SHOT Show 2014

SHOT Show 2014 is right around the corner. This year is going to be big. How big? Here’s a little infographic that tells you everything you need to know.

You read that right, thirteen acres of shooting, hunting, and outdoor products! The Vigorous Chase will be right there giving you all the new information you need. Stay tuned for daily updates coming to you from the show floor as we see what great new gear is coming for 2014!


DIY Fire Starter

DIY FirestarterAs a former corrections nurse, I can tell you identity thieves are merciless. They will trash you and your credit in a heartbeat. That’s why I never throw anything remotely sensitive into the trash. Bank statements, credit card offers, insurance bills, anything that could be used to steal my identity gets destroyed. Here’s my favorite recipe to get rid of those perilous papers.

Begin by stacking two or three sheets of paper and then smearing the top one with a healthy amount of petroleum jelly. Repeat this process several times until you have a stack of 15-20 sheets interspersed with semisolid hydrocarbons. Once you reach the desired thickness place a wick in the center. I experimented with cotton balls, dryer lint, and shredded paper. Roll up the sheets of paper into a long tube. Take one last piece of paper and glue it around the outside to hold it in place.

I did some burn tests and got great results. Cutting them into two inch blocks, I split them down the side and splayed the papers a little. If you try and light the rolled tube it won’t catch very well. The dryer lint worked the best and gave a ten minute burn time.

There you have it. Cheap, easy, and effective. What more could you want? Do you have your own DIY recipe for a fire starter? Post it in the comments below.

-Richard Hammack

Analog Chainsaw



I have known that my fiance was the one since the day I met her. Every so often she reaffirms my love in surprising ways. Early in our relationship we went on a three-day backpacking trip over the Great Continental Divide. I was working the day before liftoff and there were many sundries I needed her to acquire before our trek. One of the most important items on the list was a hatchet. I was a little nervous as it was our first big outdoor trip together. She had done a little camping as a kid but wasn’t terribly woodsy. To the uninitiated a hatchet may look like a small axe but it is so much more than that. A hatchet is an essential survival tool that will take you from a savage banging rocks together and make you a modern master of the wilderness. I got off work at 0230 and packed the car. While I was inventorying the gear I came across this little gem. My fiance had purchased, without any direction from me, the finest modern hatchet money can buy. I knew she was a keeper if her innate instinct led her to this handheld forest clearing machine. The Gerber Gator Combo Axe is handy, versatile, and indestructible. The handle is made of lightweight glass-injected nylon. This hatchet is all the more awesome because the handle is hollow and holds a small knife!don't call her molly

The head is made from forged steel and has a hammer back to pound in tent stakes. It only weighs 2 ounces and packs away easily. I was able to clear all that brush pictured above in only half an hour using this little axe. The knife easily cleans fish and small game while still holding a good edge. It’s held in place by a little magnet that is surprisingly strong. I’ve never had the knife come out even when I’m in full Paul Bunyan mode. This axe is an absolute outdoor essential that I never leave home without.

-Richard Hammack