Guest Post by Melanie Musson Hunting trips take a lot of planning. You have to apply for tags, scout a location, decide what gun or bow to use, get your optics ready — the list goes on. Fuel for you is just as important as any other planning you’re doing. You need the right nutrition for whatever kind of hunting you’ll be doing. My favorite hunt includes long days of spotting and stalking with miles upon miles of hiking and then heading back to a nice warm base (in my case, a camper) at night. If your hunting approach is more stationary, like from a blind or treestand, you won’t need to eat as much. And if your trip includes backcountry camping, your resources will be quite different from mine. Instead, you’ll need to rely on nutrient-dense supplements and snacks. Just like you can still eat healthy at restaurants by avoiding food that is fried or smothered in unhealthy sauces and toppings, you can plan ahead and eat well while you are enjoying the great outdoors. Even if you plan on eating out once or twice during your trip, planning and making your own food can be the healthiest and most cost-effective option. There are some universal ways to eat healthily, no matter what kind of hunting you plan to participate in. Whether you’re new to the hunting world or you grew up with it, here are some ideas to get you thinking and adjust for your situation: Meal plans and grocery lists It’s a good idea to write down what you plan to eat for every meal of your trip. Make a grocery list so you can purchase anything you don’t have on hand. After you’ve compiled all your ingredients, you can start prepping your food. It takes some time to get it all done, but it will be so worth it when you come back exhausted from a long day in the field, and your food’s ready and all you have to do is heat it up. If you’re staying somewhere with a refrigerator, you can prep your meals in the container you’ll reheat it in. If you don’t have a refrigerator, you’ll need to keep your food in a cooler. You’ll want to use reusable containers with lids to keep things compact and avoid spillage. Remember to pack plates and silverware. Washable or disposable, just make sure you have something to eat on and with. Along those lines, make sure to bring a pot for the stove, a bowl for the microwave, and a pan for the oven. Tongs, spatulas, and wooden spoons come in handy, as well. Healthy breakfasts We’ve all heard it: Breakfast is the most important meal of the day. It’s a fact. But another fact is that the best hunting is early in the morning. So it’s unlikely you’d want to get up early enough to whip up a healthy, nutrient-packed breakfast and still have time to make it to the happy hunting grounds before dawn. With a little planning, though, you can have a good breakfast prepared in the same amount of time it takes to pour a bowl of cereal. Breakfast burritos with sausage, eggs, cheese, and salsa, can be made in advance and warmed in the microwave, oven, or stovetop. Scrambled egg muffins prepared with spinach, mushroom, and cheese can be made ahead and reheated in a microwave or toaster oven. Overnight oats made with oatmeal, greek yogurt, and milk are another great way to start off your day. You can add sweet toppings if you’d like such as honey, sugar, berries, bananas or anything else. Make sure you plan for some protein in your breakfast. This meal will fuel your morning, and you don’t want to peter after an hour because all you ate was a high-carb meal. There’s one breakfast item you will definitely want to remember, and that’s the coffee. Bring a coffee pot, coffee, and whatever you like to put in it. Also, don’t forget your thermos. Healthy snacks Snacks are the easiest place to go out of control on unhealthy foods. But the fact is that you will only eat what you bring. If you don’t bring a variety pack of chips, you won’t eat them! Try putting these types of healthy snacks in your pack: Hard-boiled eggs in a sandwich bag with salt and pepper Almonds Dark chocolate Dried mangos Vegetables like carrot sticks, celery, sugar snap peas Cheese sticks Cheese and crackers Granola bars Fruit like clementines, apples, bananas Jerky and meat sticks It’s very important to remember to drink well throughout the day. So bring plenty of water or, if you’ll be hiking most of the day and you don’t want to pack that much water, invest in a filtration system so you can get safe drinking water from almost any water source. Healthy lunches Sandwiches make a good lunch for hunting. They’re easy to prepare and pack. Here are some favorites: Turkey sandwiches on whole wheat bread are a good whole-grain, protein-packed lunch. Try it with a little raspberry jam which makes it a little like a Monte Cristo. Chicken salad sandwiches are easy to prepare. Make the chicken salad ahead of time and then just spread it on the bread in the morning before taking off. Lunchmeat and cheese sandwiches are a staple for hunting lunches. I like to add a slice of salami to whatever other meat I use. Another delicious option is to thinly slice leftover steaks (bonus points if it’s leftover tenderloins from your freshly harvested deer) and the steak in a tortilla wrap with cream cheese, bell pepper, and spinach. Yogurt and cheese sticks are good foods to supplement your sandwich or wrap. Healthy dinners I recommend pre-making as much of the food as possible because it can be overwhelming to try to bring all the individual ingredients for meals. When you decide on the main dish to prepare, don’t forget to bring what you need for side dishes. Here are some ideas: Salad kits from the grocery store make a great side dish. They contain everything you need to make a good salad. I plan a salad for every dinner. Bags of frozen vegetables make easy sides. Just heat them up and add a little butter, salt, and pepper. Baked beans are another easy and filling addition to a meal. As far as main dishes go, there are some that I eat on every hunting trip and others that I rotate in occasionally. Healthy meals can be pretty basic and easy to prepare. Simply think of a meat to grill, a starch (e.g. bread, potato, pasta, grain) to heat up, and a vegetable. A homemade spaghetti sauce can be reheated on a stovetop and poured over freshly cooked noodles. Chili is another good, hearty hunting dinner. Don’t forget the cornbread and sour cream. If you happen to harvest an animal, the fresh meat can make one of the best meals. Grilled tenderloin with a little salt and pepper is hard to beat. Frozen burger patties are available at most grocery stores, and you can grill those for a quick and easy meal. Don’t forget the ketchup, mustard, and cheese. Eating healthy on a hunting trip does not have to be overwhelming. You’ll just need to think ahead and prepare and pack what you’ll need. Remember, if you don’t pack it, you won’t have it. That can be good for resisting cravings because if you don’t have unhealthy food, you won’t be able to eat it. But it can be bad for essentials that you’ll wish you would have remembered. You’ll enjoy your hunting trip more if you feel good, and what you put into your body makes a big difference. Melanie Musson is a writer for QuickQuote.com. She lives in Montana and looks forward to big game season every fall. Another of her passions is cooking delicious and healthy foods for her friends and family.
To some people, not much beats getting outdoors, taking deep breaths of fresh air, and immersing themselves in the surrounding nature. Although this December and January may not be the most ideal time to be outside, these months can be a great time to reflect on the past year and really take the time to determine what you want to achieve in terms of the new year. Along with your more common resolutions like making a budget and eating healthier, this new year may present a good opportunity for you to make more outdoor-specific resolutions. If you are an outdoor enthusiast who is struggling to figure out which outdoor-related resolutions you want to set for the new year, the best thing to do is to think about what you enjoy, what you’ve always wanted to do, but haven’t done yet, and see what goals other outdoor-lovers like yourself are setting. To help you identify goals to set for 2020, we gathered personal new year resolutions and other outdoor-related resolution suggestions from real outdoor enthusiasts. Plan a mountain bike-packing trip “My New Year’s Resolution this year is to complete a long-distance mountain bike-packing trip. I’ve been wanting to do a bike-packing trip for some time now, and I have discovered some incredible long-distance trails to choose from. Mountain bike-packing is growing in popularity, and the number of routes seem to be growing as well. The main appeal of bike-packing for me is the opportunity to bike (my favorite mode of transportation), cover lots of ground, enjoy spectacular scenery, experience new places, and camp along the way. I am turning 40 this year so this resolution is also a big fitness goal for me. I’m looking forward to pushing my body to its limits!” — Julie Singh, Cofounder of TripOutside.com Take trips to a state park “My family’s New Year’s Resolution is to visit a state park once a month. Once a month may not sound like a lot, but with three kids and all the varying activities that fill up weekends, it’s easy for state park trips to be crowded out of our schedule. Putting our outings into the calendar early ensures that our outings don’t get pushed to the back burner. This particular outdoors resolution is really important for us and is great for other families in a similar stage of life. My husband and I both want our kids growing up experiencing the magic of being outside in the woods, just like we did. The lure of screens or man-made fun is powerful at our kids’ current ages, but a monthly trip to a state park (on top of the usual outdoor activities we enjoy) is the type of family trip that, if prioritized, will show our kids how special and important nature and simple’ fun is.” — Leslie Kiel, Mom, Yoga Teacher, and Writer for QuickQuote.com Train for a triathlon race “I think a great New Year's resolution would be to train for a triathlon. There are many reasons why I recommend triathlons; they've changed me in several positive ways and that is something I'm very thankful for. Triathlons could be extremely beneficial for your mental and physical health, improving your overall health. It's a great sport for those who enjoy multitasking or strive to be better at it. Overall, it's a great accomplishment and could motivate your friends, family, and even set a great example for your kids. It's extremely enjoyable and you'll most likely be hooked!” — Ryan Raskin, Triathlete and Category Director at RECREATIONiD.com Ride your bike to work “This year, your New Year's resolution can be to ride your bike to work for a set number of days each week. It's easy to choose the comfort and convenience of commuting by car, but you will be surprised how much you'll enjoy bike commuting if you discipline yourself to try it out.Riding a bike to work allows you to get outside, enjoy the sunshine, and get the heart beating even during the busiest of work weeks. If you're an outdoor enthusiast, stop coming up with excuses on why bike commuting isn't for you and give it a shot. You'll be surprised how accessible it is and how much fun it can be!” — Tyler Smith, Owner of Bicycle2Work.com Try out different outdoor-workout spots “In the year 2020, I want to find a different outdoor workout spot every weekend. I want to document the spaces so that I can look back on them at the beginning of the following year. I am going to aim to push myself to try new exercises in new spaces.” — Joe Flanagan, Fitness App Developer at GetSongbpm Plan frequent micro-adventures I am doing a micro-adventure a month for the year of 2020. I think this is a good one because it is achievable for everyone, it doesn't require any time off and can be completed in your garden as well as on the top of the mountain.A micro-adventure is a concept where you make the most of your 5 p.m.–9 a.m. and requires you to go on a little adventure and sleep outside under the stars. My favorite destination for a micro-adventure is at the top of a hill with a nice view of the sunset or sunrise. I also love combining them with some physical activity such as cycling or hiking.” — Amy Elisabeth, Personal Trainer and Blog Owner Find ways to get out of your comfort zone “The best New Year's resolution is to scare yourself every single day. Fear and anxiety characterized the first decade of the millennium. We can make the world a much better place if we change that mindset. The reason fear is so prevalent is people are running away from fear and they are avoiding getting out of their comfort zone. As a society we are no longer learning how to deal with fear, so that scares us even more and starts a devastating cycle of fear and anxiety. Getting out of your comfort zone every day is easy if you are an outdoor enthusiast. You can do so many things — learn to rock climb, run in nothing but shorts in the snow, do a 24-hour run or bike. Even at the office you can make a toast at lunch, or suggest an idea outside of your domain. Knowing that you are facing your fears every day will help you learn to use the part of your brain called the sgACC — that’s the courage center. You'll soon find that all of your dreams lie on the other side of your fears.” — Patrick Sweeney, Fear Guru, Adventurer, Speaker, and Author of Fear is Fuel If the New Year’s resolution ideas mentioned above aren’t your cup of tea, here are our suggestions for four additional goals you’ll want to consider: Try outdoor photography Outdoor photography is just one other way to experience the outdoors. You may not think you’re into photography or that you have an artistic eye, but you might find that with outdoor photography, you’re more aware of the beautiful nature that surrounds you and have more lasting memories. Just like everything else, outdoor photography may not be for you, but it likely doesn’t hurt to try it out. At the very least, you will have captured some memorable photos of your outdoor adventures. You may be surprised by what you can capture when you have a camera on hand. Create or join a network of fellow outdoor enthusiasts Going on outdoor adventures alone can be fun, but it can also be fun to go with a group of people who are just as enthusiastic about the great outdoors as you are. In 2020, you might want to try joining a group of adventurists or, if you can’t find a group, create your own group of people who are open to going on outdoor adventures throughout the year with you. These groups can easily be found/made via social networks like Facebook, Instagram, and even Twitter. You can also make an effort to find people who live in your community. Who knows, maybe your neighbor or church leader is an avid adventurist waiting for someone like you to come explore with them. Organize and revamp your gear If you are truly an outdoor enthusiast, chances are you have a decent amount of outdoor gear. Having a lot of gear can be great; however, it can also be a hassle. Maybe you have an entire room full of gear that is either unusable or rarely used. If that’s the case, you should definitely go through your collection and throw out anything that’s unusable, donate what you don’t use, and reorganize the way you store your gear. After all is organized, determine what you want/need to buy for the new year and make a plan or budget for how you will buy that gear.The more organized you are, the more you will be able to get out of your gear. Going through your gear at least once each year can help you avoid gear failure during trips and can give you a good idea of what you need for the upcoming year. Try at least two new outdoor sports You may have a long list of outdoor activities you already enjoy, but it might not hurt to try to add to that list each year by setting a goal to try at least two new outdoor sports in the new year. You can try anything like running a specific race (like a half-marathon), swimming, outdoor competition shooting, rock climbing, hunting, etc. Trying new outdoor activities can help you get out of your comfort zone, help you meet new people, and even help you find a new passion. New may not always be better, but there are chances that you’ll love a new sport you try this year. The bottom line Regardless of what outdoor-related goals you set for 2020, make sure they’re fairly realistic and achievable. You certainly don’t want to look at your list at the end of the year and find that you haven’t been able to accomplish anything on it. Of course, there are things that unexpectedly take place that may draw you away from achieving your outdoor goals, but try your best to make goals you really feel you can do this year. After all, good goals can make this next year the best one yet.
