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Survival Skills | Guide to Venomous Spiders

Bugging out in natural disasters or SHTF situations means you have to try to survive out in the wilderness. You may find safety in a bug out cabin or decide to simply set up a camp. However, being out there exposes you to a different set of problems, such as potentially deadly spiders and other critters.

Survival Skills | Guide to Venomous Spiders

With shelter, food, clothing and water secured, you also have to be ready for the creatures in the forests, mountains and woods. Spiders might not seem to pose any threat but in reality, there are species of the eight legged arachnid that are dangerous.

The sight of spiders is good enough to scare most people but a survivalist has to be rational enough to try and determine what kind of arachnid he is faced with. Hence it is important to know how to identify a venomous spider in order to protect one’s life.

Here is a guide to the most dangerous spiders to help you out. We also added a chart to make identifying them easier. It’s important to know that some venomous spiders can also come into your home and hide there, so just don’t assume you’re safe just because you’re in familiar territory.

Fringed Ornamental Tarantula (Poecilotheria)

Tarantulas – the archetypal big hairy spiders that have been the terror of arachnophobes since time began. The name comes from a Spanish dance, which apparently is how people jumped around when bitten by one of these critters. Unlike the smaller spiders on this list tarantulas are mygalomorphs, which means their twin fangs point downwards and have to be stabbed into the prey, rather than the pincer like action of most smaller species.
But everybody knows that despite their terrifying demeanor, tarantula bites aren’t so bad, right? Well it may be true that most tarantula bites are no worse than a bee sting, however the Poecilotheria genus of spiders are renown for having a particularly nasty bite, none more so than Poecilotheria ornata – the fringed ornamental tarantula. The bite from one of these is reported to have caused excruciating pain, and extreme muscle cramping in some cases. One bite victim ended up in the emergency room after experiencing severe spasm and chest pains.
So whilst there have been no confirmed fatalities from this tarantula it certainly carries a potent venom and injects it by the bucket load.

Red Widow (Latrodectus bishopi)

This is a rather uncommon spider, it is a member of the black widow family and is highly venomous. According to all literature, this spider is indigenous to south and central Florida. Survive Outdoors strongly speculates that this spider is increasing its range. We have also found in the last 10 years an increase in bites from venomous spiders and venomous snakes that are not indigenous to the area. This is due to the buying and selling of venomous species over the Internet. As well as importing from other countries. This is a dangerous practice and hopefully soon stopped.
The venom of all lactrodectus species ranges from 10-25% more potent than a rattle snake. However, the amount of venom that it delivers is much less. Its venom is a neurotoxin which causes sustained muscle spasm rather than local tissue injury. Usually outcomes are very good, however there are reported deaths in the very young and very old with this bite.

Hobo Spider (Tegenaria agrestis)

No, this little guy doesn’t ride the trains, eat cans of beans or ask people for spare change. In fact, there is a lot which remains unknown about this particular species of spider and debates over its threat to humans are ongoing. That said, some studies have suggested that most of the bites attributed to Brown Recluses in the United States are actually from Hobo Spiders. This is because it is believed the bite of this particular spider can cause necrosis (breaking down of skin and tissue) although on a lesser scale than that of the Brown Recluse. Other reported symptoms include headaches, tiredness and vision problems.

Mouse Spider (Missulena bradleyi)

Even though the Black Widow may have a better known name, the Mouse Spider is actually quite venomous. Also, these spiders are in nearly every country and environment imaginable. The female is black and the male is dark brown or black with a red head area. The venom of the Mouse Spider is similar to the venom in a Funnel-Web spider. This spider is highly aggressive and will attack when it feels threatened.

Redback Spider (Latrodectus hasselti)

Location: All across Australia. It has spread via exports from Australia to New Zealand. It’s also been spotted across Southeast Asia and Japan.
Body size: Females 0.4 inches (1 centimeter), males 0.1 inches (3 to 4 millimeters)
About 250 people receive antivenom for redback bites each year. About 80 percent of bites have little to no effect, and most of the other 20 percent are painful for about a day but are not serious. The rare serious cases can include symptoms such as rapid heartbeat, headache, vomiting, and insomnia.
No fatalities have been recorded since an antivenom was introduced in the 1950s.
Redbacks don’t stray far from their webs, and most bites have occurred when people came into direct contact with the webs.

Brown Widow Spider (Latrodectus geometricus)

The Brown Widow spider, like its cousins the Black Widow, Red Back Spider, and Katipo are spiders that carry a neurotoxic venom which can cause a set of symptoms known as Latrodectism. Like many spiders, widows have very poor vision, and they move with difficulty when not on their web. The Brown Widow spiders have relatively spindly legs and deep, globular abdomens. The abdomen has one or several red spots, either above or below. The spots may take the form of an hourglass, or several dots in a row. The male widows, like most spider species, are much smaller than the females and may have a variety of streaks and spots on a browner, less globular abdomen. The males are generally less dangerous than the females, but will bite if the web is disturbed and the spider feels threatened.

Yellow Sac Spider (Cheiracanthium inclusum)

Length: 0.25 to 0.5 inches
Locations: throughout North America
The Yellow Sac Spider enjoys living inside homes and outdoors under logs or thick leaves. They are called “sac” spiders because they do not weave webs. Their young are created in silken tubes or sacs in the corners of walls and ceilings. The Yellow Sac Spider’s venom can leave human victims with lesions and dead skin tissues. Their prey includes other spiders — no matter their size— insects, and insects. They also sometimes eat their own eggs

Brown Recluse Spider (Loxosceles reclusa)

This highly venomous spider is thought to be the most dangerous Recluse Spider. It is found in the USA, from the Atlantic to the Pacific coast, and mainly in the south, in an area with radius of 2000 km measured from the center of Arkansas: south-eastern Nebraska, Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas, Louisiana, Arkansas, Missouri, Kentucky, Tennessee, Mississippi, Alabama, northern Georgia, southern portions of Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, and Iowa.
This species measures 6 to 18 mm (1/4 to 3/4 inch) in body length. A dark violin shape is located on the top of the leg attachment region with the neck of the violin pointing backward toward the abdomen. When most spiders have 8 eyes, Recluse Spiders has only 6 arranged in pairs – one pair in front and a pair on either side.
The Brown Recluse Spider’s venom can cause significant cutaneous injury with tissue loss and necrosis, and can be deadly to humans. However, though it is very dangerous to people, it is not an aggressive species and it only bites when threatened.

Black Widow (Latrodectus mactans)

Latrodectus mactans, or Southern black widow or simply black widow, is a highly venomous species of spider. They are well known for the distinctive black and red coloring of the female of the species and for the fact that she will occasionally eat her mate after reproduction (hence the name – Black widow). The species is native to North America. The venom might be fatal to humans.
Although these spiders are not especially large, their venom is extremely potent. They are capable to inject the venom to a point where it can be harmful. The males, being much smaller, inject far less venom. The actual amount injected, even by a mature female, is very small in physical volume.

Wolf spider (family Lycosidae)

Wolf spiders belong to the family Lycosidae, a large and widespread group that is found throughout the world. They are named for their wolflike habit of chasing and pouncing upon prey. About 125 species occur in North America, whereas there are about 50 in Europe. Numerous species occur north of the Arctic Circle. Most are small to medium-sized. The largest has a body about 2.5 cm (1 inch) long and legs about the same length. Most wolf spiders are dark brown, and their hairy bodies are long and broad, with stout, long legs. They are noted for their running speed and commonly occur in grass or under stones, logs, or leaf litter, though they may invade human dwellings that harbor insects. Most species build silk-lined, tubular nests in the ground. Some conceal the entrance with rubbish, whereas others build a turretlike structure above it. A few species spin webs. Wolf spider eggs are contained in a gray silk sac attached to the female’s spinnerets, or silk-producing organs, so that she appears to be dragging a large ball. After hatching, the young spiders ride on the mother’s back for several days

Six-eyed Sand Spider (Sicarius hahni)

This is a spider that is highly dangerous, but lives in such a remote region that few recorded cases of death are known. Sadly, the people it kills are rarely in a position to call home and tell #people. It lives in the driest regions of Africa and South Asia. Just a tiny amount of venom will clot your blood which increases your blood pressure to the point where you sweat blood (it comes out of nastier areas too) before dying from cardiovascular failure

Sydney Funnel Web Spider (Atrax robustus)

The deadly Australian funnel web spiders owe their name to the conical webs these creatures use as burrows or prey traps. In fact, there are three different families of funnel web spiders, only some of which are dangerous to humans. The Hexathelidae family — the dangerous variety — includes about 40 species in Australia, such as the notorious Sydney funnel spider and its tree-dwelling cousins.
These spiders are usually black or brown; sport a shiny, hard, slightly hairy covering called a carapace on the front of their bodies; and range between 0.4 and 2 inches (1 to 5 cm) in body length. Nocturnal creatures, they prefer humid climates. Most live on the ground, but some dwell in trees. The bite can be life-threatening, especially in children, but is usually nonfatal if antivenom is administered

Brazilian Wandering Spider (Phoneutria)

When a spider’s scientific name is derived from the Greek for murderess (Phoneutria) you can guess it’s going to be trouble and this is certainly the case for the wandering spiders. According to Guinness World Records the Brazilian wandering spider (Phoneutria fera) is officially the world’s most venomous spider. It is capable of injecting a powerful neurotoxin which is nearly 20 times more deadly that that of the Black Widow spider if it gets into the blood stream. That is as potent as the venom of many deadly snake species and the effects are similar. The symptoms of envenomation include a loss of muscle control leading to breathing problems which can result in complete respiratory paralysis and eventually asphyxiation.
But there are two other major side effects to the wandering spider’s bite; firstly there is intense pain and secondly, if you happen to be male there is the four hour hard on. Yes, you did read that correctly – the bite of the Brazilian wandering spider can cause an erection that lasts for several hours, unfortunately it is also painful.

Venomous and Harmless Spider Chart

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How to Survive With Just the Clothes on Your Back

Prepping by definition means taking proactive steps to get ready. We prepare for situations to happen. We prepare to have food for our family if the grocery stores are closed or sold out due to shortages or looting. We prepare to provide water for our family if the tap water is undrinkable due to pollution. We prepare for economic collapse by having precious metals and cash stored in places we can access even if the banks close. We prepare so we have what we need when we need it.

But some disasters catch you off guard. There are some cases where we don’t have our Bug Out Bags with us at the moment. There are times when we don’t have our EDC gear because as much as we hate to admit it, sometimes we walk out the door unprepared. This could be for all manner of reasons and I want to stress that we should limit this type of oversight as much as possible, but it still happens. Survival isn’t only guaranteed to those who have the latest prepper gear . Your mindset will take you further than the coolest survival knife in the world and today we are going to talk about how to survive with only the real everyday items you have with you. When you roll out the door and go out for a walk, the stuff you’re wearing can still assist you. It could be the difference between life or death in a survival situation. Here’s how to make the most of what you’ve got when SHTF.

Watch

It’s important to stay connected and maintain access to valuable information. A smart watch like the Samsung Gear 2 can do just that. It can also guide you in the right direction when disaster strikes because it can give you access to GPS navigation.

Even if you don’t have a smartwatch, your regular watch can help you in the wild just as well. You can use your wristwatch as an orienteering device to find your way. Hold your watch horizontally and point its hour hand at the sun. Bisect the angle between its hour hand and the 12 o’clock mark to get the north to south line. If you are doubtfully determining which end of the line is actually north, remember, the sun rises in the east, sets in the west and is south at noon.

Shoelaces

The laces on your shoes can be used when you need rope or string. They also can be used to create a fire, a lifesaving essential in the wild. Using nothing but your shoelaces, sticks and some wood, you can start a fire with the bow-and-drill method. Use your lace to create the part of the bow that’s used to be tied around the drill. It will help keep everything in place while you’re sawing to create a hot fire.

Flashlight

Having a good tactical flashlight on your person can save you if you get lost in the woods, and it sure makes for a great signaling device. When SHTF you probably won’t be using your flashlight to signal for help, but you can use it in other ways.

