Pepper spray is the best non-lethal self-defense tool you can carry. I prefer to never, ever, go anywhere without my gun, but sometimes those illogical “gun-free zones” simply cannot be avoided. For your pepper spray 101, read on to know more about this handy self-defense weapon.
Pepper Spray for Personal Protection and Survival
In This Article:
What Is Pepper Spray?
Practice aiming and getting familiar with the canister of pepper spray. You should be able to use the non-lethal weapon by feel and in the dark without looking at the spray canister. Do not use your index finger to press the spray button, even though it may feel like the most natural way to hold the canister. Use your thumb and keep all the fingers wrapped firmly around the canister to avoid the spray from being easily grabbed out of the hand by an attacker.
Pepper spray is comprised of three basic chemicals – Orthochlorobenzalmalonitrile – CS, Alphachloroacetaphenone – CN, and oleoresin capsicum – OC. The CN and CS chemicals cause extreme irritation in membrane tissues and cause the stinging sensation on the skin, and especially in the eyes. This stinging typically lasts about five to 30 seconds. When the target is high on drugs, drunk, or has an extremely high pain tolerance, they will be impacted far less severely – if at all– by pepper spray.
The OC chemical component of pepper spray causes an inflammatory and involuntary reaction to the eyes. It extremely and immediately dilates the capillaries and causes a temporary lack of vision.
Pepper spray laws vary widely by state. In some states, anyone with a felony conviction on their record cannot legally carry more than 4 ounces of pepper spray – but felons are not supposed to have guns either. In most states, anyone over the age of 18 or older can carry pepper spray.
Types of Pepper Spray
1. Forced Cone Spray
This is one of the most commonly carried forms of pepper spray and typically comes in a 1-ounce or ½-ounce canister. It has a circular spray pattern that is about 2-feet wide, the average size of a human or large dog head. It is known to have a viable spray from about six to 12 feet.
This type of pepper spray has a wider dispersal area and has a fine droplet spray stream. Because of the manner in which it sprays, the accuracy of the aim is slightly less critical. It may be the best type of pepper spray to use when faced with multiple attackers or during a riot. A significant amount of forced spray comes out of the canister with every squeeze and it is inhaled a bit more quickly than a cone spray – causing more intense and rapid coughing and choking.
3. Stream Sprays
The steam or broken stream version of pepper sprays act in the same type of fashion as a squirt gun. They deliver a more liquid version of pepper spray at the target. More of the spray is used up quickly with each squirt than when using a forced cone or fogger spray, but the risk of blowback due to wind direction is far lower and the powerful stream has a longer range of effective action.
4. Foam Sprays
The wind has the least effect on this type of thick pepper spray. It sticks to the face, eyes, and skin more deftly and is very difficult to wipe away. The more the target rubs it to get it off the skin, the more active its effect.
Pepper Spray Basics
A small canister of pepper spray with a keychain attachment can be clipped easily onto a belt loop, backpack, or purse zipper, or tucked away inside the pocket of a hoodie or sweater.
Unlike using a gun or knife on a potential attacker, pepper spray will not incapacitate the individual. But, it will sting the heck out of his or her eyes long enough to give you a chance to escape. Once the chemical gas is released from its canister, a burning sensation typically happens almost immediately on the skin of its intended target. Next, the target’s eyelids slam closed and they begin to cough or choke.
These results are typical, but cannot be counted upon to always happen. A quick search on YouTube will quickly reveal how drug-crazed individuals refuse to go down after not only having had pepper spray used on them by police officers but being the target of a Tazer gun zap as well. The best chance at escaping an attacker when armed with only a non-lethal weapon is to aim as accurately and rapidly as possible then run away screaming to draw attention to the incident as quickly as humanly possible.
When in a panicked state, you might not take the time to gauge, or even consider, wind direction. This could be a fatal mistake. Using pepper spray when the wind could blow the chemical gas back at you instead of its intended target, would leave you completely vulnerable to the attacker.
Shake the pepper spray canister at least once a week. This helps ensure the chemical gas mixture remains active and effective. Store away from either extreme heat or cold. Leaving a can of pepper spray in the car during hot summers and chilly winters might render them ineffective. Unfortunately, you would not know until you had to use it – and then it is too late.
How To Use Pepper Spray
1. Become familiar with the pepper spray and how it works.
Get comfortable holding the canister. Grip it firmly just as you would a gun or a knife. The spray will not help save you if the attacker can swiftly grab it out of your hand or you hesitate to use it. This allows them to get to close to aim properly before they, not you, are in control of the situation. Use your thumb and not your index finger to hit the spray button. This allows all of your fingers and the palm of your hand to wrap firmly around the entire canister. When you do this it also keeps your hand shaped into a fist. This allows you to punch the attacker with the extra weight of the can inside if a close contact physical confrontation situation occurs.
2. Again, just like with a handgun, know how many shots (or sprays) the pepper canister holds.
Keep a running tally in your head when using the non-lethal weapon against an attacker.
3. Do not allow the attacker to get any closer than 10 feet.
Most pepper sprays are effective and accurate at this range. If you panic and spray too soon, the spray will not even temporarily halt the attacker. If you let them get too close, you have lost the only edge you have in the potentially deadly encounter.
4. When spraying, keep your arm slightly bent.
This prevents the canister from coming closer to the attacker and increasing the chances of the spray being ripped out of your hand. Aim for the eyes – always. I have participated in pepper spray and Tazer training sessions for law enforcement officers. Even the biggest and toughest law enforcement officers immediately become both stopped and stunned when pepper spray hits their eyes.
5. As noted above, make sure the pepper spray can is easily accessible.
Fumbling in a purse or backpack will take up valuable self-defense time you most likely will not have when faced with either an armed or unarmed attacker – or gang of attackers.
Why buy pepper spray when you can make your own homemade pepper spray? Learn how to in this video from FPS Weapons:
Pepper spray accompanies every gift card I have ever given to a loved one who was old enough to carry it but was not yet at the legal age to get a concealed carry permit. When my daughter began taking college classes while still in high school, she had a can of pepper spray attached to her backpack, in her purse, and a pepper spray keychain clipped onto her jeans at all times when she was on the campus. Consider pepper spray for your self-defense and always keep one at hand at all times!
