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Setting up the perfect camp (for fishing and hunting)

What goes into the perfect fishing and hunting camp?

The first thing to say is that there isn’t a perfect way to set up a perfect camp.

There are common elements - for shelter, food, cooking gear - and a lot of that depends on what you’re hunting, what you’re fishing, and where you’re camping.

Another excellent common element: Innovation. We’ve seen man-crafted makeshift porches and exceptional camps set up in places only ill-advised access roads can lead to. We’ve seen inventive solutions to lost or forgotten coolers and fish finders.

Your gear, setup, and philosophy can change with the season - or just on a whim. Or depending on success - and failure - from the last camp you set up. Camping with good companions is more important than having good weather. We’re just bringing up some of the things that often make a perfect camp, for hunting, fishing, or both, to get the ideas rolling for your next one.

What is a fishing and hunting camp?

It’s home base. It’s where tents and provisions are. It might be stationary for the duration; or, if you’re on the move, could be set up and broken down each day. It’s where you’re eating and sleeping, most likely. It need not be beautiful in itself, but it doesn’t hurt to have it pitched where you have a beautiful view.

What goes into a perfect camp

1. The ideal gear-to-distance ratio

A well-planned trip is the best trip. If you’re hiking a ton, you don’t want to carry a kayak through the wilderness. Pack lightly, only what you need. Do some research, and rely on past experience. The farther you plan to walk, the lighter to pack. Make a list a week before your trip and pack at least 24 hours before it starts.

2. Select a good site

Know in advance where spots are available, checking online and in guidebooks. You’ll need a backcountry permit to camp in national parks. Opt for flat land for possible water drainage. Find your spot early in the day; setting up camp in the dark can be dangerous. Check for hazards, such as anthills and loose tree branches overhead.

3. Keep it simple

Building a permanent hunting camp? Resist the urge to turn it for profit. You’re much more worry-free if you save this property for yourself and the people you know well. Many camp owners charge a minimal fee to cover provisions. Use the money to upgrade and upkeep your camp. Establish rules of safety, and stock it with a first-aid kit, fire extinguisher, etc.

4. Pack wisely

Depending on the level of rustic you’re comfortable with, and if the base camp will remain stationary, bring an air mattress or pad, plus extra batteries for anything you bring that takes them. Consider your heat sources: Bring a fire starter and newspaper to start the fire, and find out ahead of time whether you can burn wood found on-site or will have to bring your own.

5. Remember the essentials

Pack a sleeping bag, plus a canteen and water filter. A pocket knife is a must, as is a navigation tool. You’ll need rain gear, and even if you intend to sleep out in the open, consider a tent for emergencies - such as storms, wind, and cold - or provision storage. Double-check that all rope, stakes, and tent poles are present and in good condition. Plus, a rubber mallet for the stakes.

6. Plan plenty of room

Some expeditions might include a pair of hunter-fishermen; others might involve a small crew. In permanent structures, bunk beds, hammocks, and pull-out couches are great ways to add sleeping capacity. Just because you’re roughing it, doesn’t mean you have to have it rough. A well-rested fisherman and a hunter who got a good night’s sleep are good for everyone.

7. RV it

An RV makes a terrific base camp. All your stuff is in it and it’s mobile. Especially in harsh climates or long trips, it’s good to have a stronger structure than a tent. Having an all-wheel drive is a plus for tough-to-reach camp spots, and even the most basic camper van can fit the task. Cabover campers are ideal for most expeditions, with plenty of room and a kitchen.

Planning and customization are key

Every outdoorsman and excursion could call for an adjustment in how you set up a fishing and hunting camp. Consider your end goal for the trip, then plan for just enough provisions and gear - plus a little extra for emergencies - before you set up camp. You can learn from every outing what will work best for you.

AgriSupply has you covered for camp

Get camping axes, mess kits, folding chairs, and more for your trip at AgriSupply. We also stock everything from portable fryers to fish spears to fishing caps. For the huntsman, we carry all you need, including blaze orange caps, chest waders, deer corn, and more. Visit your local AgriSupply store or our online store today.


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