A guest article by Jason Hanson
It’s cold in many parts of the country, so if you haven’t already started, now is the time to make sure you’re prepared for this winter. According to the Farmer’s Almanac, it’s going to be an especially cold winter, so here are a few tips to help you get through it as easily and safely as possible.
Shooting With Gloves
If you wear gloves during the winter and carry a gun, it’s critical that you go to the shooting range and practice shooting with your gloves on. Just like with the jacket above, when your life is on the line is not the time to find out that you can’t get your finger in the trigger because your gloves are too big. If you’re looking for some shooting gloves, check out the Specialist All Weather Shooting Gloves by Hatch or similar products on the Cheaper Than Dirt! site.
Because we wear jackets during the winter, many gun owners switch from carrying their guns inside the waistband to outside the waistband. If you make this switch too, you always want to do some dry-fire practice and make sure nothing has changed since last winter. Maybe your coat has become frayed since you last used it, and as you sweep it back to draw the gun, threads from the jacket get caught in the holster and you’re not able to get a smooth draw. This is obviously something you want to find out before you have to draw the gun in a real lethal-force situation.
Other critical winter preparations include making sure your family can stay warm. Each winter, somewhere in this country a frozen branch falls on a power line and people lose power for several days. This is why I recommend getting a quality sleeping bag for every member of your family in case you have to stay in your house without heat.
Emergency Propane Heat
In addition to the sleeping bags, consider a portable propane heater. Go to Amazon and check out the Mr. Heater Little Buddy and the Mr. Heater Buddy. Both of these propane heaters are safe to use indoors and they automatically shut off if they detect low oxygen levels. Most folks use these heaters for camping and their RVs, but this is definitely something you want to have in your home for emergency purposes as well.
Emergency Propane Cooking
You also need a way to cook food if a power outage takes out your cooking capabilities. I recommend propane stoves, especially the Coleman PerfectFlow 1-Burner Stove. If you’re looking for a stove with more burners, check out the Stansport 2 Burner Propane Stove. Keep in mind though, unlike the propane heater, these stoves are not designed to be used indoors. If you’re going to use these stoves and the propane heaters, stock up on plenty of propane cylinders.
Last, make sure your car is ready for winter. Just like with power outages, every year Americans get stranded in the snow as they’re traveling places for Christmas or as kids are driving home from college. Far too many of these people die because they aren’t prepared.
I personally believe you should have a toolbox in the back of your car and a 72-hour kit at a minimum. You should also consider putting kitty litter or rock salt in the back of your car to help your tires get traction if you get stuck in the snow. Another gadget you may want is one of the Mophie juice packs that can recharge your cell phone, if for some reason you don’t have a phone charger in your car.
The bottom line is, most winter accidents become accidents because people didn’t spend a few minutes getting prepared. So, take a look at the products I mentioned above and see which ones make sense for you and your family this winter.
What products do you stock up on to stay safe in the winter? Share your favorites in the comments section.
Jason Hanson is a former CIA Officer and security specialist. He’s appeared on numerous television shows, including ABC’s Shark Tank, The NBC TODAY Show and the Rachael Ray show. To get a free Spy Flashlight from Jason, visit www.SpyEscape.com