Animals are typically scared away with a flash in the eyes from a flashlight. And in a disaster situation like a fire or earthquake, you can find your way out of a dark building. Choose a LED flashlight to add to your everyday carry. They are much better than the cheap incandescent ones and the battery life is much longer.

Belt

Your belt can come in handy when you’re braving the wilderness in more ways than one. Use your belt to bundle firewood, making it easier to carry from point A to point B. If you get injured, use it as a tourniquet. The small metal prong or buckle can be put to good use if you need a weapon or hook because it can be sharpened and molded.

Shirt

You need water to survive, but safe, drinkable water may be in short supply when the apocalypse hits. It’s not likely that your water purification system is part of your everyday carry, but your shirt can make a good substitute. Filtering water through fabric is actually more common around the world than you might think. Use your shirt or other piece of clothing (woven fabrics work the best) to remove the color and particles out of water. However, this will not eliminate viruses or illness, so always boil your water after filtering it.

So while I think we all can agree that nobody should be going for a hike into the wilderness without the proper preparation, sometimes you have to use what you have. I try to have my EDC with me every single place I go, but sometimes, my outfit choice doesn’t allow it. If I am in athletic attire, I don’t have my concealed firearm on my hip, my multi-tool and large flashlight. I don’t have a bandanna either just to name a few. I do have a source of fire and a light on my key-chain and my car, which is always near has a full selection of gear including my Get Home Bag.

Stepping out the door without the tools you count on is taking a risk, but we weigh those with the situation. Even if you have nothing but the clothes on your back, you can survive. As long as you keep your head.

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The Swiss Army Tampon: A Life-Saving Wilderness Survival Tool

Do me a favor for the next five minutes. Try to forget everything you know about tampons. I know, it’s hard. But pretend that this is the first time you have ever seen or heard of the item below, and it is a new survival product on the market: the Tactical Adventure Medical Preparedness Outdoors Necessity (T.A.M.P.O.N.).

All kidding aside, a tampon really does have a ton of uses to a survivor. One could even argue for including a couple in your survival kit. Ultimately, I’ll let you be the judge.

Before I get into the details of this post, a brief history of the tampon might surprise you.

The tampon is actually regulated in the US by the Food & Drug Administration as a Class II Medical Device. The word “tampon” is a derivative of the French word tapon which means “a little plug or stopper.” My research indicates that tampons were used as early as the 19th century as battle dressings to plug bullet holes. There are even accounts of tampons being used as wound plugs in modern warfare. A friend of mine told me that it’s not uncommon for Army Medics to carry tampons in their med kits. They are also the perfect product for a bloody nose. There seem to be mixed accounts of whether the tampon was used as a feminine product before or after its use on the battlefield.

Regardless of intended use, the common tampon has many practical survival uses. I’ve highlighted a few survival uses below.

TAMPON Survival Use #1: Medical Bandage

Tampons are sterile, come very well-packaged in their own waterproof sleeves, and are designed to be ultra-absorbent — making them the perfect first aid bandage. They can be opened and then taped or tied over a wound as an improvised dressing. And, as I’ve already mentioned, they can be used to plug a bullet hole until more sophisticated medical attention can be administered. Accounts of this use date back to World War I. Many items in modern society were first developed as a facet of military research – tampons may very well be one of these products.

TAMPON Survival Use #2: Crude Water Filter

Another excellent tampon survival use is as a crude water filter. While it will not filter out biological, chemical, or heavy metal threats, it can certainly be used to filter out sediments and floating particulates. This would be considered a 1st Phase Filter, which can drastically increase the life and efficacy of your main water filter. You can also use a filter like this before boiling to filter out larger particulates. In this example, I’ve pushed a tampon into the neck of an empty water bottle. I poked a small hole in the cap and then poured in dirty water to filter through the tampon and into the container below.

The water dripped out nearly crystal clear.

TAMPON Survival Use #3: Fire Tinder

Nearly everyone knows that cotton makes excellent fire tinder. When the dry cotton fibers of a tampon are pulled apart and hit with a spark or flame, they will burst into a nice steady fire. If you’ve done the right amount of fire prep work, you can easily split 1 tampon into 3 or 4 fire-starting tinder bundles. Add in some chapstick or petroleum jelly, and you’ve got an even better fire-starting tinder.

TAMPON Survival Use #4: Crude Survival Straw Filter

Yes, I have a tampon in my mouth — don’t laugh! As a last ditch water filter, you can make an improvised Survival Straw from the plastic housing and cotton from a tampon. As you can see in the photos below, just tear off a bit of the cotton and stuff it into the plastic housing. I find it better to leave a little bit sticking out to make the housing pieces wedge tightly together.

Again, this filter will not PURIFY your water by removing biological, chemical, or heavy metal threats, but it will filter out sediments and particulates. This would be a last ditch effort if no methods of water purification were available.

TAMPON Survival Use #5: Wick for Improvised Candle

In the photo above I used the string on a tampon as a wick in an improvised candle which I made from rendered animal fat and a fresh water mussel shell I found down by the creek at Willow Haven. After the string soaked up some of the fat, this candle burned solid for 20 minutes while I took the photos and still had plenty of wick left. Pine sap would have also worked as a fuel.

TAMPON Survival Use #6: Cordage

The string attached to a tampon is a cotton twisted cord typically made up of several 4-6″ pieces of twine. Though it’s not much, it is usable cordage. This amount of cordage could easily be used to make a Paiute Deadfall Trap.

I’m sure there are also numerous other uses for small amounts of quality cordage. For example, I also use this cordage in the next Survival Use below…

TAMPON Survival Use #7: Blow Dart Fletching

The blow gun certainly has its place in survival history. From Native Americans to tribes in New Guinea, the Blow Gun and primitive darts have put food on the table for thousands of years. They are silent and deadly hunting tools, especially for small game. Oftentimes, especially here in the US, natural cotton was used as blow dart fletching. Thus, the cotton from a tampon is a perfect candidate to make cotton-fletched blow darts. I used the string on the tampon to lash it into place on this bamboo skewer.

TAMPON Survival Use #8: Blow Tube for Coal Burning Containers

Yes, I have a tampon in my mouth – again. This time, though, I’m blowing instead of sucking. Wow…this section is off to a really weird start. In a survival scenario, a simple container can make the difference between life and death. A water-tight container can be used to carry water, boil water, and cook meals. Natural water-tight containers aren’t easy to make or find. A very practical and useful improvised container can be made by using hot coals to burn out a cavity in a log or stump. A blow-tube (in this case the plastic tampon applicator) can be used to intensify the hot coals to burn the cavity.

Using the tampon applicator blow-tube, it took me about 30 minutes to coal burn a cavity large enough to hold 2 cups of water. If necessary, I could then boil and purify this water by adding in several red hot stones that had been heated in a fire.

TAMPON Survival Use #9: Waterproof Match & Fire Tinder Case

In wet and damp conditions, keeping fire-starting tools such as matches and tinder dry can be a challenge. The waterproof tampon package/sleeve makes an excellent improvised “dry-sack” for any items that are moisture sensitive. Just fold over the top 2-3 times and tie it off with the tampon string and you’ve got a great waterproof match case.

TAMPON Survival Use #10: Survival Fishing Bobber

Fishing with hook and bobber is an incredibly effective method – especially when using live bait such as grubs and worms. A thorn hook, some natural braided line, and a tampon bobber make the perfect combination for a survival fishing rig. Watch out Blue-Gill!

Make the bobber with the tampon package/sleeve by folding over and tying off the top to create a little bubble that will float your bait. If the package isn’t water-tight, just put some of the cotton inside and it will float just fine. Then, simply tie it to your fishing line.

Conclusion

I am a huge fan of multi-functional products that can serve double or even triple survival duty. For the size, weight, and cost, a tampon has an impressive list of survival functions. If nothing else, this post is another lesson in the importance of looking at everyday products through the eyes of a survivalist.Creativity and innovation are critical.

So what did you decide? Are you manly enough to include a tampon or two in your survival kit?

Remember, it’s not IF but WHEN.

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Snake Bite Smarts For Wilderness Survival

For people venturing outdoors to hike, backpack, camp, hunt, or just enjoy the wilderness, snakebites are a scary possibility, and yet more people die each year from being crushed by vending machines than from snake bites.

Now, that’s not to say that snake bites rarely happen.  About 37,500 are reported each year, but it’s more important to take preventive measures than to spend time worrying about death by snake.

Snakes will bite whatever body part is easiest to strike, and that’s usually a foot, ankle, hand, or arm. Wearing hiking boots and a pair of thick socks that extend above the ankle can protect those vulnerable spots as will a pair of loose, long pants.

Keep in mind that snakes are more active in warmer months. They also like to cower under rocks and in dark holes. I shouldn’t have to tell you this, but don’t stick your hands in those types of places without looking first. This is something that kids, in particular, like to do, so warn them ahead of time of the dangers.

And, it’s not just hands that are a problem. Poking under rocks and in dark cubby holes with a stick can be equally dangerous if a sleeping snake is awakened. They can move surprisingly fast and if they aren’t in a good mood, who could blame them?

Wilderness snake bite help tips

In spite of these precautions, let’s assume that you are, indeed, one of the unluckiest people on the planet. You’re far from a medical facility and you’ve been bitten by a poisonous snake. What do you do? First, don’t panic. As the venom enters your blood stream, you can slow down its spread by staying calm and moving as little as possible. Learn now my “16 Second Survival Breathing” technique to help with this.

I’m not going to lie to you. The pain is going to be intense, but it’s important to not take any pain medication without a doctor’s advice.

If others are with you and have a cell phone with the Red Cross first aid app, or a similar app, it wouldn’t hurt to look up “Snake Bites”, but otherwise, follow these instructions:

1.  Clean the bite wounds with water and soap and then apply a bandage to keep bacteria out. A glob of pine tree sap is a good alternative to a bandage, if that’s all you have on hand.  Use a pen to draw a circle around the wound and write on the skin the time the bite occurred. This will provide a gauge for tracking the reaction to the venom as well as any possible infection.

2.  Expect some swelling in the bite area, so remove rings, watches, and any tight clothing. Next, use a length of cloth or an Ace bandage to create a compression wrap starting about 4 inches above the bite wound and continuing down toward the hand or foot.

Rule of thumb: If you see swelling and the skin around the bite changes color, the snake was most likely poisonous.

3.  Next, if you are  move slowly and steadily toward the closest medical facility, hopefully with the assistance of other people. If you’ve brought along a cell phone, call Poison Control as soon as you have a clear signal, 1-800-222-1222.

At no point should you try to suck out the venom with your mouth, unless you really want to experience the effects of a snakebite without the actual bite. More than one person has died from ingesting snake venom in this manner. You also shouldn’t waste time looking around for the snake in an attempt to kill it and take it to the medical facility. Just do your best to remember as many details as possible of its pattern of color and size. If you do see the snake nearby, take a quick pic with your cellphone for later identification.

Supplies to carry with you:

  • Soap or small bottle of waterless soap
  • Small roll of Ace bandage
  • Ink pen or Sharpie
  • 4-5 adhesive bandages
  • Snake bite kit — Be sure to read the instructions before heading out into the wilderness.
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32 Survival Skills Your Child Should Know And Be Able To Do ASAP!

Knowledge is something that takes time to develop, so we need to start teaching the next generation now.  In case God forbid, our children are left to fend for themselves or we are injured or even just to make your family more apt to survive, every child must learn these survival skills so they can pull their own weight and contribute as much as they can.

It’s not just physical survival we need to teach them but mental, emotional, and spiritual survival as well. If your family learns now to be a well oiled machine, you will be more likely to survive any type of collapse.

