David Simpson, Author at Into The Jungle - Page 3 of 11
About the author

    David Simpson

    Although the tools available to a hunting editor are changing rapidly, the core of the job entails some timeless fundamentals. It requires a passion for hunting that’s equaled by a determination to protect the animals, woods, waters, and fields that our way of life depends upon. It requires an endless curiosity to learn and share better ways to do things. And it requires a deep understanding that outdoorsmen are a community, and that sharing your own love for the sports through great storytelling is the best way to teach, inspire, and keep these great American traditions strong. These qualities make David the ideal hunting editor, and I can’t wait to see what he brings to the role.


      Best Semi Auto and Tactical Shotguns Brands for Home Defense 2018

      By David Simpson

      Whether you’re just buying your first gun for home defense or are a seasoned gun owner that wants to step up the stopping power of his next purchase, pump action shotguns are a remarkable combination of price, power, and reliability that no other class of weapons can match.

      The simple structure of a pump shotgun enables it to fire very hot loads, for years, with minimal wear. Combine that with the fact that most of these guns have been made since the years of the Vietnam war so there’s a lot of very effects second-hand options that can serve you nicely regardless if your needs are home defense, sport or just target practice during the weekend.

      Let this guide give you more information on the benefits of these products as well as how to snag the very best shotgun out there.

      If you’re going off the grid and you’re looking for a firearm that can really pack a punch, a shotgun is right up your alley. Shotguns can serve as both hunting and self-defense weapons, making them a perfect choice for the prepper. Follow along as we take a look at some top shotguns that fit the bill for protection.

      The value of pump action shotguns

      1.   More bang for the buck

      When it comes to guns you measure effectiveness in first use stopping power. You want a gun that will stop something or someone from the very first pull of the trigger.

      Shotguns excel at this. With one pull of the trigger, you are splattering multiple projectiles at your target or sending one heavy projectile towards the target.

      Whether you shoot 9 00 buckshot pellets or 2-ounce slugs, there’s nothing compared to a shotgun when you just wound to propel high-speed mass towards a target as fast as possible. And whether you’re facing vermin or a home invader, that first shot stopping power is the only thing that really matters. 

      2.   Price

      The simple mechanism and the small increments in gun design make old second-hand models be just as effective as newer models.

      Effectively the shotgun platform is so effective manufacturers can’t really justify high price tags for new models.

      Shotgun mechanisms have not changed since the time of the old muskets. This makes them simple to maintain, use and very reliable.

      But they also use a complicated nomenclature with high tolerances in production that makes them seem more complicated than their rifled alternatives.

      3.   Aftermarket

      The simple design, high tolerances, and old technology make the aftermarket sector and customizability of shotguns second to none. This means that most shotguns, even second-hand models can be brought up to tactical spec if you put the time and money in it.

      This also means that if you are a tinkerer this is not a weapon this

      Read the rest

        Eight Thing To Do On How To Prevent Wildfires

        By David Simpson

        It only takes minutes. The colorado wildfires that struck last summer were a stark reminder of the unbelievable destruction that can take place in an obscenely short amount of time. Experts estimate that more than 600 homes were destroyed, causing about $450 million in damage due to the destructive force of Colorado’s fires

        Across the United States, wildfires cause billions of dollars in damage per year. In 2009 alone, 78,792 wildfires occurred in the U.S., damaging nearly six-million acres of land, FEMA statistics indicate.

        Southern California is also vulnerable, as the Santa Ana winds that blow through the fall and winter can cause utter devastation.

        If you want to secure your home against a wildfire or brush fire, you need to take into account the building materials and design of your home and the placement of near-home vegetation.

        Examine the following eight vulnerable spots, and find out what you can do to keep your home safe from a fire.

        1. TARGET 1 Roof Coverings and Edge

          Your roof covering and the edge are the most vulnerable parts of your home. These areas endure the most exposure to the elements: rain, sun, wind and so on. During a wildfire, this is the area most susceptible to embers.
          Action Step: Know your roof’s fire rating. Class A classifies the highest rating, while Class C classifies the lowest. Even if you have a Class A roof, it’s vulnerable to wildfire if the roof has a complex number of angles. Embers can more easily collect in the joints.
          The material of your roof covering also makes a difference. Rounded tiles may allow openings for not only birds and rodents to enter the roof, but flame exposure. If you have a round tile roof, then you should install bird stops. They won’t necessarily keep tiny embers out of the space, but it should significantly reduce the accumulation of combustible debris.

