Going to SHOT Show?  What is that?  SHOT stands for Shooting, Hunting, and Outdoor Trade show that now has become synonymous   with “that cool, tactical (tacti-cool) show”.  In all seriousness, it’s where all the gun and gear companies come together with buyers (?) to show off their new products for the upcoming year.  It’s Mecca for the shooting industry no matter which side (competition or tactical) you are on.


Now, if you are one if the lucky ones (buyer, military, LEO, media or friend of a friend who knows someone closely related to a guy who works next door to a gun store…) you get to go.  But while it sounds like fun (Vegas baby!) here are some salient points to make your experience more…enjoyable.

Bring comfortable shoes that aren’t colored in desert tan.  Well, go with the comfortable part.  According to the Shot Show website (www.shotshow.org) there is about 12.5 miles of floorspace that your dogs will have to walk every day.  Not to mention the other walking through casinos, malls, walk ways and airport terminals.  Having a worn down pair of shoes is a recipe for disaster.  Taking care of your feet is very important.  A good pair of socks and insoles will also make you “feel” better at the end of the day.  I like the green Superfeet insole set http://www.superfeet.com.

With over 60,000 people estimated to attend the January 20-23rd trade show, it is a wretched hive of scum and germs (thought I was going to say villainy you geeks!)  Yes, every virus known to man seems to find a way into the show halls and spreads like “Contagion.”  Well, there is an awful amount of hand shaking going on, so excluding airborne bugs, palm pressing can be a bad idea.  Now I’m not for the fist bump or elbow smash but I do like the idea of bringing an industrial hand sanitizer and using it liberally after shaking hands.  Everyone knows how these germs spread so I would suggest immediately wiping the goo on after you say hello, otherwise you’ll forget and when you touch your face (picking, coughing etc.) the damage is done.  In all seriousness, between people coming from all over the world (yup) flying through airports and being contained in a confined space, visitors will get sick.  I’m trying to fight it this year but every year I’ve gone, I end up with some crazy illness that leaves me in nasty state.

Drink water…lots of it.  And when you think you’ve had enough, drink more.  Vegas is in the desert.  It’s very dry in the desert.  You will be dehydrated when you step on the plane to get to the desert.  Water will help you feel better (but alas, you’ll have to pee a lot).  Along those lines, bring a moisturizing cream and lip balm (!)  Yes, one time I didn’t bring Chapstick, my lips cracked to point of being uncomfortable.  And, dry skin gets itchy.  So, embrace your metrosexual side and get some manly skin cream (however if you are a female reader you know all of this already…)

Snacks.  Yum, expensive burgers and chicken sticks.  Pretty much what the convention center sells.  If you plan to walk all day in the halls of gear and guns, you’ll need to sustain yourself with some form of nourishment.  Nuts and jerky go a long way for the low carb people.  If you can eat anything, then there are tons of good bars and trail mix which will keep you going.  The point is to eat something better than fast food.  Save the nights for some quality food (and..um beverages).

The SHOT Show experience is like nothing else I’ve ever gone to.  Back in the day, Macworld (yes I’m a Apple fan boy) was cool and exciting, but checking out the new Magpul, SIG, Daniel Defense, BCM, Glock toys….is worth all the pain this upcoming trip will bring.

I am getting packed and I’m ready to sacrifice myself for you…the readers of Firearms Nation.