Summertime in the great outdoors, does life not get any better than this? Camping in the wilderness, you wake up before the sun, grab your fishing gear, and then you head out on the lake, river or creek and hunt for your favorite, elusive sport fish. When most of the other campers are just crawling out of their tents, the fishermen are filleting their catches and cleaning their gear for the evening fish. And, for every fisherman who camps, and every camper who fishes, there are essential items that must be brought along.
Essential items for fishing and camping will help you to catch the fish you are fishing for, and make your camping experience a little more comfortable, and more enjoyable. First and foremost, a first aid kit, with sunscreen, bug bite repellent and after-bite treatment, band aids and gauze, iodine and rubbing alcohol. You will need athletic stretch tape to wrap ankles, elbows and knees, and a pair of tweezers to get at those splinters. Bug repellent may be the one thing that helps you to keep your sanity.
Your main essential items for fishing and camping will include the fishing rod and reel, tackle box and fishing vest all laden with your favourite lures and spinners, waders if fishing a creek or river, and a new roll of fishing line. If you have a boat or canoe, make sure you have enough properly rated life vests for each person. A tent, rated for twice as many people that are going to be using it, if you want any measure of comfort while sleeping at odd hours of the day, is needed, unless of course you have a trailer or RV. For 4 people, a 6 to 8 person tent is ideal. Light sleeping bags work better for campers than blankets, a flashlight, extra batteries and a pillow round out the basic requirements.
For cooking and eating while camping, you can compromise on the gear and how to use it. Many campers bring everything but the kitchen sink, and then wish they had brought that along too, whereas other campers are happy with just a tent, sleeping bag, pillow and a small cooking stove for when it is raining and the wood is too wet for a fire. You will need a few books of matches, preferably water-proof, and a camp stove, a metal grille for over the campfire to cook meats, veggies and fish, and the basic utensils of knife, fork and spoon, drinking cup (or reusable bottle) and a bowl and plate for each person.
Essential items for fishing would include a fillet knife for cleaning the fish, an all-in-one tool (otherwise known as a multi-tool), needle nosed pliers or forceps for getting the hook out of the fish, and a stringer to keep them alive while you continue fishing after your first catch. If you are wandering rather far from the campsite, a hand held GPS unit, or a smartphone with a GPS application (app) downloaded and running could be imperative, especially the phone if injuries occur, or someone gets lost. The GPS, or the smartphone, can also be used to mark where the most productive spots are for fishing, so that you can share with your other campers.
Essential items for camping would include a tarpaulin or four, to be set up as wind and rain protection for the tent, and one for covering the firewood to keep it dry. A 100 to 200 foot length of rope (1/8th inch), and a small ball of twine will be needed. If you do not have a footprint tarp for your tent, you can place a normal tarp on the ground, before setting your tent up over top of it, as extra protection from the rain, and hard objects that may be under the tent. If you have dogs or young children, a blanket, tarp or plastic sheet come in handy when laid down inside the tent as a floor covering, to give the tent’s floor extra protection, and to ensure that the tent will be good for the next camping trip.
If you do bring all that is required, you should have a comfortable and enjoyable camping and fishing experience. Please remember that when fishing, you can not use minnows other than the species of fish that are prevalent in the waters you are fishing. But, you can bring as many worms as you want, and that is the last essential item for fishermen; lots of lively, wriggly worms.
And one of the most essential items for fishing and camping is, of course, the camera. You don’t want to be telling those long, tall fishing stories without the proof to back it up, and to show those amazing stars to the city dwellers who have never seen them from the wilds. And, of course, don’t forget the coolers, the ice, and the beer!
Camp safe, camp informed.