Camping & Survival

Winter Survival Prep

Forest green Coleman PerfectFlow 1-Burner Stove.

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.

Black Hatch Specialist All-Weather Shooting Gloves
Hatch Specialist All-Weather Shooting Gloves. Photo courtesy of the manufacturer.

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.

Under-Coat Carry

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.

Olive Green Coleman Big Game Sleeping Bag.
Coleman Big Game Sleeping Bag. Photo courtesy of the manufacturer.

Sleeping-Bag Insurance

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.

Forest green Coleman PerfectFlow 1-Burner Stove.
Coleman PerfectFlow 1-Burner Stove. Photo courtesy of the manufacturer.

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.

Car Prep

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.

World's Best Kitty Litter
Emergency kitty litter doesn’t have to be the “World’s Best.” Photo courtesy of the manufacturer.

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

The Mission of Cheaper Than Dirt!'s blog, The Shooter's Log, is to provide information—not opinions—to our customers and the shooting community. We want you, our readers, to be able to make informed decisions. The information provided here does not represent the views of Cheaper Than Dirt!

Comments (12)

  1. An overlooked low cost, no advertiser item is an inexpensive box of unscented votive candles and box of windproof matches. In a survival situation, If you have to be in a car, two or three of the candles burning on the floorboard can raise your morale, in addition to the 5-10 degree increase in the vehicle. The candles last several hours, give off no dangerous fumes (crack a window), and are easy to replace later. I have used them ever since my military forays with Uncle Sam in the 70’s. Funny how some low tech solutions can be easiest and most elegant.

  2. Well that sounds like it has been tried and works. I wouldn’t want to be on the receiving end of any of the stuff.

  3. Why all the propane? They are very limited and are not a good option in very cold situations to not working at all in extreme cold. Liquid fueled appliances like Coleman lanterns and stoves are far superior in the cold. Kerosene heaters have been used for over 100 years and are just as safe as propane when directions are followed. Propane is also very expensive compared to liquid fuels and take up more room. (5 propane bottles per 1 gallon of Coleman fuel) If you have an IQ over 75 it is really a no brainier. Please research before you just give everyone advice that could kill in very cold temperature.

    1. In regards to liquid fuel as a heat and cooking source, I have been in Montana at a -60 and the propane tanks that I carried were the only thing that worked. All the liquid fuel lite weight military equipment was completely useless! Liquid fuel is nice, lite, messy to fill up smal canisters even with a funnel. BUT do not discard propane canister by saying they do not work. As a self contained item. They may be a little more spendy, check out Sam’s club. However, not having fuel on my hands or other items saves time water and other risks of fire exposure.
      Look at the stove and the ability of the user, will they understand to prime the stove, lantern, ect, using the liquid fuel. Measure your situation, prepare, practice, but do not discount an option because of personal ideas. My experience has taught me different. I like propane, especially for emergency situations!

  4. I don’t want to intrude on the advertising departments gig but …….. Nothing has changed from last year. snow is cold and wet. Being cold is uncomfortable. What ever you did last year make sure you do it better this year. Currently it is late November. If your not ready by now than you could be in deep do-do. Your first duty is to make sure your house hold is ready for winter and all possible emergencies not hunting. Make sure you improve on what you did last year and be ready for what you were’nt ready for last year.

    1. Roger== your right.I am prepped for weather, earthquake. brush fire, and the “Good citizens” of So. Cal who are pissed off right now. It could get cold and rain (would be nice) but Thanksgiving was 80. We get so little rain that a few years back the ground crew at Dodger Stadium could not work the tarps for a rare rain delay. Did improve my gear over the last riots. Got 60 rounds of Nobel Sport Buck and ball ===From CTD!


    2. OLD&GRUMPY: I think that’s marvelous that you purchased and additional 60 rounds of Nobel Sport Buck and ball. I would like to say that I believe # 4, 5, 6, 71/2 or even 8 work fine to deter what ever evil SOB would like to avoid the welcome mat and enter an abode. I am a huge fan of the 0 buck and 00 buck commonly sold in most retail stores also as a “gift” to those which desire to be on the wrong side of my door and the law. Molon Labe! Remember the Lexington Green!

    3. Buck&ball -From a 18″ riot gun you get Buck affect in close and the ball is still accurate at 40/50 yards where the buck is wide and slowing down.One round point blank or far out. The Irish Brigade loaded .58 B&B to clear the sunken road at Gettysburg.

  5. Most winter survival involves simply not killing yourself by doing something stupid, i.e. heating your house with your charcoal grill etc.

  6. Wasn’t there another Forum on this very subject. That died an “untimely” death of Natural Causes, because of lack of interest. So why are you still trying to “breath life” in to a Dead Subject.

    1. This part of the forum is advertising CTD sells this stuff. Keeps the bills paid. Our posts give them ideas on what to push. Remember “If you could only have three guns”? That was market research. For us this is fun. For them it is business. Good for both of us. The emails they send me often look like stuff I looked at when logged in or talked about. Or I could just be nuts.

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Time limit exceeded. Please click the reload button and complete the captcha once again.

Your discussions, feedback and comments are welcome here as long as they are relevant and insightful. Please be respectful of others. We reserve the right to edit as appropriate, delete profane, harassing, abusive and spam comments or posts, and block repeat offenders. All comments are held for moderation and will appear after approval.