Do you buy mace or pepper spray? Which do you prefer? Tell us all about it in the comments section below!
Up Next: Crossbow: Its Advantages Over Guns
For awesome survival gear, you can’t make at home, check out the Survival Life Store!
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Editor’s Note: This post was originally published on April 13, 2017, and has been updated for quality and relevancy.
1. Breakthrough: How To Sharpen A Knife Without A Sharpener
Know how to sharpen a knife without a sharpener? You might not have one in a survival situation, so finding other ways to sharpen knives is an essential survival skill. If you have an old coffee mug or a broken glass laying around, chances are you won’t even need an expensive sharpener. We found a few easy knife-sharpening tricks and tips to make your knives good as new, and best of all, each trick only takes a few seconds. Here are 5 innovative ways to keep your blades razor-sharp using objects you likely already have in your home or nearby! Click to read more
2. How To Raise Quail For Eggs And Meat
Ever wondered how to raise quail? Take the next step in your homegrown protein-raising and adopt some quail. This unassuming bird happens to be one of the best options around for fresh eggs and meat. Here’s what quail can do for you… Click to read more
3. 7 Survival Benefits of Cinnamon
When you hear the word cinnamon, I bet you automatically think of a decadent sweet treat, but you might be surprised to know there are a number of benefits of cinnamon for survival! Cinnamon is one of the most well-known spices around the globe, used in many recipes. But, preparing delicious desserts is not the only thing you can do with cinnamon. The next time you stock up on cinnamon, you might want to put some in your bug-out bag as well. Why? Well, there are a lot of benefits of cinnamon which can be practical for your survival outdoors… Click to read more
4. Urban EDC: Tools for the Best Urban Every Day Carry Kit
For most of us living in a city, daily survival is something we take for granted. An urban EDC kit isn’t at the forefront of our thoughts. Just because you live in an urban environment doesn’t mean you should be any less prepared than if you live in the country. When SHTF you don’t get a warning, you might be away from your home and gear, and your survival could depend on the items you carry with you every day. So do you know exactly the essential EDC items you need in an urban environment? Click to read more
5. 7 Tips for Surviving a Mob of Looters
The riots in Ferguson, MO may have died down for now, but they leave a lasting memory that serves to once again proven how fragile society is and how many problems can be caused by violent looters. All it takes is one police shooting, one jury verdict, one natural disaster. A town can melt down into utter chaos and look like a scene you’d expect to see in Iraq or Afghanistan… Click to read more
6. POWER OUTAGE: What Happens When Power Goes Out?
You’re enjoying a relaxing evening watching television when suddenly all the lights go out. The TV shuts off and the room goes quiet. The sound of silence is foreboding. You just lost all electrical power and you immediately get uneasy. You look outside the window. The whole neighborhood is dark. There are no traffic sounds, no noise, no street lights–all is still and silent. You begin to see flashlights and candles flickering in the windows of nearby houses… Click to read more
7. The Weakness Of Underground Bunkers
We often think of underground bunkers as being the ultimate survival backup plan. Whether it’s a natural disaster, civil unrest, or the zombie apocalypse, these survival shelters can prove to be pretty useful when it comes time to batten down the hatches… Click to read more
8. DIY Paracord Hammock Chair
A DIY paracord hammock chair makes a great project for preppers. You can set up this DIY paracord chair just about anywhere in the woods as long as there are two trees close together. With paracord as the material, you can be sure that it will hold… Click to read more
9. DIY Garden Design To Grow 100 Pounds Of Potatoes
Small space gardening is both efficient and convenient. Being able to produce food without a large area is a truly useful skill for any survivalist, and few foods are better for survival than potatoes. They keep for a long time, are extremely versatile and filling, and just about everyone likes them. Seriously, have you ever met someone who doesn’t enjoy potatoes in one way or another? Learn how to grow 100 pounds of potatoes in 4 square feet garden design with these easy, cheap potato boxes… Click to read more
10. Off-Grid Solar Survival: Top 5 Things to Consider Before Diving In
If you’re considering going off-grid with solar and a battery bank, you’re probably wading through a jungle of questions and research. To decide if off-grid solar survival is right for you, let’s set the ultra-technical aspects aside (mostly) for a moment, and work through the top 5 questions to ask yourself before diving in, getting off-grid, and soaking up the rays! Click to read more
What have you done this week? Let us know in the comments below.
Looking for wonderful campgrounds this summer? Check out these hidden gems. We’ve put together a list of the top campgrounds in each state across the US. Camping is always an option (even in New Jersey!) I’ve lived in Texas my whole life and can’t believe I’ve missed out on a few of these.
Campgrounds are abundant in this country, so if there’s one thing you’ll have a problem with, it’s choosing which one to visit first! We’ve included just about everything, from mountains to beaches, wilderness, and lakes. Whether you prefer camping in the mountains or a day at the beach, we’ve got you covered. Just find your state (or one you want to visit) and click through to see the top 5 campgrounds.
50 U.S. Campgrounds | The Best Campsites To Visit In America
1. Camping in Alabama
The State of Alabama offers both beautiful spots and recreational opportunities for campers across the state. Want a true camping experience? Come prepared and enjoy the wild outdoors at a spot like Monte Sano State Park in Huntsville. If you prefer a more controlled and comfortable outdoor experience, don’t miss the Gulf State Park to enjoy the amenities and watch the sunset from the beach.
2. Camping in Alaska
Camping in Alaska typically attracts adventure-seeking campers. One thing you’ll notice on your trip to Alaska is it’s significantly more expensive than other states due to its location. Despite the heftier price tag, you won’t have a problem finding a safe spot to park and spend the night. You’ll likely encounter some of the best views in all the states.
3. Camping in Arizona
Do you think of the Grand Canyon anytime you hear “Arizona?” Despite being famous for it, Arizona State has much more to offer. This very beautiful area has lakes, rivers, mountains, and campsites that will make you feel right at home.
