Ready for some backcountry trips? Don't forget the Big Three.
Crystal clear water endlessly bubbling and gurgling it's way to nowhere. The cool summer breeze that rises up off the stream and gently kisses your cheek.
The passing of a lone bird that seems surprised to have seen a human. The sweet smell of air that seems untainted by the stench and filth of human existence.
More from the Author“I Have Never Even Seen a River”
Surrounded by miles of nature, not another fisherman in sight, except maybe those in your group.
No cars. No phones. No emails. It's just you, friends, and serenity.
No spouse to call you home. No kids to worry about. Time is now lost. You have found solitude.
This May, I have the opportunity to participate in a backcountry fly-fishing trip with some close work friends. The trip involves a 30-minute boat ride and a nine-mile hike upstream to basecamp.
That's followed by a short three-mile hike each morning up-stream into pristine wild native trout waters.
These streams are so skinny, that having any fly line in the water is cause enough to spook the fish. It's water so loaded with fish, that catching 90 in a day isn't out of the ordinary.
If you get the chance to find this kind of adventure I suggest you do it; however, a trip of this kind isn't a success with out proper planning and preparation.
1. Prepare to Prepare
Obviously, preparation is key. There is no such thing as over prepared. You must put in the proper time to prepare for a trip where any form of civilization is nearly a full day away on foot, and then some.
Our group has a checklist of items that we go through, checking off each item to ensure we are properly packed. Then, we double check. There is nothing worse than being 10 miles in and getting a rash because you forgot the Body Glide. Any number of small items could end up being essential to your trip's success.
2. Don't skimp on gear
When I say don't skimp, I mean when purchasing anything from your backpack to your underwear. Like all things in life, you get what you pay for.
You want lightweight gear that will stand up to the challenge and demands of backcountry travel. Personally, I like Columbia Sportswear. I know their gear is top notch, tough, and will make for some great looking photos.
No matter which brands you go with, make sure they are proven and reputable. It may feel good to cut corners at the checkout counter, but when things start rubbing, tearing, ripping, or breaking, it can make for a less than pleasant trip. Backcountry.com is a great resource for your gear buying needs.
Many people I talk to that hunt or fish think that fitness is overrated. Or, they say, "I work outside everyday. That's my workout." They fail to ever elevate their heart rate or build up the necessary muscle to complete those long hikes loaded with gear.
While I am definitely not a picture of health and fitness, I firmly believe in training for an outing, and the sporting lifestyle in general. In my opinion, it is one of the more overlooked aspects of the outdoors.
Training can make the hike in, or any day hunting and fishing for that matter, much more enjoyable. There will be less pain and fatigue with more fun and focus for the adventure at hand. Never let your unwillingness to train ruin a trip. Sportsmen should always be training even if it is just light walking or jogging.
To conclude, remember my Big Three. Prepare to prepare. Create a checklist then double and triple check you gear before packing. Buy gear that will last and sustain you the entire trip. Last, but certainly not least, don't show up with it having been your first time off the couch in six months.
If you have questions or need some resources, leave a comment below or check out my site duckbillsnflyreels.com.
What are your Big Three tips for traveling the backcountry?