Guest Post by John McAdams Buying a new hunting rifle can be a very overwhelming experience if you’ve never done it before. A quick look around any sporting goods store will reveal an wide assortment of different rifles that are available in a staggering variety of cartridges. How do you pick the best one for you? The good news is that many of the popular centerfire rifle cartridges that hunters use these days will work for a wide range of hunting situations. That being said, certain cartridges are better for some hunts than others. For that reason, it’s still important to carefully evaluate what and where you intend to hunt with that new rifle. Here are a few caliber recommendations that will work extremely well for hunting many of the popular species of big game all over the world. Before we get started, take note that this article only covers a handful of good big game hunting cartridges. There are plenty of dependable rifle cartridges out there and the exclusion of a particular cartridge from this list doesn’t necessarily mean it’s a bad choice. 6.5 Creedmoor Though the 6.5 Creedmoor is a relatively new cartridge that first got started in the competitive shooting community, it’s becoming very popular with hunters as well. Firing a very aerodynamic .264” bullet at a moderate velocity, the 6.5 Creedmoor is easily powerful enough for hunting small to moderate-sized game at typical ranges for most hunters. It’s also capable of ethically taking down larger game as well under the right circumstances. The Creedmoor has taken off among hunters in recent years because it is very resistant to wind drift, has a relatively flat trajectory, and has a pretty mild recoil. Since it first got started in the competitive shooting world, the 6.5 Creedmoor is also capable of incredible accuracy in the right hands. With those things in mind, the 6.5 Creedmoor is popular among hunters of all experience levels, but the light recoil of the cartridge helps make it an especially good choice for small framed and/or brand new hunters. All things considered, the 6.5 Creedmoor is an excellent caliber for hunting whitetail deer, mule deer, feral hogs, and pronghorn at distances out to several hundred yards. As previously mentioned, it will also work for game like elk and moose, but it’s a little on the light side for hunting game that size. .30-06 Springfield The legendary .30-06 Springfield is well over a century old, but it remains one of the most popular centerfire rifle cartridges in the world. This is due in large part to the fact that the .30-06 is such a capable and versatile cartridge. With proper shot placement and when using appropriate ammunition, the .30-06 is well suited for hunting a wide variety of big game ranging from whitetail deer all the way up to moose. This also includes North American game animals like black bear, feral hogs, pronghorn, and elk. Additionally, it’s a great choice for hunting animals like red stag, fallow deer, blue wildebeest, kudu, and eland that a hunter is likely to encounter on a New Zealand or Africa hunting safari. While the 6.5 Creedmoor is an excellent long-range cartridge, the .30-06 Springfield is no slouch in that area either. On the other hand, it does have noticeably more recoil than the 6.5 Creedmoor, but most hunters don’t have too much trouble handling the additional recoil of the .30-06 Springfield. Since it’s so popular among hunters, .30-06 rifles and ammunition are widely available and often very reasonably priced. When all of those things are taken into consideration, the .30-06 is an ideal choice if a hunter wanted to purchase a single rifle that would work for hunting the most game under the largest breadth of conditions. .338 Winchester Magnum As good as the .30-06 is, some hunters prefer to use something even more powerful for hunting especially large and/or dangerous species of game in North America. Hunters who fall into that group often gravitate towards the .338 Winchester Magnum. Just like the case with the 6.5 Creedmoor and the .30-06 Springfield, there is quite a bit of overlap in the capabilities of the .30-06 and the .338 Winchester Magnum. In this case, the .338 Winchester Magnum provides an extra measure of power that can be really nice to have when hunting game like elk, moose, or Alaskan brown bear. That extra power does come with more recoil though, and the .338 Win Mag does not really offer improved performance when compared to the .30-06 on smaller game like deer or pronghorn. For those reasons, the .338 is not nearly as popular overall as the .30-06, but it is still an excellent choice for hunters in places like Canada and Alaska who want or need the advantages it offers. .375 H&H Magnum Last up is the .375 Holland & Holland Magnum. Many African countries have a legally established minimum caliber of .375” for hunting thick-skinned, dangerous game like cape buffalo. So, while cartridges like the .30-06 and the .338 Win Mag are great for hunting almost all species of plains game, the .375 H&H is generally considered the minimum acceptable cartridge for cape buffalo hunting. It’s an outstanding choice for cape buffalo, but the .375 H&H is not limited to just buffalo hunting either. Like the .30-06, the .375 is another old cartridge that has a very well-deserved reputation for solid performance afield. Though it does have more recoil than the .30-06 or .338, the .375 H&H does not recoil as much as one might think. For these reasons, many hunters use the .375 H&H for hunting plains game in Africa as well as game like brown bear and moose in North America. Final thoughts Appropriately preparing for a hunt or buying a new rifle does not end with selecting a cartridge. That’s merely a single step in the process. Selecting the right rifle, scope, and ammunition are all just as important as picking the right cartridge. Additionally, the marksmanship skills of the hunter are extremely important as well when it comes to ethical hunting. As the saying goes, a shot in the right place from a less powerful cartridge is much better than a shot in the wrong place from a more powerful cartridge. Carefully select the right centerfire rifle cartridge for the hunting you plan on doing, purchase a high-quality rifle, sighting system, and ammunition, and then spend plenty of time at the range practicing before your hunt. If you do those things, you should be well prepared for an upcoming adventure. John McAdams is a proficient blogger, long time hunter, experienced shooter, and veteran of combat deployments with the US Army to Iraq and Afghanistan. John started Big Game Hunting Adventures in order to help others fulfill their hunting dreams. John’s articles have been featured in outdoor publications like Bear Hunting Magazine, the Texas State Rifle Association, the Texas Wildlife Magazine, and Wide Open Spaces.