  1. Grow vegetables from seeds
  2. Have local edible and medicinal plant foraging skills
  3. Knowledge of dietary needs and how to meet them using wild plants and game
  4. Make a fire and know fire safety
  5. Cook on an open fire
  6. Open a can of food with and without can opener (rub can lid ridge on cement and then pry open with knife)
  7. Be able to tell if food is too spoiled to eat
  8. How to safely use a knife
  9. How to shoot a sling shot
  10. How to hunt small game with snares, traps and sling shot
  11. How to fish and hunt, using  a bow & gun when old enough
  12. How to clean fish and wild game
  13. Find water and identify if it’s safe to drink
  14. Filter and boil water to drink
  15. Basic first aid
  16. Basic hygiene practices
  17. Find or build a shelter in the wilderness
  18. How to stay warm, cool and dry in the elements
  19. How, Why and When to stay hidden
  20. Self Defense
  21. How to make a basic weapon and how to use it
  22. Be able to run and walk a good distance and be in generally good shape
  23. How to climb a tree to get away from predators, get directional bearings, and hunt
  24. How to read a map and use a compass
  25. How to read the sky for directions, time and approaching bad weather
  26. Know where family and friends live if they need to find them
  27. How to sew so they can mend clothing or any fabric and even make things such as bags or scrap quilts
  28. How to barter and trade (Kids naturally do this with their toys so teach them at garage sales.)
  29. How to be responsible for themselves and to be aware of their surroundings at all times
  30. Have a natural curiosity and good problem solving skills
  31. Be hard working and a self starter and a family helper not a complainer!
  32. Have a strong heart and remember to stay calm in any situation
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Training Your Dog For Survival

There are millions of people out there who would never leave their dogs behind in any emergency situation if they can help it.  That is wonderful and that sort of love and loyalty is to be commended.  So I ask, why not take it one step further and train your dog to benefit you in a survival situation?

Dogs have natural survival instincts already in them so there are some things you do not have to worry about.  It has been my experience that the majority of dogs can assess a dangerous situation and let the owners know by barking at the threat.  Teaching your dog to speak, or to be quiet, is not as hard as you think and can mean the difference between life and death in a survival situation.  If you do not want someone to know your location then being able to keep your dog quiet on command is of the utmost importance.  If you are in a situation where you need to be found then having a dog that can alert others on command is very important.

No matter what you are training your animal to do you must always remain patient when training.  Dogs can sense aggravation and may become scared or timid.  This is not what you want.  You want training time to be fun.  Most dogs live to make their owners happy and are more responsive and willing to do what is asked with positive reinforcement training.

In order to teach your dog to be quiet, you must also teach your dog to speak.  The two commands go hand in hand.  For this reason we begin by teaching the dog to speak.  Practice these steps 1-2 times a day for about 5-10 minutes.  Anything longer than that usually results in boredom and then is no longer fun for your dog.

Speak Command;

  • Invoke a situation that will get your dog to bark, such as knocking on the door.  When someone knocks and the dog barks say in a firm commanding voice, “Speak,” and when he/she barks immediately give him/her one treat and lots of praise such as, “Good girl” in an excited voice.
  • Repeat this process until you can gradually stop using the door knocking to get your dog to bark.  Once the dog has mastered the speak command then he/she is ready to learn the “Quiet” command.

Quiet Command:

  • Place your dog on a leash and give him/her the command to bark.  When he/she does, then give the dog one treat.
  • Do this several times in a row.
  • After 4-5 times of barking, quickly tug on the leash and give the command “Quiet” or “Hush.”  When the dog stops barking quickly give him/her threetreats in a row.  By giving the dog three treats the dog learns that being “quiet” has a higher treat value than bark does.
  • Repeat these steps 4-5 times in a row and then take a break making sure to praise and reward the dog for good behavior.  Toss around a ball or his/her favorite toy.
  • Do this until the dog no longer needs the leash corrections to follow the Quiet command.
  • As the dog progresses, stop giving treats for the speak command and give one treat for the quiet command.

OBEDIENCE REVIEW

Whenever possible, your dog will try to get away with as much as possible.  If you start to slack off with obedience practice, your dog will soon forget all the commands you’ve taught him.  It is better to practice five minutes a day than to randomly do it every few weeks.  When your dog behaves perfectly on a consistent basis, then you can start to get a little lazy.  But if you notice a bit of attitude or stubbornness, get right back into a routine of practicing obedience before things go too far and are harder to fix later.  Here are a few tips on how to practice obedience with your dog.

  • Don’t repeat commands more than twice.
  • Use his name first, then the command.
  • Take your time.  Most dogs, especially young ones, are already in an excited state.  Teach them to relax and slow down.
  • Do obedience with the dog on your left side, not in front or behind you.  By having him in a consistent position, you can be more aware if he’s creeping ahead or lagging behind.  It’s also easier to correct a dog that is at your side, rather than being slightly ahead or behind you.
  • Praise your dog when he is in the correct position, even if you had to physically help him into the position.
  • Use a low, firm tone of voice.
  • Pick a release command, such as “Okay!” to let him know when he is done with a command.

There should be a clear separation between giving a command and giving a correction.  Give the command. Wait three seconds.  Then correct him, if necessary.  If your dog waits until you start to give a correction before doing the command, follow through with the correction anyway.  Otherwise you will continually have to start to correct before the dog performs the command, rather than the dog automatically performing the behavior when he hears the command.

These commands were learned through Animal Communications Institute.

There are training tools you can use to help you in your journey to having a well trained dog.  I have listed some examples below.

  1. Prong collar:  This collar looks mean but I assure you it is safe and will not hurt the dog.  It is designed to simulate how a mother dog would correct her pup if she didn’t want the dog doing something by grabbing the fur around the neck and pulling back by the loose skin.  A safe and effective alternative to choker collars, it puts even pressure around the neck, about every half inch, pinching the skin in a band.  This collar does not apply direct pressure to the trachea so you can train your dog with little or no tugging, jerking, or pulling.  (Note: We have and train pit bulls to the best of our ability and this collar has been very effective in teaching them how to not pull us when on the lead and due to their massive size, it is needed.)
  2. Vibration collars:  These collars give momentary burst of pre-measured stimulation to get your dogs attention if he is distracted; it gives electrical stimulation for as long as you hold the button down, up to eight seconds; and page causes the collar to vibrate for non-electrical stimulation.  There is often a shock feature on these types of collars as well.
  3. No- Pull Dog Harness:  Self explanatory.
  4. Basket Style Muzzle:   There are some dogs out there that can be unpredictable around strange people so for their safety and your dog’s safety you may consider owning one of these.  This high ventilation quality muzzle can be very useful in many situations and everyday use – visits to a vet, traveling, off-leash walks, preventing eating off the ground, yet allow for panting and drinking, providing the ultimate in comfort and safety for both the dog and owner or trainer.  Well-fitting, light weight, soft and comfortable yet strong and durable.  Safe and non-toxic.  The straps are adjustable and won’t stretch.  Please measure snout circumference and length for fit.

When there is a natural disaster hitting such as a tornado or hurricane the last thing you want to be doing is calling/searching for your dog.  Obedience training can eliminate this so that your dog stays with you unless told otherwise.  I encourage all pet owners to think about what all your dog is capable of learning that can benefit your safety and theirs.

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Become a Reseller

We are looking for established retailers and web-stores that are interested in reselling our unique and patented products.  If you sell products for outdoors, camping, gun shops, and prepper supplies, our products may fit a unique niche that you are missing.  Contact our office for wholesale pricing and distribution opportunities.

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About us

Meet Our Family.  Kayla, Jenny, and Alek.

Our Mother and Father raised us to be self reliant and resourceful.  We each possess skills and knowledge to survive an emergency situation.  You Must have a PLAN, You and your family need to PREPARE for most contingencies, and you lastly need a way to PROTECT your loved ones.

We have been raised outdoors, hunting, camping, and surviving the outdoors in Burlington, Wisconsin.  We write and share information about Being Prepared and Survival Skills through our free library database and blog.  We manufacture and distribute survival products too.

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Terms and conditions of use

Terms and Conditions:  These terms and conditions govern your use of this website; by using this website, you accept these terms and conditions in full. If you disagree with these terms and conditions or any part of these terms and conditions, you must not use this website.

You must be at least [18] years of age to use this website. By using this website and by agreeing to these terms and conditions you warrant and represent that you are at least 18 years of age.

This website uses cookies. By using this website and agreeing to these terms and conditions, you consent to SHTFandGO’s use of cookies in accordance with the terms of SHTFandGO’s privacy policy.

License to use website

Unless otherwise stated, SHTFandGO and/or its licensors own the intellectual property rights, trademarks, product names and images in the website and material on the website. Subject to the license below, all these intellectual property rights are reserved. You may view, download for caching purposes only, and print pages from the website for your own personal use, subject to the restrictions set out below and elsewhere in these terms and conditions.

  • You must not:
  • republish material from this website;
  • sell, rent or sub-license material from the website;
  • show any material from the website in public;
  • reproduce, duplicate, copy or otherwise exploit material on this website for a commercial purpose;
  • edit or otherwise modify any material on the website; or
  • redistribute material from this website [except for content specifically and expressly made available for redistribution.

Where content is specifically made available for redistribution, it may only be redistributed within your organisation. 

Acceptable use:  You must not use this website in any way that causes, or may cause, damage to the website or impairment of the availability or accessibility of the website; or in any way which is unlawful, illegal, fraudulent or harmful, or in connection with any unlawful, illegal, fraudulent or harmful purpose or activity. You must not use this website to copy, store, host, transmit, send, use, publish or distribute any material which consists of (or is linked to) any spyware, computer virus, Trojan horse, worm, keystroke logger, rootkit or other malicious computer software.

You must not conduct any systematic or automated data collection activities (including without limitation scraping, data mining, data extraction and data harvesting) on or in relation to this website without SHTFandGO’S express written consent.

You must not use this website to transmit or send unsolicited commercial communications.

You must not use this website for any purposes related to marketing without SHTFandGO’S express written consent.

Restricted access:  Access to certain areas of this website is restricted. SHTFandGO reserves the right to restrict access to [other] areas of this website, or indeed this entire website, at SHTFandGO’S discretion.

If SHTFandGO provides you with a user ID and password to enable you to access restricted areas of this website or other content or services, you must ensure that the user ID and password are kept confidential.

SHTFandGO may disable your user ID and password in SHTFandGO[NAME’S sole discretion without notice or explanation.

User content:  In these terms and conditions, “your user content” means material (including without limitation text, images, audio material, video material and audio-visual material) that you submit to this website, for whatever purpose.

You grant to SHTFandGO a worldwide, irrevocable, non-exclusive, royalty-free license to use, reproduce, adapt, publish, translate and distribute your user content in any existing or future media. You also grant toSHTFandGO  the right to sub-license these rights, and the right to bring an action for infringement of these rights.

Your user content must not be illegal or unlawful, must not infringe any third party’s legal rights, and must not be capable of giving rise to legal action whether against you or SHTFandGO or a third party (in each case under any applicable law).

You must not submit any user content to the website that is or has ever been the subject of any threatened or actual legal proceedings or other similar complaint.

SHTFandGO reserves the right to edit or remove any material submitted to this website, or stored on SHTFandGO’S servers, or hosted or published upon this website.

Notwithstanding SHTFandGO’S rights under these terms and conditions in relation to user content, SHTFandGO does not undertake to monitor the submission of such content to, or the publication of such content on, this website.

No warranties: This website is provided “as is” without any representations or warranties, express or implied. SHTFandGO makes no representations or warranties in relation to this website or the information and materials provided on this website.

Without prejudice to the generality of the foregoing paragraph, SHTFandGO does not warrant that: this website will be constantly available, or available at all; or the information on this website is complete, true, accurate or non-misleading.

Nothing on this website constitutes, or is meant to constitute, advice of any kind. If you require advice in relation to any legal, financial or medical matter you should consult an appropriate professional.

Limitations of liability: SHTFandGO will not be liable to you (whether under the law of contact, the law of torts or otherwise) in relation to the contents of, or use of, or otherwise in connection with, this website: to the extent that the website is provided free-of-charge, for any direct loss; for any indirect, special or consequential loss; or for any business losses, loss of revenue, income, profits or anticipated savings, loss of contracts or business relationships, loss of reputation or goodwill, or loss or corruption of information or data.

