How far out of your comfort zone have you pushed yourself to go? Have you learned a new skill and thrown all the rules that confine and ground you to your everyday life out the window?
Rebelle Rally is one of the most incredible experiences I have ever encountered. If you aren't familiar with who we are and what Rebelle Rally is, you can explore part one of our journey here Rebelle Rally: Part 1.
In 2022, Tasha and I traveled 2800 km from Northern Nevada, to Southern California, competing in an eight-day navigational rally.
In this blog, I will share with you the ins and outs of the Rally, the challenging topography and climates we faced, what the ultimate team dynamic looks like, and how we placed in the competition.
So what does a day in the Rally look like?
Our base camp is composed of 4 sections. The main tent is where all competitors congregate to eat, relax and strategize in the morning. The sleeping area, where all competitors set up their tents or home away from home. The media area where the live broadcasting takes place. The impound lot/ mechanic area where our vehicles live once crossing the finish line for the day.
Our days began at 5 am every morning with the gentle ringing of a cowbell that Emily Miller, Rally Founder, serenaded us with. My tent was big enough to have a large sleeping pad, sleeping bag, and backpack. Tash used a swag this rally which was bulky but lightweight and extremely comfortable.
I often found that I would wake up before my alarm and cowbell. My subconscious would be overwhelmed with anxiety buzzing, thinking about the competition, forcing me to get up, despite being tired.
Once up, I would gather my things and head to the main tent, where I would receive my 20-35 coordinates for the day, a road book, and my breakfast. Then it was time to focus, I needed to accurately plot my checkpoints, and strategize our route, points, and terrain.
Plotting is an activity that requires an extreme amount of prolonged focus. It would take me 45 minutes to plot 15-20 checkpoints. During that time, this feeling of self-doubt would creep in. Did I plot these right? What if I miss the plot and send us on a wild goose chase? Are my black checkpoints perfectly placed? Cause they need to be perfect to get those points. These thoughts would send bouts of panic into my system, which I constantly fought for eight consecutive days.
On the other hand, Tash would be getting a laundry list of other things done while I plotted. She would organize the Truck, grab me breakfast and caffeine, and do the math necessary for our roadbook. If it were a transit day where we would be moving basecamps south, Tash would tear down her tent and mine and pack the truck. Her role is very physical and very supportive of me as a navigator. Essentially she would create space in time for me to navigate, which is why Tash was the perfect teammate.
Once plotted, we would get to our vehicles, making sure we were 15 minutes early to our start time.
Our checkpoints have open and close times. If you miss a checkpoint, it's a domino effect. Time management is a must.
When it would come time to collect a black checkpoint, time never felt on our side. Tash’s background in military navigation was such an enormous asset. We would work together triangulating, reading the terrain, and studying the map. Tash would also give us a certain amount of time on black checkpoints to avoid derailing the rest of the day.
Together we consistently would bullseye our blacks and stay on time. Teamwork makes the dream work. This eight-day Rally is about endurance. You are mentally on for 15 hours each day. What starts to affect your focus are external factors like sleep, the environment, and general comfort, like clothes.
Little things like being too cold, or too hot during the day can disrupt your game and change your mental state.
Beyond Clothing was an essential part of our success. When you enter into the Rally your goal is to pack extremely light while still being prepared to transition from subzero temperatures to 40+ degrees, all in an eight-day window. In previous years of the Rally, I overpacked my clothing and was still uncomfortable. Beyond Clothing solved these problems. Their advanced layering system allowed warmth, ventilation, comfort, and style. What did we bring?
- 4 pairs of the Sojourn Ultralight Pants.
- 5 shirts. A mix of long sleeves and tees. My favorite is the Todra L1.
- 2 Pull Overs. Celeris Midweight L2 Pullover or Women's Veil Midweight L2.
- 1 Zip up. Women's Ventum Ultralight L4.
- 1 Puffer, Dasche Jacket
- 1 Rain Jacket ARX 2.0 L6 Rain Jacket
All these clothes fit into a small cube which meant we didn't have bulk while still being prepared for all climates.
So what was the outcome for Tasha and me?
We Rallied 8 consecutive days, competing against 55 teams and we traveled over 2800 km.
We saw incredible scenery and wildlife. We had extreme moments of self-doubt, and we made mistakes, but most importantly we worked to fix them. We worked hard, relentlessly trying to live up to what we thought our teammate deserved. And, at the end of the day, we finished the 14th.
We tried for the top ten, but heck, we need something to keep us hungry for 2023!
Thank you to Beyond Clothing for supporting women in motorsports. We love you, your brand, your clothes, and everything you stand for!