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Picture shows a man in the background sneezing into a tissue with a flower in the foreground.

Camping & Survival

30 Days of Preparing for Spring Storms and the Stinging Heat of Summer Day 11: Surviving Seasonal Allergies

ACHOO! Oh man, I feel ya. Almost nothing is more miserable than a seasonal allergy attack. I usually feel it during fall, but I know many of you get spring allergies, as well. Wearing contacts, mowing the lawn, going to the park or sitting quietly waiting for that spring gobbler? Forget about it. Many people are also allergic to animal dander, dust and mold. Many choose to treat allergy symptoms with prescriptions or over the counter antihistamines and nasal decongestants, while some with severe cases consider allergy shots. You can control and alleviate symptoms by avoiding exposure and treating allergies with home and natural remedies.

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

Camping & Survival

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.

Picture shows a close-up of an American black bear's face in the water.

Camping & Survival

30 Days of Preparing for Spring Storms and the Stinging Heat of Summer Day 8: Coming Out! Hungry Bears Stop Hibernating

As we start going outside more, so do North America’s black bears. When the weather warms up, black bears wake up from their deep sleep very hungry! After all, it has been a few months since they have eaten. When bears first come out of the den in early spring, there is not as much natural food for them as late spring, summer and fall, so they scrounge for it anywhere. Bears can smell food from up to five miles away! Bears are also very curious, but also naturally wary of humans. Attacks on humans are rare. However, experts report that bear and human encounters are on the rise. Do you know what to do if you encounter a bear?


Safety and Training

30 Days of Preparing for Spring Storms and the Stinging Heat of Summer Day 6: Throwback Thursday Shooting in Foul Weather

Practicing under various weather conditions does more than allow me to practice the fundamentals under adverse conditions. It also allows me to better understand how my gear works when wet, cold, and muddy. If I’m going to have a piece of equipment fail, I’d much rather have that failure occur while at the range instead of out at a competition or while watching that trophy elk dissolve into a misty tree line. The fall and winter hunting season have one thing in common with the spring, and that’s cold and often wet weather. The deer and elk I pursue are out in the elements, and if I want to get to them I have to brave the elements as well. It’s important to me to know that my gear performs well on the range and how to overcome the problems that foul weather presents.

Picture shows a frozen lake, people skating in the distance and a sign that reads, "Danger. Thin ice."

Camping & Survival

30 Days of Preparing for Severe Winter Weather Day 29: Is it Safe to Walk on Ice?

There are very few chances us regular folks get to walk on water, so when ponds, lakes or rivers freeze over many take the opportunity to participate in fun activities such as ice skating, a friendly game of ice hockey, snowshoeing or ice fishing. But how do you know the ice is safe to walk over? There are a few general things to keep in mind when judging if frozen water is safe to walk over. Please remember, however, that ice is never 100 percent safe to walk on, so tread slowly, take every precaution you can and follow the following five rules of judging how safe ice is.

Picture shows Tom and Tamitha Garner holding hands, covered in blankets after being stuck in the snow for 12 days.

Camping & Survival

30 Days of Preparing for Severe Winter Weather Day 28: Learning by Example: The Survival Story of Thomas and Tamitha Garner

In January 2008, a Utah couple Thomas and Tamitha Garner, along with their dog Medusa, set out for a drive in a remote area of Southwest Utah to photograph wild horses in Modena Canyon. Before heading out, they alerted family members of their plans and stopped in Panaca, Nevada for gas and two boxes of granola bars. The couple ended up further down a road than they should have when a severe winter storm came through. Thomas says the snow got too high and he was unable to turn the truck around to get out. The Garner’s ordeal lasted 12 days. I want you to tell me; what did the Garners do right and what did the Garners do wrong?

canteen cup filled with compacted snow over a campfire

Camping & Survival

30 Days of Preparing for Severe Winter Weather Day 27: Is Snow Safe to Eat?

Is snow safe to eat may sound like a ridiculous question, but it is a little more complicated than a simple answer yes or no.

Who hasn’t stuck their tongue out on a snowy day to catch a few fluffy snowflakes or broke an icicle off a tree and sucked on it? Appealing as snow looks—pristine, fluffy and like it would taste like whipped cream—it isn’t necessarily safe. Pollution and bacteria can mix with snow, even in remote mountainous regions. Though you should be more concerned with hypothermia rather than getting sick from eating contaminated snow, you can still use snow to hydrate yourself if caught ill prepared in a blizzard. However, you should melt snow first before eating it!