These limitations of liability apply even if SHTFandGO has been expressly advised of the potential loss.

Exceptions: Nothing in this website disclaimer will exclude or limit any warranty implied by law that it would be unlawful to exclude or limit; and nothing in this website disclaimer will exclude or limit SHTFandGO’S liability in respect of any: death or personal injury caused by SHTFandGO’S negligence; fraud or fraudulent misrepresentation on the part of SHTFandGO; or matter which it would be illegal or unlawful for SHTFandGO to exclude or limit, or to attempt or purport to exclude or limit, its liability.

Reasonableness: By using this website, you agree that the exclusions and limitations of liability set out in this website disclaimer are reasonable.

If you do not think they are reasonable, you must not use this website.

Other parties: You accept that, as a limited liability entity, SHTFandGO has an interest in limiting the personal liability of its officers and employees.

You agree that you will not bring any claim personally against SHTFandGO’S officers or employees in respect of any losses you suffer in connection with the website.

Without prejudice to the foregoing paragraph, you agree that the limitations of warranties and liability set out in this website disclaimer will protect SHTFandGO’S officers, employees, agents, subsidiaries, successors, assigns and sub-contractors as well as SHTFandGO.

Unenforceable provisions:  If any provision of this website disclaimer is, or is found to be, unenforceable under applicable law, that will not affect the enforceability of the other provisions of this website disclaimer.

Indemnity:  You hereby indemnify SHTFandGO and undertake to keep SHTFandGO indemnified against any losses, damages, costs, liabilities and expenses (including without limitation legal expenses and any amounts paid by SHTFandGO to a third party in settlement of a claim or dispute on the advice of SHTFandGO’S legal advisers) incurred or suffered by SHTFandGO arising out of any breach by you of any provision of these terms and conditions, or arising out of any claim that you have breached any provision of these terms and conditions.

Breaches of these terms and conditions: Without prejudice to SHTFandGO’S other rights under these terms and conditions, if you breach these terms and conditions in any way, SHTFandGO may take such action as SHTFandGO deems appropriate to deal with the breach, including suspending your access to the website, prohibiting you from accessing the website, blocking computers using your IP address from accessing the website, contacting your internet service provider to request that they block your access to the website and/or bringing court proceedings against you.

Variation: SHTFandGO may revise these terms and conditions from time-to-time. Revised terms and conditions will apply to the use of this website from the date of the publication of the revised terms and conditions on this website. Please check this page regularly to ensure you are familiar with the current version.

Assignment: SHTFandGO may transfer, sub-contract or otherwise deal with SHTFandGO’S rights and/or obligations under these terms and conditions without notifying you or obtaining your consent.

You may not transfer, sub-contract or otherwise deal with your rights and/or obligations under these terms and conditions.

Severability: If a provision of these terms and conditions is determined by any court or other competent authority to be unlawful and/or unenforceable, the other provisions will continue in effect. If any unlawful and/or unenforceable provision would be lawful or enforceable if part of it were deleted, that part will be deemed to be deleted, and the rest of the provision will continue in effect.

Entire agreement: These terms and conditions, together with Privacy Policy, constitute the entire agreement between you and SHTFandGO in relation to your use of this website, and supersede all previous agreements in respect of your use of this website.

Law and jurisdiction: These terms and conditions will be governed by and construed in accordance with Local, State, and Federal law, and any disputes relating to these terms and conditions will be subject to the exclusive jurisdiction of the courts of Wisconsin.

SHTFandGO’s details

The full name of SHTFandGO is SHTFandGO.COM.

SHTFandGO.COM and SHTFandGO LLC. is registered in Wisconsin as a Trademark.

SHTFandGO’s address is 940 S Pine Street Burlington Wi 53105.

You can contact SHTFandGO by email to shtfandgo(at)g m a i l . c o m.

TERMS AND CONDITIONS
SHTFandGO.com and SHTFandGO LLC. Warranty Policy
*Please note that web prices & products may be different from physical store location pricing and products.
**Daily Deals are available only online.
SHTFandGO will not ship ANY Firearm related items to the District of Columbia (Washington D.C.).
SHTFandGO will not ship ANY Firearm related items to the state of Massachusetts.

Purchasing/Cancellations/Returns

Purchasing Protocol

All payments are processed immediately upon placement of order.
It is the responsibility of the customer to know and be in compliance with all applicable federal, state, and local laws related to selling, transferring, possessing, transporting or using a firearm in the locality in which the customer resides.
It is the responsibility of the customer to know and be in compliance with all applicable federal, state, local laws and limitations related to the purchase of magazines and ammunition in the locality in which the customer resides.

Order Cancellation Policy

Orders placed with SHTFandGO may be cancelled by the customer prior to the item having shipped.
All cancellation requests must be made through the Customer Service Department at 612-888-7483, Monday through Friday, 9am – 6pm CST.
You MUST provide the order # when contacting Customer Service via phone or email.
If the item/package has shipped, the order may not be cancelled and the customer must follow all rules applicable to returns.
Please note that the return of the item/package will be made at the customer’s expense.
Cancelled orders may not be reversed. All cancellations are final.

Return Policies

A. Firearms, Ammunition, and Clothing:
All sales of firearms, ammunition, food and clothing are FINAL, and returns are NOT ACCEPTED.
Once a firearm is transferred to a customer’s name, SHTFandGO will not accept a return or exchange under any circumstance.
If a defect is discovered by the customer after shipment and transfer of ownership, the customer must contact the firearm manufacturer directly for replacement or repair.

B. All Other Purchases:
Return shipping is solely the responsibility of the customer.
If the purchased item(s) is defective or damaged upon receipt, or if the customer is not satisfied with a purchased item(s) and wishes to return it for a refund or replacement, the customer may return the item(s) to SHTFandGO WITHIN 30 DAYS of the date of receipt of delivery of the purchased item.
If a defect in a SCOPE is discovered by the customer, the customer must contact the manufacturer directly for replacement or repair.

All returns MUST INCLUDE a completed Return Merchandise Form with the returned item in order for SHTFandGO to process the request, issue a refund, or replace the item.
The Customer MUST call Customer Service to obtain an RMA number BEFORE returning any item.
REMINDER: All sales of firearms, loaded ammunition and clothing are FINAL, and returns are NOT ACCEPTED. No exceptions.
(Please click here to download and print a Return Merchandise Form).
All returned items must be in the same condition as when they were shipped by SHTFandGO and must be returned in original packaging.
The customer will be assessed a re-stocking fee up to 25% of the product sales price if the items
are not returned in resalable condition, as determined in the discretion of SHTFandGO.
If the customer fails to include a Return Merchandise Form with the returned item(s), or if the Return Merchandise Form is incomplete, SHTFandGO will NOT process a refund or replacement for the item(s) and the package will be returned to the customer.
*Note: Please note that customers who send in upper receivers for repair must also print and include a completed copy of the Return Merchandise Form.

Amending Orders

No amendments to orders can take place once an order is placed.

If the order has not shipped, the customer can call our Customer Service Department, at 612-888-7483, Monday through Friday, 9am – 6pm CST to cancel the order. The customer will then need to complete a new order.

Shipping Times

Due to the high seasonal/holiday order volume, shipping times will vary during the holidays.
Non-holiday shipping is typically 1-5 days for your order to ship.

Shipping Costs

For shipping costs please add the item(s) to your cart, enter your information including state and zip code for our system to calculate shipping.

Website Terms

We do our best to accurately describe the items we sell, but errors do occur.
SHTFandGO reserves the right to edit, change, or clarify descriptions at any time to correct errors in product listings. In the event of inaccuracies in the description of an item, we reserve the right to remove the conflicting information once notified. We make no warranty on the accuracy of a product listing when a conflict in the product information is present. Photos are provided for general identification purposes only and may show optional or additional pieces for illustration purposes. Please refer to the product description for details.

SHTFandGO is not responsible for website performance in any particular browser or the inability for a user to use the website due to, but not limited to, internet connection issues, outages, coding issues, or compatibility.

Order Tracking

To track your order, log in, click on “My Account”, click on “View Order” on the right hand side of the screen, click “Shipments”, and then click on the tracking number.
Typically, tracking information will be updated at the end of the business day after your order has been picked up by the carrier. If the tracking number has not been added to your order, the carrier has not picked up your order.

In-Store Pickup

Firearm order pickup is available only at our Burlington Wisconsin location.
General merchandise and non-serialized items ordered online can be picked up at our Burlington, Wisconsin location.
Web orders can pick picked up at our Burlington, Wisconsin location.
Customers will be contacted by the store once the In-Store Pickup is available.
Any customer who wishes to pick up stripped lower receivers or handguns must be a current resident of Wisconsin with a valid WI driver’s license or state approved ID, with their current address reflected.
Long guns may be picked up by non-residents, provided they do so in person and the transaction is legal in both the transferee and transferor’s state. The only exception would be permanent party military personnel, who would be required to provide a copy of their PCS orders, ID, and if they live off base, a state issued document (i.e. utility bill, vehicle registration) at time of pick up.

P.O. Box Shipments/Restrictions

Please note: Firearms cannot be shipped to a P.O. Box.
SHTFandGO abides by all Federal Regulations regarding hazardous material shipped through United States Postal Service.
A hazardous material is any article or substance designated by the U.S. Department of Transportation as being capable of posing an unreasonable risk to health, safety, or property during transportation. This includes, but is not limited to:
Minor Blast/Minor Projection Hazard- Ammunition
Oxidizing Substances- Batteries
Flammable Solids-Black Powder
Flammable and combustible liquid- Cleaners, oil, and aerosol cans
If you wish to order any hazardous material, you must provide a physical address for shipment through UPS.

Firearm Shipments

WE SHIP ONLY TO VALID FFL DEALERS WITH A STORE FRONT LOCATION.
Please note: Firearms cannot be shipped to a P.O. Box.

The customer is responsible for knowing his/her state laws regarding firearm transfers.
Contact your local FFL dealer with any questions regarding the sale or transfer of firearms.
Contact your local FFL before ordering a firearm to verify their transfer fee and to ensure they will receive your transfer.
The customer assumes all responsibility and cost for returned firearms due to FFL refusal or failure to receive.

If you order a handgun, stockless shotgun, complete AR or AK receiver, or stripped lower receiver, YOU MUST be:
1. A legal resident of the state in which you are ordering.
2. 21 years of age or older to complete the transfer through your FFL.
Exceptions – Military personnel stationed in a state other than their legal residence may purchase firearms across state lines.
Contact your local FFL receiving the transfer as you may have to provide proof of deployment, residence, etc.

Please follow all directions prompted to you at checkout. This will ensure speedier delivery. Please note that the FFL transfer selection you make is your decision and make sure the FFL Dealer will accept your transfer . The customer may be asked to provide the FFL information that they wish to use. If a customer wishes to change the FFL they want to use after the order has shipped, they will be additionally charged for the cost of shipping. If a FFL is not available at the time of delivery, the package will not be held at the carrier hub and will be returned to SHTFandGO. Additional shipping charges will apply to orders that need to be reshipped.
SHTFandGO will not ship ANY items to the District of Columbia (Washington D.C.).

SHTFandGO will not ship ANY AR or AK Parts or Firearms (Including Receivers) to the City of Chicago, Illinois.

SHTFandGO will not ship ANY AR or AK Firearms (Including Receivers) to Aurora, Highland Park, or Cook County, Illinois.

SHTFandGO will not ship any handguns to CA that are not on the DOJ roster. This includes Single Shot Exemption conversions.

No AR parts will be shipped to Connecticut or Massachusetts. All such orders will be cancelled and the customer will be charged a 5% fee.

