Winter Travel Safety

 

Traveling in Bad Weather

If you travel in winter you may be confronted by some unexpected things such as snow, ice, power outages, and more. If you travel by car, you could hit traffic delays, accidents, and breakdowns. Experts report that extreme cold kills faster than extreme heat, yet many people know little about extreme cold preparedness.

Winter Gear

Appropriate clothing is important when going out into extreme temperatures, even if your intention is to go to the grocery store. Wearing layers protects you from wind and snow as well as more dangerous problems like hypothermia. Hypothermia means that your body loses heat faster than it can make it. Extreme cold leads to stress on the nervous system, heart, and other organs.

Winter gear should include several layers of clothing made of waterproof or insulated materials to stay dry and preserve body heat. Synthetic fabrics like polyester or natural materials like wool are best for base layers; outer layers should be weatherproof against wind, rain, and snow.

Driving in Bad Weather

Weather experts warn drivers to stay inside when storms or extreme temperatures are in the forecast. If you must travel in bad weather, let someone know your departure and arrival times, along with your route. A mechanic should check your car to make sure that the brakes and exhaust are functioning well, that your tires are adequate, and that all fluids, including antifreeze, are full. Carry additional washer fluid to combat slush on the highways.

Emergency gear should include:

  • First-aid kit
  • Thermal blanket
  • Compass
  • Kitty litter or sand for traction
  • Water
  • Tire chains
  • Food
  • Flashlight
  • Batteries
  • Emergency signals/signal flares
  • Bright-colored cloth to mark the vehicle in a snowstorm
  • Extra boots and gloves

Stranded

If you become stranded while traveling, winter survival dictates that you should stay with your car if at all possible.  Leaving your car is dangerous, particularly if the there is a snowstorm, since the chances of being found diminish. Your car provides shelter and has heat as long as it has fuel. Run the motor for ten minutes every hour to stay warm. Crack the window to allow for ventilation and, if there is a lot of snow, make sure the car’s exhaust pipe is not clogged.

Tie a bright cloth to the antenna to signal distress.

Shelter

If you must leave your vehicle for some reason, you may need to build a shelter to protect yourself during a snowstorm. Stay as close to your vehicle as possible. A snow wall will create a wind block and help to keep you warm. Stay as visible as possible so that you may be found. If traveling with another person, use body heat to keep warm. Move around as much as possible to prevent frostbite and hypothermia.

How to Store Ammunition Properly

 Ammunition Storage Box

Gun enthusiasts often buy ammunition in bulk, whether it’s for stockpiling, hunting, or target shooting. Ammo storage is key to protecting your investment. The rules for proper ammo storage are simple. You don’t need a gun vault or special equipment to keep your rounds cool and dry.

Temperature

Everyone will tell you that the first rule of storing ammunition is to keep it cool and dry. Experts store ammo in a temperature controlled environment, usually inside the home. You can use a gun vault, closet, or any location that isn’t subjected to fluctuations in heat and humidity. A basement may work fine in some cases.

Storing ammo in attics, vehicles, and outdoor buildings (like sheds) are never a good idea since they get hot in the summer. Heat and humidity cause big problems with ammunition. It can change the chemical composition of the gun powder, causing misfires. It can also cause corrosion of the casing. If that happens, you should just throw it away and start with a fresh batch.

Ammo Storage Containers

Ammo storage containers are available online and at most retail stores that sell ammo. You don’t have to purchase the most expensive one on the shelf, in fact, any airtight container will work. Some argue the merits of plastic versus metal. Others will use household containers like Tupperware. Adding moisture-absorbing packets (desiccants) to the container will help with the humidity. If you have children, add a lock to the container for safety.

Avoid using old metal containers as the seams aren’t usually airtight.

Shelf Life

Experts say that ammunition can easily last up to 50 years or more. Ammo stored in the original box should be used in the next 12 months or less to prevent damage to the cartridges and your weapon.

Surplus Ammunition

Surplus ammunition can be a great buy. Smart buyers ask the sellers how the ammunition has been stored as incorrect storage can make the ammo useless or dangerous.

Labeling

You should label ammunition for a number of reasons. First, it will prevent a novice from mixing up calibers. Second, it will make it easy to locate the caliber you’re looking for without opening the airtight boxes. Dating the boxes will allow you to rotate stock as you purchase new ammo.

Safety First

Safety is key when storing guns and ammo. Kids open drawers, boxes, and everything they aren’t supposed to, and that includes ammo storage containers. Parents must teach their children how to respect guns and ammo at a young age, so the kids know that they should never be touched without adult supervision. A gun vault or locked ammunition box (and gun box) are imperative if you have children or there will be children on the premises. You should always store guns and ammo separately. If you keep a loaded gun in the house, make sure that it is under lock and key to avoid accidents. This safety guide offers tips and ideas of how to keep your home and ammo safe.

 

 

A Gun Collector’s Guide to Flags

Flags. You see them wherever you go. When you visit McDonald’s every morning, what do you see flying over the parking lot aside from extremely sick seagulls? A flag. When you refuse to stop driving your go-kart at the family fun park, what checkerboard-pattern thing does the attendant keep angrily waving at you? A flag. When you squint really hard while looking at the moon, what do you notice stuck into its surface? If you’re sensing a theme of questioning here, then you can probably guess at the answer: You see a flag.

