Backcountry Fishing Adventures: Choosing a Pair of Waders

by Donna 30. July 2012 21:24

Waders – Essential Gear When Fly Fishing or Hunting

When choosing waders for angling in the backcountry, you no doubt want to ensure that you are sufficiently protected. After all, you don’t want icy cold marsh waters or a stream’s runoff to keep you from enjoying your time spent in the great outdoors. Therefore, you’ll need to find water-resistant waders that meet your criteria with respect to insulation and construction. Indeed, waders can come in quite handy when you are fly fishing in a stream or are hunting for waterfowl in areas flooded by spring rains.

Determining the Type of Waders you’ll Need

Wader designs then are determined by a water’s depth. Therefore, in order to buy a pair, you’ll need to base your choice on where they will be used. When you’ve made an assessment as to the estimated depth, add about another foot of coverage for moving water. Then, you can determine whether you’ll need waders that cover you up to the chest, hip or waist. Needless to say, chest waders give you the best protection as you can journey into streams that run ankle-deep or trek through rivulets that flow as high as your waist. Chest waders are supported by suspenders and designed to be baggy to allow for comfort while, at the same time, staying secure and in place.

Chest Waders – When to Use Them

Indeed, many fly fishermen and women like wearing chest waders as they provide coverage in streams that are deeper  and can be used on windy or wet days. Therefore, you can enjoy backcountry hunting or fishing just about any time during the year. Just make sure that you always wear a wading belt with your chest waders in case of a short, unexpected dunking.

Hip Waders

If your fishing or hunting adventure takes you to waters that are about knee-deep, then hip waders are the best choice. The waders come in two distinct pieces that are designed to be  worn on each leg, and are secured to your belt with straps. Therefore, the waders are simple to put on or remove and can be worn over your clothes. These kinds of waders are also easy to pack and are a great choice when pursuing such activities as waterfowl hunting, boating, or fly angling.

Waist Waders

Waist waders come up to the waist and look like baggy, waterproof pants. They are made for waters that come up to one’s thighs. The waders come with loops at waistline so they can be belted and secured. Backcountry enthusiasts like to wear these waders during the summer as they do not cover the upper body, which allows for more coolness and movement. Because the upper body is not covered, the wearer has more latitude with respect, say, to casting a fishing line or hoisting a rifle while hunting. Typically, waders that are made to be waist-high are best used in fairly fast-flowing streams.



Hammock Camping: Relaxing in the Great Outdoors

by Donna 23. July 2012 21:22

The Appeal of Hammock Camping for the Backpacker

While using a tent is quite fun, backpackers often find that they prefer to use hammock tents after they’ve been trekking through the wilderness for a while. That’s because the shelters are convenient to set up and generally are more relaxing too. While these kinds of tents may seem to be rather vulnerable-looking at first, they actually are solid forms of shelter, provided, of course, you tie the ends to tree trunks that are solid and sturdy too.

A Preferred Way to Sleep

Of course, not every camper finds a hammock tent the most comfortable option, particularly if he is taller or heavier. However, many campers, when they get used to sleeping on a hammock, actually like it better than taking refuge for the night in a ground-erected tent. After all, a hammock does keep you from dealing with such issues as rocks or dampness. Therefore, many people who suffer from back pain will find some relief when using a hammock tent during backpacking or hiking trips.

Choosing a Campsite

Because a hammock tent is set up about three feet off the ground, you reduce the potential of being plagued by insects as well, or at least from being pursued by the crawling kind. If you like to hike in the woods, then, naturally, a hammock tent is the ideal shelter as you can find a number of spots in which to set up camp. That being said, you still have to make sure that the area where you establish your tent is not prone to high-level winds or isn’t too near a body of water, such as a pond or lake, which generally attracts large populations of mosquitoes and other insects.

Setting up Camp

Once you find the perfect campsite, establishing the hammock is pretty easy. Make sure that the trees that you use are far enough apart to accommodate your height. The trunks should have circumferences of at least two feet. After you’ve tied the tent firmly to the trunks, all you need to do is establish the fly over the hammock for coverage. Commercial brands offering hammock tents include Hennessy, Clark Jungle, Eagle’s Nest, Warbonnet, Lawson, Trek Light, Crazy Creek and Hammock Bliss, just to name a few.

A Practical Item for Outdoor Enthusiasts

Indeed, using a hammock tent is an ideal choice for backpacking and camping as it is a very light type of gear. Even if you are carrying a large hammock shelter in your backpack, it, still, on average, weighs far less than the standard tent. In fact, the very lightest hammock tent that features a rain fly and bug guard weighs in at only one or two pounds. Plus, a hammock shelter can be used in a number of ways – as a tent, as a chair, as a lounger, or as a means to hold gear. Therefore, this camping accessory is definitely one practical item for anyone who loves traveling and camping in the Great Outdoors.


