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Is scar tissue from injections hurting your growth?

Scar tissue can form in the muscles from many different things, but injections are probably the #1 cause of it in most bodybuilders who use AAS.. Anyone who has rotated their injection sites around to different muscles has most likely been doing this because of the scar tissue or swelling from previous injections. Everytime you inject into the muscle, you’re doing damage to the muscle resulting in scar tissue or adhesions. If you have been using injectable steroids for any length of time you will be familiar with rotating your injections sites from the glutes, shoulders, thighs, lats, etc. The main reason I did this in the beginning was my injection schedule was ‘every 3 days’ and wanted to give the last injection site some time to settle down before I hit it again allowing any swelling to subside. 

I didn’t realize this at the time, but all of those injections are creating a LOT of scar tissue in the muscles, and this scar tissue can have some very detrimental effects on the muscle and how it operates. I was researching some of the effects of what happens from repeated injections in the same muscle and I came upon some information that made me better understand the trama those injections cause. I found this description from Dr. Jon DeGorter online, and I like the way he breaks it down. He said “When a muscle is damaged the body does not actually repair the injury with new muscle, but with scar tissue. Adhesions, or internal scar tissue, are inflexible fibers that bind damaged soft tissue together. Scar tissue/adhesions that form around an injury are not as strong as the tissue it replaces. It has a tendency to contract and deform the surrounding tissues, compromising strength and flexibility.” When I hear that description and think of the hundreds or thousands of injections I have administered over the years I can’t help but form this mental image of a large blanket, peppered with hundreds of abstract puncture marks in it that have been stitched closed. You can imagine after a while it would get harder and harder to find some virgin material to properly stitch close the most recent puncture mark. You’d be forced to overlap some of the blanket here, and pull some material from over there to close the holes. After a while you would not recognize the blanket anymore with all of the repair stitching. The blanket won’t lay flat, and won’t work how it was intended.                    

After repeated injections into the same muscle it’s going to really start causing some issues with how the muscle performs. All of those adhesions and scar tissue in the muscle will begin to accumulate making the fibers shorter, weaker, restricting blood and oxygen from properly moving through the muscle. It seems that your nerves would be affected negatively as well from this impingement, decreasing the signals being sent to and from the muscles. I have seen top tier bodybuilders show up on stage with one arm or thigh looking significantly smaller than the other one, and I suspect this is caused from some kind of nerve impairment that scar tissue most likely plays a role in. When we are lifting weights we’re constantly causing trauma to the muscle which results in scar tissue/adhesions to marble the muscle.  A quick google search and you can see some images of what this scar tissue actually looks like in a real muscle. The first time I saw what it looked like it surprised me! I was not expecting it to look like a spiderweb of sinew spun throughout the muscle? The adhesion/scar tissue is made up of a dense fibrous tissue. At the time of injury the scar tissue is very much needed, it’s made out of dense fibrous tissue and allows the muscle to be held together so to speak, after trauma or injury. You can think of it as scaffolding that helps to support the muscle as its healing, but this can become a deterrent once the muscle is healed causing decreased range of motion, pressure on nerves, and decreased blood flow. 

So what can we do about it? … There are several therapies used for breaking up this scar tissue and allowing blood flow and full range of motion to resume. A.R.T. (active release technique), Rolfing, Trigger point therapy, and Myofascial release are all forms of breaking up the scar tissue to rid the muscle, tendon and/or ligament of the adhesion. If you have a good therapist who specialises in one of these modalities it can drastically improve your condition when they are able to release some of these areas. The techniques are very painful as you can imagine, but the relief you receive is worth the pain in my opinion as you are allowing that muscle to finally ‘breath’. As you can imagine it will get expensive paying for multi hr long sessions with a specialist. I have devised a few ways to administer these same Myofascial release techniques on my own. Foam rolling and the like are great ways to open up the muscle, and I recommend using this technique to soften the muscle in preparation for going deeper. In order to break up the scar tissue you can experiment with a few different (torture lol) devices. A lacrosse ball, tennis ball, rubber dog ball, baseball, or any other ball that’s close in size to the ones mentioned works very good. Depending on the muscle your targeting, will determine what way is best to use the ball. If you’re like me, you have probably taken a lot of injections in the glutes, so I will describe what I do for my glutes here. Lay on your back with your knees up in the air, and your feet close to your rear end. Cross your right leg over your left leg so your right ankle is resting atop your left knee. Place the ball under your right glue and turn your whole body to the right a little to apply pressure on the ball. At this point you will want to move around on the ball to explore the muscle, you will find areas that have acute pain and/or are very tight. Once you find this spot where you can really feel the pain get acute, you’re there, you want to stay on this point with pressure. I like to sit on this spot for at least a minute or 2 or as long as I can bear the pain! I find that applying pressure in these painful spots for a few minutes the pain will begin to subside, the tension releases and it won’t be nearly as sensitive. At this point I will move slightly to the one side or the other, keeping the ball in the same spot, but focusing pressure around the perimeter of where I have been applying pressure (like an inch or 2 to the side). Sometimes you will find another spot here that has increased pain, if so I will repeat these steps with the pressure until I feel the pain dull. 