Stripped lower receivers will NOT be shipped to the following states:
– Connecticut
– Massachusetts

Complete AR and AK receivers will NOT be shipped to the following states:
– California
– Connecticut
– Maryland
– Massachusetts
– New Jersey
– New York

Non-Compliant AR & AK models will NOT be shipped to the following states:
– California (No “assault style weapons” can be shipped.)
– Connecticut
– Maryland
– Massachusetts
– New Jersey
– New York

SHTFandGO DOES NOT ship high-capacity magazines (those greater than 10 rounds) with firearms to the states listed below. We WILL NOT replace high capacity magazines with state compliant magazines. We DO NOT offer refunds in place of the magazines.

Exceptions:
L.E.Os must provide both their credentials and a letterhead signed by their department’s superior officer stating that the firearm will be used in the execution of the L.E.O’s duties. SHTFandGO only recognizes City Police Officers, County Sheriff Deputies, and State Police (including Highway Patrol) as L.E.Os.
Not all of the states listed may have L.E.O exemptions. Please contact us BEFORE placing your order.
SHTFandGO does NOT ship directly to L.E.Os; the order must go to an FFL. SHTFandGO does NOT make exceptions for this policy.

Magazine Ordering Restrictions

SHTFandGO:
ABIDES by all state regulations regarding the sale of high capacity magazines.
DOES NOT ship high capacity magazines (those greater than 10 rounds) with firearms to the states listed below.
WILL NOT replace high capacity magazines with state compliant magazines.
DOES NOT offer refunds in place of the magazines.

It is the customer’s responsibility for understanding state laws regarding magazine capacities.

Customers ordering magazines that are illegal to own in their state will have their orders cancelled and will be charged a 5% restocking fee.
States with applied magazine restrictions:
California – no magazines greater than 10 rounds
Colorado – no magazines greater than 15 rounds, effective July 1st, 2013
Connecticut – 10 Rounds and less with a valid permit.
Hawaii – no pistol magazines greater than 10 rounds
Illinois – North Chicago, no rifle magazines greater than 16 rounds
Aurora, Skokie, Chicago, Evanston no rifle magazines greater than 15 rounds
Highland Park, Cook County, Dolton, Homewood no rifle magazines greater than 10 rounds
Indiana – South Bend – no magazines greater than 15 rounds
Maryland – no magazines greater than 10 rounds October 1st, 2013
New Jersey – no magazines greater than 15 rounds
New York – no magazines greater than 10 rounds
Massachusetts – no pistol magazines over 10 rounds and no semi-automatic rifle or semi-automatic shotgun magazines over 5 rounds, no .22 caliber conversion kits will be shipped to Massachusetts
SHTFandGO will not ship ANY items to the District of Columbia (Washington D.C.).
Exceptions:
*L.E.Os must provide both their credentials and a letterhead signed by their department’s superior officer stating that the magazine/weapon will either be used in the execution of the L.E.O’s duties, or off duty. SHTFandGO only recognizes City Police Officers, County Sheriff Deputies, and State Police (including Highway Patrol) as L.E.O’s.
*SHTFandGO will not ship high capacity magazines for CA customers to a High Capacity Magazine Dealer.
*High Capacity Magazine Dealers in CA may place orders with SHTFandGO directly.

Ammunition Ordering Restrictions

SHTFandGO ABIDES by all state regulations regarding the sale of ammunition.

– You agree and accept all policies described in our Terms of Use.
– You are at least 21 years of age (for handgun ammunition) or 18 years of age (for rifle ammunition).
– By purchasing ammunition, you are not violating any local, state, or federal laws.
– You have not been convicted of any felony, a misdemeanor of domestic abuse, and you are not chemically dependent.
– You have no legal restraint that would prohibit you from possessing, ordering, owning, or transferring ammunition.
– You have never been committed to any mental institution, or been adjudicated as mentally defective.
– You will not sell ammunition to any minor.
– You cannot have ammunition shipped to a post office box.
– You do not live in a state, city, or county that prohibits you from owning, purchasing, or transferring ammunition.
– Customers who order ammunition in states prohibiting the order of ammunition will have their orders cancelled and a 5% restocking fee will be charged.

We WILL NOT ship ammunition to the following areas:
This is not a comprehensive list, but is meant as a guide.
It is in no way meant to include all laws and restrictions across the United States.
Please contact the authorities in your area for any possible restrictions.
If you do live in a restricted area, your order will be cancelled.

– California: No Sales to the cities of Los Angeles, Oakland, Sacramento, San Francisco, or Avalon.
– Connecticut: No sales without a valid permit.
– Alaska: No Sales. Ammunition must be shipped to a freight forwarder.
– Hawaii: No Sales. Ammunition must be shipped to a freight forwarder.
– Illinois: No Sales to the city of Chicago or Cook County. All other Illinois residents must email us a copy of their FOID card in addition to their State ID.
Ammunition must ship to an address on one of these ID’s.
– Massachusetts: No Sales
– Maryland: No Sales to the City of Annapolis and Montgomery County
– New York: No Sales to New York City, or its five Burroughs. Starting January 1st, 2014 all ammunition must be sent to a FFL.
– Washington DC: No Sales.
– New Jersey: When ordering ammunition commonly used in a handgun/to be used in a handgun, email us a copy of your Firearms ID.
We must ship to the address on the FID.

SHTFandGO will not ship ANY items to the District of Columbia (Washington D.C.).

California 2017 Notice

Due to recent changes in California state law, SHTFandGO will no longer be able to ship so called “assault weapons” to the state of California. This would include all SHTFandGO AR-15 Complete lowers, AR-15 Complete Rifles, and all SHTFandGO AK-47 rifles. This would also include other makes and models of these same firearm platforms manufactured by other companies. Example: Colt AR-15 rifle.
To ensure that the firearms reach you, the customer, before the deadline of January 1, 2017, no firearms of this nature will be shipped after December 14, 2016. This will allow for shipping times and waiting periods in the state. Customers are responsible for all federal, state, and local laws.

Air Rifles, Sling Shots and Blow Darts restricted States and Area. Orders of the following items to these areas will be cancelled and 5% fee will be charged.
California

Blowguns
Blowgun bolts & darts
Delaware

Wilmington
Slingshots
Slingshot ammo
Slingshot accessories
Florida

St. Augustine
Slingshots
Slingshot ammo
Slingshot accessories
Illinois

Effective July 13, 2012: There is no velocity limit on airguns below .18 caliber, and airguns are no longer considered firearms by the state. Airguns over .18 caliber must still have a velocity of less than 700 fps.
Aurora
Foregrips
Chicago
Airguns
Airsoft guns
Blank guns
Blank gun ammo
Cook County
Foregrips
Niles
Slingshots
Slingshot ammo
Slingshot accessories
Washington
Slingshots
Slingshot ammo
Slingshot accessories
Indiana

Slingshots
Slingshot ammo
Slingshot accessories
Massachusetts

Blowguns
Blowgun bolts & darts
Slingshots
Slingshot ammo
Slingshot accessories
Michigan

Richmond
Slingshots
Slingshot ammo
Slingshot accessories
Minnesota

Duluth
Slingshots
Slingshot ammo
Slingshot accessories
New Jersey

Slingshots
Slingshot ammo
Slingshot accessories
Silencers, baffles, mufflers or suppressors…internal, removable or non-removable (does not include fake suppressors)
Pellet guns & BB guns: Residents can buy them from us through a designated local gun store after acquiring the appropriate firearm permit (airguns are considered firearms per NJ state law: Title 2C:39-1).
Your local gun store must fax a copy of their FFL to Air Venturi in order for us to ship the gun you ordered.
[Airsoft guns may be restricted by some local laws. It is up to you to determine if airsoft guns may be owned/possessed/used without special permits in their locale.]
New York

Wrist-braced slingshots
New York City & it’s 5 boroughs: Manhattan, Brooklyn, Bronx, Queens & Staten Island
(incl. ZIP Codes 100xx-104xx, 111xx, 112xx-114xx & 116xx)
Airguns
Airsoft guns
BB guns
Blank guns
Blank gun ammo
Blowguns
Blowgun bolts & darts
Crossbows
Lasers
Locking folding knives with blades longer than 4 inches
Longbows
North Carolina

Blank guns
Blank gun ammo
Morehead
Slingshots
Slingshot ammo
Slingshot accessories
Pennsylvania

Philadelphia
Airguns
Airsoft guns
BB guns
Blowguns
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Delivery

Shipments and returns

Your pack shipment

Packages are generally dispatched within 2 days after receipt of payment and are shipped via USPS or UPS with tracking and drop-off without signature. If you prefer delivery by UPS Extra with required signature, an additional cost will be applied, so please contact us before choosing this method. Whichever shipment choice you make, we will provide you with a link to track your package online.

Shipping fees include handling and packing fees as well as postage costs. Handling fees are fixed, whereas transport fees vary according to total weight of the shipment. We advise you to group your items in one order. We cannot group two distinct orders placed separately, and shipping fees will apply to each of them. Your package will be dispatched at your own risk, but special care is taken to protect fragile objects.

Boxes are amply sized and your items are well-protected.

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The Pine Tree, A Valuable Survival Resource

The key to surviving in the woods is being able to identify and use the resources that at your disposal. There are 126 species of pine trees worldwide and 39 of them are found in the United States, making them a fairly common resource. Pines are easy to identify, being evergreen, coniferous and resinous trees. Lets be honest, unless you just arrived from another planet, everyone knows what a pine tree looks like. Spending most of my life in the north woods, I have come to appreciate and rely on the pine tree as one of my most important resources for backwoods living. Lets look at some of the many survival uses for the pine tree…

Shelter

The pine tree is one the best resources available for building shelters in the woods. One of the great things about pines is that if the weather isn’t severe, it can be used as shelter just as it stands. On more than one occasion, I have hunkered down at the base of a big white pine to escape a light rain or snow and rest my weary bones. With a built in soft bed of dried needles and a canopy of boughs, a big pine makes a wonderful shelter. Pine trees have all the necessary materials for building an excellent lean-to shelter the if need calls. Pine boughs placed properly on the lean-to will shed rain, snow, block the wind and hold in the heat from a fire. Pine boughs also make an excellent bed that gives you an insulated layer between you and the ground.

Fire Starting Material

I would guess that 95% of the fires I’ve started in the woods were started with dry pine needles, twigs and pine cones as the primary tinder. If I happen to be in an area where pines are scarce, I always have several plastic bags with needles and cones that I collect when traveling through pine country. These are my favorite “go to” tinder material.

Firewood

Pine burns fast, creates a lot of sparks and doesn’t leave many coals. So, obviously you need to use your head when using it for firewood. If you need to bring a fire back from near death, some dry pine twigs will get the job done quickly. If you need a fast hot fire in your camp stove to heat something quick, pine twigs might be the ticket. If pine is all you have, it can be a good primary heat source but you need to stay on top of it, because of the sparks and fact that it won’t leave much a bed of coals. When we were in Alaska, we heated our cabin with nothing but spruce. It required getting up every couple of hours to tend the fire otherwise it would burn out.

Food

The inner bark of pines can be eaten raw, boiled, or roasted. It is a good source of Vitamin A and C. It can also be dried and ground into a powder and used like flour. American Indians in the north east used pine as a source of food, in fact the Adirondack Indians got their name from a Mohawk Indian word meaning “tree eaters”. Young, green pine needles can be steeped as tea, again being a good source of Vitamin A and C, as well as being a nice warm drink. Needles should always be added to hot water and not boiled in the water. Boiled pine needles taste terrible!

First Aid Uses

Pine resin has traditionally been used as wound cover and some claim it has antiseptic qualities. The inner bark can be pulled off in strips and used as a make shift band aid (glued on the body with resin). Pine needle tea is believed by some to be a flue and cold remedy, probably because of its Vitamin C content.

Signal Fires

Green pine branches and needles create a lot of smoke. If you need a signal fire, there is no better material in the woods. There is the obvious negative side to this, which you should keep mind. If you are the business of not being found, stay away from green pine in your camp fires!

Insect Repellent

Many flying insects are repelled by the smell of pine resin.