Hunting often takes a significant amount of preparation, skill, patience, and time. All of the effort that goes into hunting may not seem worth it to some, but to others, it’s everything, especially during the fall months. If you know someone who is an avid hunter, you’ll likely see them getting amped up for the upcoming fall hunting season. After all, fall hunting season is a time where hunters gather together, have the chance to go after a wide variety of game, and enjoy the beautiful fall weather and surrounding nature. Do you know someone who is gearing up for an upcoming hunt? If so, consider surprising them with one of these hunting-related gifts that they can use throughout this fall hunting season: Cooking and food Product: Custom Cookbook Description: “This book hosts a collection of recipes from other hunters. The hunt is only the first part of the process. After the hunters kill, they need to know how to make the best meals with their meat. This lets farmers share their recipes, pass down family recipes, and share stories and photos from their hunts.” — Honey and Hive Price: Starts at $120 Available at honeyandhivecreations.com ---- Product: The Meat Eater Fish and Game Cookbook by Steven Rinella Description: “This cookbook by Steven Rinella from the Meat Eater TV show and podcast is designed for every hunter and angler and contains more than 100 new recipes. I’ve given this book to seasoned and brand new hunters. It’s a really well put together compendium of recipes that will educate and encourage any hunter or angler to use the whole animal. There are plenty of pictures along with the recipes, making them harder to botch, which I certainly appreciate, as do my dinner guests.” — Chase Kroll Price: $35 Available on the Meat Eater website ---- Product: The Hunter’s Cookbook Description: “The Hunter's Cookbook is the ultimate gift for the special hunter in your life. There is a good chance they are particular about their equipment so a cookbook is not only a unique gift, it is one that is more likely to be used and appreciated. The best part is that this gift ensures that the pleasure of the hunt extends far past the wilderness and enters the home for an experience the whole family can enjoy. The top-selling cookbook features a wide array of recipes for a large variety of wild game and even includes complementary side dishes and desserts. As an added bonus, the Hunter's Cookbook also has a great selection of wildlife line drawings, cooking tips, and hunting quotes.” — Sam Maizlech, Gunivore Available on Amazon ---- Product: Alpine Start Premium Instant Coffee Description: “This is great for hunting because it's lightweight, easy to pack, and loaded with 120g of caffeine. Just add water (hot or cold) and you've got a great tasting premium cup of coffee without the mess and cleanup.” — Alpine Start Price: $8.99 per box Available on the Alpine Start website Accessories and apparel Product: Szanto Icon Signature Series: Shane Dorian watch Description: “The Szanto ICON Signature Series features a collection of watches tied to famous individuals who have made their mark in a variety of fields. Shane Dorian is a well-known surfer from Hawaii but is also commonly known for his passion for hunting, as he is an avid bowhunter. Conceptualized by watch industry veteran Barry Cohen along with big wave surfer Shane Dorian, the new brand features Swiss superluminova lume on the hands and dial numbers that result in a long-lasting glow for reading time in the dark. The series is strategically designed to have colors blend well with camouflaged gear commonly worn by all hunters. The watches are tough, rugged, dependable, water-resistant timepieces equipped with excellent illumination technology which aids night visibility.” — Time Concepts Price: Between $250–$275 Available on the timeconcepts.net website ---- Product: Spartan Armor System Flex fused core Description: “This soft armor can be used stand-alone, giving level IIIA protection or ICW (in conjunction with) as a backer on any of hard armor systems. This would be the perfect gift for hunters this fall because of its durability and its ability to give the hunter extra protection as they go out this season.” — Spartan Armor Systems Price: $261.45 Available on the Spartan Armor Systems website ---- Product: Ashes to Ashes hat Description: “A hat is a must-have accessory for hunting and being out in the wilderness. Abby's hats are comfortable, breathable trucker hats that are adjustable. They keep the sun out of your eyes and shield your face from trees and branches.” — Art 4 All Price: $29.95 Available on the Art 4 All website ---- Product: Hook + Gaff Field Watch Description: “From hunting to fly fishing, and everywhere in between, the new Field watch was designed for the avid outdoorsman. Built with functional comfort for guys and girls who like to get out and enjoy the outdoors, the new Field watch touts all of the necessary features to endure any excursion. To minimize wrist and hand irritation, the Field watch keeps with the signature left-side crown orientation found on all Hook + Gaff watches. Whether you’re casting, climbing, or shooting in the field, this unique crown placement on the left side of the case prevents the watch crown from digging into the wearer’s wrist, offering comfort during all outdoor pursuits.” — Hook + Gaff Price: $300 Available on the Hook + Gaff website ---- Product: Woodsman Beard Oil Description: “Perfect for hunters with facial hair. Beards can help keep hunters warm during hunting season and our Woodsman beard oil, with all-natural ingredients, will keep beards healthy and looking good.” — The Bearded Bastard Price: $20 Available on The Bearded Bastard website ---- Product: Handmade Leather EDC Wallet Description: “This high-quality EDC wallet, made from vegetable-tanned cowhide leather, allows you to keep your small hunting gadgets like your swiss army knife, compass, pocket knife, keys, flashlights, and other handy items, safely together.” — Calen Leather Price: $35 Available on the Galen Leather website ---- Product: Mobile Warming Heated Apparel Description: “Mobile Warming is a line of smart clothing and associated gear for all outdoor activities, but especially hunting. The clothing (jackets, shirts, base layers, gloves) are heated through a specialized app and the Bluetooth capability of your smartphone. The 9v battery is extremely small and unobtrusive. And there’s even a pet vest if you take your dog with you.” — Mobile Warming Price: Varies per item Available on the Mobile Warming website ---- Product: Jack Pyke Lightweight Mesh Suit Description: “Super lightweight two-piece mesh suit from Jack Pyke is ideal for every hunter who is looking for products enabling him to blend into his surroundings with ease naturally. It comes with a pull-over, smock-style top with an adjustable hood and elasticated waistband and cuffs, and comfortable trousers with two through pockets and adjustable, elasticated waist and ankles. It's available in English Oak camo and English Woodland camo prints offering flawless camouflage in a range of outdoor situations.” — Military 1st Price: $56.95 Available on the Military 1st website ---- Product: Stormy Kromer Waxed Cotton Tough Mitts Description: “These durable water-resistant mitts are made with waxed cotton, goatskin leather, and a sherpa lining, perfect for keeping warm and for use during colder climates, and a great, functional accessory for those who love to hunt.” — Hats.com Price: $59.99 Available on the Hats.com website ---- Product: Badlands Diablo Dos Camouflage Hunting Backpack Description: As stated on the Amazon website, this pack “has the highest strength-to-weight ratio of any hunting pack on the market” and comes with hypervent back suspension, water-repellent fabric, and weighs four pounds. Recommended by Benjamin Smith from BestCompany.com Available on Amazon Tech accessories Product: OnX Maps Description: “OnX is a suite of layered interactive GPS maps that include public and private land boundaries and ownership information, downloadable to your smartphone. OnX maps are a great gift for a wide variety of hunters because whether you’re chasing mule deer or mallards, you need to know where you stand. OnX helps you stay legal and ethical in all your wild game pursuits. The app is super intuitive. I use it all over the country.” — Chase Kroll Price: Annual rates are $29.99 for one state or $99.99 for all 50 states Available on the OnX maps website ---- Product: Somewear Satellite Communicator Description: “Whether it’s a quick text to a partner letting them know your hunt is running long, to request assistance for packing out an animal, or an SOS in case of an injury, Somewear is the most user-friendly, satellite communicator on the market. About the size of a hockey puck (weighs 4 oz.), Somewear pairs with your favorite mobile device to provide fast, reliable two-way text messaging, pinpoint weather forecasting, mapping/tracking, and SOS emergency services, anywhere on the planet. Somewear can send and receive 1,000 text messages on a single charge and it features the most affordable Iridium satellite data plans on the market.” — Somewear Labs Price: $349 for the unit, see prices for data plans here Available on the Somewear Labs website ---- Product: Motorola Solutions T265 Sportsman Edition Talkabout Two-Way Radios Description: “The Motorola Talkabout T265 two-way radios are ideal for use when out of cell phone range at the lodge, on the trail, and in the deer stand waiting for the big buck. These are specifically designed for hunters and serious outdoor sports enthusiasts. They feature two push-to-talk earbuds with microphone, reliable two-way communications, up to a 25-mile range, hands-free capability, NOAA weather channels, 20 call tones, and dual power. The T265 also comes equipped with two Micro-USB wall charging cables and a handy camo carry case, making them easy to pack for the next hunting expedition. Two-way radios provide peace-of-mind in the great outdoors by allowing hunters to stay connected and hear important weather alerts when out of cell phone range.” — Motorola Solutions Price: $84.99 Available on the Motorola Solutions website ---- Product: Wosports Hunting Rangefinder Description: According to the Amazon product description, this rangefinder has a lightweight design, “6x magnification optical objective lens,” and comes with a 12-month customer guarantee. Recommended by Benjamin Smith from BestCompany.com Available on Amazon Outdoor relaxation Product: Rhino-Rack Batwing Compact Awning Description: “Rapidly deployed by one person, the Batwing Compact offers fast and generous weather protection and shade. The Batwing Compact Awning is perfect to provide shade and protection from the elements while on your hunting adventure.” — Rhino-Rack Price: $649.00 Available on the Rhino-Rack website ---- Product: Patriot Venture Day Cooler Description: “The Rugged Personal Cooler is perfect for hunting or any outdoor activity. This heavy-duty cooler features an easy-access, quick-flip top, anti-microbial interior, and sealed interior liner designed for ice packs. It keeps food and drinks cold for over 24 hours.” — Patriot Coolers Price: $37.99 Available on the Patriot Coolers website ---- Product: Helinox Chair One Realtree™ Description: “Hunting equipment can get heavy. But with it's innovative and award-winning design, the Chair One won't weigh you down when you're on the move. Smaller than a water bottle, this chair is assured to be your new favorite hunting luxury. Despite its tiny size, this chair is structured with advanced DAC aluminum poles, holding up to 320 lbs.” — Helinox Price: $120 Available on the Helinox website ---- Product: GelPro Elite comfort mat Description: “GelPro mats are some of the plushest and most comfortable mats on the market, providing relief to legs and backs while standing or kneeling in a blind or at home in the hunting lodge at the end of a long hunting day.” — GelPro Elite Price: Start at $119.95 for a 20”x36” mat Available on the GelPro Elite website Tools and Cleanup Product: Geekey Mini Multi-Tool Description: “Whether it's needing a screwdriver or wrench to adjust a scope or bipod, a serrated or file edge for cutting or whittling, or a bottle opener or pipe for the end of the day, the Geekey has it all — and more. Plus, it weighs less than an ounce and can hang from your key ring or around your neck, which means no more scaring off game by rummaging around.” — Geekey Price: $26.99 Available on the Geekey website ---- Product: PF940c Full Build Kit Description: “The PF940c Full Build Kit from JSD Supply is a perfect gift for firearm enthusiasts who have everything. The Glock G19 Compatible build kit will keep them busy for hours in the garage, and out of your hair! The kit includes everything they will need to completely build their very own Glock G19 compatible pistol. All they need to complete this build is a couple of tools they've probably already purchased for other projects around the house.” — JSD Supply Price: $449.99 Available on the JSD Supply website ---- Product: Hunting Semi-Folding Knife with Rosewood Handle Description: “The Semi foldable handle knife is the best companion for outdoor activities such as hunting, fishing, etc. It comes with a sharp stainless steel blade which opens safely with a little pressure. Wooden plates are installed on each side to make the grip comfortable. The semi-utility is a cool outdoor companion, especially for survival situation that can occur while hunting. It's a great solution for cutting fruits, meat, vegetables, bread, and opening cans. It is also good for self-defense to encounter predators or small insects.” — Syed Ali Hasan, Film Jackets Available on Amazon ----- Product: Buck Knife Field Master Kit Description: According to the Amazon website, this kit includes the “141 PakLite Large Skinner, the 135 PakLite Caper, and the 499 PakLite Guthook.” Additionally, the kit comes with an easy-to-clean sheath. Recommended by Benjamin Smith, BestCompany.com Available on Amazon ---- Product: Game Hauler | Cart Dolly for Game, Gear, Hunting Accessories Description: “Hauls up to 500 pounds while the cart itself is lightweight and easy to move. My dad and I use these all the time if we can get one into where the animal is to make the haul out easier. My dad picked up an entire female deer he had shot one time and carried it down the mountain. His meniscus was unforgiving and had ripped by the time he made it to the bottom.” — Benjamin Smith, BestCompany.com Available on Amazon ---- Product: Grease Monkey Wipes Description: “These individually packaged, pre-moistened wipes are perfect when there's no soap and water around, cleaning off blood, grease, oil, grime, lead residue, and more from hands, metal and more. And, they give off a natural aloe and citrus scent compared to an unnatural chemical odor.” — Grease Monkey Price: $6.74 for a 12-count package Available on the Grease Monkey website The bottom line These hunting gifts may just help your favorite hunter get a good head start on the upcoming hunting season. The more useful items they can get beforehand, the better off they will be when hunting season comes around. After all, being well-prepared for a hunt can make all the difference. If you are interested in gifting ammunition, firearms, or additional hunting accessories, consider checking out this list of top-rated online gun and ammo stores.