Several flags from prehistory have endured into our enlightened times. Neolithic flags have reportedly been recovered from the Dingding Cave in China, although many scholars doubt their authenticity because they include plastic grommets and have “Made in China” written at their bottoms. Likewise, the supposedly Neolithic flags discovered at the Chütlhüldütl Settlement in Central Turkey were deemed by scientists to just be extremely dirty. But the flag discovered at the former site of the Aztec city-state Axolotlfrotlhuatlcolātlhīlpoctliacamolli appears to be the genuine article. It also features mastodons, however, which is truly unfortunate because contemporary scholars just aren’t as excited about the animal as early man seems to have been.

Flags didn’t really take off until Mediterranean civilization began picking up steam. In 1881 German adventurer Heinrich Trinkenschuh discovered a Neo-Sumerian flag in South-central Iraq bearing this message: 𒀴𒀥𒁖𒁣𒀡𒁤𒀉. Loosely translated it reads “Adamen’s Figs & Wine,” which we may assume was an early snack bar of sorts. Imagine Trinkenschuh’s surprise when he unearthed identical flags in Egypt, Qatar, and Jordan. These flags provide solid evidence that the Sumerians developed the commercial franchise long before Singer Sewing Machine Company thought up the concept in 1851.

Several flags made by the Ancient Greeks survive into the present day. You can’t dig six inches into the ground around Athens without uncovering a pennant bearing three Greek letters, such as ΓΔΗ, ΒΘΞ, ΩΚΠ, and ΛΥΛ. Also buried around these flags are empty liquor bottles, polo shirts with collars permanently starched in the upright position, and pills with cartoon characters imprinted on them. The exact purposes of these mysterious artifacts are still unknown, but preeminent historian Chad P. van der Veen has theorized that the Ancient Greeks were “total effen bros who knew how to effen party” (van der Veen, C.P., A Brief History of Effen Partying).

The Ancient Romans learned that the Ancient Greeks had made flags, and because 90 percent of Ancient Roman culture revolved around aping Ancient Greek culture they decided to make them too.

The subjects of Latin flagēos range from the mundane to the extraordinary. One flagēus recovered from Florence reads “Augustus’s Fried Oysters” in Latin, although no evidence exists that Augustus ever managed to franchise. Another flagēolis discovered near the outskirts of Genoa is made of mosaic tile. It is thought not to have fluttered very well, thus the reason for its apparent abandonment.

The most notable Ancient Roman flagēoli was unearthed just outside of Grosseto in 1935. Named the “Boombatz Flagēola” after the local doctor who discovered it, this banner depicts Jove disguised as an ostrich doing something genuinely reprehensible to several Vestal Virgins. (Vexillology enthusiasts solely appreciate the Boombatz Flagēolus for its artistry, not its subject matter.)

The Fall of the Western Roman Empire marked the beginning of a dark age for flags. The medieval Poles reportedly created beautiful flags around the 6th century, but sadly these were all lost when Bolesław the Dingbat put them all in one place and forgot where. Likewise, King Pierre Richelet Aux Pétard je Lorioux Oueuraxeux ordered all of Medieval France’s flags destroyed when he learned that a single banner poking fun at his receding hairline had been created by one of his subjects. Lorioux Oueuraxeux also used this insult as justification for marrying his cousin and invading Medieval Germany, which resulted in the creation of Schumstenberg, now a tax haven with a population of 14.

The British people restored the art of creating flags. They did so because their empire’s navy, which exceeded 83 million ships during its heyday, required flags as a means of distinguishing so many ships from one another. These flags typically depicted simple colorful lines and fields, although several flags depicting King George V in various lurid poses with the letters “SWM DTF NSA” were also flown from British ships’ masts.

The very first American flags depicted rattlesnakes accompanied by threatening messages such as “Don’t Tread on Me,” “I Told You Not to Tread on Me,” “I Swear to God, Tread on Me One More Time and See What Happens,” and “That’s It. I Told You Not to Tread on Me, and You Just Couldn’t Help Yourself. Now I’m Going to Stick my Trekker Half Boots So Far Up Your Keister That You’re Going to Taste Everything I Stepped in for the Past Month, and I Work at a Hog Farm.”

The Americans would proceed to create the best flag of all immediately after winning their independence – the American flag. This is the same flag that you can see when you squint real hard at the moon, but the Americans cleverly made more than one. You can find the American flag flying in front of government buildings, outside of sports stadiums, outside of suburban houses, outside of rural houses, on the backs of rural pickup trucks, and in the backgrounds of Republican politicians’ televised campaign advertisements. It is a really great flag, although communists occasionally burn it when they wish to make it known that they would like to be the very first ones sent to work camps once their ridiculous revolution takes place.

That brings us to the present. As we look to the future, who knows what exciting new flags await us one day? We can only guess which flag will be planted on Mars after America has put her flag there first. And surely mankind has not finished founding new countries, each of which will require its own respective flag. I only wish to recommend that none of these hypothetical countries put the mastodon on their flags, because honestly that idea has already been played to death.

About the Author

Alvin P. Twistleton-Twistleton is the former daytime manager of a Shoney’s in Little Rock, Arkansas. Today he resides at the Little Rock Home for the Mentally Ill with his wife Mrs. Elvira Q. Twistleton-Twistleton-Glossop, whom he made out of a broom and some rubber gloves. They have six children together.