4. Camping in Arkansas
What camper wouldn’t want to be in a place nicknamed “The Natural State?” Arkansas could possibly be one of the most beautiful places to visit in the south. Catherine’s Landing is a great place to put on your list, with both hot springs and rich wildlife.
5. Camping in California
California is known for the bright lights and glamor of Hollywood, but there’s more to the state than movie stars and celebrities. Yosemite National Park is also located in the Golden State, as well as Sequoia National Forest where the world’s largest trees are found.
6. Camping in Colorado
The State of Colorado has a lot of beautiful campsites to visit all year long. From wilderness playgrounds to family resorts, this colorful state has something to offer for every type of camper. Be sure to visit the Great Sand Dunes in Pinyon Flats and revel at the stunning views.
7. Camping in Connecticut
You may already know that Connecticut State is rich in history and home to many landmarks. In addition, the state is also home to scenic views of nature like the Devil’s Hopyard State Park and West Thompson Lake. You’re sure to find a spot for your RV in the land “full of surprises.”
8. Camping in Delaware
What comes to mind when you think of Delaware? It’s likely that one would think of the Constitution – or possibly the tax-free benefits. What you may not know is that the state also boasts stunning beach campsites and beautiful forests. If you prefer camping in a swampy terrain, don’t miss a visit to Trap Pond State Park.
9. Camping in Florida
Florida State is known for its wonderful beaches and sunny weather. The place is perfect for summer outings, but if you know where to look, you’ll also find nice campgrounds around the state. A good place for campers is the Blue Spring State Park where you can find West Indian manatees.
10. Camping in Georgia
Georgia is a must-see for its southern charm! One of the best ways to experience this is through camping in the great outdoors. Be sure to visit Black Rock Mountain State Park where you can walk along streams and waterfalls. This place is also ideal for people who love hiking.
11. Camping in Hawaii
Where else can you see the best view of the Pacific Ocean but in the mountains of Hawaii? The weather is perfect and you couldn’t possibly run out of activities in this Aloha State. Check out some of the best beach camping in the United States while you’re there!
12. Camping in Idaho
The State of Idaho rich with state parks and national forests. The people in this state are very lucky to be surrounded by such stunning natural beauty. Redfish Lake is a scenic place to set up your camp among the locals.
13. Camping in Illinois
Would you believe a huge part of the State of Illinois is farmland? You may know it as the birthplace of some of the most important individuals in the history of the United States, but it’s also a place of beautiful campgrounds like the Prophetstown State Park.
14. Camping in Indiana
Indiana State has come a long way from using the Ohio River for transport, to becoming a state with the most major highway intersections. The entire state is endowed with incredible landscapes. Check out the Monroe Lake Campground for enjoyment of a number of outdoor activities.
15. Camping in Iowa
The State of Iowa may not be famous for tourist destinations, but it is home to many beautiful campgrounds. Iowa has a dozen natural lakes that give the surrounding land scenic views great for setting up tent or RV parking.
16. Camping in Kansas
Welcome to middle America! Kansas campgrounds are great for family outdoor getaways. The Cimarron National Grassland is one of the best places to camp. At the right spot, you’ll get a stunning view of more than 100,000 acres of green wonder.
17. Camping in Kentucky
Kentucky State is great for camping any time of the year. The Bluegrass State has some of the best places for RV camping with your family. Try the Buckhorn Lake for a soothing view and a few beers under the starry night.
18. Camping in Louisiana
When you want to listen to the best jazz music in the country, come to the Pelican State. Aside from being known for its diverse cultural influence, Louisiana offers more of nature than one might think. Enjoy fishing, hiking, and a lot of other outdoor activities in Louisiana.
19. Camping in Maine
The State of Maine offers bountiful wildlife overlooking the Atlantic Ocean. With many diverse things to offer throughout the four seasons, campers are sure to find delight in one of the state’s many charms. For hiking and camping, check out Bradbury Mountain any time of the year for a picnic or family getaway.
20. Camping in Maryland
Tourists come to Maryland to get a glimpse of our nation’s history, yet you should know it’s also abundant with beauty as well. If you are looking for a relaxed outdoor experience, check out Rocky Gap State Park for a break from busy life in the city.
21. Camping in Massachusetts
The State of Massachusetts has miles of coastline facing the vast Atlantic Ocean. It also provides campers with a lot of options for communing with nature. Harold Parker State Forest, for example, is a fine place for putting up your tent, RV camping, and many recreational activities.
22. Camping in Michigan
When a place is bordered by five great lakes on all corners, it must be something special! Although Michigan is known for bitterly cold winters, you won’t be able to get enough of the scenic views and campgrounds Michigan has in store.
23. Camping in Minnesota
Minnesota State is known as the “Land of 10,000 Lakes.” It shares the North Shore of Lake Superior with Ontario, the world’s largest freshwater lake. It’s no surprise the state is a favorite destination among outdoorsmen due to its geographical wonders.
24. Camping in Mississippi
Mississippi State is famous for its great historical significance, especially during the Civil War. If you’re looking to explore the natural wonders of the state, be sure to check out the natural beauty of the Holly Springs Natural Forest at Puskus Lake.
25. Camping in Missouri
Also known as the “Gateway to the West,” the Mississippi and Missouri rivers meet together in this state, forming a beautiful landscape suitable for all sorts of outdoor activities.
26. Camping in Montana
The name given to this state speaks to the kind of terrain to expect. Montana also means “mountain” and is a great place for outdoor enthusiasts. It shares the Yellowstone National Park with Wyoming and Idaho, a place known for its abundant wildlife and ecosystem.
27. Camping in Nebraska
The State of Nebraska offers numerous campgrounds with its many lakes and state parks. The Chadron State Park, for instance, is a nice location with numerous outdoor activities such as hiking, fishing, and horseback riding.