        2. TARGET 2 Gutters

          Similarly, debris can also collect around skylights and in rain gutters.
          Action Step: Clear out your gutters before fire season, because the debris can easily ignite in a wildfire. A metal gutter can hold the debris in place, so that it burns up onto the edge of the roof.
          A roof edge can be vulnerable depending on the materials the builders used and how well the flashing protects the edge. A vinyl (plastic) gutter will melt and fall off. The potential is there that the burning contents will ignite materials or vegetation on the ground.

        3. TARGET 3 Attics

          If you’ve ever gone up into your attic during hot temperatures, you know that this enclosure is usually hot and dry meaning that fire will spread easily here.
          Note: The most secure type of attic is ventless, and the best way to make use of this is to build your home that way. If your home is already built, experts do not advise closing off your vents without considering moisture-related damage issues.

        4. TARGET 4 Overhangs

          Wider overhangs are more susceptible

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          Best Way To Heat A House Without Electricity Or Gas

          By David Simpson

          House warming takes on a whole new meaning when you’re living off the grid. If your survival goals involve being self-reliant, chances are you might need a way to avoid the season’s cold weather while sticking to your goals.

          Or maybe mother nature has decided that she’s in charge, so you have no option but to live off the grid. Either way, you can stay warm.

          Heat Sources

          There’s more than one way to heat your home without using electricity, and the method you choose will depend on your personal preferences. “The two most common ways to heat an off-grid house are using a wood stove or using one or more propane-fired space heaters with through-the-wall venting,” says Martin Halladay of Green Building Advisor, who has lived off the grid for 35 years.

          If you choose to go the wood stove route, make sure you carefully estimate the amount of firewood you’ll need to make it through the winter. Ideally, Halladay says, you’ll stockpile a winter’s worth of firewood before October 1.

          In addition, you can add warmth to your house by ensuring that the sun’s rays can fully reach it. “Passive solar heat is a great place to start,” says Claudia J. King of Smart Solutions, Inc., which offers high-performance energy efficient products. “Do whatever you can to allow for the sun energy to heat mass.

          That can include something as simple as trimming trees.” King recommends that you evaluate your entire “Thermal Envelope,” which includes walls, windows, ceiling and floor. “Good use of passive solar thermal can reduce heating loads by large numbers,” she says. “The better the performance of the thermal envelope, the longer and more comfortable the home will be in difficult times. It is static and non-mechanical, and the single most important part in maintaining efficiency and comfort at the least cost or work.”

          Have A Back-up Plan

          When you’re living off the grid, you need a back-up plan for power. “Resorting to a generator in winter is typical—not unusual,” says Martin Halladay of Green Building Advisor. “In most parts of North America, there are many fewer hours of sunlight during the winter, while electrical needs increase.” If you have a back-up generator that you intend to hook into or back-feed your power system, know how to connect it and use it safely, says Claudia J. King of Smart Solutions, Inc.

          She also recommends that if it’s your first winter using the generator, use it sparingly as needed, reserving your fuel. Monitor your fuel use so you can plan accordingly for future fuel storage next winter, she adds.

          Active Solar Systems

          To warm your house, you may want to delve deeper into the solar option.

          In addition to absorbing the sun’s rays through passive placement, you may also consider solar energy that involves carefully placed panels. “An active solar system (like solar hot water) correctly tied into a primary looped hydronic system is really an excellent way to go … Read the rest


            6 Tips For Turning Your Smartphone Into A Survival Tool

            By David Simpson

            Today’s smartphones are equipped with numerous bells and whistles to keep users entertained for hours on end. Even when in the great outdoors, it’s hard to escape cell phones or the benefits they can deliver, especially in emergency situations.“The most effective use of a smartphone often depends on signal strength,” says Tim MacWelch, owner and operator of Advanced Survival Training, a wilderness survival school based on Fredericksburg, Virginia. “If you have access, call for help! But when signals are weak, it might still be possible to get a text to a friend or loved one who can alert the proper authorities.”

            Despite spotty reception in remote areas, smartphones can be lifesavers if disaster strikes.

