This is why you should get off the water — and shoreline — during a lightning storm.     Did you spot the fisherman? Around 32 seconds in, you can see the angler is pointed out in the video via an arrow. Now that was close! According to the video, uploaded to YouTube June 19 by Tesla Weather, the angler was located about .03 miles from the lightning strike, which occurred in Barcelona, Spain, in the morning hours of June 15. The person who captured the video wasn't very far away, either — about .06 miles. Here's a screen grab from YouTube:…
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Shirt pulled up to expose his belly and plant in hand, 10-year-old Curt used a circular motion to rub the plant over the surface of his skin. His little cousin followed suit. The little boy was my genius cousin who was scientificlly, in his mind, testing his theory that he was not allergic to poison ivy. The copy cat was me. Five-plus decades later, I remember the agony I suffered and still cringe at the thought of the experience and how I got through my allergic reaction to the plant. Avoidance isn't always easy though ... expecially for the outdoorsmen.…
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Even though the weatherman may be right more often than not, weather patterns can be unpredictable. So that camping trip that was supposed to be dry and beautiful can turn into a soaked mudfest in the snap of a finger. Properly setting up your tent is key to staying dry in the rain. Can you stay dry when you’re camping in the rain? Here are seven easy tips to help you stay as safe and dry as possible. Know Where to Set Up Your Tent Pitching your tent at a low spot in the middle of a rainstorm is a…
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How a Life Vest Saved Me

Friday, May 23 2014 6:00 am - for Boating
This past weekend I attended the annual conference of the Outdoor Writers of Ohio (OWO). As the current president of OWO, I'm involved with the planning of most of the organization's activities. During the annual meeting, conference planners seek out various outdoor pursuits that represent the area of the conference location well. The conference was held in Athens, which is just south of the Hocking Hills Region (cliffs, caves and other geological wonders). So hiking was high on the must-do list, with hikes being guided by Ohio Department of Natural Resources employees, such as division managers. The hike I chose…
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 When temperatures rise outside, so do the number of people enjoying the outdoors. But the beauty of nature can also bring harm. And while spring may produce storms and rain, the summer is actually peak season for lightning deaths in the United States. According to statistics from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, 70 percent of lightning strikes occur in June, July and August. Those months are also peak times for outdoor activities, which can create a dangerous situation for anglers, campers, boaters and hikers. According to NOAA, of the 238 lightning strike deaths that occurred in the U.S. between…
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A well-stocked first aid kit is a handy thing to have on a fishing, hunting or camping trip. Have you ever been in the middle of a great fishing or hunting trip and start to suffer a headache, sour stomach, or any annoying illness? It’s not enough to make you want to go home, but enough to make you uncomfortable. And, neither you nor your fishing or hunting buddy has anything for it. To be more prepared, pack a resealable sandwich bag with aspirins, antacid tablets, bandages, and other first-aid items. Store the items in a tackle box, turkey vest,…
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When the longer days and warmer temperatures of springtime arrive, there’s nothing better than getting outside and enjoying yourself.  That said, springtime weather can seemingly change at the drop of a hat, changing from mild and sunny to stormy with little warning. It’s key that while you’re out basking in the nicer weather, you’re also ready in case it takes a turn, resulting in a thunderstorm, a tornado and/or flooding. Get yourself prepared for crazy spring weather by following the tips below, compiled from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the National Weather Service and the American Red Cross:…
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Even the most experienced fishermen run into snags on some occasions; sometimes, it’s in the literal sense, as happens when getting hung up on a fishing hook as a result of a misplaced cast. If you find yourself hooked, follow the steps below, compiled from the U.S. National Library of Medicine/National Institutes of Health website and The Harvard Medical School Family Health Guide. First, assess the injury.  How deep is the hook?  Is it near an artery? Has a barb made its way under the skin?  Is the hook single-barbed or multi-barbed?  Have you been hooked anywhere on the face…
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A few decades ago, a specific knife style became popular for not only avid outdoorsmen and women, but also for thousands of youngsters and adults interested in a survival tool — the survival knife. Multiple companies produced good ones and bad ones. The big feature was the hollow handle and the numerous survival items the handle could store. Matches, fishing line, hooks and other stuff, capped off with a lid that was topped with a compass. For sturdy, simple use in the outdoors, the author recommends fixed blade knives. The survival knife became a fad of sorts, but as all fads,…
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Hypothermia – which often sets in when the body must endure wet, windy conditions in cold weather –  occurs when one’s core body temperature is at 96 degrees F or below. The effects of hypothermia range from moderate to serious, including slowed bodily functions and death. For people regularly engaged in outdoor activities such as hunting, fishing or hiking during cold weather, awareness of hypothermia prevention, symptoms and treatment is of the highest importance. For an overview of these points, read on: Prevention Keep your body properly fueled. Drink ample water and consume nutrient- and energy-dense foods such as beef…
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