Glue and Water Repellent

Pine resin is very sticky and it repels water fairly well. In a pinch you can use it as a “bush glue”, taking advantage of its sticky nature. Since it is a natural water repellent (and did I mention sticky) it can be used to patch small holes in tarps and tents, and it can also be used to water proof things.

Concealment and Camouflage

Pine boughs can be cut and laid over the top of caches to conceal them. I have used them to conceal and shelter animal traps. Branches can also be fixed to your clothing to break up your silhouette and help you blend into your surroundings.

Summary

The pine tree is a plentiful and very useful resource for the self-reliant woodsman. It is easy to identify and has multiple survival uses. Whenever possible, take advantage of this wonderful resource. From shelter to food, from fire to first aid, attracting attention or concealing your cache, the good old evergreen is the resourceful woodsman’s best friend.

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NO MESS CAMPING OMELETTES IN A BAG

Some of you may have heard about this very novel idea of making omelettes in a freezer ziploc bag. Have you? Well, I had not seen omelettes in a bag done, but after seeing it done last weekend, I am sold on the idea. Who needs a dirty pan when you can just throw baggies away!! Plus no waiting your turn for the pan. You can cook a whole bunch of omelettes at one time in a pan of boiling water.

Start by breaking two eggs into a FREEZER ziploc bag. Add the ingredients of your choice just like a traditional omelette.

Then, zip the bag clothes and moosh it up with your hands. You know scramble it!

Make sure you have written the name of each person’s omelette on the bag.

Then place the omelettes in a bag in boiling water for about 14-15 minutes. The rule of thumb is about six and half to seven minutes per egg. So if you decide you want a three egger, you will need to cook it for more like 20 minutes. However, you can cook as many as you can fit in a pan at a time.

Then just walk a way and wait.

Grab your favorite mug for coffee and rest.

Then, when the eggs in the omelettes in a bag are set up and done cooking, Just dump them onto plates.

Your perfect mess-free omelette!

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Campfire Infographic

How to Build the Perfect Campfire

Whether you’re building a campfire to enjoy with friends on a camping trip, or you need it to keep warm and stay alive through a cold winter night, knowing how to build a great fire is a must-have skill.

To build the perfect campfire, you need just the right combination of the perfect tinder and firestarter, as well as the right conditions to keep your fire fed with oxygen so that it can stay burning as long as possible. There’s really an art to it, and it’s fun to perfect your campfire building skills.

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The 26 Best Places to Pitch a Tent in the U.S.

After a day spent wandering wooded paths, admiring breathtaking vistas, and dipping your toes into a crystal clear creek, you huddle around a campfire to peer up at the glowing stars and enjoy a few (hundred) s’mores. Ahh, peace and quiet! Then you zip up into your tent for a few (mosquito-free) hours, and wake to the birds chirping and the faint hint of early morning sunlight. This is what camping is all about.

In honor of the National Park Service’s 99th birthday, we rounded up the best places to camp in the country. You’ll learn the coolest features of each natural wonderland, how much it costs, and the best time of year to visit. So gather up your tent, bear-proof containers, and a few good friends for a great escape from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. (The list is organized by location.)

The Northeast

1. Acadia National Park, Maine

Why It’s Cool: Maine is known as The Pine Tree State for a reason: It’s covered in 17 million acres of forest. Plus it has 6,000 lakes and ponds and 32,000 miles of rivers and streams—basically, a camper’s paradise. Located on Mount Desert Island, Acadia National Park is the ideal destination for nature lovers of all skill levels. Looking for a unique experience? Hike to the top of Cadillac Mountain (the highest point along the east coast) just before sunrise and be the first person in the U.S. to see the sun that morning.

Where to Camp: The park has two campgrounds: Blackwoods (closer to the island’s town center, Bar Harbor) and Seawall (a more rustic, less touristy environment). While visitors can enjoy hiking throughout the entire park, camping is only allowed in these designated areas (backcountry enthusiasts, take note).

When It’s Open: Blackwoods campground is open year-round (permit required December to March). Seawall is open from late May through September.

Fee: Blackwoods costs $30 per site, per night from May to October; $10 in April and November; and it’s free from December to March. Seawall will set you back $22 for a walk-in site and $30 for drive-up tent, camper, and motor home sites.

2. White Mountain National Forest, New Hampshire

Why It’s Cool: If you’re looking for a more rustic experience in the Northeast, the White Mountains are your best bet. The hiking’s pretty rugged in this section of the Appalachian range, but totally worth it if you’re up for the challenge. The sights here are particularly stunning in the fall, when the foliage turns to all shades of red, orange, and yellow.

Where to Camp: While the forest does have 24 drive-in campgrounds (with a combined 800 campsites—wowza!), the eight walk-in state park campgrounds in the northern part of the state are really what camping’s all about. Developed campsites require reservations. Backcountry tent camping is also allowed (except in noted no-camping areas); there are also log lean-tos scattered throughout the forest (a small fee may apply).

3. Green Mountain National Forest, Vermont

Why It’s Cool: Vermont’s Long Trail is one of the Green Mountain State Park‘s biggest draws, so try finding a camping spot close by to hike a portion of it during your stay. Aside from being absolutely gorgeous, the 270-plus-mile trail is the oldest long-distance trail in the U.S.! It follows the ridge of the Green Mountains through Vermont from the Massachusetts border to Canada.

Where to Camp: The forest offers five developed campgrounds. There are no electrical hookups or dump stations, so arrive prepared. Campground accessibility varies by season. Dispersed or back country camping is allowed anywhere in the park unless specifically posted.

When It’s Open: Year-round. Visitor center and campground accessibility vary by season, but one campground is always open all year.

Cost: The best part? There are no entrance fees, and most of the campsites are free too. The Green Mountain Club maintains about 70 campsites along The Long Trail, all with a water source and privy, for which GMC caretakers will come by to charge a small fee during the summer and fall.

When It’s Open: Forest accessible year-round. Visitor center hours vary.

Cost: Daily passes to the park are available for $3; seven-day passes available for $5. Campsites vary from $18 to $24 per night, while backcountry tent camping is free. Parking at a trailhead may require a permit; check signage at your chosen lot.

The Mid-Atlantic

4. Pine Grove Furnace State Park, Pennsylvania

Why It’s Cool: Located in south-central Pennsylvania, this scenic park sits at the northern tip of the Blue Ridge Mountains in an area known as South Mountain (confusing, we know). The Appalachian Trail, perhaps the most famous foot trail in the world, runs through the forest, which is home to the trail’s halfway point. While only 2,000 people attempt to hike the whole 2,186-mile trail each year (about a quarter actually finish), between 2 and 3 million people hike or walk a portion of it. Whether you cover two miles or 20, it’s still cool to say you’ve done it! Have some time after the hike? Check out the Appalachian Trail Museum, located near the midpoint of the AT.

Where to Camp: The forest has a mix of 70 tent and trailer sites (mostly rustic) available from late March to mid-December. Reservations can be made up to 11 months in advance. Backpacking and overnight hikes are not permitted. Electric and water hook-ups are available for a fee at specific sites.

When It’s Open: Year-round. Campgrounds open from April through December.

Cost: No entrance fee. Backpacking or river camping ranges from $4 to $5 per night, while basic campsites start at $15 per night.

5. Assateague Island National Seashore, Maryland

Why It’s Cool: If you love beaches and camping, this is the spot for you. Assateague is a barrier island off the coast of Maryland and Virginia covered in sandy beaches, salt marshes, forests, and costal bays. There’s even a community of wild horses (how exotic!). Enjoy relaxing on the 37 miles of beach or hiking by day, and buckle down your tent right by (er, a safe distance from) the crashing waves for a night under the stars.

Where to Camp: Camping is only allowed on the Maryland side of the island at two oceanside and four bayside camping areas. From October 16­ through April 14, the sites are first-come, first-served. Two campsites are also open for horse camping during this time (for a fee of $50 per night). From April 15 through October 15, reservations can be made up to six months in advance. Backcountry camping is allowed ($10, seven-day permit required), but it’s only accessible by backpacking or water.

When It’s Open: Year-round; visitor center and ranger station hours vary from season to season.

Cost: $20 vehicle entrance fee, valid for seven days. Campsite fee is $30 per night depending on season and location.

The West Coast

6. Yosemite National Park, California

Why It’s Cool: Nearly 95 percent of this breathtaking park is designated wilderness—meaning no cars, no structures, no roads, and no electricity. After a night spent under the stars, hike up to Glacier Point, which overlooks the park’s famous Yosemite Valley, Half Dome (a rock structure revered among climbers), and the High Sierra peaks. The Four Mile Trail route takes about three to four hours each way. Looking for even more of a challenge? The Panorama Trail is about twice as long.

Where to Camp: There are 13 popular campgrounds scattered throughout the park, and reservations are strongly recommended from April to September. But seven campgrounds operate on a first-come first-served basis year-round. Backcountry camping is also allowed, but requires a free wilderness permit (which can be reserved ahead of time).

When It’s Open: Park open year round. Campgrounds vary by season.

Cost: $30 per vehicle for a seven-day pass ($25 from November to March). Campsites range from $6 to $26 per night.

7. Joshua Tree National Park, California

Why It’s Cool: We know, camping in the desert doesn’t sound like so much fun (hello, sunburn). But the nearly 800,000-acre Joshua Tree National Park is so much more than just desert. The park sits at the intersection of two very different ecosystems: To the east is the low-lying Colorado Desert; to the west lies the slightly higher, cooler, wetter Mojave Desert (home to the park’s namesake, the Joshua tree). The park also has ten mountain peaks higher than 5,000 feet in elevation, making it a popular rock climbing destination. (Just be sure you know what you’re doing first.)

Where to Camp: The park is home to nine established campgrounds. Some campsites require reservations for October through May. The rest of the sites are first-come, first-served. Backcountry camping is allowed, but campers must register in advance at a designated backcountry registration board.

When It’s Open: Year-round. Visitor center and campground status vary by season.

Cost: $20 per vehicle entrance fee, valid for seven days. Annual passes are available for $30 and national passes are accepted. Camping costs $15 per site per night without water, or $20 with potable water available.

8. Olympic National Park, Washington

Why It’s Cool: You’ll encounter three different ecosystems in one park, including a rainforest. Head to the Quinault Rainforest (one of only three in the western hemisphere) to see the largest Sitka Spruce tree in the world. There’s a 30-mile road that loops through the rainforest, but we think hiking’s a better option. End your trip at Ruby Beach, where you can see mountains, glaciers, and rainforests right from the shoreline—or at La Push, the northernmost beach in Washington, where you can see whales off the coast during migration season.

Where to Camp: The park has 16 National Park Service-operated campgrounds with a total of 910 sites. Backcountry camping is allowed, but a permit ($5) is required (reservations are also sometimes required). If you’re not a tent enthusiast, stay in one of the rustic lodges open year-round.

When It’s Open: Park is open year-round. Camping availability varies, but there are some primitive sites open year-round.

Cost: $20 per vehicle entrance fee, valid for seven days. Campground fees range from $15 to $22 per night depending on season and location. A wilderness camping permit is required for back country camping: $5 per person, per night.

The Mountain States

9. Zion National Park, Utah

Why It’s Cool: With massive sandstone cliffs, brilliant blue skies, and a plethora of plants and animals, this almost otherworldly park is truly a national treasure. After spending the night in the woods, hike the Kolob Canyons in the northwest corner of the park. The five-mile and 14-mile trails make perfect four- or eight- hour trips. The longer trail takes you to Kolob Arch, one of the largest (and most remote) natural arches in the world. If you’re traveling in the summer and score a permit ($5), exploring The Subway, a unique tunnel structure sculpted by a creek, is an unparalleled experience.

Where to Camp: The park has three established campgrounds, which are full every night during summer. Wilderness permits are required for all overnight backpacking trips and can be issued the day before or day of your trip (or reserved up to three months in advance). Before you go, be sure to read through the Zion wilderness guide.

