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Picture shows a compact silver flashlight with solar panels on one side.

Gear, Parts and Accessories

The Five Most Useful Solar-Powered Gizmos and Gadgets

There are roughly eight or so hours of natural power a day. On a clear day, why not turn to solar power? (Alaska, you get plenty more during the summer.) The sun transforms four million tons of hydrogen into energy every second. Just one hour of sun provides enough energy to meet the world’s needs for a year. That’s a lot of free, renewable energy. Why not harness it? I found five of the most useful solar-powered devices for survivalists, preppers, hikers and campers.

Night sky lit up with fireworks and an American flag flying in the foreground.

Safety and Training

30 Days of Preparing for Spring Storms and the Stinging Heat of Summer DAY 25: First Aid 101: Treating Burns

Injuries from burns increase during the summer due to outdoor cooking, campfires, candles, oil-burning lanterns and torches, and fireworks. On average, over 10,000 Americans seek medical attention for burns from fireworks a year. Additionally, in 2011, fireworks caused a reported 17,800 fires. There are four degrees of burns. This classification system is based on how bad the burn is depending on the location on the body, how big the burn and the depth. Learn how to treat them in this basic first aid guide to burns.

Picture shows a topless man laying face down, dripping with sweat in a hot, dry desert.

Camping & Survival

30 Days of Preparing for Spring Storms and the Stinging Heat of Summer Day 22: Heat Related Illnesses: Prevention and Treatment

Heat over exposure causes hyperthermia and in turn, heat-related illnesses. Hyperthermia is when our bodies cannot regulate our body temperature in extreme heat. This includes heat cramps, heat rash, heat fatigue, heat syncope, sunburn, heat stroke, and heat exhaustion. Our bodies cool themselves when it is hot through sweating, but sometimes sweating is not enough. Sometimes, especially when it is very humid, our sweat does not evaporate fast enough and does not allow heat to escape. This is when we can suffer from a heat-related illness.

Picture shows two men holding fishing poles against an orange sunset.

Fishing

30 Days of Preparing for Spring Storms and the Stinging Heat of Summer Day 16: Fishing Basics

There is something calming and pleasantly rewarding about fishing, even on days I don’t catch anything. Fishing is a fun affair, regardless of your age. Beginning fishing does not require a lot of skill, nor do you have to invest in a bunch of expensive equipment to get started. However, you will need a rod, reel, line, tackle and bait. Before doing anything, though, first purchase a state fishing license and check your state’s regulations and laws regarding fishing on public lands. This quick start guide gives you the basics.

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Hunting and Outdoors

30 Days of Preparing for Spring Storms and the Stinging Heat of Summer Day 15: Four Essential Items for Spring Hunting

Just because the weather is warming up, does not mean hunting season is completely over. Spring hunting seasons include ground hog, turkey, bear, alligator and goose. During spring, hunters deal with unpredictable weather, rain, warmer temperatures, longer days and more sun. When spring hunting, you must adjust a gear to stay comfortable and avoid sunburns and heat-related illnesses. The following are four essential items for the spring hunter.

Picture shows a bee on a yellow flower.

Camping & Survival

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