert,web V 0.2Click the above link or the picture of the brochure and learn more about the opportunities to advertise with us.   Everyone is on the web now days.  Here is a way to get the best ROI on your advertising dollar.


 Pulley Systems Explained . . .

Which is it, a simple, complex, or compound pulley system?

Board,pulleyWith the many different systems, and uses for pulleys, as well as the high number of groups putting them to use, it gets rather confusing.  It is the objective of this article to clear up some of this confusion.  In this feature we discuss Simple, Complex, and Compound pulley systems, as well as using them in an adjunct configuration and much more.

Get the next level of pulley skills from at:  Rescue Pulley Systems Explained and Advance Rescue Concepts Ebook available from Kindle and available by clicking this link.

Answering the Safety QuestionPotential-Factor Relationship

This is an area of prime concern for both: Individuals, and for Business and Industry.  This is a system I have developed in order to make safety tangible, and workable.  There is a problem with using the concept of “SAFE,” because there is no such thing as “Safe.” 

Want to learn more about this concept?  Check out this publication:  Deciding the safety question and evaluating “Risk Exposure.”


Just in case you are interested in know more about us.

IRappelling, Cave Entrance would like to introduce you to Hansen Specialties, and myself.  We have been involved in these pursuits for almost forty years.   What a great experience.  I had the opportunity to climb with, talk with, teach and share these experiences with many of you—Lucky Me.  I believe People are the spice of life.  Although I love the mountains, wilderness and natural environment anytime; it somehow makes make it a little more exciting if you have someone to share it with.

Rope coil goldline The above silhouette is rapping down from a Trad route.  This is an over hang on the Gray Cliffs.  

It has been a great experience to watch things progress and change.  For example: Ropes, I never used hemp for climbing, but three stand Goldline was big when I got into the sport.  To the right is a Goldline nylon climbing rope (mountain lay): The three twist rope had a special way the fibers were laid to give it more strength and abrasion resistance.

One of my first technical adventures was climbing and rappelling into some Anasazi ruins


“As always, your comments are encouraged and questions are welcome.”

(C) Copyright Douglas S. Hansen.  Use of my content is available for free and for fee.  Please contact me for information and details.  Thanks for your interest.

GremlinFor Safety’s Sake: Please note, communication is a fickle thing, and probably behind many of our problems.  Be aware there are typo errors, and other types of errors on this website and others.  Before attempting any of these things, do seek competent advice and instruction, to make sure you have a clear understanding.  Failure to do so could lead to serious injury or even death.

Also Read the warnings, equipment recalls, etc., at the bottom of this page.   “Common sense suggests reading these comments, it is worth the investment of time and pays big dividends.”


More Equipment Recalls?

Like it or not, even with the high standard most climbing and rescue gear companies maintain, there is nothing like field trials and customer use to find bugs, errors, flaws, usage problems, and maintenance issues.   Be sure to check out our equipment safety notices and recalls section.  To get information on your life support items. For your golf clubs, you need not worry as much. . .


**************Safety Notices************** 

Communication is a fickle thing . . .

FALLGCLMWith this in mind please make sure you fully
understand what is be talked about or explained.  AND even then, don’t attempt any of the things on this website, without consulting a skilled instructor.  And use safety systems, backups, and other methods to protect you from the consequences of making a mistake.  “TO ERR IS HUMAN, BUT THE MOUNTAINS AND/OR TECHNICAL ENVIRONMENT SELDOM FORGIVE . . .”   They can cause serious injury and/or even death.  Please climb safe today, so you get the opportunity to climb again tomorrow. . .

Thoughts about the risks involved with mountaineering, from Edward Whymper, who ascended the Matterhorn, along with others, for the first time it had been climbed:

“Climb if you will, but remember that courage and strength are naught without prudence, and a momentary negligence may destroy the happiness of a lifetime.  Do nothing in haste; look well to each step; and from the beginning think what may be the end.”

— Edward Whymper —


Safety Notices and Recalls:

As a public service to our clientele and others, we have sponsored “Safety Notices and Recalls” Click the Safety Notices and Recalls title to get there   This page is about potential and actual safety concerns and problems.  Please feel free to let us know about ones we have not listed or how we can change it to better serve its purpose.


Contact Us:

Phone:   385-414-9294 or 719-285-5733



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