Guest Post by Christine Morford If you’re a boat owner, fishing is just one of many activities you can partake in on the water. Whether you’re a seasoned fisherman or woman who embarks on trips with the intention of bringing home a sizable haul or if you’re a casual hobbyist more interested in spending a fun day on the water, it’s important to be diligent with your boat’s upkeep and keep the right gear on hand to ensure you’re safe and prepared for future fishing expeditions. Routine maintenance Just as you do with your car, you need to keep track of oil and filter change intervals with your boat so that a breakdown doesn’t derail your fishing trip. Track the hours you spend on your boat and cross-check it with your manufacturer’s recommendations. Oil changes are typically performed every 50–100 hours. Oil changes are a great time to check for oil or fuel leaks in the bilge or water. You should also get in the habit of checking before you go out for a longer fishing trip. Lubricate your electrical components regularly to keep things running as they should. Keep marine-grade grease on hand to ensure they stay protected before, during, and after a fishing trip. Pay special attention to your propellers; fishing line from previous trips can easily get caught and wrapped around the shaft, effectively destroying the seal and leading to leaks. It’s also important to be mindful of fuel levels and quality whenever you’re getting ready to take your boat out. Consider purchasing fuel stabilizer to add to your tank to keep the fuel fresh and clean. It’s a relatively inexpensive investment and you’ll notice the difference when your engine runs at its peak performance for longer. Before a trip, make sure you have enough fuel in the tank to get out and back. Go by the two-thirds rule: plan to use two-thirds of your fuel supply to complete the journey, leaving one-third as a reserve in the event that wind, waves, or other weather conditions change on your return. General cleaning tips and essential gear Cleaning is of course a big part of the post-fishing trip checklist. However, you want to make sure you set out on a trip with everything in pristine condition, so nothing keeps you from casting as soon as you’re out on the water. First and foremost, your boat needs an onboard washdown pump to things clean with minimal effort. Some of the best offerings are ones with multiple pressure settings so you can hit more sensitive areas like windows and hatches with lower pressure and avoid seepage and rust. It’s always a good idea to periodically rinse down your boat while you’re fishing to save time and effort at the end of the trip.A few other cleaning essentials to have on hand include a sponge, bucket, and mild soap for more thorough washes. You might also want to invest in some Bar Keepers Friend for tackling tough stains and splatter. Don’t forget waxes, polishes and protectants for seat cushions and other surfaces that are vulnerable to harsh UV rays. In addition to cleaning supplies, regardless of how long you plan to be out or how far you plan to stray from shore, you need to run through a quick safety gear checklist. This includes a first aid kit with items to clean and bandage injuries (especially those sustained from hooks) as well as medications for common ailments like headaches, allergies and seasickness. You should also have flares, lift jackets, a life raft, an AED, fire extinguisher and a man overboard system.Lastly, don’t forget about general supplies for you and your passengers. Stock up on water, snacks, and sunscreen. Consider keeping extra pairs of sunglasses, hats and sweaters on your boat during fishing season. You never know when something small will go overboard or a chilly wind will pick up. If you plan to gut fish onboard, boots are also a good idea. Fishing gear While cleaning gear, safety equipment, and snacks are important to have for all boating excursions, a few additional items will come in handy for a fishing expedition. The most obvious include rods, reels, and bait. If you plan to troll, or keep your lure at a fixed depth, invest in a downrigger, which help keep the line safely in place. After a trip, particularly if you’re fishing in saltwater, rinse down all your equipment, from tackle boxes to lures, to avoid rust and corrosion. If you plan on keeping the fish you catch, you’ll also want a cooler. Don’t forget supplies for cleaning your cooler; this is best done as soon as you’ve returned and removed the fish, otherwise smells can linger and mold can develop, ruining a cooler forever. Cleaning tablets are available, but sometimes nothing beats a decent scrub brush and some baking soda. Make sure your tool kit is well-stocked with gloves, pliers, spare parts, and scissors or wire cutters, which will come in handy for cutting fishing line. You might also want to bring along a Fish Finder or Chartplotter. If you plan to troll for long periods of time during your outing, it might be wise to invest in autopilot for your boat. Fishing is an awesome way to spend time outdoors, either with a group of friends or on your own. The ability to fish from a boat elevates the experience greatly. Whether you want to spend a day on the water with friends catching and releasing fish or if a solitary expedition is more your speed, you can follow these tips to ensure your trip goes smoothly and safely and your boat stays in great shape for many trips to come. Christine Morford is the Category Director for BOATiD.com. Driven by her love for the outdoors and passion for the water, she has happily spent the last ten-plus years working in the marine industry.
The sport of hunting is actually more complex than you may think. At first glance, hunting may seem like a simple hobby that you can pick up right after taking a trip to your local outdoorsman store. Only once you actually go hunting will you realize that there’s much more than what meets the eye. It can be hard to get into hunting, especially if you don’t have anyone who can explain the steps. If you are having trouble knowing how to begin your hunting journey, here are a few steps and tips to help you get started. Safety The first and most important thing a beginner hunter needs to learn is proper hunter safety.Owner of The Big Game Hunting Blog and experienced hunter, John McAdams recommends that beginners take a hunter safety course and find a hunting mentor: “First, prospective hunters should take a hunter safety course. Most states require that hunters pass hunter education before purchasing a hunting license. Even when not required, this is useful training that I highly recommend all prospective hunters complete. In addition to detailing a number of important safety practices all hunters should abide by, hunter education also provides useful information on relevant hunting laws and regulations, hunting etiquette, (and) a general overview of important hunting tips. Consult your state fish and game department for details on how to take hunter education training.” He adds “After passing hunter education, I recommend finding a mentor to help out with a lot of the finer points of hunting. If you don’t have any family members or close friends that hunt, consider checking out Powder Hook, which is an online resource where you discover a place to hunt and find a mentor in your area that can help get you pointed in the right direction as you begin your hunting career.”Eric Andrews, owner of Hunting Buff, echoed McAdams’ remarks about the benefits of taking a hunter safety course. He also stressed the importance of hands-on learning: “Before going on your first hunting trip, make sure to take a hunter safety course in the state where you'll hunt. This course will help you understand the safety rules and hunting regulations in your area. Also, before you go gun or bowhunting, make sure you visit a range and get some experience firing your weapon." Paul Ronto, seasoned hunter/outdoorsman and CMO and Director of Digital Content for RunRepeat also firmly believes that taking time to learn hunter safety is crucial:“First and foremost new hunters need to understand firearm safety before they ever step foot in the field. Whether it's a rifle, shotgun, or even a bow, hunters need to know how to handle a weapon, how to carry one safely, and how to accurately and safely fire their weapon. Practice time at the range is crucial; firing a gun or releasing on a bow is like any other skill, and practice makes perfect. You wouldn't step onto the pitcher's mound expecting to throw a perfect game without years of practice, and shooting is very similar, especially with larger or more dangerous animals or at longer distances. Nothing worse can come out of a hunt than either injuring yourself, a fellow hunter, or your prey because of ignorance about your weapon." Although safety might not be the first thing that comes to mind when you are planning a hunting trip, you should definitely make it a priority. Game and area planning Once you learn the right hunter safety basics, then you can focus on what you want to hunt and what area you want to hunt in. If you are interested in hunting in a different state, follow the proper state hunting laws and protocols. Determining what you want to hunt can be difficult, especially if you have no hunting experience. McAdams said that “going after small or upland game (rabbit, grouse, squirrel, pheasant, etc.) is a great way for beginners to get started hunting. Those sort of hunts usually don’t require very specialized equipment, are often more action-packed, and are usually less physically demanding than hunting big game like deer or elk. However, they still offer beginners a great opportunity to hone their skills and take home some healthy and delicious meat before attempting a more difficult hunt.”Once you know what kind of game you want to go after, start conducting personal research to see which areas in your state would be the best place to find that game.“Knowing the area you are going to hunt and/or knowing how to read a map is a crucial skill before you step into the field. Getting lost in the woods is a serious issue and hundreds if not thousands of people a year get lost while hunting or hiking. So know where you are at all times, have a plan for where and when to meet up with your group, and know how to get back to the tent or truck even if it gets dark. GPS can help, but relying on it can get you into trouble too. Nothing beats paying attention to your geographic surroundings and knowing how to read a proper map,” Ronto explained. Local laws Your planning isn’t finished once you decide where you want to hunt and what game you are going to go after. The next step is to understand the local hunting laws and regulations for the particular area you are planning on hunting in. Hunting laws and regulations often vary by state, area, and hunting season, and are also subject to change. For instance, you might find new or different restrictions regarding deer hunting in place this year than what was in place the previous year. It’s crucial to keep up on what rules, regulations, and laws are currently in place for the area you want to hunt in before you start hunting. Ronto explains, “Being aware of local hunting laws and hunting ethics is key. You need to have a wealth of knowledge about where you can hunt, when you can hunt, how to get permits, where public/private land starts and ends, and how to ethically hunt before you head out into the woods. Go talk to the local DOW or DNR, stop in at forest service stations and ask rangers; it's better to ask for help so you are sure you are hunting legally than doing something that can get you into trouble.” Sam Maizlech, firearms and survival expert for Gunivore.com, also stressed the importance of knowing hunting laws. He advises “As a hunter, it's your responsibility to know all the laws, rules, and regulations to ensure you have a safe and lawful experience. While some regulations are pretty standard, there are countless laws which are downright hard to believe. For example, it's illegal to shoot wild game birds on the ground in Kansas. Another great example is Montana's ban on electronic hunting aids, such as trail cameras. At the end of the day, every state has all of the relevant laws and general information on their gaming commission or division of wildlife websites. The important this is to stay up-to-date and follow all the necessary precautions so that you can hunt in peace without worrying about any legal consequences.” Gear Becoming a hunter isn’t cheap. You need to buy the right shoes, weapons, clothes, accessories, etc. Although there are a few ways you can save money on hunting gear, you’ll find that investing in good gear overtime will prove to be worthwhile. Ronto strongly recommends getting appropriate hunting footwear.He explains that “out of all the gear you need to go hunting, nothing is really more important than your hiking footwear. You can deal with cold, wet, or even hot weather without the right gear, but expecting to take down an animal without having to walk, especially in the vast expanses of the West, is not realistic. Not only are you on your feet all day chasing prey, once you take one down, you have to hike it out. So be sure to have solid boots that you've broken in well before your big hunt.” Footwear and clothing can make or break your hunting experience. Ronto adds that having gear that can withstand bad weather can definitely make a difference: “There's no such thing as bad weather, only bad gear. After you get your footwear