The Great Outdoors
by Larry Whiteley
I’ve got a great idea for you. Why not combine a crappie fishing trip with a camping trip? Both are a great escape from this crazy world we live in today. Coming back to your campsite instead of driving back home allows you the opportunity to experience the simple pleasures of life. No sitting at a traffic light, no blaring TV, no computer screens, no work to be done, no bills to be paid. Sounds good doesn’t it?
Many years ago, when I first started camping, I had a heavy canvass tent that was hard to put up and caused me to say things that would have inspired my mother to wash my mouth out with soap. An old army cot and patchwork quilts was my bed. I lit the night with a Coleman lantern and kept my food cold in a big metal cooler. I cooked my food in heavy cast iron skillets over the campfire.
Modern equipment makes camping a whole lot easier today. Tents go up easily in minutes and camp cots with pads are as comfortable as your bed at home. My tent pops up in the bed of my truck. Coolers will keep your food cold for days. Camp stoves, some that even have ovens, make preparing your food a whole lot easier. Food just tastes better when you’re outdoors on a camping trip. Portable solar charged generators give you the power to run lights, charge your cell phone or laptop and even plug in a TV if you really want to do that.
Two things haven’t changed from my early days of camping. I still use my cast iron skillet to fry up the fish I catch. Also, I still love sitting around the campfire at night watching the flames dance and flicker as sparks float hypnotically upward into the dark night sky filled with thousands of twinkling stars. What are you waiting for? Start planning your own crappie camping trip.
SOMETHING TO THINK ABOUT
“Real freedom lies in wildness, not in civilization.” – Charles Lindbergh
This applies today more than ever. We need a break. Take a walk in the woods, go camping, catch a fish and enjoy the nature around you. Listen to the birds, drink in the views. It will wash you clean.
AN OLD FISHING TIP
Old timers used to believe that cows could tell you whether or not the fish were biting. They claimed that cows graze actively at times when the fish are hungry and that when cows quit feeding to rest, the fish do too. That sounds silly doesn’t it? Still, the next time you go fishing it might not hurt to check the cow pastures on your way to the lake.
DID YOU KNOW?
Have you been out fishing at night and seen bats flying around in the sky? Just remember bats are non-aggressive mammals. They are not interested in landing on your head and attacking you. Instead, they are after the insects that are flying around you.
Common household twist ties can be a big help in minor emergencies. Peel the paper off and the wire can be used as a substitute for a screw missing from your glasses or a temporary fix for a broken line guide. You will find many more uses for those handy twist ties. Keep some in your tackle box.