28. Camping in Nevada
Do the luxurious hotels and casinos in Las Vegas come to mind when you think of Nevada? While the city is nestled in the center of the state, it’s just a tiny speck in the middle of a vast desert. Nevada also offers wonderful campgrounds like Mt. Rose in the Sierra Nevada. People can challenge the mountain by hiking to its peak, or simply follow an easier trail near the base and enjoy the view.
29. Camping in New Hampshire
New Hampshire State may be small in comparison to other states, but it’s home to many big scenic views. There’s Moose Brook State Park, Umbagog Lake State Park, and White Lake State Park, just to name a few. The state is also known as the “Mother of Rivers” so be sure to visit in the warmer months or take in the just-as-beautiful winter views.
30. Camping in New Jersey
If you live in New Jersey, you won’t have any problem finding diners and shopping malls. If you’re looking for camping and outdoor activities, you may be surprised to hear about the hidden gems the state has to offer. The Kittatinny Valley State Park is one of the places in the state to hike, camp and hunt.
31. Camping in New Mexico
Visit New Mexico and you’ll understand why the state was named the “Land of Enchantment.” The City of Rocks and Heron Lake State Park are just a few examples of the mesmerizing views in this beautiful state.
32. Camping in New York
The Empire State is home to some of the most-visited tourist attractions in the world. While many don’t venture outside of the city that never sleeps, New York has even more to offer upstate. Be sure to check out Niagara Falls before settling into one of the state’s many scenic campsites.
33. Camping in North Carolina
The Tarheel State is possibly one of the most beautiful in the country. North Carolina offers national forests that provide a wide range of hiking trails and campgrounds for family getaways and experienced outdoorsmen. For a great sunset view, set up camp on the beach!
34. Camping in North Dakota
Did you know North Dakota leads the country in the production of sunflowers? The Peace Garden State also has a unique geographical location and is a haven for all types of outdoorsmen. With this in mind, it’s unlikely that you’ll have trouble finding a place to set up camp.
35. Camping in Ohio
Not sure where to set up camp in the Buckeye State? Ohio offers visitors lakes, mountains, forests, and rivers. The state is also abundant in natural beauty, as seen in Hocking Hills State Park where visitors can enjoy scenic cliffs and waterfalls.
36. Camping in Oklahoma
Oklahoma State has one of the best climates in the United States with 300 days of sunshine a year. This state’s abundance of incredible landscapes and pleasant weather makes it a favorite place for campers and nature enthusiasts. If you’re into fishing, the Sooner State is the place for you!
37. Camping in Oregon
The diverse topography of Oregon State makes it a must-visit for tourists from far places. It boasts many spectacular sights with sprawling mountains and bodies of water. One favorite destination is the Dorena Lake where campers enjoy the view and an array of outdoor activities.
38. Camping in Pennsylvania
Whether you prefer traditional backpacking or modern full-service resorts, you’ll find it all in the Keystone State. Pennsylvania has wonderful state parks and recreation areas to offer campers looking for the best outdoor experience.
39. Camping in Rhode Island
Rhode Island is the smallest state in America, with a land area of only 1,545 square miles. A huge part of the state’s land mass is composed of woodlands combined with beautiful lakes. Along with the beach, campers will have plenty to enjoy in Rhode Island.
40. Camping in South Carolina
The State of South Carolina has lush forests and wonderful beaches. Among the favorite spots to visit is Myrtle Beach State Park known for its surf fishing and a spectacular view of the ocean. Cheraw State Park is a great place for campers to enjoy time in the kayak or canoe on Lake Juniper.
41. Camping in South Dakota
South Dakota’s spectacular landscapes make it a popular place for outdoor enthusiasts to visit. You’ll feel like you’re dreaming when you see the land formations of Badlands National Park.
42. Camping in Tennessee
Tennessee State is home to more than just country music! Visit the northern part of the Great Smoky Mountains to enjoy the temperate springtime weather. Looking for hiking, biking, golf or fishing instead? Check out Montgomery Bell State Park for a wide array of outdoor activities.
43. Camping in Texas
Texas is the second biggest state in the US in terms of land area and has countless campgrounds for the outdoorsmen. Big Bend National Park is among the most beautiful and renowned destinations. Check it out if you want to see a breathtaking view of mountain and desert landscape.
44. Camping in Utah
The unique landscapes in Utah will make you feel like you’re on a different planet. There’s the Arches, Canyonlands, and Bryce Canyon National Parks with natural rock formations that are a feast for the eyes.
45. Camping in Vermont
The State of Vermont has state parks and campgrounds perfect for a quiet night in nature. If you’re backpacking, be sure to check out the base of Mt. Moosalamoo for a scenic view.
46. Camping in Virginia
You’re sure to find a nice place to set up camp any time of year in Virginia. The state offers some of the loveliest state parks ideal for families seeking fun-filled recreational activities.
47. Camping in Washington State
Outdoorsmen are sure to feel at home in the State of Washington. If you love hiking, be sure to check out the views of snowcapped Mt. Rainier as you walk the trails. If you prefer a more isolated camping experience, don’t miss out on a visit to Olympic National Park.
48. Camping in West Virginia
West Virginia is a treasure trove of outdoor activity! Whether you’re into hiking, fishing, mountain biking, kayaking, or even winter sports like skiing and snowboarding, you’ll find what you’re looking for and more in this Appalachian state of West Virginia.
49. Camping in Wisconsin
With two great lake coastlines, acres of dense forest, and several rivers running throughout, Wisconsin is more than meets the eye when it comes to outdoor adventure. Visitors enjoy fishing, rafting, boating, hiking and birdwatching in Wisconsin’s many great camping sites. But don’t take our word for it… read on to see the 10 best camping spots in Wisconsin.
50. Places To Visit In Wyoming
From the Great Plains to the Rocky Mountains, from Grand Teton to Yellowstone, Wyoming is an outdoorsman’s paradise. As the nation’s least populated state and with over 3 million acres of wilderness, Wyoming offers plenty of opportunities for camping and outdoor adventure, this is a place where you can truly get in touch with nature – check out our list of Wyoming State Parks.
BONUS: Camping In The Capital (Washington D.C.)
The Nation’s Capital is wedged between some glorious campsites. Pack your bags and pick one of these rural U.S. destinations.