situated, having the right gear makes hunting much more enjoyable. Sure, you can hunt in jeans and a hoodie, but when bad weather hits, it's nice to have proper insulating layers, waterproof outerwear, and a pack that can handle over 100lbs should you need to pack out your kill on foot. I don't think new hunters need to go out and buy the most expensive gear they can find. You don't need to invest all your money in year one, but slowly start to build up your hunting equipment." He added that it’s good to “start with a solid waterproof jacket. Next look for a good pack that can carry weight well. From there you can find pants and insulating layers that fit the climate of where you hunt. Also, you don't need camo if you don't have it. Any drab color like brown or green will work; plus in most places, you have to wear blaze orange anyway which defeats the purpose of expensive camo patterns. So don't feel the need to invest in high tech hunting-specific clothing on day one.” Butchering Knowing how to butcher in the field can be helpful if you are going after bigger game. After all, most people don’t want to spend extreme amounts of energy and time awkwardly hiking back with a large animal on their shoulders. Ronto says that “it's really important to know how to butcher an animal in the field. Watch youtube videos for this, learn how to either field dress an animal, or even better, how to quarter an animal. Quartering an animal is a quick and easy way to break your kill down into manageable pieces that you can hike out. It's crucial to get your meat onto ice or into a cool setting quickly so your kill doesn't go bad. Late season hunts don't have to worry about this as much, but early season hunters need to start the cooling process as quickly as possible which many times means butchering to some extent in the field. Have a sharp knife with you at all times and a way to sharpen that knife through the butchering process. I personally like the knives with changeable blades so I don't have to mess with a sharpening stone or kit.” Additional expert tips The steps mentioned above can help you get started on your hunting journey. However, you will likely need additional guidance before you go hunting. You can seek the help of an experienced hunter, conduct your own hunting research, and consider following the additional expert tips listed below. Get outside “As a new hunter the biggest bit of advice I can give you is to just get out there and start looking for animals. Go hike, get used to being in the field, find animals, follow them, stalk them, and learn their habits. You can do this year round, no need to wait for hunting season. Hunting is a great excuse to get outside, and the more you do it the more you'll fall in love with the outdoors, which is what hunting is really trying to save. Hunters are the biggest contributors to conservation of public lands and rangeland management of any of the user group that recreates outdoors, get out there and learn why it's so crucial to preserving our right to our lands.” — Ronto Focus on accuracy“While getting the best shot may seem like a nice bonus, the truth is that you want to get the best shot to prevent as much suffering to the animal as possible. Hunting demands a certain degree of responsibility and that extends to the game as well. In practice, this means you may have to wait until you can guarantee a kill shot. Likewise, hunters should always check their target after it goes down and carry a backup gun and tactical blade to end its suffering if need be.” — MaizlechThink about your prey“Seeing your prey is step one in killing your prey. Learn to walk off trail without having to look down. You need to be able to walk through the woods while paying attention to your surroundings. A lot of new hunters bump off prey long before they ever see it because they are focused on the ground. Think like your prey. Finding animals is hard, especially so during hunting season, so change your mindset and remember simple things about your prey, like they need water multiple times a day, they need food, and they need rest. Find their patterns and you'll find them.” — RontoInvest in binoculars “Good binos are something you'll want to save for and invest in as soon as you can...binos are a key tool needed to locate your prey. My advice is to save for a season or two and invest into a good pair rather than buying a cheap pair your first season. You'll quickly grow out of the cheap pair and have wasted your money, so wait until you know you want to continue to hunt, then buy something decent in the $400-$1,000 range.” — RontoUse the right weapon“If you're going to be turkey hunting, many states have laws against the use of rifles. You'll need to use a shotgun in many areas.” — AndrewsEat your meat“I know this sounds like common sense, but a lot of new hunters are unsure of how to prepare their kill when it comes time to eat it. Hunting should not be about horns or trophies, those are icing on top of the cake if you get them, but the real point is to put food in your freezer and on your table. Share your meat with people around you and show them how good it can be. There are tons of recipes and shows dedicated to cooking wild game. Try a few and find your favorites. Ethically speaking too, take as much meat off your kill as you can, leaving anything is a waste of a precious life you took to sustain your own life, use everything to its fullest.” — Ronto The bottom line Hunting requires a significant amount of time, energy, patience, and money in the beginning. Once you get started, however, things get easier. Getting the right gear, weapons, and ammunition can help make your first hunting trip one to remember. If you are looking for the best places to purchase hunting firearms, gear, and ammunition online, click here to check out our top-rated online gun and ammo stores.
Finding the right gift for your outdoor-loving friend or family member may seem difficult, especially if you have no experience with purchasing outdoor items. From hunting firearms and fishing equipment to outdoor sporting goods, the list of outdoor gifts is endless. To help you find the right gift to give your favorite outdoor enthusiast this spring, we put together this list of highly recommended outdoor products: Outdoor packs Product: North Point Venturer Backpack Description: “The Acme Made North Point Venturer Backpack is ideal for commuting to work, school, or jumping on a plane as a carry on. It's large, rectangular interior with roll-top closure has plenty of room for books, paperwork, or a jacket. Along with a dedicated padded laptop compartment. Acme Made Stretch Skin™ material offers a supple feel with stain resistance performance.”Price: $120Company: Acme MadeAvailable on the Acme Made website ----Product: Adventurist Classic Description: “The Adventurist Classic is made with ultra durable and water-resistant 1000D Polyester and synthetic leather, making it a perfect daypack for hikers, campers, and outdoor lovers looking for a high quality and affordable new backpack that can hold up in all weather.Also, for every backpack sold, Adventurist provides 25 meals to families in need across the United States.” Price: $65Company: Adventurist Backpack Co. Available on the Adventurist Backpack Co. website ----Product: flip & tumble backpack Description: "flip & tumble's backpack compacts down into a small pouch making it a cinch to stash with you. Once opened, it's the perfect backpack for staying hands-free while traveling and exploring the outdoors. Use it to stash an extra layer, water bottle, and other key essentials. Weighing in at just seven ounces and rated to hold 35 lbs, this backpack is super light but built tough."Price: $36.00Company: flip & tumbleAvailable on the flip & tumble website ---- Product: Pacsafe® 60530626 - Venturesafe X™ Blue Steel Anti-Theft Hiking Backpack Description: “The one-stop bag for adventure. This 34-liter backpack has enough room for minimalists to hit the road with everything they need – including a 15-inch laptop, hydration pack, and more. Pack peace of mind with anti-theft technology and smart organization.”Price: $179.95Company: RECREATIONiDAvailable on the RECREATIONiD website Outdoor apparel and wearable accessories Product: The Daily Tube Description: “The Daily Tube is your multi-functional tool against the elements . Designed for the outdoors, this lightweight, highly breathable, facemask keeps you cool in the blistering sun, dries quickly when damp, and adds thermal warmth for cutting cold winds. Designed with UPF 50+ UV Protection, so sunburns are now a thing of the past.” Price: $19.99Company: BlackStrapAvailable on the BlackStrap website ----Product: The Daily Sleeve Description: “The Daily Sleeve is designed with function in mind. Quickly becoming a popular solution for full UV and insect protection in the outdoors all while wearing a short sleeve shirt. This lightweight and highly breathable piece provides all day comfort outdoors. Designed with BlackStrap’s cool dry technology. Simply wet down this piece for hours of cooling relief.” Price: $28.99Company: BlackStrapAvailable on the BlackStrap website ----Product: The Hood Balaclava Description: “For colder and damp weather, the Hood Balaclava is a flagship staple in BlackStrap's winter collection. The Hood has an ergonomic design, 4-way stretch fabric for multiple wearing applications, and seamless helmet compatibility. It's UPF 50+ (UV) rated for sun protection, and has a dual layer hinged mouth that is breathable for all season use. The Hood is made with synthetic fabric that is breathable, moisture-wicking, and lens-safe. It is naturally antimicrobial and machine washable.” Price: $29.99Company: BlackStrapAvailable on the BlackStrap website ----Product: NoSweat Liners Description: “Most outdoor enthusiasts opt to wear a hat to keep the sun out of their eyes and provide some shade but wearing it for hours at time can leave it sweaty and smelly. NoSweat thin, disposable liners stick to the inside of any hat to instantly wick away sweat and prevent stains, odors, acne, and the constant need to stop what you are doing to wipe the face from your face and eyes.”Price: $4.99 (3-Pack)Company: NoSweatAvailable on the NoSweat Liners website ----Product: Jelt Belts Description: “At jeltbelt.com, we make strong, stretchy, elastic belts from 100% recycled plastic bottles that are ideal for hiking, biking, skiing, golfing and with everyday jeans. Made for women and men, Jelt belts have no metal parts, so they can be worn through TSA security checkpoints with ease.” Price: $24-$35Company: JeltAvailable on the Jelt website ----Product: OOahh Sport slide Description: ”OOFOS footwear is made of a proprietary material called OOfoam that absorbs 37% more impact than traditional footwear foams. This takes pressure off of your muscles and joints and allows the body to feel better. With each step, OOFOS actually reduce energy exertion in the ankles by up to 20%. Our OOahh Sport slide is a unisex slide that is perfect for recovering from any outdoor adventure. They're super-lightweight (easily clipped onto a backpack and carried for miles), moisture and bacteria resistant, and can even float in water. Better yet, they give your feet, legs and back a much needed rest after a day spent on your feet.” Price: $59.95Company: OOFOSAvailable on the OOFOS website ---- Product: Polar® 90069735 - Vantage V Multisport Watch Description: “Train smarter and discover the winner within yourself with Polar Vantage V, a premium multisport watch designed for pro athletes – and for anyone who trains like a pro. If you’re looking for a high-end waterproof companion for triathlon or marathon training, Polar Vantage V is the perfect match.”Price: $279.95Company: RECREATIONiDAvailable on the RECREATIONiD website ---- Product: Trail Crampon Description: “The Hillsound Trail Crampon is a necessity for added traction when out hiking on the local trails or deep in the backcountry. Tested on the trails of the Himalayas, the Hillsound Trail Crampon is guaranteed to handle diverse winter terrain and weather conditions. Utilizing an ergonomic plate system, this crampon provides excellent traction and reduces muscular fatigue for your winter wilderness pursuits.” Price: $59.99Company: HillsoundAvailable on the Hillsound website ---- Product: FreeSteps6 Description: “From icy city pavements to slick backcountry trails, the newly redesigned FreeSteps6 offers durable, ultra-light traction performance to those looking for a simple anti-slip aid during icy/snowy winter days or spring time hiking. Utilizing high-quality stainless steel chains and spikes, the FreeSteps6 gets you outside whether you are going for a run on icy streets, hitting the trails, or just walking the dog.”Price: $49.99Company: HillsoundAvailable on the Hillsound website ---- Product: JBL Endurance Peak True Wireless Sport Headphones Description: “Athletes will love the JBL Endurance Peak’s completely wire-free experience, touch controls and PowerHook™, making it an ideal headphone for any mountain adventure, hiking, and fishing. No need to stress sweat or the weather conditions, these sport headphones have IPX7 Waterproof rating.Paired with JBL’s signature sound and coming in black, blue, and red colors options, athletes can jam out to their favorite pump-up music and peak to new limits.” Price: $95.95 Company: JBLAvailable on the JBL website ---- Product: Amok Sunglasses Description: “Tifosi's mission is to provide technically advanced eyewear to enthusiasts of all