When It’s Open: Year-round. Some services and facilities may reduce hours or close at some point during the year.

Cost: $30 per vehicle for a recreational seven-day pass. Wilderness permits are $10 to $20 depending on the size of the group. Campsite fees range from free to $16 per night.

10. Glacier National Park, Montana

Why It’s Cool: Featuring over 700 miles of trails through forests, meadows, and mountains, this park is a dream come true for hikers. You may have heard of Going-to-the-Sun-Road, a 50-mile road that winds through the mountains, but that’s only fun if you’re in a car. To experience the majestic beauty on foot, head to Logan Pass and Many Glacier  (there are several trails to choose from, many of which offer spectacular views of alpine lakes, as well as a campground nearby).

Where to Camp: There are 13 developed campgrounds with a whopping 1,009 established sites. Most operate on a first-come first-served basis, except for three that require reservations. Backcountry camping is also allowed, but a backcountry permit is required and you may only camp in designated campgrounds. (See the Back country guide for details.)

When It’s Open: Year-round. Visitor facilities open from late May through early September.

Cost: Summer entrance fees are $25 per car for seven days ($15 in winter). Annual and national passes are also available. Campsites vary from $10 to $23 per night during the summer season.

11. Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming

Why It’s Cool: Located just north of Jackson Hole, WY, Grand Teton is home to a number of impressive Rocky Mountain peaks, majestic lakes, and incredible wildlife. There are a ton of hiking trails ranging from easy to very strenuous, so you can choose your own adventure based on how you’re feeling that day.

Where to Camp: Stay at one of the five campgrounds in the park (Signal Mountain earns enthusiastic reviews). All back country camping requires a permit, which is free and available to walk-ins on a first-come first-served basis. (You may also be able to register online depending on the time of year, but it will cost you $25.)

When It’s Open: Year-round. Visitor center hours vary by season, but one visitor center will always be open year-round.

Cost: $30 per vehicle entrance fee, valid for seven days. All entrance fees are valid at both Grand Teton and Yellowstone National Parks. In the winter, there is a winter day-use fee of $5. Some national passes are also accepted. Campground fees are $22 per night, per site.

12. Arches National Park, Utah

Why It’s Cool: It’s a red rock wonderland with more than 2,000 natural stone arches, offering a variety of easy, moderate, and long trails. One of the most popular, the Delicate Arch trail, takes you to the spectacular arch of the same name (don’t miss the Instagram-worthy photo op!). Or take a ranger-guided hike through the Fiery Furnace, an area of sandstone canyons with no marked trailheads.

Where to Camp: The park has one developed campground, The Devils Garden Campground , with 50 campsites. Reserve in advance during the busy season (March to October), but there are also campgrounds located outside the park in the Moab area. Since the park is relatively small, there’s little land for backpacking. To do so, you need a free permit, and you should know what you’re doing (be able to read a topographic map, identify safety hazards, etc.).

When It’s Open: Year-round. Visitor center is open every day except Christmas (hours change based on season).

Cost: Beginning October 1, 2015, a seven-day pass will cost $25 per vehicle (it’s currently $10). Annual passes also available.

The Southwest

13. Grand Canyon National Park, Arizona

Why It’s Cool: Do you really need a reason? It’s the freakin’ Grand Canyon. The South Rim is more popular, accessible, and busier, while the North Rim is harder to get to, but offers a more secluded stay (and is actually in Utah). Both areas are gorgeous, so you really can’t go wrong. Back country hiking is one of the most popular activities, but it can be super tough (yet equally rewarding)—be prepared for a demanding hike that will test your mental and physical prowess. Whitewater rafting trips on the Colorado river are also crowd-pleasers.

Where to Camp: Reservations are recommended for two of the three developed campgrounds during the summer. Backcountry camping is also allowed with a permit.

When It’s Open: The South Rim is open year-round, but some facilities will close during winter. The North Rim is open mid-May through mid-October.

Cost: $30 per private vehicle entrance fee, valid for seven days. Annual passes also available. Campground fees start at $12 per night.

14. Big Bend National Park, Texas

Why It’s Cool: The Rio Grande river runs right through Big Bend, so rafting, canoeing, and kayaking trips are an incredible way to experience the park. If staying dry is more your style, the park is packed with trails covering desert, mountain, and river terrain for day hikes or backpacking trips. One popular desert hike is Devil’s Den, a moderate 5.6-mile trip along the rim of and down into a limestone slot canyon. Another beautiful hike is the Santa Elena Canyon trail, a moderate 1.7 mile round-trip hike that provides both top-down and bottom-up views of the canyon. Oh, and don’t forget to look up at night: The park’s remote location provides gorgeous views of the starry sky.

Where to Camp: The park operates three developed campgrounds. You can find primitive roadside campsites for backcountry camping scattered throughout the park.

When It’s Open: Year-round.

Cost: $25 per vehicle entrance fee, valid for seven days. Annual passes also available. Developed campgrounds fees are $14 per site, per night, while backcountry campsites require a $12 permit.

15. Carson National Forest, New Mexico

Why It’s Cool: Surprise: New Mexico is not all desert! Carson National Forest offers relatively cool summer temps as well as a great environment for fishing, hunting, camping, and hiking. In the winter, there’s even enough snow for skiing, snowshoeing, and snowmobiling. Hike the 16-mile round trip up to New Mexico’s highest peak, Mt. Wheeler, for a challenging but rewarding adventure.

Where to Camp: You’ll find 35 established camping areas scattered throughout the park. Backcountry camping is also allowed. Langua Larga offers four campsites right on the water’s edge and many good areas for dispersed camping (camping anywhere outside a developed campsite) a bit farther from the lake.

When It’s Open: Forest is accessible year-round. Campgrounds vary by season and location.

Cost: No entrance fee. Campsite prices range from free to $30, depending on location, time of year, and group size.

The Midwest

16. Badlands National Park, South Dakota

Why It’s Cool: It’s a tough climate to trek through—but the scenery is absolutely beautiful. Between a variety of rock formations lies a mixture of tall- and short-grass prairies. And be on the lookout for fossils: The Badlands have one of the most complete fossil accumulations  in North America, providing a glimpse into the area’s ancient ecosystems. The park is also ideal for stargazing and even hosts an astronomy festival in early August.

Where to Camp: There are two campgrounds in the park: Cedar Pass Campground has some amenities (running water, electricity, etc.). Sage Creek Campground is primitive (bison often wander through!) without water on-site. Permits are not required for backcountry camping, but you do need and register before heading out.

When It’s Open: Park and campgrounds are open year-round.

Cost: $15 per vehicle entrance fee, valid for seven days. Annual and national passes also available. Campsites at Cedar Pass Campground are $13 per night, per site; $30 per night, per site with electrical hook-ups. Sage Creek campsites are free.

17. Voyageurs National Park, Minnesota

Why It’s Cool: This park offers something different every season: Summer and spring are perfect for water activities; fall turns the park into a hiking paradise; and winter calls to cross-country skiers, snow-shoers and snowmobilers, and ice fishers. The park is composed of mostly water, so for those entering the park without their own vessel, guided boat tours are a popular activity (make sure to reserve in advance!). There are also a wide variety of hiking trails, accessible by both car and boat.

Where to Camp: The park features 220 free, designated campsites, but all are accessible only by water. They’re available on a first-come, first-served basis. Backcountry camping is also allowed anywhere in the park (unless otherwise stated).

When It’s Open: Year-round; visitor center hours vary by season.

Cost: Entrance is free, but there’s a $10 daily fee for private boating. No charge or reservations for individual campsites, but a free permit is required.

18. Ludington State Park, Michigan

Why It’s Cool: This 5,300-acre park is sandwiched right between two lakes (Hamlin Lake and Lake Michigan) in western Michigan. You’ll find everything from sand dunes and shoreline to marshlands and forest, plus eight separate trails covering 21.5 miles. Canoeing offers gorgeous, up-close views of the water, and you can also bike on the designated 2-mile trail.

Where to Camp: Choose from three modern campgrounds with a total of 355 campsites featuring showers and bathrooms, plus three mini-cabins. There are also 10 remote sites in a hike-in only campground.

When It’s Open: Year-round, but camping is only allowed mid-May to late November.

Cost: $11 fee to purchase the required Michigan State Park Recreation Passport.

19. Peninsula State Park, Wisconsin

Why It’s Cool: There’s something for everyone at this park—recreation options  include an 18-hole golf course, volleyball courts, boating, hiking, or simply enjoying the peace and quiet of the great outdoors. Eight miles of shoreline (right on Green Bay) call to water lovers and boaters, while miles of bike trails make for a more rigorous workout before spending the night under the stars.

Where to Camp: The park has five campgrounds with a mix of electric- and non-electric sites. Reservations are recommended. Backcountry camping is not allowed.

When It’s Open: Year-round from 6 a.m. to 11 p.m. (except for campers, who are obviously allowed to stay overnight).

Cost: A vehicle admission sticker is required for park entry. Daily stickers are available for $7 (with WI license plates) or $10 (for out-of-towners), while annual stickers are available for $25 or $35.

20. Ozark National Forest, Arkansas

Why It’s Cool: Fun fact: The Ozarks served as the setting for “Where the Red Fern Grows,” and as the home of the (fictional) Beverly Hillbillies family. Here you’ll find more than 200 camping and picnic sites, nine swimming beaches, thousands of acres of lakes and steams, and 400 miles of hiking trails. The 218-mile Ozark Highlands Trail is one of the best known hikes, but the amazing living cave systems at Blanchard Springs are also a draw.

Where to Camp: The park offers space for everything from RV to tent camping thanks to 23 developed campgrounds (a combined 320 sites). Primitive camping is also allowed almost anywhere in the forest, unless there’s a sign stating otherwise.

When It’s Open: Forest accessible year-round. Some campsites are open year-round as well; others are only open May through October.

Cost: No entrance fee. A number of campsites in the forest will charge a fee for camping, but many don’t. Camping fees can vary from free to $19 per night, per site.

21. Everglades National Park, Florida

Why It’s Cool: This park is the third largest in the lower 48 states, covering 2,400 square miles—so you definitely won’t get bored, especially with a wide range of hiking trails, campgrounds, and ample opportunities for biking. You can also canoe and kayak even farther into the park’s mangrove forests, freshwater marshes, and the Florida Bay. If you’ve had enough of doing the work yourself, check out one of the guided tours. And keep an eye out for rare wildlife species, including manatees, alligators, crocodiles, dolphins, and even the endangered Florida panther.

Where to Camp: The park has two drive-in campgrounds (reservations are recommended at Flamingo Campground). Most back country campsites ($10 permit required) are only reachable by canoe, kayak, boat, or particularly adventurous hikers.

When It’s Open: Year-round, all day, every day. Yep, 24/7.

Cost: $10 per vehicle entrance fee, valid for seven days. Campsite fee varies from $16 to $30, based on location.

22. Pisgah National Forest, North Carolina

Why It’s Cool: There are hundreds of different trails throughout the Hemlocks region, offering a diverse range of hikes and backpacking opportunities. Just an hour from Asheville, NC, the Pisgah Forest is known as the “Land of the Waterfalls” (guess why), so any trail you choose, regardless of difficulty, will provide ample opportunities to check out some gorgeous falls. The forest also contains four long-distance trails, including portions of the Appalachian Trail and the Mountains to Sea Trail. The Art Loeb Trail  is one of the toughest (30.1 miles) in the forest but also one of the most popular. There are plenty of campsites along the trail too, making it a great path for a weekend backpacking trip.

Where to Camp: Check out the park’s camping guide to find out which sites are first-come, first-served and which require reservations. Dispersed camping is only allowed at one of the forest’s designated camping areas.

When It’s Open: Forest is accessible year-round. Campground availability varies by season.

Cost: No general entrance fee. Campsite cost varies by location. Some passes and permits may be required, depending on activity.