I like to go through the whole right glute muscle with the ball finding all these trigger points that are painful or very tight. Once I have had all the pain I can take on that side I will remove the ball, lay flat on my back and pull my right leg over the left side of my body trying to get my right knee over to the left side of my body where the knee can touch the ground or as close to it as I can get. This helps to stretch the glute wide open after the release. 

You can use your imagination with this ball technique to hit every muscle in your body. It’s very painful, but you can feel the results from it immediately when you’re done. I find this technique with the floor and the ball to be great for the shoulders, and all over the back as well. If you do a search on amazon for ‘myofascial release’ it will bring up pages of products that can be used in the same manner I have described. A quick search will produce Knobby balls, boomerang looking tools, and a host of other odd shaped, but very useful tools for getting deep into the muscle to break up that scar tissue for less then $30. 

I like to do this type of therapy on myself right before I go to bed in the evening. It’s amazing how much better the body feels after you’ve worked on some of those bound up scar tissue spots.  I think its smart to pay extra attention to the muscles you regularly inject into, as they are going to have more scar tissue built up in them. Don’t be afraid to work other areas of the body too, as scar tissue will hinder any muscles ability to perform optimally. 

If any of you have techniques or tricks for working out scar tissue or tight muscles I’m eager to hear more about it. I’d be interested to see what your opinion on this topic is so feel free to leave some feedback. 

Thanks, 

G and all of team GearDepot

 

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Cheers to your Health!

I think it would be wise for all of us to take a moment to reflect on our health. It’s a gift most of us take for granted until we lose it. I know for myself, growing up I felt invincible and looking after my health was one of the last things on my mind. As you reach middle age you begin to see some chinks in the armor as age begins to creep up on you. A recent visit to the doctors office made me think about all of the preventative measures we should incorporate to help monitor our health and be better informed; however, few of us ever do until it’s too late. 

Blood Work

I have been a firm believer in getting your blood work done at least once a year. If you have insurance, you should be able to ask your doc to do this. If not, there are many online services that allow you to go into any Lab Corp or Quest Diagnostics facility and have them draw your blood- they will send you the results online showing you what markers are high or low. Most of us don’t get our blood work done until we have an illness or something is ‘wrong.’ Getting the blood work done early and regularly throughout your life gives you a clear roadmap to see past results and be able to notice if any of your levels are changing. Most illness will manifest in your blood work years before you will see them manifest with physical symptoms. If you’re using steroids it is wise to get your blood work done to see how it is affecting your health. Sometimes a simple tweak in your cycle can make all of the difference in how effective it is, and charting your blood work is key to identifying and making these changes. 

Regular exercise, especially cardio

While strength training has some major benefits for your heart, doing regular cardio is just as important in my opinion. Most of us who are always going hard with the iron don’t always see the massive benefits of doing cardio, I know I didn’t in my early years. Cardio is highly effective in reducing the risk of heart attack, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, diabetes, and can also help to increase the effectiveness of your weight training sessions. 

