Maine’s Camp Fish Adventures
By Richard Yvon
Spring is in the Air… as we experience longer amounts of daylight along with the annual rituals in Maine. The return of the Turkey Vultures, Woodcock, Canada Geese and Spawning Smelt gives us outdoor folks the itch to get outside and camp on a fishing trip! Fishing and camping go together like peanut butter and jelly so why not learn how to camp “safely with comfort” and get the most out of your fishing adventure. Camping can mean many different things to many different people. So for all practical purposes we will talk about being prepared in a simple fashion. Some of best fishing spots are just not found in an RV park!!! This time of year is a great time to think about your gear and equipment list!
I like to prepare a must have list so when the opportunity comes to do a trip we can be prepared.
Here is a sample list of things to think about….
• Shelter, sleeping bag, ground pad, and rope.
• LED lights with extra batteries
• Breathable clothes worn in layers
• Shoes/Boots – Breathable, waterproof, warm with extra socks. (Polypropylene and Wool socks)
• First Aid kit with Space Blanket
• Personal Essential Effect
• LED Head Light, toiletries, sunglasses, deet free non-toxic bug spray, bio-degradable-soap, sun- screen etc…
• Food – dehydrated, dry foods, snickers bars, trail mix
• Water – Nalgene bottle with Purification system (filter pump/ tablets)
• Spare Prescriptions – eye – glasses, medication if applicable.
• Map of your area, GPS and compass, GPS tracking device, flagging tape and survival knife.
• Storm proof matches with tinder (Cotton balls covered in petroleum jelly)
Shelters…can be as basic as a tarp. Setting up a properly constructed tarp on an uphill side of a clearing near water will do the trick! Tents come in every shape, size, and color. So were do we start? Canvas or synthetic are two options to consider before we purchase. For most people camping on weekends and vacations, a light, waterproof, breathable synthetic tent will do just fine. The outfitter or outdoorsman who will have extended stays in the woods will sometimes choose a canvas tent. They can have all the benefits of a synthetic tent with a bit more room and a few more options such as a wood stove, or dining table. Whatever tent you choose be sure to take care of it per manufacturer instructions and never store a tent wet for long periods of time. Any shelter you would choose should be ac- companied by a ground cover.
Sleeping Bags…come in all kinds of sizes, colors and material. In my 30 years of experience camping in the woods I have had most types so I would feel confident in recommending a synthetic over a natural material such as down. Down is great for warmth but heavy and hard to dry out when camping. I have found a good synthetic bag that is well built and fits your preferred style and body size to be best. They are generally relatively light, easy to dry, and warm.
Tip* – Use a natural deet free bug spray to prevent sleeping bag contamination.
Cooking…can be done by sever- al methods being more on traditional side or state – of-the art. A campfire is great as long it’s in a permitted area with a permit and conditions are ok. Just because you can does not mean you should. A great option and is good almost anywhere are compact stoves which can fueled by liquid gas, propane, butane, or bio mass fuel. My personal favorite is a bio mass gasification stove as seen in the photo. As always depending on the application, will dictate your stove type. Cookware comes in all kinds of options as well. Aluminum, steel, and cast-iron are a few types of camping cookware. A personal favorite is a traditional cast iron pan, but is a heavy option. It’s Great for base camp, or truck camping when on a fishing adventure.
Here are a few cast iron basics… New Cast Iron needs to be seasoned at 350 def. with a solid based vegetable shortening like Crisco. The more times the better!
Never clean a cast iron pan with soap and water, use kosher salt to take food deposits off and wipe entire pan in and out with vegetable oil or equivalent to maintain and build a non-stick surface.
Use steel wool to take off rust. Do not clean cast iron when it hot, the pan should be cool. When cast iron is warm or hot, the pours are open and vulnerable to moisture.
Regularly lubricate your cast iron when the cast iron is warm. Cast Iron stays clean because you are cooking, heating to 500 degrees and is killing all bacteria.
Store in a dry place when not in use.
For my remote wilderness fishing trips my all time favorite is a single stainless mountain mug with a wire handle. I can heat and eat soup, beans or even de- hydrated foods with out burning your hands! This is a truly all in one light-weight option for cooking on the fishing trail.
Camping Tools… are essential for a successful wilderness outing. On top of our list are our Dexter knives! We use knives for everything from filleting fish, dressing game, and setting up our camp with tents, tarps and rope! We are covered from the S-151 Utility knife to the UR- Cut flexible fillet knife!
Our cooking tools are as essential as the food itself! Well, not really but you get the point! The Dexter 19810 traditional fish turner does a great job cooking our fish while our Dexter Russell P3A-PCP Sani-Safe 2 3/4″ Pizza Cutter cuts our fire-side baked pizza! I’m getting hungry think- ing about all the past cooking on our camping adventures! We are looking forward to up and com- ing outdoor adventures filled with delicious food and camp fire reminiscing of a day’s afield in Maine’s wilderness.