Watch this video by Redfish Lake Lodge of the amazing Redfish Lake experience in Idaho:
Well, what are you waiting for? Go out and enjoy all the great outdoors has to offer! Those who appreciate nature and spend some of their precious time in the wild know how fortunate they are to be living among these beautiful spots within the United States.
What do you think about the beautiful campgrounds of each state? Share your thoughts in the comments below!
Up Next: Camp Like A Genius | 25 Additions For Your Camping Gear
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Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in June 2017 and has been updated for quality and relevancy.
Fort Lauderdale Fishing with Top Shot Sportfishing Charter Boat and Capt. Zsak
Randall Duppe, along with his wife and two daughters from Texas chartered the Top Shot Sportfishing charter boat team to do some deep sea charter boat sport fishing in Fort Lauderdale, FL. When the Duppes boarded the boat, they requested to catch Mahi Mahis or any eating fish. I informed them that in the past few days, Mahi fishing had been very slow, but Kingfish and Tunas have been feeding.
Fifteen to twenty minutes after leaving the dock, lines were in 120 ft. of water at the sea buoy in Fort Lauderdale, 1.8 miles from shore. We started trolling with two planners with sea witches on both planners in front of a double hooked Bonito strips, along with four surface baits. As we trolled the reefs ranging from 80 ft. of water out past the drop off to 180 ft. The whole family took turns catching five Kingfish, four Bonitos and two Barracudas.
At this point, Randall requested to look for Mahi Mahis even being slow for the past two days, I listened to the anglers request and went off shore. I trolled out and hit the depth of 850 ft. of water, but not luck. I did not come across any weed lines, birds, rips or floating debris that would hold the Mahi Mahis, but no luck. On the way in, a black shadow appeared on the right long. Sailfish! The bill came out of the water, swatting at the Ballyhoo bait. A swing and a miss and he faded off. There he is again on the center rigger! We tried to entice him to bite, but no luck.
It was now time to head back to the dock. The anglers retired into the a/c salon and enjoyed the relaxing trip back to the dock at Bahia Bar Yachting Center, 801 Seabreeze Blvd. Fort Lauderdale 33316. At the dock the fish, our mate, Dave, filet the fish for the anglers to take home for dinner.
For a successful and adventurous deep sea fishing charter in Fort Lauderdale FL for Sailfish, Shark, Bonito, Mackerel, Swordfish, Snapper, Wahoo, Tuna, Mahi Mahi and Grouper, contact Captain Zsak. – 954-309-7457 or email us at email@example.com Website: www.topshotfishing.com.
My first piece of advice on how to build a shelter from natural materials is to look around for something man-made. In my last article, we talked about the use of a vehicle or vessel to keep us safe. But there are times when Mother Nature provides a hollow cave or natural covering.
This time around, I’m going to share some of the experiences I’ve had when Lady Luck is smiling down on someone else. There are times when we wish to build primitive shelters from scratch primarily with natural materials, but we aren’t always successful in foraging for these.
Unless you’re trained in thatching roofs, chances are your survival shelter is going to let water in when it rains. A plastic bag buried in your purse or pocket will go a long way towards providing a precious bit of waterproofing.
How to Build a Shelter with the Materials Around You
Building A Teepee
This lovely leaf teepee that we built in the Smoky Mountains looks to be the epitome of primitive shelter building yet hidden beneath its lush foliage is a trash bag covering the apex. Thankfully it didn’t rain but it was very comforting to know that if it did we would remain dry, even if it meant sitting upright and back to back. As the weather turned out to be dry I sometimes wish we had lain down on the trash bag instead as were eaten alive by chiggers on this expedition. Hindsight is a wonderful thing.
In my experience, bindings made from roots or vines are rarely as robust as commercially manufactured strings, ropes, and cords. You may think that you don’t have anything like that with you, but take a look at your clothes. Your clothing is your first line of defense in any survival situation and not just in the most literal sense– what are you wearing that you could adapt and use?
A little trick that Myke taught me is to replace my boot laces with 550 paracords and wrap a few extra lengths round for good measure. It’s a pain in the backside if you ever have to travel through airport security but a lifesaver out in the bush. Even if you don’t have 550 cord, your regular shoelaces will work wonders in tying the struts of your shelter together. As will fabric strips ripped from the bottom of a shirt or skirt. A single string of 550 cord cinched together the top of this teepee in the Smokies. Always be sure to retrieve your cord, natural or otherwise, when you move on.
Another useful tip, though glaringly obvious, is making sure your shelter is big enough for you to fit into.
A single person can crunch into a remarkably small place, albeit with some discomfort, but if you’re making a temporary home for more than one person or your whole family it’s a good idea to test it out size wise. As a mother, I’m always thinking things like, “Would my little boy cope with this? Would this type of shelter work if he was with us?”
This is Myke and I testing our shelter for size. Well, that’s my story and I’m sticking to it!
Using A Poncho For Shelter
One of my absolute favorite items of clothing because its multi-faceted nature is the military poncho, yet I had never even heard of one before I met my husband. These days I carry one in my car, my camping kit, my survival bag and we have several others littered around the house that our boy plays in. In addition to keeping you dry, a poncho has many potential uses in a survival situation; a rucksack, a raft, a tarp, a medical stretcher and a smokehouse, to name but a few. And they make quick and awesome survival shelters. You can string one up in whatever manner you fancy or if you don’t have enough cord to construct a ‘tent’ just lay one over any primitive shelter that you have made to act as extra waterproofing.
Here in Alaska, we strung one between two trees and then I filled the open sides with large leaves to help keep the heat in. When using a poncho in wet climes be sure to tie off the hood so you don’t get leaks. Conversely, when it’s scorching prop the hood open so it acts as a vent.
There, of course, might be times when you do have next to nothing on you or with you that you can use and you have to create a shelter from what you have around you. My least favorite is the debris shelter, but sometimes there is no choice. For those who don’t know, a debris shelter is created by basically scraping up old branches and leaves and piling them into a rudimentary shield against the elements. We used one once when we were caught in a sudden tropical storm in Dominica. Itchy, uncomfortable and wet.