            With a variety of built-in technology and downloadable apps that can be used regardless of connectivity, users can successfully endure perilous situations. Consider these often-unforeseen uses of your smartphone.

            1. Compass

              When you’re lost or have been separated from others in your party, a compass can be an invaluable tool to help you gain your bearings. “Many smartphones come equipped with compass functionality, which can help prevent you from walking in circles, even when the sky is overcast or at night,” MacWelch says. As a precaution, be sure to take the program for a trial run before striking out on your own in the wilderness to familiarize yourself with the application.

            2. GPS

              Communicating an exact location when you’re lost or injured can be challenging. But with the latest smartphone technology, users can rely upon maps and other global positioning satellite (GPS) information to help identify a location.
              GPS capabilities can also enable others to find you as long as the phone is powered and holds a signal. Using GPS coordinates to geotag photos or videos on your phone before uploading to social media sites such as Twitter and Facebook or remote “cloud” storage can also help search parties pinpoint your general vicinity should you be unable to communicate.
              You can also document a perilous situation and send messages to loved ones even if the phone gets damaged after the upload is complete.

            3. Light Source

              Anyone who has been to the movies in the past five years can attest to the light output of most smartphones. Some models come equipped with flashlights, but for those that don’t, there’s an app for that. There are several free flashlight apps available for iPhones and Androids that use the devices’ LED displays to fill the screens with bright light and illuminate surroundings. Even the lock screen or home screen can provide enough light to assist with navigating terrain in the dark.

            4. VoIP

              Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) apps can help in locations where signals are weak, using the Internet to make calls rather than a voice line.
              One very popular VoIP application is Skype (www.skype.com), which can make calls over WiFi and 3G cellular networks. Skype and other VoIP technology also enable you to send video, enabling users to share visuals of their surroundings and possible injuries.

            Read the rest

              Family Emergency Survival Kit Checklist

              By David Simpson

              Unpredictable. That’s what disasters are. So when you’re out in the wilderness on your own or with your family and a disaster strikes—an earthquake, flood or tornado it’s essential that you’re prepared.

              Keep these crucial safety tips from a survival expert in mind when staying in the same location (barring any safety concerns)… they could very well save your life.

              1. Water

                Once you’re safe and secure, the number one priority for a family in a disaster is water. It’s advisable to shelter in place unless it’s hazardous. “Water is definitely going to be the number one precious commodity that’s going to go quickly,” says Jerry Ward, owner and operator at Ozark Mountain Preparedness, an outdoor wilderness survival school based in Berryville, Arkansas. “The rule of thumb I recommend is 3 gallons per person, per day, minimum.
                That’s to cover drinking, cooking, washing and hygiene.” He advises to have some sort of water storage available plastic bottles from big box stores and 40-gallon plastic barrels are perfect.

              2. Shelter

                Barring any safety concerns or forced evacuation, it’s ideal for a family to stay in place and seek refuge in their home. “It’s a whole lot easier and more comfortable for a family if they’re already established in their home,” Ward says. “They’ve got all their stuff at home. This is especially important if they have kids. Plus, if you’re at the house, you’ve got all the stuff you’ve stockpiled.”
                You’ll want to have sufficient clothing on hand based on the season, as well as a heating source, such as a wood stove; these are crucial to ensuring your body temperature stays at the recommend 98.6 F.

              3. Medical Kit

                Unexpected disasters can lead to mechanical and soft tissue injuries. That’s why it’s essential to have a good quality medical kit on hand. Ward suggests assembling your own based on family needs. If you lack the knowledge, don’t fret, there are several companies that make kits specifically for the wilderness.
                If you’re assembling your own medical kit, Ward recommends including at a bare minimum the following items: quality tweezers, EMT shears, cling wrap (to keep wounds clean and create tension), a quality space blanket and over-the-counter medications. It’s also doesn’t hurt to have some professional-grade medical training. You might not always have a medical kit on hand, so you might need to improvise.

              4. Protection

                When a disaster strikes, there are plenty of good Samaritans who will offer help. Unfortunately, there are also people who try to do you harm.
                Safety, whether it’s from humans or wild animals, needs to be a high priority. “I recommend for anybody who lives in an area where they are allowed, to purchase a firearm and get proper training,” Ward advises.
                If you aren’t keen on owning a gun, some good alternatives include defensive martial arts training and dogs. Not only will a dog keep you company, it will alert you of trespassers.

