… is a tough feat to accomplish when your destination is the wild outdoors where it can be both hot and cold in the same trip. But, add on weight restrictions and groceries to the chore and all of a sudden packing becomes harder than solving the riddle of the sphinx. Although it can seem a bit overwhelming at times, making a list and packing early can solve much of the anxiety that can accompany this task.
The first thing to address when you are beginning to pack for a fishing adventure is the weather. You have to know what the weather will be like during the time of your stay. Obviously, there is no way to predict the future and know for sure whether it will be rainy or sunny, hot or cold. However, you can research past weather patterns and talk to the camp managers or owners about weather conditions presently and in the past. A great tool for checking the weather in different locations and countries is http://www.weather.com/. Also, camp managers and owners are great tools in understanding the conditions of the lake.
Even though you can try to guess whether the gods will shine on you and bring sun or whether they hate you and will throw ice pellets at you in july, its never a good idea to pack with only hot or cold temperatures in mind. With Canadian fishing, the temperatures can change drastically from day to day. Last year, on our Pike trip, my family spent a leisurely thursday fishing…and although it was not necessarily warm, it was pleasant. The very next day we woke up, looked outside, and were stunned. There was SNOW on the ground…AND it was still falling out of the sky Layers upon Layers were definitely necessary that day.
With weight restrictions being part of the process during these types of trips, you have to keep your clothing at a minimum. You need to make sure you take enough clothing to stay safe and warm, but no extra. Two pairs of jeans or pants usually do the trick…along with a couple tshirts. On top of those basics, you should think about carrying along a hooded sweatshirt and a fleece jacket of some sort. Thermal underwear is also a must as it protects your body’s core and keeps in the heat. Warm socks are important, as well. I suggest smartwool brand socks because they keep your feet warm with only one pair. If you put on too many pairs of socks, your feet will not stay warm because the layers of socks will cut off your circulation. Another simple option is a really warm light-weight boot. My husband has a pair of Irish Setters that are protected by a high degree of Thinsulate but are EXTREMELY light. They sell this boot at Cabelas. It’s amazing. Raingear is, of course, always a must, and if you are traveling someplace cold, bring along your coveralls. Warm gloves can help protect your hands from the icy air and are an important tool in keeping your fingers from frostbite.
It must be mentioned that these clothes will get dirty. When you are taking only a limited amount, you must resign yourself to wearing the same things day in and day out (with, of course, the exception of undies and socks . Remember…your rain gear is what gets the most disgusting. The clothes that you have on under the raingear usually stay dry and clean. Don’t be too concerned about wearing clothes with fish slime on them. If your rain gear is working properly, your clothes should be wearable for at least two to three fishing days at a time, and doing this REALLY saves a lot of weight.
Duffel bags are a must for this type of situation. Any type of regular suitcase (especially ones with any metal parts or rollers) just plain weighs too much. Those types of suitcases usually weight 10-20 pounds when empty. Thats a lot of lures and tackle you could be taking instead. Duffels only weigh a fraction of what the regular suitcase weighs and is so easy to carry and pack. If you buy a larger bag, everything from you clothes to your sleeping bag will fit inside. It is a must have for this type of trip.
My family always manages to keep our weight down under the restrictions. Yet, we always have everything we need to make for a great trip. Personal items such as shampoos and soaps can be shared by the group so that no one person has to carry the weight for all. Places like Cabela’s and Bass Pro Shops carry microfiber towels that weight as little as an ounce. These towels will save you a pound or two if you are heading to a place with a shower but that does not provide towels. Sham-wow towels make for very light yet durable boat and cabin towels. I like to take along a flashlight. It gets pretty dark at night…and they have bears in Canada
You must remember that the weight limitations include everything. Your tackle box, gear, clothing, and groceries must all fall within the guidelines. Extrememly efficient packing is a must for a nice relaxing trip. When it comes to weight, every little bit saved helps. There is nothing worse than getting to the airport and finding out you are over. Such chaos ensues that I shudder to even think about it. The main tip to packing in these situations is to just think light. Really think about whether you really need an item or if it is just a luxury that you could possibly do without. AND ALWAYS WEIGH YOUR BAGS AND GEAR BEFORE YOU GO!!!!
On a side note, my tacklebox is so light that it weighs EIGHT POUNDS LESS than my old one. I use the Plano 9606. Its a hip-roof tackle box that has three pull out trays on each side and a deep space in the bottom for extras. This tackle box is very durable, and when fully loaded, only weighs about 20 pounds. Compare this to my hubby’s which weighs 30+ pounds and you can see that my tackle box really saves the weight. I always recommend this Plano box ,because it’s AWESOME!!
Another imporant tip to consider is to make a list. I always make a list a couple of weeks in advance of my trip. This allows me to really think about the weight restrictions while I considering my clothing and gear. That weight restriction usually has to encompass everything and is on a per person basis. Therefore, it is of the utmost importance to inquire about any restrictions before you go. Nothing sucks worse than showing up and having to leave half your gear in the truck…trust me on that one.
For my trips, I usually try to stick with the least amount of clothing that I can get by with so that I have plenty of room for my gear. It must be stressed again that rain gear is a must have in any situation. The temperatures in Canada can get pretty dangerous, and rain gear is the first step in ensuring the warmth and safety of your body.
In the end, the best tip is just to make a list and really think about what you are packing. Because there are no stores around, you must prepare and pack everything that you need. Just do not go overboard and make sure you talk to the others in your group to ensure that there are no duplicate group items being taken along. Packing can be the funnest part of your pre-trip planning process, because it allows you to really get excited about where you are going and the fish you are about to catch.
Happy Packing ~
LIZZY aka The Fisherbabe
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