Using old branches and logs has obvious risks, other things are also likely to be using them as a home – sometimes stinging insects and arachnids but I have also seen lethal poison dart frogs in old logs in the Osa Peninsula in Costa Rica. I also once sat on a fer de lance in a fallen tree in the Peruvian Amazon. This snake kills more people in South America than any other. Not what you want as a bedfellow.
Building A Lean-t0
Another basic shelter to make when you’re too exhausted to do anything else or perhaps when the light is fading is the ‘lean-to’. I was making this one on a Lost Survivors shoot for Travel Channel as the sun was going down in the Appalachians in Kentucky. The main spine was an old tree trunk that had fallen and caught on another tree (not fallen to the ground) then I placed cut branches and leaves to form the back wall. It was another night on the forest floor, which is never ideal but the shelter blocked a harsh wind that was kicking up.
On a separate trip to Kentucky, we wove a kind of cocoon out of river cane. We stuck either end of the canes into the ground to create a series of arches and then wove thinner more supple pieces of cane between the struts to make the walls. You can use this technique with any kind of reed or wood that is pliable enough, willow for example.
In the close-up picture of me standing in front of it, you can see pretty flowers embedded in the walls. This wasn’t an attempt to create bucolic loveliness out in the wilds but rather an eye-saving mechanism, the cut cane was razor sharp and the flowers marked the dagger-like ends.
It is without a doubt better to sleep up off the floor if you can. Even a layer of cut branches on the ground will insulate you from the cold. Another very important reason to be up is so you are not in the path of creatures that could otherwise hurt or kill you. This is particularly true in tropical jungles and swamps.
My favorite shelter of all time was one we built on the edge of a beach in Aitutaki in the South Pacific. It was a platform protruding at one end from the top of some pandanus tree prop roots and supported at the other by tripods we made by lashing three sticks together. The roof was a separate structure, a bit like a carport, crafted from palm leaves.
Building A Platform Shelter
Pandanus trees are great for shelter making, they look a little like palm trees but have these mangrove style prop roots. It’s the roots that are special, they are both sturdy and bendy. We made the cross slats of the platform from these roots. Once they were covered in palm fronds, it was like sleeping in a bed. They bounce a little when you lay down. Wonderful!
The mosquitoes in Aitutaki were bad, the noise was like the whirring of a cheap hairdryer. All night long.
However, the view in the morning made life a little easier to bear.
The first time I visited the Amazon rainforest we constructed a more elaborate version of the Aitutaki platform shelter. Unlike in our South Sea haven Amazonian land animals like to bite you, sting you and eat you.
Quick Tip: Bringing Fire Into Your Shelter
Getting off the ground is an essential, not a luxury.
Fire is also vital for protection in the deep jungle. Though our platform was too high to feed a fire without having to climb down, repeatedly, to the forest floor.
A problem exacerbated that we had our boots off at night to dry out our feet and prevent jungle rot.
Mike came up with the ingenious solution of having the fire in the shelter with us!
We built another mini wood platform on our sleeping platform. Afterward, we daubed a layer of thick clay on top of it to prevent the fire from burning through. We had very few insect problems because it also acted as a smudge fire. A fair bit of the smoke was trapped in the shelter with us because of the roof. We didn’t wake to the same amazing view as in Aitutaki. Thanks to our choice of shelter we made it through the night without becoming dinner for a jaguar.
Watch this video by J&J acres on how to build a teepee:
There is no blueprint for shelter building. Terrain and circumstance will dictate the final structure. If I look back over the years and remember every single one that I’ve slept in, each one was different, each had its own set of quirks, foibles, discomforts, and itches. You rarely sleep well in a wilderness shelter but out in the wilds, it is always better to have one than not.
Do you trust in these methods of building a shelter? Share your thoughts in the comments section below!
Up Next: Survival Shelters: Things You Need To Know
Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in February 2014 and has been updated for quality and relevancy.
The mountain lion is said to be one of the largest wild cats in North America–just one of the many facts about mountain lions. Did you know that this big cat is known by many names? Cougar, panther, catamount, or puma are just some of the few.
This solitary animal can be found in many habitats, from the Canadian forests to Florida’s swamps. So if you think you knew everything there was to know about mountain lion facts, think again. Continue reading to know more amazing facts about mountain lions that may just flat-out amaze you.
Interesting Facts About Mountain Lions You Want to Know!
Fact #1: Hunting Habits
The puma usually hunts at night or at certain parts of the day, like dusk or dawn. With the stealthy ability to keep itself undetected, it can leap 40 feet away and 15 feet high. It attacks and kills its prey by aiming for the base of the skull, breaking its neck in the process. Would you like to learn more about the mountain lions’ behavior? Pounce right here.
Fact #2: Mountain Lion Habitat or Territory
Despite being solitary yet active hunters, they still require a vast range of territory. The female cougar prowls on a range of 10 to 30 square miles. The male can occupy a range as large as 100 square miles. Learn more about the puma’s territorial range by referring to the animals of National Geographic.
Fact#3: World Record Holder
The puma can be found in 21 of 23 countries in the Americas. Because of the vast range it occupies, it holds the Guinness world record for the animal with the greatest number of names. It has over 40 names in English alone. Do you want to know these names? Start name hunting in Wikipedia to learn them all.
Fact #4: Females Raise Family Alone
The only time these creatures interact is when they need to mate. After which, the male returns to his solitary lifestyle. As for the female, she is left to raise the litter by herself.
Fact #5: Low Survival Rate
Mountain lions have a litter size of one to six cubs; on average, two cubs. Their offspring have black and brown spots and rings around their tails. However, they eventually grow out of these visual characteristics. On average, only one in five kittens is able to make it to adulthood.
Fact #6: They’re Faster Than You Think
These large felines can run as fast as a car. They have been clocked at 43.5 mph. With their flexible spine, they are able to change directions rather quickly.