              5. Food

                Although food isn’t as crucial as

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                Vital Emergency Symptoms For Surviving In Wilderness

                By David Simpson

                Murphy’s law states that if anything can go wrong, it will. So that’s why you must be prepared. Packing your own first aid kit before hitting the trail— whether you’re fleeing a disaster or going on a winter adventure—is imperative.

                Fighting bacteria with honey

                You may have adhesive strips in your survival medical kit, but if someone gets a cut, you also want to keep it sanitary so the patient doesn’t get an infection.

                In these cases, your first step will be to rinse the cut with water. “Whatever you’re using for drinking water will work to rinse out the cut,” says Rod Brouhard, a paramedic, the topic guide for About.com’s First Aid page and an author on disaster preparedness. “Once you’ve rinsed it, you should apply an antiseptic.

                If you didn’t bring one along, you can use natural honey, which can do double-duty as an anti-bacterial.” Any form of honey will work, Brouhard says, just be sure not to use it on children under one year of age, as it’s inadvisable for them to ingest honey.

                Consider these natural remedies

                Your outdoor maladies will be quelled quickly if you know a few cures that you can find in nature. Consider these tips from James Kellar, founder and head instructor at the Northeast Ohio Primitive Living and Wilderness School:

                • You can use moss as a bandage, Kellar says. Or try yarrow, a plant related to the chrysanthemum. “Yarrow will actually clot the wound,” Kellar says. “The wound will have to be kept clean and have new natural bandages applied a couple times daily.”
                • In cases of a sprain, you can make a splint out of branches and wrap it with natural cordage, Kellar adds. “If the person needs mobility help, they can create makeshift crutches to help them move.”
                • Have a headache? Consider herbal cures. You can use willow or aspen bark tea, which act as natural aspirins, he suggests.


                Understanding the symptoms of hypothermia can be complicated especially if you consider the fact that if you’ve ever uncontrollably shivered from the cold, you’ve already had it.
                “The symptoms of hypothermia range from mild to severe,” Brouhard says. “Mild is when you can’t stop shivering, so you’re already a little hypothermic once you begin to shiver and it’s sustained.”

                As soon as your body temperature falls below 95 F, you are classified as being hypothermic. The next step of hypothermia moderate is rather dangerous due to the fact that it often features a lack of symptoms. “One sign of moderate hypothermia is that you stop shivering,” Brouhard says. “Your body has decided that rather than creating heat by burning fuel to try and warm up (shivering) you instead stop using fuel and begin to conserve it.”

                Therefore, if you haven’t done anything to get warmer, but your body suddenly stops shivering, you might have entered a more damaging stage of hypothermia.

                Once a person enters severe hypothermia, it’s difficult to use … Read the rest


                  Forty Survival Tools You Can Make From Everyday Items

                  By David Simpson

                  Stuff happens. Whether you simply forgot some necessary items for your hiking or camping trip, or mother nature has decided to turn your world upside down, you can survive and thrive with a little ingenuity and creativity from some of the most mundane items you can imagine. “Anything has potential to help in a pinch even a piece of gum and its wrapper,” says Tim MacWelch, owner and operator of Advanced Survival Training, a wilderness survival school. “It’s beneficial to know alternative uses for a few items you might already have in your gear, as they can help you escape a sticky situation.”

                  Water Bottles

                  Whether plastic or metal, water bottles are common supplies for any outdoor activity. These seemingly simple items can help ensure you make it through a tough ordeal in the wild.