Active recovery, stretching, and yoga

This is another area I feel most of us neglect until it is too late. I got into yoga many years ago to help increase my flexibility. I used to practice it on my days off from lifting in the gym as a form of active recovery. I could not believe how ‘out of shape’ I was when I first started doing yoga. After I had a few months under my belt, I could not believe how much better I felt physically. It helped me to increase my strength in many of the accessory muscles and tendons that don’t normally get worked with my normal weight training regimen. I was also surprised at the amount of mental clarity it gave me after I completed the yoga sessions. It helped to ease anxiety, depression and gave me a level of clarity I don’t get from lifting weights. You don’t have to do yoga per se, even having a 20-30 minute stretching routine you do to help open up your body on your days off will go a long way to prevent muscle tears, stretch fascia for new growth while opening up blood flow for more nutrients to be delivered and used by the muscles. 

I feel strongly that incorporating these things in your life will help keep your health intact and prevent many of the issues we all see as we get older. It’s often sad to see some of the great bodybuilders and athletes we knew in their prime, get cut down to size after experiencing some kind of health issues. Some of the issues are not preventable, but I would venture to say many of them are, and by doing your blood work regularly many of these health issues would be seen much earlier on. Keeping a solid exercise and cardio routine will always give you a leg up on Father Time as he begins to trail you closer. Active recovery, stretching and yoga will do wonders for anyone who is active and puts large demands on their physique. When New Years rolls around this year, maybe you can use some of this information to help incorporate these things into your life. Let’s all keep our health a top priority and stay active, healthy, and happy in the New Year ahead!

Thanks,

G and all of team GearDepot

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Ensuring A Safe and Successful Delivery

Although this topic can be discussed and utilized year-round, it is especially important as we approach the holiday season. ‘Porch Pirates’ will be out in full force, ready to take what is not theirs. There are a few ways to ensure your package is delivered safe and sound, and I want to offer some guidance on that, as well as explain a new tool we have on the site to help with tracking your package in.

The first step to ensure your package is delivered safe is the delivery address. We get many questions from people asking if they should use their real address or real name for their order. The answer to both of these is YES! You want to use your real address and your real name for the delivery. If the package is not being sent to your home address, then make sure to use the recipients normal/real name on the delivery address. This will ensure the package is delivered. Despite some common misconceptions if you use a fake name, and your real address it does nothing to prevent any legal liability. The only thing it does is confuse the post office and the mailman and can cause your package to be returned to sender, and routed to dead mail; meaning you don’t get your order and you lose your money. So please, use your real address and your real name. If you don’t use this info and the package is not delivered, then the customer takes the loss. If you use your real address and info and the pack is not delivered. then we take the loss and resend. Moral of the story here: please use your real info!

Once your order has been sent, please sit back and relax and allow a week for delivery. The majority of orders are received in less than a week, and we ask you to allow a week before you begin emailing us inquiring about the package. This brings me to my next point. If you are curious about the status of your package after it has been sent, we have some tools you can use to check the package status online. On the GearDepot website, you now have access to tracking information for your completed orders. When you log in to your account, you are automatically taken to the “My Account” page. From there, just click on “Orders” and select the order you want to track. That page will open up and you will see your tracking number with a link to track your package. This is a good tool to use to have an idea of what day your package is expected to be delivered. In most cases, tracking will begin to update within 24-hours of when your package ships. If you do not see updates, don’t panic. The Postal Service does not always update tracking the moment they collect the pack (although they are supposed to) and the holiday season can cause further delays at times.

We ask that you do not check this constantly, but rather just use it as a tool to see when your package is expected to arrive. If it does not arrive with your mail on that day, then you can obviously check for delays… once your package arrives, collect it quickly, or have someone pick up your mail for you. If your package is not delivered on the day it is expected, please email us and we can look further look into it.

The majority of our packages are delivered in packages small enough to fit in a normal mail box; however, some carriers will still place these at the door or with a front office if you live in a apartment, condo, or gated community. A small percentage of orders are sent in medium boxes that are almost always left at the door, unless you have a locking parcel locker in your neighborhood or at your home (apartment complex, condos, etc).

If your neighborhood has had issues with packages being stolen from the porch, or mail stolen from mail boxes please be vigilant in collecting your package quickly once you see it has arrived. Use the tools on the site to approximate the day of delivery and before yo submit your order triple check that the address is correct!

Another useful tool gaining popularity is a video doorbell. You can pick these up for around a hundred bucks and you will receive notifications right to your mobile device when there is motion at your door—useful for knowing when a package is delivered, as well as when someone is at your door, welcomed or not. Some models even have voice features that you can talk to visitors (or intruders, for that matter).

