Offbeat Outdoors’ Summer Safety Tips
With summer poised to officially begin next week, The Offbeat Outdoors Blog shares some seasonal safety reminders with readers—as only we can!
Up in Smoke
“Keep your powder dry,” is a popular adage among black powder hunting and shooting enthusiasts, with its roots in America’s colonial days, when soldiers were reminded by their commanders to always be prepared for adversity.
Here at Offbeat Outdoors, we graciously offer some additional sage advice.
Don’t use black powder to ignite your barbeque grill.
Delaware television station WBOC reports that paramedics responded to a call at a Magnolia, Del. trailer park (you think we make this stuff up?), after a man intentionally poured gunpowder into a charcoal grill and lit it, resulting a significant explosion and flash fire.
Authorities said the unidentified (lucky for him) 50-year-old man was hospitalized with third-degree burns to his hand, first-degree burns to his face and singed hair.
Not surprisingly, investigators from the Delaware State Fire Marshal’s office report alcohol was apparently a factor.
Cicada Shish Kabob
Folks who reside in parts of the Midwest probably remember summer there a few years ago, when a 17-year cicada hatch brought millions of the buzzing insects from their holes to attach themselves to trees, plants, walls (cars, pets, grandparents, etc.) and fence posts, shedding their tiny armor-like shells like so many discarded overcoats.
With that in mind, we bring you Offbeat Outdoors’ public service advice regarding “How Cicadas Can Send You in The Emergency Room.” We take you to Bloomington, Indiana, where a man who sautéed and dined upon more than two dozen cicadas soon found himself covered from head-to-toe in hives.
Press reports indicated that an embarrassed and unidentified (once again, lucky for him) man admitted to Dr. Al Ripani at a Bloomington clinic that he prepared 30 fresh cicadas, lightly buttered with a delightful crushed garlic and basil sauce (mmmmmm-mmmmm!).
“He said they didn’t taste too bad, but his wife didn’t care for the aroma,” said Dr. Ripani.
The doctor told the local newspaper that the man had a history of asthma and shellfish allergies, and suffered a “significant allergic reaction.” He said he gave the man antihistamines, steroids and an adrenaline shot, watched him for two hours, then sent him home.
Our final tidbit of summertime safety advice comes from Gautier, Miss., where authorities reported a boater was filling his craft at a gas station when he noticed a liquid spilling from the craft’s drain hole.
The five responding fire department vehicles, three police units and a representative from the state Department of Environmental Quality discovered what Martin McGrath apparently didn’t know—and Offbeat Outdoors readers should remember during summer boating season:
There is a distinct difference between a boat’s gas intake and its rod holder.
Before McGrath realized his fateful nozzle-placement error, about 35 gallons of gasoline was pumped into the hull of his boat.
Gauthier Fireman Ted Lorenzo told the local newspaper that McGrath initially wanted to leave and sort the problem out at home. But Gautier Fire Department officials closed off the area and contained the situation on a side road next to the filling station. McGrath didn’t want to lose his significant investment, but officials weren’t about to let me him drive through the town with the exposed gas in his boat hull.
“(The boat’s) basically just a big bomb right there,” fireman Lorenzo said.