                  1. Store Water When faced with a survival emergency, identifying a water source should be a first priority, as should determining the best way to transport and store it in camp. “Many people immediately think of what they’ll do for food, but water is much more important for long- term survival,” MacWelch says.
                  2. Water Sanitation Not only are metal water bottles better for the environment, they provide a more effective means of disinfecting water. MacWelch recommends boiling water in a metal bottle for about 10 minutes before consuming rather than relying on solar disinfection, which uses the sun’s UV rays to kill germs.
                  3. Dry Storage Wide-mouth bottles can be used to store smaller items such as matches or fish hooks, provided the inside is dry.
                  4. Funnel The top half of a plastic water bottle makes an ideal funnel. Just cut off the top of the bottle.
                  5. Fish Trap Remove the top of a plastic bottle, and invert it in the lower half to make a trap for smaller fish such as minnows that can be used as bait for larger fish.
                  6. Flotation Device Large empty plastic bottles are highly buoyant.
                  7. Shovel When cut at an angle, the top of a plastic water bottle, 2-liter or gallon jug can serve as an improvised shovel.
                  8. Bug Trap If your campsite has bug problems, you can cut the top off of a 2-liter or gallon bottle, turn it inside out and place it back onto the bottom. Put an attractant (such as a cut apple or jelly) in the bot- tom of the bottle. The bugs will fly in through the spout, but they can’t get back out.
                  9. Planter Interested in growing plants as part of your survival strategy? You can remove the bottom of a 2-liter soda bottle and plant flowers in it. Replace the top of the bottle to provide humidity for your seedlings.
                  10. Twine Using sharp scissors, cut a plastic jug in a spiral motion to create a long string of plastic. You can use it to make a strong twine material.

                  Five uses for a stick not all survival materials are man-made. You can use a sturdy stick for many purposes, including the following five:… Read the rest


                    5 Tips On How To Survive A Cold Winter You Must Not Forget

                    By David Simpson

                    While they often center around adolescence, they do extend into Old Man Winter’s realm, too, as you’re about to see. So, if you’ve ever wondered whether some of the old wives’ tales about winter survival are true, you’ve come to the right place, as you’re better off knowing the answer before you’re faced with an actual survival situation.

                    1. WIVES’ TALE: A spoonful of whiskey will make the frostbite go down

                      THE TRUTH: One of the most common beliefs about staying warm in the cold is that drinking alcohol will keep you from getting hypothermia or frostbite.
                      Unfortunately, however, this old wives’ tale is just that a myth. “Alcohol makes you feel warmer, but it doesn’t change the temperature of your body,” says Tim Smith of Jack Mountain Bushcraft School in Masardis, Maine.
                      If there’s any risk that you may be getting frostbite or hypothermia, Smith says, light a fire rather than opening a bottle of liquor.
                      Not only will this ensure that you stay warm, but it will also allow you to keep your judgment intact should you face other issues that require quick thinking.

                    2. WIVES’ TALE: Pouring hot water over your hands will keep them warm

                      THE TRUTH: Many cold winter adventurers have reported that they will pour warm water over their hands or even urinate on them to warm them up if they fear that frost-bite might be approaching.
                      However Smith advises, this is not always the smartest idea. “If you’re ice fishing on a frozen lake and you have a thermos of warm water with you, it’s a bad idea to just pour that over your hands,” he says.
                      You’re wasting your warm water supply and you now have wet hands that won’t stay warm for more than a few minutes unless you have warm, dry gloves to put on them.
                      If, however, you have a fire where you can continually reheat the water, you can soak your hands in the water as long as it stays warm, because a warm soak can help your hands thaw, as long as you keep your clothes dry during the process.
                      In addition, Smith says, if you already have frostbite, do not try and warm your skin by rubbing or massaging it without professional help. “The first nip you get initially in your fingers when it’s cold outside is usually not a big deal that’s just a warning that you need to get warm,” he says. “But if you get third-degree frostbite where tissue is actually frozen, then the last thing you want to do is reheat it.
                      Not only will the heat increase the danger of sepsis and gangrene, but it will be incredibly painful.” Instead, people with frostbite should go to the hospital immediately.

                    3. WIVES’ TALE: A hill is warmer than a valley

                      THE TRUTH: When you’re setting up your winter campsite, it can be tempting to pitch your tent on top of a hill, using the argument that the sun’s warmth

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                      A Must Have 10 Essential Items For Survival

                      By David Simpson

                      Plan ahead. No matter what disaster you need to escape, you don’t want to be halfway through your journey before you realize that you’ve left an important item behind. Check the following off of your list before you head out on your own to ensure that you’ll be covered under every circumstance.

                      1. The Family Plan

                        Naturally, family comes first but no one thinks they’re at risk of actually leaving anyone behind in a tenuous situation. Remember, however, the stories from Hurricane Katrina about how many people were unable to get to relatives in nursing homes or at babysitters’ homes following the storm.
                        Create a clear plan about who will pick up the kids at school, the grandparents at their homes and the family members from work if a disaster is imminent. In addition, keep a list of pet-friendly hotels in your car, so if you have to cut out of town quickly, you can head straight to one of them with your animals.

