RIAC 2011 Notes for next time

A collection of notes for the next time, taken as I went through the week. If someone else is going next year, this might be useful.

  • A grab-bag of some sort to carry books/papers/a netbook/water/food to and from the range is a good idea – your kitbag and rifle case stay in the range, your rucksack is too awkward and a suitcase way too big. A small messenger bag or bumbag would work well.
  • A netbook would be very, very useful. A good smartphone with a lot of storage would be okay too, but a netbook would make blog entries, facebooking (which you *will* wind up doing), skyping home and so on a lot easier.
  • Bring a sewing kit.
  • Bring headache pills. You can’t just buy asprin over the counter in the local petrol station shop it turns out. Hit the pharmacy after security in the airport on the way out.
  • Bring talc and/or foot powder.
  • Bring a few bandaids.
  • Check to see if you can get a data roaming plan for your phone that doesn’t include the phrase “first-born child” in the tariff.
  • You need an MP3 player and large, visible-to-everyone-else, over-the-ear headphones. In-ear earbuds will work for sound reproduction, but nothing says “Leave me alone” like the large visible headphones. Hell, even ear defenders would work…
  • Hydration. 2 litres of water per day as a bare minimum – the cold and the hotel air suck the moisture out of you. Also, remember to rehydrate aggressively on arrival – the plane’s air is even worse. Also, drink some fruit juice – you sweat more than pure H2O. Hit the local shop and buy large 2L bottles of water on the first evening.
  • Nutrition. You’re burning more calories than you think. Swipe fruit from the breakfast buffet, eat lots of carbs in the evening meal. The hotel’s breakfasts, alas, don’t really do hot food well.
  • Bring a pen, sideshow bob…
  • A small pair of binoculars or better yet, a small monocular would be useful for the observation deck.
  • The targets used by RIAC (and Intershoot) don’t show a timer in the screen and you can’t always see the range clock. Bring a watch to the firing point!
  • Hide your TV’s remote control. There aren’t any english channels and you need the sleep, but the eurosport coverage of biathlon season will be hypnotic…
  • If you forget to book lunch on the range the day before, ask on the day anyway; they usually keep a few extra servings just in case.
  • There’s not much in walking range of the official airport hotel (neither the IBIS nor the ETAP hotel, which are side-by-side and interconnected and seem to share a kitchen for breakfast and dinner); a large team ought to hire a car if possible. There are a few places though, enough to get by on. But you’ll end up eating hotel dinners for a few days…
  • …but the hotel actually does a decent hamburger. You just won’t get enough calories from the main meal to replenish what you burnt off during the day, especially if it’s cold.


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