23. Shenandoah National Park, Virginia

Why It’s Cool: D.C.-area readers, get packing: Just 75 miles from your metropolis is the perfect natural escape. The park contains more than 500 miles of trails, some leading to magnificent viewpoints or waterfalls, and others through miles of quiet, peaceful wilderness. Regardless, there will be a hike you’ll enjoy. The eight-mile hike to Old Rag Mountain is the toughest route in the park (and also one of the most popular), and rewards hikers with spectacular views from its peak.

Where to Camp: The park’s four campgrounds are open in spring, summer, and fall. Reservations at any site are recommended, but some first-come first-served spots may be available. Back country camping requires a free permit.

When It’s Open: Year-round. Portions of road are closed during bad weather and at night during deer hunting season (mid-November through early January). Visitor services are typically open only from March through November.

Cost: Entrance fee is $20 per vehicle, valid for seven days.

24. Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Tennessee

Why It’s Cool: America’s most-visited national park is known for its variety of animals and plants, serene mountain vistas, and storied past: More than 70 structures still remain from the prehistoric era, and the park now contains the largest collection of historic log buildings in the eastern U.S. The park is also packed with waterfalls, all of which make for perfect day hikes.

Where to Camp: The park has 10 campgrounds, all with running water and toilets (score!). Only one campground requires reservations; the rest are first-come first-served. Back country camping  is allowed at designated sites, but a permit and advance reservations are required.

When It’s Open: Year-round. Some roads, campgrounds, and visitor facilities close in winter, but Cades Cove and Smokemont campgrounds are open year-round.

Cost: No entrance fees. Campsite fees range from $14 to $23 per night, and backcountry permit fees are $4 per person per night with a maximum charge of $20 per person.

Alaska

25. Denali National Park, Alaska

Why It’s Cool: Six million acres of open land? Check. Unbelievable wildlife? Check. Trails to please even the most experienced of hikers? Check. It doesn’t get cooler than Denali—literally. The central draw to the park (especially for mountaineers) is Denali itself, known as Mount McKinley, North America’s tallest peak. Still, the park offers hikes for pros and beginners alike: Most trails start near the visitor center and are considered easy to moderate in difficulty. A few trails start deeper in the park, beyond the first three miles of the access road. Be sure to do your research before embarking on any backcountry camping trip here—this park is not for the inexperienced.

Where to Camp: The park has six established campgrounds with a combined 291 sites and also allows backcountry camping with a (free) permit. Riley Creek is the only campground reachable by car (and requires a minimum three-night stay to reduce traffic). The other two sites are only reachable by bus. One campground is also open year-round, and no fees are charged in winter.

When It’s Open: It depends on the weather in a given year. Parts of the park are open year-round, but generally, the park opens to private vehicles starting in mid-April. Summer bus service begins May 20 and operates through the second week after Labor Day. Fall and winter may bring some road closures, but there’s still plenty to do in the park, from skiing to dog mushing.

Cost: $10 entrance fee per person, valid for seven days. Annual and national passes are also available and accepted.

26. Glacier Bay National Park, Alaska

Why It’s Cool: Glacier Bay National Park is mostly water: The bay itself serves as the passageway to the inner section of the park, which is (awesomely enough) a glacier. After spending the night under the stars, try cruising the bay on a tour, charter, or private boat. There are no marked trails in the park, so backpacking is more strenuous here than elsewhere. Rafting one of the park’s two rivers is a great alternative that allows campers to easily tow supplies—but make sure you’re with someone who knows what they’re doing. Park rangers also lead a variety of tours and talks every day during the summer.

Where to Camp: The park has only one campground, in Bartlet Cove, which has outhouses, a warming shelter, and safe food storage. Permits are free but required for campgrounds and backcountry from May 1 through September 30.

When It’s Open: Year-round, but accessibility and services are very limited in winter. Visitor center is open from late May through early September.

Cost: The best news? No entrance fees or camping fees for private visitors! Reservations are required for boating, camping, rafting, and other visitor services.

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41 Insanely Clever Products You Need For Your Next Camping Trip

1. An inflatable solar light that will help you see through anything.

Lightweight, rechargeable, waterproof, and eco-friendly

2. A squeezable water filtration system.

Fill the pouches with water from any outdoor water source, screw the filter onto the pouch, and filter the water into your water bottles.

3. A CamelBak purification water bottle.

The cap uses UV technology to clean any tap or clear natural water into drinking water in 60 seconds. Bonus: A fully charged battery gives you 80 uses!

4. A headlamp that adjusts its brightness automatically to the environment.

5. This tool kit that has everything you could ever need.

Includes a can opener, tweezers, alarm, timer, barometer, thermometer, flashlight, screwdriver, magnifying lens, sharpening stone, compass, and more.

6. A smokeless stove that generates electricity to charge your personal devices.

7. “Earl,” a smart, solar-powered GPS that gives you real-time map data, weather, and an emergency radio.

8. This compact stove that’s perfect for a solo trip.

All-in-one stove, with suggested fuel amounts above.

9. A USB and solar-powered device that charges headlamps, cameras, and electronics.

Also waterproof.

10. This high-tech blade with a handle that doesn’t absorb water.

Perfect for cutting wood or preparing food.

11. A no-pump water filter that cleans your water for you.

So you can spend more time exploring.

12. A waterproof lighter with a gas lock.

There is nothing worse than not being able to light your stove and eat a hot meal after a rainy day of hiking. NOTHING.

13. This neon blue hammock for two.

Talk about romantic. 

14. A portable sink that’s perfect for keeping dishes and clothes sanitary.

Especially useful for washing underwear, which can help prevent UTIs and other infections.

15. A tent-pole seat that holds up to 250 pounds and weighs only 1.3 pounds.

It folds into a little tube.

16. A compact spork-and-knife utensil set.

The solution to all our spork woes. 

17. A bandana that is also a map of Yosemite National Park.

18. An ultra-light drip coffeemaker.

Early-morning boost to your sunrise hike.

19. Reflective badges that will keep your group together during night hikes.

20. A star target that teaches you secrets of the galaxy.

It locates constellations, bright stars, nebulas, star clusters, and more.

21. A survival tool kit that’s smaller than a credit card and will save you in emergency situations.

Includes saw blade, two-position wrench, key-chain hole, bottle opener, direction indication, can opener, screwdriver, ruler, four-position wrench, and a butterfly screw wrench. Is there anything it can’t do?

22. A compact scraper that will clean out any last food chunks.

Also doubles up as a spatula and a utensils replacement. Finally, you don’t have to eat yesterday’s leftover chili with today’s oatmeal.

23. This all-purpose bowl that is 100% recyclable, light, odor-free, and stain-resistant.

It’s made of polyproylene, which is much lighter than regular plastics. It even stays buoyant when filled with water!

24. Or this collapsible bowl that includes measuring marks on the inside.

No more dry oatmeal clumps because you didn’t guestimate the right amount of water.

25. A “Hoodlum” that will never leave your face cold ever again.

Wear this to sleep.

26. The lightest, most insulated socks you will ever find.

27. An all-in-one geoshield stove that allows for both upright and inverted fuel positions.

No more fumbling in the dark. No more being unable to pack your aluminum foil and spare parts into a tiny container.

28. Collapsible cooking pots that are lightweight and durable.

29. A tarp poncho that will keep you waterproof indefinitely.

30. A dry trash sack that prevents any leakage.

LEAVE NO TRACE!!! 

31. An insulated hammock.

Fall asleep to the stars. 

32. This lightweight slackline that’s perfect for adventurous trips.

Slacklining on the top of a mountain may be the most hardcore activity you could possibly do.

33. A pocket shower for when you go on month-long backpacking trips.

Cleanliness for purely health reasons

34. A roll-up flask because why not.

Backpacking doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy some booze for at least a couple days. 

35. This FireSteel that easily helps you start a fire.

Seriously, never eat a cold dinner again! Functions in rain and snow.

36. This two-person tent that comes with built-in LED lighting.

No makeshift headlamp-tent-light hassle.

37. This gear line that will organize all your essentials at night.

Also will create space to fit in that extra person for maximum warmth. 

38. These odorless bags that will keep bears at bay.

Perfect for holding trash and any used tampons.

39. An solar-powered inflatable, waterproof light that doubles as a pillow.

40. A toothbrush sanitizer that will eliminate all that nasty dirt.

This way brushing your teeth is actually hygienic.

41. A compact and light cookware set.

One pot, one pan, all you need.

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Electricity-free Groundfridge Lets You Store Produce Without Traditional Refrigeration

Meet the GroundFridge. Modern day technology combined with a traditional root cellar to create a practical and beautiful well designed way to keep food fresh. Temperatures in the GroundFridge remain a cool 50 to 54 degrees Fahrenheit, year round. The design is so simple, all you need is to dig a hole, place the unit in the ground and recover with earth. You can even plant a garden on the top and around the sides if you like the decorative landscape, and double the use by planting fruits and veggies.

“The Groundfridge is an innovative take on the traditional root cellar. It meets the requirements of people with their own vegetable garden, who choose to live in a modern and self-sustaining way. Floris Schoonderbeek (founder of Weltevree) is continuously discovering and exploring new angles, chances and materials that he puts to good use in improving and enriching our habitat. With the Groundfridge, he presents a means for new world citizens who want to handle their food in an autonomous, independent way. ~ GroundFridge

“20 refrigerators, zero electricity – The Groundfridge has a storage capacity of 3,000 litres. This equals the contents of 20 refrigerators, that store 500 kg of food (the harvest of a 250 m2 vegetable garden) to prepare 350 meals – enough to feed a family of 5.
On average, 20 A grade EPC (Energy Performance Certificate) Refrigerators combined, use 6,620 kWh per year, whereas the Groundfridge performs the same feat completely without any electricity.~ GroundFridge

This is one of the first real-world design improvements on the old fashioned root cellar traditional farms used.

So… Who wants one!?

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Things I Wish I Knew Before Camping with My Dog

If you are like us, your dog is a big part of your life (she is our furbaby). If we could, we would take her on vacation with us everywhere we go. Okay, I would… not sure about my husband. When our beagle, Honey, was around 2 years old, we took her camping with us. I had no clue about camping with a dog, and learned a lot from the experience! Here are a few things I wish I had known before taking her camping with us.

Tips for camping with your dog

Leash, leash, leash!

At the time we took her camping, Honey was doing really well with staying close by us at all times. I didn’t have any reason to think she wouldn’t when we went camping. Wrong! Picture Dug the Talking Dog in the movie Up. You know how he will be talking and then suddenly say “squirrel” and look in another direction? This was Honey – times 100. Most of the time, she was fine and just hung by us. Then, she would see or smell something and run off.

Lesson learned: Keep your dog on a leash. Most pet-friendly campsites will have this as a rule anyway. Bring two leashes – a shorter one for hiking and a longer one for around the camp so your dog can wander a bit.

Stay on schedule

Dogs are creatures of habit. Although you may dine later in the morning and evening while on vacation, your dog will not. Yep, Honey had us up at the same time we would get up for work. Not fun!

Lesson learned: keep on the same feeding schedule. Or, you could slowly change your dog’s feeding schedule before you leave to go camping. That way your dog will let you sleep in while camping.

Stinky dog

While camping and hiking, your dog will get dirty and smelly just like you. When we took Honey camping, she would come into the tent to sleep and puffs of dirt would come off of her as we pet her.

Lesson learned: bring grooming supplies. Pack a brush, towel and even some dog shampoo – never know what your dog will get into! A brush or comb will also be helpful when looking for any ticks that may latch on to your dog while hiking.

Keep things familiar

Just like you should stay on schedule, you also want to bring things from home that will help your dog feel comfortable. All new surroundings can overwhelm them.

Lesson learned: bring your dog’s bed and/or a couple of favorite toys from home. This will help with the adjustment to the new surroundings.

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How to Make Aspirin If You are Lost in the Woods

Here’s a step-by-step video showing you just how you can make the equivalent of aspirin in the middle of the woods.

All you’ll need is to be able to locate a willow tree and you’ll be all set to having your own aspirin equivalent in no time. Natural remedies to the rescue.