                      2. Food and Water

                        You won’t get far without sustenance, and you should have a plan about how you’ll get it. Your best bet is to pack non-perishable food and water for survival now so you’ll have it ready when the time comes.
                        Your only alternate in a survival crisis would be to know how to find it in the wild. If that’s your plan, hone those skills now so you won’t come up short.

                      3. First-aid and Sanitation

                        Keep a first-aid kit nearby to handle any scrapes or maladies that may hit you on the road, and also be sure you have any required medications and the means to administer them.
                        For instance, if you have a diabetic family member, be sure you have an extra pack of sterile syringes that you could use. In addition, don’t forget about sanitation requirements.
                        Keep sterile wipes on-hand to clean any surfaces where you might need to eat. In addition, have some anti-bacterial hand wipes with you, as well as toilet paper, paper towels, feminine protection, diapers and any other items that you use in your everyday life.

                      4. Communication devices

                        Depending on how you landed in a survival situation, there’s always a chance that cell towers won’t be operational. You’ll want to pack some two-way radios, a set of flares or smoke signals, and a transistor radio to signal people in the event of an emergency.

                      5. Lights

                        Pack several flashlights and a few extra sets of batteries in case you need light when no electricity is available. However, don’t rely solely on those.
                        We all remember the scene in “Castaway” when Tom Hanks’ character fell asleep with his flashlight on, and it didn’t last him more than a night. You should also have some candles and several packs of strike-anywhere matches so you will be able to rely on their light if all else fails.

                      6. Shelter

                        Your best bet is to have the appropriate tent(s) to house your entire family should a disaster strike, but if you don’t have one,

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                        How To Find Sources Of Water In The Desert

                        By David Simpson

                        1.Look for critters

                        Just like you, animals need water every day to ensure that they stay healthy. If you see an animal nearby, you know that water isn’t far away, says Brandon Garrett of The Ready Store, which offers emergency preparedness solutions. Likewise, vegetation is a good sign that water is near, since most plants require it to stay alive, he adds.

                        If you don’t catch sight of plants or animals, you should note whether mosquitoes are biting, because they are another indicator that water isn’t far away.

                        However, make sure the mosquitoes aren’t simply gathering around stagnant water, which is typically unsafe to drink. “If you’re looking for water over long distances, look where the birds are circling,” Garrett says. “They’ll often circle around waterholes.”

                        2.Look in unlikely spots

                        If you don’t see water nearby, don’t panic you might be able to find it with a bit of effort. If you are in a low elevation, you should be able to dig a hole until water appears, Garrett says. “However, being at higher elevations doesn’t necessarily mean that you can dig down and automatically find water,” he says. Instead, he advises, you can look for water in valleys or crevices of rocks, where it tends to accumulate.

                        Although plants indicate that water is nearby, it isn’t always possible for you to cut one open and drink from it, despite what you see in movies. “A popular myth is that you can drink any water from a cactus,” Garrett says. “But cacti often store water in a gooey  juice that isn’t fit for human consumption.

                        If you need to drink from a cactus, locate a barrel or prickly pear cactus. They both contain a pulp that you can eat to provide you with water. Make sure that the juice is clear before you eat the pulp.” Other plants also contain water, and you can get to it by crushing the plant until water leaks out.

                        However, ensure that the plant isn’t poisonous first and that it hasn’t been treated with pesticides, which can be toxic. “If you’re out in the wild, you’re less likely to come across plants that have been treated with pesticide or other man-made products,” Garrett says.

                        3.Don’t forget dew

                        If you fall asleep thirsty, you may still awaken to a vast water source dew that collects on the leaves and grass during the night.

                        You can either soak up the dew with a clean rag and then wring it into a container, or hold the dewy leaves over a jar and “wipe” the water down into the jar. Because dew collects in small amounts, this process may be time-consuming, but it could also be a lifesaver.

                        Avoid quenching your thirst this way

                        When you’re thirsty, it may be tempting to drink the first fluid that you see, but some water sources are dangerous and can make you extremely ill. Stay away from these options when it’s time to wet your whistle:… Read the rest

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