Backpacking | Camping

Packing Basics for Backpackers

by Donna 13. July 2012 21:19

Place your Sleeping Bag in the Bag First

If you are new to backpacking, then, to make the most of the activity, you also have to understand some fundamentals with respect to packing. Once you understand these basic rules, you’ll be able to travel in the Great Outdoors with a lot more ease. Usually, it’s best to place the items you will be using at night at the bottom of your backpack. So, start off the process by packing your sleeping bag first, or placing it in the bottom of the backpack.

Keep Bears at Bay with Canisters that Snuff out Fragrances

Keep the sleeping bag away from any scented items or food as the bag can be a draw later for bears if they catch a whiff of any kind of odor or fragrance. To minimize the problem, a number of national parks currently require that backpackers make use of bear-resistant canisters. However, the canisters can also add to your load as well, so you have to make sure that you pack the container so it is optimally used and filled. Therefore, any part of the canister that doesn’t hold food should accommodate other scented items such as sunscreen. Pack the canister in the primary compartment of your backpack next to your back.

Insert the Heavier Items toward the Middle of the Pack

Again, all night-time items should generally be packed at the bottom as they are the last items needed during the day with the exception of your flashlight. Pack the lighting device so it can be obtained easily from your bag. The heaviest items in your backpack should be placed above the sleeping bag and next to your spine, such as the aforementioned bear canister, bottles of water, and, in some instances, your cooking items and stove. Some backpacks provide a sleeve for a hydration reservoir that can be inserted prior to packing, which also makes carrying your water supply an easier task as well.

Keep Everything in Balance

Therefore, the items that are heavier should go in the middle section of the pack to create balance and leverage. Placing heavy items too low in a backpack will cause the pack to droop while inserting the weightier items at the top will make the pack top-heavy. Backpacks are designed today to conform to the backpacker’s body. Therefore, it’s best to keep items that weigh more in the center and close to the spine to maintain the center of gravity.

Invest in a Good Backpack Cover

To make sure that your items are well-protected too, invest in a backpack cover. You’ll be glad that you did if you are caught in an unexpected downpour. Even though backpacks are made of waterproof materials, the zippers and seams on the packs can still cause your items to get sopped if it happens to rain. So, a backpack cover will ensure that anything that you carry will remain relatively dry and therefore safe from damage.


Backpacking | Hiking

Freeze Dried Foods for Backpacking and Hiking

by Donna 2. July 2012 21:10

The Freeze-drying Process

Freeze-drying, also known as lyophilization (yes you need to know that!), is a process where food is frozen quickly and deposited in a vacuum, making the food more condensed, lighter and still tasty. Therefore, these kinds of foods are often carried by backpackers because of their light weight and nutritional content. The majority of backpackers buy commercial brands, such as Backpackers Pantry or Mountain House, as the freeze-drying process can be quite expensive for individuals to pursue themselves.

Freeze-drying Removes a Food’s Water and Weight but Does not Destroy its Nutritional Content

Freeze-drying food maintains the food’s cell structure and therefore the colors and nutritional value of the sustenance is also preserved as well. Because all fresh foods contain water which adds to their weight, freeze-drying removes this excess water and, as a result, the weight. In turn then, backpackers can carry quite a large amount of freeze-dried foods in their packs. To rehydrate freeze-dried foods, you can either place them in boiling or cold water. Using cold water will merely increase the amount of time to reconstitute the food. You can also eat freeze-dried food in its dry state as well.

A Variety of Freeze-dried Foods are Offered for Use by Backpackers

Because freeze-drying uses minimal heat and primarily extracts the water in a food, the texture, taste, and vitamins and minerals stay intact. You can find a large variety of foods that are freeze-dried available for consumption. Choose from a number of entrees featuring meats, vegetables, and fruits to keep you energized while you are hiking, fishing, or camping. 

Practice Preparing Freeze-dried Specialties at Home before you Cook them at your Campsite

Not only are freeze-dried foods simple to prepare, again, they pack very light and take up little space in your backpack. Plus, the shelf life of such foods is measured in years, not for small time periods, such as days, weeks, or months. The foods provide maximum nourishment for backcountry adventurers, including biking enthusiasts, hikers, and backpackers. If you haven’t cooked freeze-dried foods before then, practice preparing them at home so you can expertly cook them with ease on your next backpacking or camping trip.


What are your favorite freeze dried foods?


Backpacking | Camp Food

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