Anyone who has planned a family camping trip knows that it can be a challenge to pare down all of the gear that is needed for a few days in the great outdoors. Just when you think you have everything packed strategically in the vehicle, you find out that someone forgot to give you a sleeping bag or a heavy duty flashlight during the initial arranging process. This causes you to search desperately for even just the slightest amount of open space to get creative with… been there, huh? Then, there’s the fishing gear. You absolutely cannot leave behind the fishing gear because you’ve heard tales of 4-pound spotted bass being caught on a lake near the campground. How in the world will you squeeze it all in? Pick up a few portable pieces that will take up minimal space in the car and in your cabin.
- Collapsible or Telescopic Fishing Rod. There are many fishing rod manufacturers who make telescopic fishing rods or “pack rods” that can easily be taken apart or collapsed when traveling. If the rod doesn’t come with a hard PVC case, it’s worth buying or even making one yourself. A hard case will help protect the tip and guides on the rod from damage.
- Backpack Style Tackle Bag. Nicknamed the “back-le box” by a few die hard fishing and camping folk, these backpack style tackle bags are ideal for carrying clippers, a fish measuring device, lures, leader, hooks and pliers. Most come with covered plastic trays, but you can always use a regular backpack and just buy the trays separately. The fact that these backpack style bags are soft-sided and can be squeezed between other objects a bit easier makes them a better choice when traveling. Plus, once you get to your camping spot, you can sling it on your back for “hands-free” hiking to the fishing hole.
- Compact Bait Container or Bucket. There are compact 8 quart bait buckets and containers that can be purchased at specialty outdoor retail shops or at most local tackle shops. You can also make your own out of a small bucket or plastic container, and then use a plastic coffee can lid with holes cut into the top and a half circle cut out for your aerator.
What tips do you have to share when it comes to packing light for camping trips that involve fishing? Help your fellow campers and anglers by offering your advice in the community forums.