Fact #7: Diet
A major part of a mountain lions’ diet consists of large mammals such as deer or elk. However, they are also known to prey on coyotes, rabbits, beavers, porcupine, raccoons, squirrels, and mice. They hide their catch and devour them at a later time, or when they get hungry.
Fact #8: A Hissing Standoff or a Fight to the Death?
When ghost cats come across each other, they initially hiss and spit at one another until one of them gives up. A vicious encounter is sure to happen if neither one of them backs down.
Fact #9: Lifespan and Size plus Weight
The lifespan of a mountain lion is about 8 to 10 years in the wild, and up to 20 years in captivity. The fully mature cat can measure up to 8 feet long and weigh up to 150 pounds.
Do you like to know more interesting facts? Click here.
Fact #10: Uniquely Purrfect
What makes the mountain lion uniquely different from other large cats is that it doesn’t roar. Like an ordinary street or house cat, they purr.
Is there something that you know about these amazing animals that might just interest other people? Probably, as a hunter or an animal enthusiast, you have already researched a lot about them. Sift through the animal files for more about the mountain lion.
Experience the secret life of a mountain lion family taken by National Geographic:
There is a lot more to learn about the mountain lion. A parting fact: Did you know that it can live as high as 10,000 feet above sea level? Not to mention, in almost any kind of environment? Well, if you think that is astonishing, wait until you learn more about this large felid of the Felinae subfamily.
As a hiker, animals are rarely encountered because most hikers prefer to stay on the trail and these trails are usually far off from animals. But a chance encounter with a bear or a mountain lion is still something that should not be taken lightly. Knowing some facts about mountain lions can help hikers like you keep safe all throughout the hike.
Check out more hunting articles here.
Do you wish to learn more about other amazing animals? Let us know what you think.
Up Next: 7 Awesome Guns For Mountain Hunting
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Editor’s Note: This post was originally published on January 10, 2017, and has been updated for quality and relevancy.
It’s important to develop faith in your equipment. To be positive that your choices in line strength, hooks, swivels, brands combined will result in a rig that’ll be a part of who you are & how you fish. Took me awhile to put together new combos. Today i went to a familiar area to test how everything “meshes” together.
Early morning there was no wind so i was drop shotting baits only 30-40yds out using 3oz banks on the Ulua “GT” rod rated MH at 7-10oz. No problem. When the winds picked-up i was throwing 6oz directly into the wind with good distances. So now i now if i used heavier weights that my distance will be good even casting into the wind. I forgot my wrist brace since i badly injured my wrist so casting was a “painful” joy.
I also used new extended length sand spikes with beveled edges. Mustad Circle Hooks, ball bearing swivels, tried different lead weights & leader set-ups. I was very happy that everything was working well. The Tesoro 12S Star Drag has 65lb braid backing to monofilament top shot. Tried both MH & H 13′ Ulua Rods & my other Tesoro Star Drag that had all 80lb Braid. I also used all 3 Menpachi Rods of 10’7″, 12′ & 13′ with varying casting weights.
It’s good to know the limitations of your gear & when to use certain lengths & strengths for different applications. Now i can go to dangerous locations to night casting on my own again. Still nursing a very bad wrist but over my concussion. Now i’m familiar with my new rigs & hopefully will put them to the test.
When you first enter the survival community, you hear a great deal about bugging out, but for most people in most survival scenarios bugging in makes more sense. Bugging in is the process of fortifying your home and having all the needed resources on hand to survive long term. With most SHTF situations, staying home makes much more sense than packing up and heading into the unknown. You must be prepared for this to work.
Bugging In | Fortifying Your Home Before SHTF
Have a Plan
The most important aspect of bugging in is to have a plan to secure your location. Rarely do people live on high alert in a secure location 365 days a year. That means that when SHTF there will be work to do. You need to figure out what your priorities are and be sure that everybody in your household knows what to do. In addition, you need to practice this drill on a regular basis to ensure everybody is ready to go for bugging in.
One of the biggest priorities with bugging in is keeping your home secure. There is the possibility of looters or other intruders breaking in, so you need to develop several layers of protection for your home. The first layer of security is the perimeter of your property. For us, this is a barbed wire fence extending around all four sides. Next is your on-property security. This can consist of dogs, cameras, motion detectors, and even armed patrols. Next is your outer house security. This is your door locks, bars on windows, and a home security system. Finally, you want a security plan for inside your home. This consists of having a choke point between you and the intruders and having weapons on hand to defend that choke point. With these levels of security in place, it is unlikely that anybody will be able to get to you and your family.
In order to bug in successfully, you will need a good supply of preserved foods to survive. Plan on working without electricity, so frozen foods are out. Canned goods can last for a while, but are not ideal. Your best bet is to have dried goods available to last several months. This includes jerky, hardtack, pemmican, and other salted and dried or dehydrated goods. Dried pasta is good to have, and all grains and beans are ideal if they are kept away from insects. MRE’s are alright, but they are expensive for long-term survival.
Supplying water to your home can be an issue if the pumps that move the water are shut down. We are fortunate to have both a well on the property and a pond for water. Rainwater collection systems are a good way to keep a steady supply of fresh water. In addition, you should have the tools needed to purify water if you are forced to venture out looking for it. With a good filter, boiling, or iodine tablets you can purify water from any stream or pond you find. Be sure you know how to find water around your home, for you can only last three days without it.
If you happen to be dealing with a cold climate, you will need a way to stay warm. Fire is always an option, but you risk burning the house down and risk carbon monoxide poisoning. You should have several different tools to start a fire with you including lighters and Ferro rods. In addition, a good supply of blankets can make a huge difference. The best options are wool blankets and emergency blankets. Wool can keep you warm even when wet, and emergency blankets reflect 90% of your body heat back to you.
Watch this video by Reality Survival & Prepping and find out the 25 things you want to avoid when bugging in:
Just put in mind that there are certain scenarios where the need for bugging in has lesser risks compared to bugging out. As you make these preparations you need to know those possible situations and anticipate then plan for it. It’s best to be prepared than not being prepared at all. This is a good bug in prepper list to get you started!