If you use this advice and the tools we have on the site you will receive your order safe and sound! If you have any questions or comments on this matter please feel free to email us and inquire. We’re here 24/7 to help! Happy holidays!

Thanks!

G & All of Team GearDepot

 

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So why do so many sources go out of business?

This is a loaded question that has many contributing factors, but I want to touch on some personal experience and see if we can better understand this. 

Anyone who has been in this game since the 90’s or even early 2000’s knows how much things have changed in the last 20 years. I remember in the late 90’s early 2000’s seeing the classified type ads in the back of the muscle mags selling gear. They were a little disguised, but anyone who know what they were looking for could find them there. I remember mail ordering some gear way back then, you’d just send off your envelope with some cash in it to the address provided, and the gear would show up (if you were lucky) shortly after. Fast forward 20 years and you can do all of this online now. With the addition of online advertising on the forums etc, it has attracted a lot of sources. Some of them are as solid as a rock, running their business professionally and playing the long game. Others pop up with great prices and customer service for the first few months, then seem to fade away.

I think the competition from the many competing sources is great for the customer. They get more choices, and generally, a better ability to buy what they need. The sources are forced to provide better customer service, better pricing, better security, etc. to stay in business. When we first started operating I had a scarcity mentality, it scared me every time we saw a new source pop up as I thought it would take away our business. After a few years I realized there is plenty for everyone and it was best to play the long game and build up a good following and treat your customers right so they will keep coming back. So why do so many of these sources pop up one day and go bye-bye the next? 

Most of you know it is not hard to start brewing your own gear, slap some labels on it, and call it a new lab! Anyone who has done some home brewing knows it is pretty dang cheap to brew up a few grams of Test E into a bottle. I believe a lot of these sources get into this line of work thinking “Hey, I can make a bottle of Test E for $12 and sell it for $60!” This is true if you’re doing it all yourself, ordering the raw hormones and chemicals to your house, brewing in the basement, and selling it to a guy at the gym, or mailing it off. Any gym rat can get a few buddies together and do this, as it’s not hard. There are new forums that will let someone like this advertise on their board so long as they pony up the cash each month, and all the sudden they’re a ‘source’!

This is where most get dollar signs in their eyes and think they are going to be rich. They just order a bunch of raw hormone, glassware, and chemicals and open up shop! They read an article online and think they know how to ship anonymously and jump right in. Here is what begins to happen immediately: the new source thinks they will undercut the other sources by charging less. They get a bunch of orders from guys looking for bargain prices and realize they need to order a lot more raw hormone to keep this up. So for the first month things go smooth, but as soon they run into issues getting their raws, maybe a pack gets seized, or they spend their working capitol on BS and don’t have the funds to keep product coming in the door. At this point you start to see some turn around issues, guys are wondering why the order is taking longer, or any other excuse that the ‘source’ comes up with. The source has some excuse and they offer some extra gear to shut them up. This works for a little while then we start seeing guys online say they have PIP, abscess, or the product is not potent/effective. The source will stop taking orders for a short time trying to get things under control but soon things continue to go down hill. We see forum admin get involved, customers pissed they have not received orders for months, and the source will give excuses or just go MIA.. Soon enough we see the inevitable post “hey guys, we had a death in the family and are taking some time off” or “we have decided to retire” or sometimes you don’t hear anything at all and they just go MIA. 

If you’re interested to know what happened behind the scenes while this is going on I would venture to say its something along these lines. Once the orders came rolling in the source was swimming in cash, they buy some fun shit, and order some more raws…. But a raw pack gets seized, so they order to another address. They try to keep producing as they have some big orders to fill. Soon they run into issues collecting money- W/U or MG won’t let them collect payments anymore so they start doing some CIM (cash in mail) payments. Soon enough one of these things happens that lead to their demise. 

– They get a controlled delivery and LE busts them.

– They have internal issues and disagreements between the guys running the source, someone wants more money, someone is stealing, someone is lazy. Same shit that happens with every partnership. 

– Someone narks them out as they have been running their mouth to friends about their new found success.

