Picture shows a bee on a yellow flower.

30 Days of Preparing for Spring Storms and the Stinging Heat of Summer Day 14: Pesky Mosquitoes, Scorpions, Bees and Other Critters that Bite and Sting

Spring and summer bring out the bugs. Try having a Fourth of July barbecue without mosquitoes and flies. Camping, hiking, hunting and even picnics in the park can result in bee stings, tick bites or a chigger attack. Though some areas of the United States have more problems with fire ants and scorpions than others, I have identified six typical stinging and biting spring and summer insects, how to prevent them and how to treat their bites and stings.

Picture shows a pitched tent and picnic table by the lake.

30 Days of Preparing for Spring Storms and the Stinging Heat of Summer Day 10: Gearing up for Spring Camping

If you are like me, at some point it just gets too dang hot to tent camp in the summer. Spring weather in North Texas is optimal for camping—nice, warm and sunny during the day, with temperatures dropping in the night for a cool and comfortable sleeping environment. Plan your trips now before the heat turns sweltering. To get you ready, I have complied Cheaper Than Dirt’s! top six camping posts.

lead exposure is a concern for shooters—especially for the mothers.

A Safety Reminder About Lead

While out on a girl’s weekend at my friend’s property, we decided to shoot some targets. One of my friends—not a regular shooter—had to be reminded to thoroughly wash her hands and arms before tending to the baby. Not too long ago, another similar incident occurred. After helping a girlfriend practice for her NRA instructor’s test, I searched for a sink at the range. Again, I had to remind someone to wash up before leaving. My own boss—a regular shooter—just the other day commented, “Oh, I never think about the lead!”

Picture shows a family playing a board game by lantern light in a room with no electricty.

30 Days of Preparing for Severe Winter Weather Day 23: 15 Last Minute Items to Get Before Everyone Else Does

Ice storms, blizzards and other severe winter weather can force you to stay inside your home. Snowdrifts can pile up as high as second story windows! Some states even have laws against driving during severe winter storms. Severe ice storms can cause transformers to blow and electrical lines to fall. Before the storm hits, be prepared to go without electricity for at least three days. Linemen will not be able to get out to fix lines until the weather clears. You should not wait until the day before weathermen predict a severe winter storm. Get last minute emergency gear now, while it is still in stock. Here is a list of 15 items to get now.

Picture shows a close up of a woman holding a Glock handgun demonstrating how to wrap one's fingers around the slide in order to rack it.

You Can Rack A Slide. It’s Technique, not Strength.

If I had a dollar for every time I heard, “I can’t rack the slide. It’s too hard,” I’d probably have a condo in the Keys. In fact, when I started shooting, I thought I wasn’t able to operate all semi-automatic handguns either. Believe me, ladies; I understand your slide intimidation. However, have no fear! Regardless of what you may think, it is not your strength or lack thereof that enables you to rack a slide properly—it’s learning the correct technique.

Picture shows two cars in the snow that have slid off the road and crashed.

30 Days of Preparing for Severe Winter Weather Day 3: Get Your Car Ready

On average 7,130 people are killed in weather-related car accidents each year—an additional 629,000 are injured. Seventy percent of injuries reported in winter weather are due to car accidents. Hazardous weather conditions such as blizzards, heavy snow, freezing rain and sleet can cause poor visibility, slick roads, road obstructions and damaging road hazards. It is best to stay off the roads when winter weather is on its way if possible. However, road travel at times necessary. Preparing your car for winter weather may make your driving less treacherous. Here is a checklist for getting your car ready for winter. Many of these precautions you can do yourself.

Picture shows a man on his roof, cleaning leaves out of his rain gutters.

30 Days of Preparing for Severe Winter Weather Day 2: Winterize Your House

In 2003, snow and ice caused roofs to collapse, trees to fall, limbs damaged structures, and it caused leaks in homes. It was Colorado’s most costly winter to date. Insurance claims for Colorado that year exceeded $93 million. Though acts of God are unavoidable and unpredictable, they aren’t necessarily unpreventable. There is plenty of ways you can winterize your home before severe winter weather strikes. Here are five ways to winterize your home in preparation to prevent damage during a winter storm.

Picture shows white-out conditions in a field with crops poking through accumlating snow.

30 Days of Preparing for Severe Winter Weather Day 1: Educate Yourself—What is a Winter Storm?

Even though the official start of winter is not until December 21, 2013, the United States has already experienced its first great winter storm of the year. On October 4th and 5th, winter storm Atlas dumped a record-breaking amount of snow in parts of South Dakota, Wyoming and Montana. Deadwood, South Dakota received a whopping 48 inches, while Rapid City, averaging about 6 inches of snowfall during October, got 23.1 inches.