sports and outdoor activities. Amok sunglasses were designed specifically for the outdoor enthusiast. Amok was recently awarded Editors' Choice by Trail Runner. Amok's performance is rooted in its lightweight, virtually indestructible Grilamid TR-90 frame. Coupled with shatterproof, scratch resistant, optically decentered polycarbonate lenses, Amok will protect your eyes from UV rays and prove to be nearly indestructible. Amok comes in polarized Onshore and Offshore options to enhance the fishing experience.” Price: $79.95Company: Tifosi OpticsAvailable on the Tifosi Optics website Outdoor food and cooking items Product: Fire & Flavor Cedar Wraps Description: “At Fire & Flavor, our goal is to simplify and enhance every part of the cooking experience for aspiring cooks and grillers, from Fire to Flavor. With Fire & Flavor Cedar Wraps, you can steam, smoke, and fire to cook succulent seafood, mouth-watering meat, or delectable vegetables. Fire & Flavor Cedar Wraps are HAACP Certified and made from 100% natural BC Western Red Cedar which imparts a subtle woodsy and aromatic flavor for all protein preferences unlike any other method.” Price: $13.99Company: Fire & FlavorAvailable on the Fire & Flavor website ---- Product: PROBAR Meal Bars Description: “All are under 400 calories and use fruits, nuts, and seeds to make it delicious, satisfying and nutritious to give you lasting energy all day. No need to stop for a meal in between each class.”Price: $41.88-$42.88 (12-Pack)Company: PROBARAvailable on the PROBAR website ---- Product: PROBAR Base Bars Description: “Packed with 20g of plant protein and real ingredients, these bars are perfect for those days when your legs are shaky from never squats.”Price: $35.88-$36.88 (12-Pack)Company: PROBARAvailable on the PROBAR website ---- Product: PROBAR Live Bars Description: “Our newest addition to the PROBAR family, is a probiotic nutrition bar with 10g plant-based protein and no added sugars.”Price: $19.99 (8-Pack)Company: PROBARAvailable on the PROBAR website ---- Product: Waka Coffee Quality Instant Coffee Description: “This quality instant coffee is ideal for enjoying a fresh cup of coffee, anywhere, from the office to the campsite to the airplane. Waka Coffee offers coffee lovers an instant cup of joe that tastes like slow drip coffee. Simply tuck a packet in your purse, laptop bag, backpack, or pocket to be enjoyed no matter where your day takes you. It is a great coffee format for making coffee more easily when outdoors.We also donate a percentage of our sales to charity: water, which brings clean and safe drinking water to communities around the world through the "Add Water, Give Water" program.”Price: $11.99 Company: Waka CoffeeAvailable on the Waka Coffee website ---- Product: ECO Adventure Kit Description: “The ECO Adventure Kit is an all-in-one, plastic-free food storage solution that serves triple duty for packing food, cooking it, and serving it. The kit contains a stainless-steel stacking container that has three separate compartments for food, a stainless-steel clamping pot-grip handle for cooking over flames and a compact stainless-steel spork. This kit is perfect for outdoor adventures, especially camping, and allows enthusiasts to lighten up their load by not having to pack a bunch of equipment.”Price: $43.64Company: EcolunchboxAvailable on the Ecolunchbox website ---- Product: IG Charcoal BBQ Description: “(The) IG Charcoal BBQ is a stainless steel charcoal barbecue. This barbecue is multi-functional with a grill top that is made especially for cooking skewers. The grill also has other features such as a rotating charcoal handle for raising and lowering the heat level of the charcoal. The grill comes with a sliding ash collector tray for easy and fast cleanup. Lastly, the grill has folding side trays and easy installation.” Price: $499Company: IG BBQAvailable on the IG BBQ website ---- Product: CasusGrill Description: “CasusGrill is an environmentally friendly grill that matches up with an active lifestyle. It provides a simple, economical solution for anyone who wants to experience healthy cooking outdoors without the hassles of conventional grills. Made from cardboard, bamboo, and lava stone, CasusGrill lights with a match and heats to 600°F within minutes. It's light, portable and perfect for weekend trips, sports outings, hiking, or family dinner.” Price: $14.95Company: CasusGrillAvailable on the CasusGrill website ---- Product: Keto/Low Carb Backpacking Meals Description: “Six great tasting meals are now available to take your keto, paleo, or low carb diet into the backcountry. Conventional freeze-dried meals fuel the miles with cheap carbs and sugars, but Next Mile Meals was founded ON the Pacific Crest Trail, taking the same six keto recipes that fueled our founder on her thru-hike from Mexico to Canada over 2600+ miles and making them available to healthy hikers, hunters, and outdoor adventurers nationwide.Lightweight and packable, just add water to your Beef Tacos, Meatball Marinara, Deli Roast Beef, Chicken Curry, Buffalo Ranch Chicken, or Chicken & Broccoli and your backcountry menu will be transformed.” Price: $14 per meal Company: Next Mile MealsAvailable on the Next Mile Meals website ---- Product: The Hunter’s Cookbook *Description: “A gun book may seem like an old-fashioned gift, but there are plenty of new publications that are sure to be appreciated. The Hunter’s Cookbook is the perfect gift for the special hunter in your life that the whole family can enjoy together. The best-selling cookbook features tons of recipes for a wide variety of wild game and includes side dishes and desserts. The Hunter’s Cookbook also contains many insightful hunting quotes, cooking tips, and wildlife line drawings.”Company: Amazon Available on the Amazon website*Recommended by Sam Maizlech, firearm and survival expert for Gunivore Outdoor water accessories Product: Sport Berkey Description: “This BPA-free water bottle can filter stream, lake, and river water, removing dangerous bacteria such as E. coli, Giardia and Cryptosporidium at 160 refills, or 640 refills for treated water from the rest stop, gas station, etc.” Price: $34.95Company: Big BerkeyAvailable on the Big Berkey website ---- Product: Go Berkey Kit Description: “For those who want a more substantial outdoor/camping water filter setup that will purify the water, the Big Berkey company also offers the go berkey kit. This water filter system is portable as well and can purify 3000 gallons of water with the one included black berkey filter, before requiring replacement. It also includes the sport berkey.” Price: $182Company: Big BerkeyAvailable on the Big Berkey website ---- Product: Travel Berkey Description: “A final third option could be the Travel Berkey. This system is larger at 1.5 gallons and can purify 6000 gallons of water with the two included black berkey filters. Many base camps use this system.” Price: $249Company: Big BerkeyAvailable on the Big Berkey website ---- Product: Stojo Description: “Stojo is an ultra-portable, sustainably produced and collapsible cup that can be used for just about any liquid you'd like to drink on the go. Designed by three coffee-loving dads in Brooklyn, it's an convenient alternative to bulky travel mugs, better for the environment than disposable cups and perfect for outdoor lovers.” Price: $14.99-$24.99Company: StojoAvailable on the Stojo website ---- Product: Nomader® Collapsible Water Bottle Description: “The uniquely portable Nomader® Collapsible Water Bottle makes it easy to stay hydrated while traveling and enjoying the outdoors. Designed with a flexible BPA-free silicone body, the Nomader® can be rolled-up or collapsed flat to save on space, yet it’s as comfortable to drink from as a hard-sided bottle. This innovative, eco-friendly sports bottle features a patented leak-proof cap, an ergonomic carry strap, and a wide mouth for easy cleaning. As an added bonus, Nomader® water bottles are backed by a lifetime warranty.” Price: $24.95Company: NomaderAvailable on the Nomader website ---- Product: Sawyer Products Mini Water Filtration System *Description: “Sawyer is a water filter that allows you to filter the water on the go. Despite the price tag of $25, the filter has a fantastic build and friends are still happy with it 10 months later. The package contains the filter itself, plunger to wash a filter, and the water pouch. Optionally, the straw can be purchased so you can have a whole thing hidden in a backpack. In terms of the performance, the filter is doing really well due to 0.1 microns membrane which eliminates most of the bacteria and sediment.” Price: $24.99 Company: SawyerAvailable on the Sawyer website *Recommended by Eugen, Owner of Drinking Water Base Outdoor power and lights Product: Portable Power Outlet Description: “(The) Portable Power Outlet is a 20,000 mAh battery that provides up to 10x extra battery life for devices. It features two USB-A ports, a USB-C port and an AC power port that has the ability to power most laptops, run a small television, fan and more. The charger weighs just over a pound and measures 5 inches x 5.75 inches x 1.4 inch making it the perfect item to stash in your outdoor gear bag or use while camping without lugging around heavy equipment.”Price: $179.99Company: myChargeAvailable on the myCharge website ---- Product: HELIO by Y Studios Description: “Ideal for camping, hiking and off-grid travel adventures, HELIO by Y Studios is the most efficient, innovative, and beautifully designed solar-powered battery pack that doubles as a brilliant outdoor light source: it’s an all-in-one solar lantern, flashlight, and power bank that can produce up to 700 hours of light — and power any smart device — from a one hour solar charge. It’s uniquely designed with a ground-breaking solar panel that captures energy from absolutely any angle (you can even hang it from twigs so you can BBQ in the dark). HELIO by Y Studios donates all 100% profits to bring solar power and light to underserved communities in need around the world.”Price: $89.95Company: Y StudiosAvailable on the Helio website *Designed by Y Studios ---- Product: Petzl® - BINDI™ Headlamp Description: “Ultra-light at 35g, the BINDI headlamp fits in the palm of your hand. With 200 lumens of power, it is ideal for everyday activities and regular training around town or in the mountains. Convenient charging via USB cable.”Price: $59.95Company: RECREATIONiDAvailable on the RECREATIONiD website ---- Product: LED Multi-Purpose Hook Light with Magnet Mounting Description: “When you’re in the great outdoors hunting or fishing at sunrise and sunset, you’re going to need a light to help you get everything in order and unpack as well as pack up. This is when the LED Multi-Purpose Hook Light with Magnet Mounting will come in extremely handy. This hands-free light gives you the ability to work without having to hold and aim a flashlight. Instead, you can just hang this dual-mode 3 LEDs light up and get to business. It was created with durability in mind and its lightweight design makes it easy to take with you.” Price: $11.42Company: PC NationAvailable on the PC Nation website Outdoor skin products Product: Extra Strength CBD Muscle Salve Description: “It's no secret that enjoying the outdoors can take its toll on your body, but there's no reason to let pain and discomfort win. The Glacier Wellness Muscle Salve offers tremendous relief where you need it most and it won't leave you oily or smelling like an old-age home. In addition to its truly remarkable and effective pain relief, the CBD body butter is great for calming the stress of everyday life thanks to its mix of essential oils and soothing scents.” Price: $39.95 Company: Glacier WellnessAvailable on the Glacier Wellness website ---- Product: EarthKind Stay Away Mosquitoes Description: “EarthKind’s Stay Away Mosquitoes® is DEET-free, skin-friendly, unscented mosquito repellent that works. Stay Away Mosquitoes® is made with Picaridin — a natural chemical bio-identical to a black pepper plant. Picaridin is recommended by the CDC and is recognized by the EWG as a safe alternative to DEET. It’s safe for use on pregnant women and children two years and older, and gives 14-hour highly effective protection against mosquitoes and ticks, while repelling biting flies, gnats and chiggers for up to eight hours.Stay Away Mosquitoes' EPA-registered, water-resistant and non-flammable formula not only protects you from itchy bites, but also from more serious diseases mosquitoes may transmit — including ZIKA, West Nile virus, Chikungunya and Dengue, and from ticks that may transmit Lyme Disease.Outdoor living hinges on pest control — especially mosquitoes — but 81% of pest control users agree that repellent products are too harsh on skin, with 77% highly concerned about the chemicals used in these products, according to a recent Mintel report. EarthKind created a mosquito repellent that is powerful enough for the outdoor adventurer who loves to spend their spring and summer outside, but is also gentle on the skin, without the concerning effects of harsh chemicals - and is safe for the whole family to use (including pregnant women and children). Enjoying the outdoors shouldn’t have to come with risks, that’s why this new long-lasting and fast-acting mosquitoes repellent is a great high-quality, useful product for those who love the hiking, camping, fishing, and anything that requires extended time outdoors.”Price: $13.25, 2 for $20.95Company: EarthKindAvailable on the EarthKind website ---- Product: Oil-Free Sunscreen Description: “We all know that using sunscreen is essential to outdoor fans. That said, many of the sunscreens used today (especially the ones based on minerals) can cause acne breakouts. A newly launched oil-free sunscreen solves that. It's not only high quality, broad spectrum, UVA/UVB water-resistant sunscreen; it also contains plant-based active ingredients that will help prevent acne and help fade existing dark spots.” Price: $24.95 (+ free shipping)Company: MDalgorithms Inc.Available on the MDacne website Outdoor pet items Product: Dog Waste Disposal Bags and Carry Pouch Description: “Convenient plant based 100% certified compostable dog waste disposal bags and carry pouch made from recycled plastic drink bottles that are perfect for when you are out and about.”Price: $9.45 Company: OnyaAvailable on the Onya website ---- Product: Highwave AutoDogMug Portable Dog Water Bottle and Bowl, 20-oz bottle Description: “Available in several colors, this convenient water bottle will keep your pup hydrated while on hikes or just hanging around the campsite. It’s easy to use — all you have to do is squeeze the bottle to fill the attached bowl with water. When she’s done drinking, relax your grip to drain the water back into the bottle. The bottle includes a hand strap and a loop to attach a carabiner.” Price: $14.99Company: ChewyAvailable on the Chewy website ---- Additional outdoor gifts Product: Marine Protectant Bundle Description: “Ideal for those who spend time outdoors on the water, the Marine Protectant Bundle includes the following four products to clean and protect marine equipment: 303® Marine Multi-Surface Cleaner (32 oz), 303® Marine Aerospace Protectant (32 oz), 303® Marine Fabric Guard (32 oz), 303® Ultra Plush Microfiber Towels Specifically designed for marine enthusiasts, the Marine Product Bundle will keep your boat, jet ski, or other watercraft fully protected and looking its best all year long. Clean and protect every surface on your boat, watercraft, or aquatic gear with this unique collection. This bundle is the perfect gift for the outdoors man or woman who loves spending time on the water — whether it be for fishing, sailing, jet skiing, or other outdoor water activity.”Price: $81.97Company: Gold Eagle (303 Products)Available on the Gold Eagle 303 Products website ---- Product: Globetrotter Mace Description: “Any woman who likes to hike or walk in nature should carry Globetrotter Mace. It's an all-natural pepper spray in a discreet bottle that is perfect for warding off snakes, bobcats, and other unwanted creatures. It's non-toxic so it won't hurt the animal. Keeping mace on you in nature could literally mean the different between life and death.” Price: $7.99Company: Mace For WomenAvailable on the Mace For Women website ---- Product: Reel Game Swimbaits Description: “These swimbaits have a realistic swimming action. This action triggers the predatory instinct in fish such as Bass, Pike, and Trout. So, if you're looking for a gift for someone who likes freshwater bass fishing or light inshore fishing, these would be ideal.” Price: $17.99 (3-Pack)Company: Reel Game FishingAvailable on the Reel Game Fishing website ---- Product: Micro Camp Stool Description: “Small but mighty, this stool holds up to 250 pounds. This most packable stool is more than just another camp chair. Use it between holes on the disc golf course. Alongside the campfire to roast s'mores. Perched behind your hunting blind. Or at the airport: even when the gate is full, you'll always have a seat.” Price: $29.95Company: Grand TrunkAvailable on the Grand Trunk website ---- Product: Bass Pro Shop Gift Cards Description: For those who can’t decide on a specific item, a gift card may be the way to go. Bass Pro Shop offers both traditional and egift cards that you can choose from. With traditional gift cards, you can choose the design on the card and will get the card within three to six business days. With egift cards, you can have them delivered via email within an hour during Bass Pro Shop’s normal business hours. Gift cards may not be the most creative outdoor gift, but they can make sure your favorite outdoor enthusiast gets what they actually want.Company: Bass Pro ShopAvailable on the Bass Pro Shop website
Online shopping is often more convenient than going to the store. That's why it's no surprise you can now purchase ammunition online instead of having to find the nearest store and hoping they have the specific ammo you are looking for. Although buying ammo online can be significantly more convenient and cheaper (depending on where you shop), many people are still unsure about purchasing ammo online. Online ammo requirements and restrictions First, you should know that there are requirements you need to meet before you try buying ammo online. Keep in mind that these requirements and restrictions for online ammo purchases may differ by state as well as in-store ammo purchases. Age requirements According to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives website, the Gun Control Act (GCA) set age restrictions for purchasing ammunition: You must be at least 18 years old to purchase shotgun and rifle ammunition You must be 21 years or older to purchase handgun and additional (non-rifle or shotgun) ammunition These are the minimum age restrictions for general ammo purchases and may differ for online ammo purchases. If you are 18-21, refer to federal law and specific company regulations before trying to purchase ammunition online. State restrictions According to Pew Pew Tactical, here are some state restrictions you should know about before you try to buy ammo online: Before purchasing a firearm or ammunition online, you should check your state's restrictions as they may be subject to change. Online and in-store ammo and firearm purchase restrictions may differ. It's important to also pay attention to what type of ammunition you are trying to purchase online as some states have varying restrictions for different types of ammo. Online ammo shipping As you can see, state restrictions vary on ammo shipping. For example, you may notice that ammo cannot be shipped to Washington, D.C. or New York City. In fact, many websites tend to require an additional charge for ammo shipping. According to Daily Shooting, websites tend to "charge extra for shipping due to the fact that they are shipping a hazardous material." Ammunition is also an incredibly heavy item to ship which can result in extra charges from companies. Shipping and shipping prices tend to vary per company. However, most companies do have clear ammo shipping information on their websites. Make sure to read the company's shipping information online before purchasing your ammunition. Steps to take before the purchase Remember that not every online ammo manufacturer or seller is the same. For instance, you may find that one company is selling a certain type of ammo cheaper than another company or you might notice that one company has a different shipping and return policy than the other. Just like other purchases, you may want to dive a little deeper and compare prices, company policies, and customer reviews. Here are some things you should do before buying ammo online: Know what you are looking for. When it comes to ammo, there are many different types and prices. Before getting online, you should have an idea of what type of ammo you want to buy (competition rounds, practice handgun rounds, self-defense rounds, rifle ammo, shotgun shells, etc.) and how much you are looking to purchase. You may even want to establish a rough budget of what you are willing to spend. Ask for advice (if you can). If you are a first-time online ammo buyer, you may want to try asking someone who regularly buys ammo online for advice and recommendations. You might even find that they have a favorite manufacturer or seller online that you can check out. Keep in mind that what works for them might not be the right fit for you (price, quality, quantity, etc.), so instead of blindly going with the first company they recommend, add it to your list of companies you will personally research and go from there. It may be a good idea to ask a few other people you know as well. Do your research. Try treating your online ammo purchases like you would a large expense. Take the time to do your own research on certain brands/companies, ammo types, average industry prices, shipping and handling details, extra costs or fees, ammo and firearm laws, etc. The more you know before you make a purchase, the more likely you are to make a better purchasing decision down the road. Going through several customer reviews for each company you are interested in can also be incredibly helpful for first-time online ammo buyers. What to look out for Similar to when you buy other products online, there are a few things you should consider before you make an online ammo purchase. First and foremost, you should know how to tell if an online ammo brand or website is legitimate or not. Here are some questions you can ask yourself to determine the website's legitimacy: Are the prices too good to be true? How long has the website been up and running? Do the website's design and layout appear poorly created? Are there several grammar and spelling mistakes on the website? Is it easy to find the company's contact information on the website? Is there a clear refund or warranty policy? What about shipping? Are there several reviews for that certain brand or company? According to Statista.com, the number of internet scams has significantly increased over the past few years. *The 2018 year data below is as of August 13, 2018. In addition to website legitimacy, you should also make sure you look out for product quality. A common mistake people make is blindly trusting that the ammunition they purchase online is great quality. It's important that you know and understand a company's return and refund policies. You may open a box of ammo you purchased online and see that the brass is dented or the primer isn't set right. Bad ammo like this can definitely ruin your entire shooting experience. You want to go with a company that has a clearly defined return and refund policy just in case you receive poorly made ammunition. Industry expert input James Forrester, founder and editor of KeepGunsSafe.com, and Sam Mazilech, editor and manager of Gunivore, provided some helpful information and advice for first-time online ammo buyers. Online vs. in-store purchases Forrester: "First, it can be cheaper to buy online, especially when buying in bulk. When you buy in bulk quantities, the cost per bullet can decrease, making it less expensive than what is available in stores. Also, shipping prices typically do not increase with the more ammo you buy, so buying a bulk of 1,000 rounds can be more cost-effective than only buying what you immediately need. Second, online stores will have more ammo available and will rarely run out of stock. There will also be more options for the amount of ammo available to purchase, versus stores which will only have a few predetermined amounts." Mazilech: "I started to buy ammo online after walking out of sporting goods stores empty-handed one too many times. I shoot a lot, and I don't sympathize with retailers who can't maintain a stock of popular calibers and brands. I can understand if I was looking for a niche round, but I found it difficult to find regular run-of-the-mill .22 ammo. Therefore, I decided to check out ammo suppliers online and my worries were over. Besides saving time, I also ended up saving money. It turns out that buying ammo online is usually significantly cheaper than in stores." Pro tip for online ammo searches Forrester: "Rather than searching on Google for ammo and trying to find the best dealers and prices, use the ammunition search engine, AmmoSeek. This will allow you to enter in the exact details of the ammo you are searching for, and it will provide you with the best prices and options. AmmoSeek also has a great app you can install on your phone which makes it easy to conduct searches on the go." Mazilech: "While there are a few go-to ammo stores online, such as Brownells, Cabela's, and Lucky Gunner, you may be better off checking a third-party website first. Specifically, I recommend sites like gunbot.net which tracks ammo sales from across the web. The simple site lists all kinds of calibers, brands, and prices from reputable suppliers on the internet. This is probably the best way to get the most bang for your buck." Advice for first-time online ammo buyers Forrester: "If you are a first-time buyer, the number one thing to do is check your state laws before trying to purchase ammo online. States (and even certain counties within states) all have specific rules and regulations when it comes to buying ammo online. For example, some counties do not allow ammo to be shipped in at all, and other places will only ship to reputable stores or pick-up locations (where you can then go in-person to pick it up)." The Bottom Line Buying ammo online can be a more convenient and, often times, cheaper purchasing path. However, there are many factors you have to consider when purchasing ammo online. These factors include website legitimacy, brand reputation, type of ammunition, quality and quantity, state or area restrictions, age restrictions, prices, shipping, and more. As long as you conduct thorough research and make sure you are aware of current laws and regulations, you should be able to have a relatively smooth experience purchasing ammo online.