At this point they either work with LE to lessen their punishment and set up others or they go down on their own; either way they are done for and on the public side on the forums people will see the list of excuses start to come up that make absolutely no sense like “we had a death in the family and are stepping away for a short time to deal with it” or “we have decided to retire” or a number of other BS excuses before their account goes dark. In the time I have been in this line of work I have seen over a dozen sources I know go down. The reasons for their demise are all different but the common denominator in them all was they were not running their business with any kind of strategy for the future. I will be the first to say its not easy to get out of this line of work once you are in it, but you have to have some idea of what you will do if and when there is an issue so you’re not scrambling to play catch up. 

We have been doing this for over 13 years and have learned a lot in that time frame. Here is a list of the common things I see in sources that go down. 

– Brewing, taking orders, and doing all your own shipping in one location. You can’t be brewing your own gear and selling it. You have to pick one or the other, you either specialize in brewing, or you specialize in the sales. If you do both, you’ll get busted eventually. We don’t brew any of our products in-house, I leave that up to professionals in their field who have the facilities and background to do this. 

– Lack of operational security. You need to do extensive research on privacy and security, and continue to check yourself often to make sure your methods are always up to par. This accounts for the majority of sources getting busted. I look on many of the forums and there’s so much ‘low hanging fruit’ for LE to go after because sources are not putting the security of their customers and business before profits or anything else; this is a recipe for disaster. 

-Recreational drugs being sold or used. This accounts for a large portion of why many of these sources get busted in the first place. If you’re selling recreational drugs, chances are you’re going to be a higher priority for LE. Many times the thread that unravels the sweater is recreational drugs being used. A few years ago we had someone emailing every week from the dark web reaching out to us tying to sell us Xanax, Percocet, and a host of other recreational drugs like this. It got out of hand as I told each of them we were not interested, but they just kept asking over and over. Then there was a series of huge busts on the dark web and I got a chance to see what was actually in those pills they were calling Xanax, etc, it was small amounts of fentanyl! Lord knows I am grateful we never entertained any of those offers as I would feel horrible if someone was hurt or God forbid killed because they took a product from us. Just another reason to not mess with the recreational drugs in this line of work. 

– Partnerships going south. Generally this is caused by greed as someone thinks they deserve more, or someone see’s an opportunity to push someone else out. This is a more common reason and generally leads to the person who’s getting pushed out to retaliate against others and potentially gets LE involved. 

– Under capitalized and/or not having enough reserve cash to withstand a downturn in the market or an unforeseen loss. Just like any business, shit happens. In this line of work, if you have packages seized or issues with inventory loss, it can spell the end if you have little or no cash on hand to inject t0 correct the problem. If any of you guys remember about 2 years ago we had to destroy the majority of our inventory on hand due to a supplier under-dosing it and pulling a fast one on us. It ended up costing us about $500k, but we destroyed the inventory and brought production to another facility/supplier, greatly improving the quality and consistency of our products. 

There are some great long time sources out there that have been in the game as long or longer than us, and I commend them for their efforts! It’s not easy to have over 10 years in this space. They sell great gear, they have good customer service and they take their business serious. Anymore, if you see a source on the forums for more than a few years they seem like veterans as so many come and go in less than a year. Then there are the guys who have been here over 10+ years and I can’t help but commend them for their efforts and I hope they keep up the good work going forward. They are the backbone that holds many of the forums together and provide a great trustworthy service for the guys who order from them. 

I wish I could share more detailed info in this article as I feel I could write a novel on this topic if I could speak freely, but I hope this provides a little insight into the inner workings of some of these programs and what goes wrong when they end up folding up shop. We take this business serious and live by a simple motto here that has never done is wrong, we simply treat the customers how we would want to be treated. I remember what it feels like being on the other side of the computer screen ordering from a source spending my last $500 on a cycle for an upcoming show only to not receive anything or receive garbage, it is extremely frustrating to say the least! Having that happen to me several times is what got me into this line of work in the first place and I vowed I would remember what it feels like to get screwed over. We run a very professional program here and we’re proud of the products we sell and extremely grateful for the customers that continue to come back to us year after year for their orders. Thanks guys! 