Have you tried making preparation for bugging in before SHTF? Let us know in the comments section below!
Up Next: Bugging In | Why Staying Put Might Be Your Best Bet For Survival
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Editor’s Note: This post was originally published on September 7, 2017, and has been updated for quality and relevancy.
Are you fascinated by lost at sea movies? Don’t you think it’s fascinating how the characters come up with strategic ways to survive using only what they’ve got? While you might think it can only happen in the movies, it’s still a good idea to know how to survive, should you ever find yourself lost at sea. Even with limited resources and unknown dangers, it is still possible to survive if you’re equipped with the proper knowledge. Read on to know the most important things to keep in mind when you find yourself lost in the waters.
Lost At Sea: Surviving the Unknown
1. Drink Water
One of the ironies of being stuck adrift the sea or ocean is you are surrounded by water but won’t be able to drink it. Drinking salt water will only make you thirstier and can even make you ill. Instead, collect rainwater with any container or cloth you have with you and stock up.
RELATED: Drinking Water for Survival | 8 Reasons Why It’s Important
2. Build Shelter and Find Clothing
Could you make a shelter with what you have right now? 3 Survival Shelters You Can Quickly Craft From Tree Branches https://t.co/sTX8h4T9Pk
When you are out in the open sea, finding or making a shelter can be difficult, but it is still necessary. That’s why you must never throw away any clothing or tarp that you have on board.
You can use clothing or a tarp to cover you up in extremely cold temperatures and prevent hypothermia. You can also use them to cover your head on hot days. For extremely hot days or rainy days, you can even use poles or long sticks to prop up the tarp and have it serve as a roof.
3. Be Wary of Shark Attacks
Being out in the open water, you never know when sharks might be lurking around. While the first instinct in this situation is to panic, you need to be on your guard and be alert. If a shark is about to attack you, thrust something at its sensitive nose or take a jab at its eyes and gills.
4. Search or Catch Food
When you’re lost at sea, the obvious food choice you have is fish. Luckily, fish tend to gather beneath vessels. Try using a paracord or any string as a fishing line. Also, be on the lookout for any other food options, such as seaweed, seabirds, or plankton.
5. Look Out for Land
Don’t lose hope of finding land in the vast ocean. After all, there’s always a chance. Look out for these signs:
Lighter colored water — This indicates shallow water, which is a sign that land is nearby.
Wave patterns — Waves refract as they approach land.
Presence of birds — If you see numerous birds together, this may mean that land is not too far from where you are.
RELATED: Man Survives 14 Months Lost at Sea
Save your sweat, so you don’t get dehydrated faster. Get some sleep and don’t strain yourself, so you won’t find yourself drinking water as often (you have to save your drinking water). Also, maintain a calm and peaceful mind amidst the situation, as this will help you think more clearly about your next steps.
7. Signal for Help
Be on the lookout for signs of airplanes or ships that can rescue you. Use your smartphone screen or a mirror to reflect the light from the sun and attract the attention of the plane or ship. On a sunny day, the signal can reach up to 10 miles.
For more tips on survival at sea, check out this video from the BRIGHT SIDE:
The ocean or sea is as majestic as it is dangerous. While lost at sea stories in movies can be cool to watch, it’s also important to learn the tactics they use in order to survive. More importantly, if you ever find yourself in this situation, do not lose hope. Fight for your life with determination. Without these things, you won’t be able to effectively apply these tips when you’re out there.
Do you have any useful tips for lost at sea situations? Share them with us in the comments section below!
Up Next: 7 Tips To Safely Cross Creeks, Streams, Rivers, and Rapids
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Editor’s Note: This post was originally published on September 13, 2017, and has been updated for quality and relevancy.
Small space gardening is both efficient and convenient. Being able to produce food without a large area is a truly useful skill for any survivalist, and few foods are better for survival than potatoes. They keep for a long time, are extremely versatile and filling, and just about everyone likes them. Seriously, have you ever met someone who doesn’t enjoy potatoes in one way or another? Learn how to grow 100 pounds of potatoes in 4 square feet garden design with these easy, cheap potato boxes. Read on and think about all the great food you could make with the pounds of potatoes you’ll grow using this easy tip.
How to Grow 100 Pounds of Potatoes in a Box Garden Design
How to Build a Potato Box Video:
How to Build a Potato Box
6 2×6″ boards, 8 ft long
1 2×2″ board, 12 ft long
96 2 and 1/2″ wood screws
The first step is cutting the 2×2 inches board into pieces of 33 inches in length; four pieces will be enough. Then, take the 2×6 boards and cut those into 12 lengths of 21inches and 12 lengths of 24 inches. Make some screw holes in these and attach the bottom row on the 2×2 boards. Place this part of the vertical garden over the soil, fill with mulch and plant potatoes about 4 inches deep. Remember that each layer which you plant must have its sides boarded up. Now, let them grow a bit. When the vines reach some 12 inches above the soil, it’s time to add another set of boards and fill the space with dirt. Make sure you don’t cover more than a third of the plant. Do the same for each layer until you finish the box. In order to harvest your potatoes, take out the screws from the bottom board. With your hands reach in the box and grab your potatoes. Replace boards and soil and the layer is good to go again. After the necessary time, remove the second board and have yourself a handful of potatoes. Read some more off the internet about planting potatoes to make sure you do it right.
Follow the full guide on how to grow 100 pounds of potatoes in a square box garden design here:
Watch this video from Arnboat to give you a preview of your potato box harvest:
Now you know you don’t need a huge vegetable garden to grow potatoes. A small garden design used wisely will give you all you need to grow food which can actually give you the sustenance you and your family needs. What’s best about this raised garden beds design is you can use this box for growing potatoes, again and again, for different growing seasons. Follow this guide to growing potatoes with a DIY potato box garden design!
What would you add yourself to this guide for building a DIY Garden Design that’s built for potatoes? We will appreciate your tips and suggestions in the comments section below!
Up Next: Survival Gardening – How To Grow Lettuce Indoors
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Editor’s Note: This post was originally published on April 15, 2014, and has been updated for quality and relevancy.