Transitioning from casual shooting to competition-level shooting can be an intimidating process. You might find yourself going from standstill target shooting to clock-ticking run and gun shooting. You may be worried about showing up to a competition looking like a novice with limited equipment and knowledge in front of experienced competitors. All this stress may even end up holding you back from entering competitions. One way to calm your nerves is to talk to experienced competition shooters. We asked a few experienced competition shooters to share how they got started, what they wish they had known before they started, what advice they have, and what gun competitions they would recommend for beginners. Brandon Black, Editor of AmmunitionToGo.com blog How he got his start: "Shortly after I initially passed hunter's education, my father and I got started in trapshooting. I had a good time with that and eventually, that grew into dipping my toes into local IDPA matches and even a splash of 3-Gun when time allows." What he wishes he had known: "It doesn't matter what gear you have, pistols you shoot, or ammo you use. I thought that when I got started, my factory model Glock would make me look like I had no idea what I was doing and I was the 'new guy'. If you look around — especially at local matches — you're going to see guys with $2,000 custom set-ups and guys shooting pistols that might've been under $400. It's not the gear that makes the shooter, especially when you're just starting out and competing locally." Advice for beginners: "I think the biggest thing is having the courage to show up. For some reason, a lot of us think there is a stigma that if we're competing that means we're also going to be 'judged'. Because of it, I know a lot of shooters who are regulars at the range who don't want to try any sort of competition shooting. The funny thing is, I find fellow competitors are typically the exact opposite. Most competitive shooters are more than willing to help a new shooter or new competitor out and you'll find the other shooters are some of the most welcoming people you could ask for." Suggested Competitions: "Once you're comfortable and confident handling a firearm, head out to a local match and jump in. If you're not sure how things work exactly, just ask. Most of us have been there and we remember the first-match jitters so we're more than gracious to help out. Most clubs will be excited at the prospect of having another match attendee." Nick Dahlberg, Co-Owner of Stock & Barrel Gun Club How he got his start: "I had been interested in the sport for a while, but didn’t get involved until a little over two years ago when we opened Stock & Barrel Gun Club in Chanhassen, MN. Many individuals had approached me about starting a winter indoor competition league, which sounded really fun. So, a few months after the club opened, I created a USPSA league and started participating. I was a little nervous at first, but those nerves went away quickly. Everyone is very friendly and helpful. You don’t need all the gear you see some shooters using. We have some people in the league at Stock & Barrel that don’t even have a holster. It’s just a great group of people, and I wish I would have started competitive shooting sooner." What he wishes he had known: "I wish I would have known how easy it was to get started. If I had, I would have started sooner. You watch videos of competition shooters, see how good they are and all the gear they have, and think ‘I can’t do that.’ But competition shooting is a lot of fun and you don’t need all the specialized equipment the professionals use. Also, don’t think you need to be a certain skill level. Just start. Your skills with your gun will progress so much faster when you shoot competitively." Advice for beginners: "Practice your safety skills. Safety is at the foundation of this sport. Some competitions require you to run. You may be pointing your gun in different directions. Know and really focus on your gun safety skills." Suggested Competitions: "I would recommend getting involved in a local competition first. Most competitions or leagues will have resources where you can learn about the sport. At Stock & Barrel, we have an orientation night a few times a year where we talk about competition shooting, the rules, and give everyone an idea of what the sport is like. I would recommend attending one of those just to give you a baseline." Sam Maizlech, Contributor for Gunivore How he got his start: "I've been shooting since I was a young kid in the Scouts, so it was only a matter of time until I decided to get into competitive shooting. Although I grew up shooting pistols mostly, I developed an aptitude for skeet shooting and decided to pursue that." What he wishes he had known: "I would have loved to start cowboy competitions when I was younger but I wasn't exposed to them until I was much older." Advice for beginners: "Invest in the right clothes - While it's easy to focus on firearms and accessories, you can't overlook the importance of a proper shooting outfit. Proper shooting attire means finding comfortable, practical, and non-restrictive clothing. For starters, you'll want to invest in durable yet lightweight shoes or boots that will give you traction, support, and flexibility. Likewise, make sure your shirt and pants won't slow you down or restrict any movements." Suggested Competitions: "I recommend long-range shooting competitions since you don't have to focus too much on speed." McKenzie Hanson, TargetBarn.com How she got her start: "I first learned to shoot with a local women’s gun club that would occasionally hold a small match for its members to practice. It was a great, low-pressure environment to test the waters of competition shooting. After gaining confidence in this small club match, I was invited by some members of the club to compete in Steel Challenge at a local range that regularly held sanctioned Steel Challenge, USPSA, 3-Gun, and IDPA matches. After that first sanctioned match, I was hooked!" What she wishes she had known: "You don’t need to have the newest and fanciest gun and equipment to compete. Your money is much better spent on a training class that teaches you how to be a better shooter and ammo for practice. After all, a more expensive gun won’t make you a better shooter." Advice for beginners: "Safety is the most important aspect of competition shooting. Before you head out to your first match, spend time working on the basics to the point that safe firearm handling comes second nature. If you are confident in your firearm handling abilities, you will feel much more comfortable when it’s your turn to step up to the firing line. Also, let the Match Director know that you are new to competing so that they can team you up with a more experienced shooter to guide you through your first match." Suggested Competitions: "Any match you choose is sure to have friendly faces that will be more than happy to help out. I think that Steel Challenge is a great match for beginners because the courses of fire are simple with minimal feet movement." Competition shooting is a learning process Competition shooting is all about being willing to learn and continue learning. Not even the pros can shoot a perfect competitive shooting match every single time. They are still learning, too. If you are a beginner, it's important to take the time to learn from others and learn from your own mistakes. Talking with more experienced competition shooters can help you determine what type of competitions you want to try, what guns and ammo you need, what gear you should buy, and much more. The more you learn, the more you can improve. Who knows, maybe one day you'll be the experienced shooter giving advice to beginners.
Editor's Note: Best Companys in no way defends, endorses, condones, or seeks to glorify gun violence in any way, shape, or form. The following article is meant only to entertain and inform readers of the estimated cost of the equipment alluded to in the following films. Enjoy! Now first, a couple of ground rules. Calculating the exact number of rounds fired in these movie scenes is nearly impossible for a couple of reasons: 1) they all feature gunfire from several shooters and 2) movies are not always truthful as to the real capacity of a given firearm's magazine (for example, a shooter with a six-round revolver can effectively shoot off eight rounds before he's required to reload). Consequently, this analysis assumes that all shooters have emptied their magazines or cartridges - unless it's obvious that they have not. For firearm types that appear in these movies and their images, we referred to the Internet Movie Firearm Database, a wiki site dedicated to all movie gunfights. Next, when it comes to the actual prices, we look for just how much money a given firearm or ammo type would go for today; in fact, we were able to find information on nearly every firearm by searching the companies reviewed on this site. And when possible, we try to identify a single scene that exhibits the widest array of firearms used and the most shots fired. And as a point of clarification, including the caliber of the bullets "fired" does not mean actual bullets were fired during the making of these movies; rather, this metric only serves to show how much all that wasted ammunition would cost in real life. And now, without further adieu, here are the numbers: Last Man Standing, Bar Shootout: $17,305.80 First on our list is a short two-minute scene from the 1996 movie Last Man Standing starring Bruce Willis. While this movie is more or less a small part of the continuous shootout that is Mr. Willis's career, we feel the particular scene featuring a shootout at a bar will give you a taste to just how expensive a scene like this would actually be: The Matrix, Lobby Scene: $36,043.52 Say what you will about the later installments to this franchise, but The Matrix truly represents a shift in how American cinema approached traditional action movies. While it is mostly know for Neo's (played by Keanu Reeves) slow-motion, bullet-dodging back bend, the scene that precedes that franchise-making snapshot features quite a bit of gunfire - and we have the price tag to prove it: Scarface, "Say hello to my little friend": $58,303.02 While the final shootout of the 1983 Al Pacino movie is only a few minutes long, it remains one of the most iconic scenes of both Pacino's career and movie history. Pacino's line, "Say hello to my little friend!" has been mimicked, parodied, and meme-ified for over 30 years, and the movie still remains a cult classic. Hard Boiled, Hospital Scene: $78,928.74 Considered one of the foremost action movie directors of all time, John Woo has created some of the most visually stunning and technically difficult gun fights of the 1990s. His film Hard Boiled is certainly no exception. Following the story of two police detectives and their effort to thwart a plethora of mobsters, the action comes to a head in a hospital, where the bullets (and the price tag) fly sky high. Black Hawk Down, Air Support: $1,036,400 If we're being honest, Black Hawk Down is one of the more painfully accurate war movies of all time. Detailing the events surrounding the Battle of Mogadishu, the movie presents nearly all of its dialogue with an undertone of gunfire. And as this is a military movie, you can expect the equipment to be top-of-the-line. While the movie is more or less one continuous firefight, we've identified the scene in which the American soldiers enlist the aid of two helicopters as being a particularly expensive two-plus minutes. Admittedly, this is neither a perfect or a comprehensive list. If you don't see a movie that you think should be on this list, leave your comment below, and we'll be sure to include that movie in subsequent articles.