Thanks for reading, 

G and All of Team GearDepot

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A Beginners Guide to HGH

The introduction of HGH into bodybuilding and pretty much all competitive sports has been a game changer. The positive effects it has on athletic performance, anti-aging and all around better well-being is nothing short of amazing. I want to take a moment this month to review some of the basics with HGH as we’ve been asked by a lot of customers for guidance in this area.

Preparation / How to Mix / Storage
HGH comes in many different preparations. The majority of guys have found the generics coming out of China are potent and reasonably priced. Please note, there are literally 100’s of different China HGH generics being sold out there. Many of them are garbage, but there are definitely some that are potent and have a long established track record of being tested in the lab and in the cycles of athletes. The majority of HGH comes in 100iu kits. They include 10 small vials containing dry lyophilized powder of 10iu per vial totaling 100iu per box. HGH generally comes in these multi-vial preparations to ensure it stays stable after being constituted. To constitute the HGH you will add sterile (or bacteriostatic) water to the individual vial. If mixing the HGH in the 10iu vials, you will want to mix 1cc of water into the vial. You only want to mix one vial at a time. Once that vial is used, you can then mix another one. Store the entire kit in the frudge, even before each vial is mixed. Once the preparation is mixed together you still want to keep it in the fridge (do not put it in the fridge door where it will get agitated, its best to leave it on a shelf and not disturb it unless your drawing out your dose).

Dosage / Administration
The dosage will depend on each person and is highly individualized, but if you are new to HGH and this is your first time using it, I would recommend starting off with a 3iu dose 1x per day, 5-7 days per week. I often get asked what is the best time of day to take the HGH injection? I have tried administering my HGH shot about every way you can imagine, and have settled on doing it either post workout  (whatever time that may be) or simply doing it before you go to bed. I tend to prefer the bedtime routine as the HGH makes me a little tired. Starting with a 3iu injection daily and then moving it up or down from there depending on your effects/side effects is best. The injection is administered using an insulin syringe. I recommend getting a 29-32 gauge needle (the larger the gauge #, the smaller the diameter of the needle) that is 1/2″ long. I prefer the 1cc volume syringes but the 1/2 cc will work also. You will pull the correct dose into the needle from the sterile HGH vial, pull out of the vial and clear the air from the syringe, then pinch the skin of your belly, thigh or anywhere you can find some pliable skin and stick the needle into the skin, careful not to let the needle enter the muscle. This is a subcutaneous injection.

Benefits of Taking HGH
The benefits of taking HGH are numerous. Many people use HGH for general wellness / anti-aging and see benefits in their skins vibrancy/elasticity. Increased energy levels, decreased pain around joints and connective tissue, increased muscle mass and decreased fat are common benefits of HGH. When you stack HGH with other AAS these results are magnified. If you’re not able to use the HGH for at least 3 months I would not advise taking it. HGH seems to have a more cumulative effect, meaning the longer you use it the better it works and the more/better results you see. Most people will not see fat loss or increased muscle in the first few weeks, it takes a month or two to begin seeing these results.

Side Effects
The side effects of HGH are generally dose dependent, meaning the higher the dose you are taking the more of these side effects you will see. Reports of swelling in the hands and joints are common in the beginning, as your body gets used to the dose and acclimates itself. I have experienced achy joints/body aches with higher doses as well. If you experience side effects, you can mitigate them by decreasing the dose.

What to Stack with HGH?
I think men should stack HGH with some kind of testosterone. The dose will depend on your goals if you are just doing it for general wellness and anti-aging, or if you are using it for extreme performance enhancement and want to maximize the synergistic effect that HGH and AAS have together. Using HGH on its own will work great, but stacking it with some kind of AAS, preferably testosterone, seems to have a synergistic effect (think 1 + 1 = 3). I don’t know the science on how this synergistic effect works, but it is well documented in the bodybuilding world.

HGH has one of the safest track records of any drug you can use for performance enhancement or general well being. The price has come down significantly in the last 10-years so it is affordable for most people who can shop around for a good deal. HGH is unique in the fact men and women can both use it with minimal side effects. Another benefit of using HGH is you don’t really need to ‘cycle off’ of it, you can stay on year round if your finances allow for it.

I hope this article helps to give some more basic insight on HGH. If any of you want or need more information on this please feel free to reach out to us and we’ll be happy to help.

Thank you,

G and all of Team GearDepot!