Archive for the ‘Camping’ Category

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“Trout, Trout, Trout!”

Fly Fishing Trip: How serious are you about fishing? How about a 30-mile hike before you ever wet a line? Sometimes you have to find the end-of-the trail before you start enjoying some of the worlds best trout fishing. (Can you find the Golden trout)?

Somewhere, WY


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“Fall Spender!”

Today‘s Featured Canoe Trip (Crow River, North Fork): Unseasonably weather brought 80-degree temperatures on this fall canoe trip. Friday we ventured to Lake Maria and boiled up Crayfish with Mussels, while roughing it with some homemade brew. Saturday was a tummy-buster with Pot Roast, carrots and potatoes. The half-mile trek to our campsite kept us in shape for dessert — Homemade Apple Crisp!

Crow River, MN

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“A Picture Perfect Day!”

Today‘s Featured Canoe Trip (Crow River, North Fork): A one-hour drive west of the Twin Cities puts you in your canoe and paddling one of Minnesota’s best rivers. This narrow river, with a procession of large oaks and maples trees along it’s banks, challenges paddlers attention. Dead-fall and low hanging branches are around every corner — making manoeuvring this river a fun attraction in low water months.

Crow River, MN

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“Be Organized and Plan for the Unexpected!”

Today‘s Featured Canoe Trip (BWCA): This was my third trip into Minnesota’s largest untouched ecosystem, the Boundary Waters Canoe Area. With my guiding hat on — seven hardy paddlers from Eden Prairie, Minnesota’s Outdoor Center, set out to explore and experience this large majestic forest. Along our trek we found many kinds of mushrooms, moss and granite protrusions.
Preparing for any trip outdoors requires planning and preparation. Knowing that conditions can — and most often WILL change require you to respond and act appropriately when conditions turn unpleasant. On the fourth day, we had rain, lightning and hail. By having a shelter, such as a lean-to tarp or canopy, everyone was able to enjoy a hot meal.

Brule Lake, MN


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A Star-of-a-buck in Starbuck, Minnesota.

Whether it’s “First blood gets the deer” or “The person who makes the killing shot?” In either case, it’s not an easy answer.

My friend hunts private property near Starbuck, MN. He usually hunts a fence line dividing two fields. On this day, the neighbors were hunting close by, so he decided to hunt the adjacent woods. From his stand he heard a shot and watched as the neighbors drag a doe to their vehicle. While watching the hunters, a massive buck moving slowly, through tall switchgrass, caught his eye! The deer was between my friend and the other hunters. As the deer moved passed the other hunters, a safe shot presented itself. He took the shot and the deer dropped! You can imagine how excited he was! He yelled from his stand, “I have a big buck down!” The other hunters walk in his direction as my friend climbed down from his stand. The hunters and my friend walked towards the deer from opposite sides — at 30-yards the deer gets up and starts to run. A hunter from the other party shoots and hits the spine — killing the deer.

The Loaded Question?
Later inspection, my friend had hit the deer in the hind quarter. It was a deer of a lifetime! A huge 11-point buck worthy of a wall mount!

As everyone stood around the deer, the question came up, “So who’s deer is it anyways?” The hunter who shot the second time felt it was his deer. My friend feels that if he had not called the others over — that he would have had a second shot.  In the end, my friend decided it wasn’t worth arguing over and walked away the better man.

So what do you think? Please share your thoughts.

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Come visit Twin Cities Outdoor Adventures Group (TCOA) new site. It’s the best way to connect with other outdoor enthusiasts!

Located in the heart of the Twin Cities Metro area, TCOA consists of a growing number of outdoor enthusiasts who thrive on sharing new experiences, while building camaraderie with others who also appreciate the great outdoors.

Get Off the Couch

If it’s exercise you’re after…come breath in the fresh, clean air and feel rejuvenated. Join us in planning fun-filled activities such as hiking, biking, camping and many other exhilarating outdoor pleasures.

Outdoor Learning Activities

If you’re interested in knowing more about the outdoors…growing TCOA connections in the community have led to a plethora of learning opportunities, including how-to camping seminars, wildlife identification field trips, local geocaching events and more.

The Right Gear

Having the proper equipment is essential to every safe, successful outdoor experience. If you’re a little low in the outdoor gear department, don’t worry. TCOA’s 1000-plus membership allows us to pool our efforts, so participants have access to the appropriate equipment for their event. Additionally, local sponsors offer informative seminars highlighting equipment, tips and techniques to further ensure that our outings proceed as planned.

Community-Grown Success Starts with our Members
As the foundation of our growth and success, TCOA members are committed individuals who generously share knowledge, volunteer and help plan outdoor activities while engaging others to do the same.

Join us in pursuing our mutual passion for the outdoors! FREE! Join TODAY!

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The week before Halloween my friends and I usually travel to Ontario, Canada, near the Northwest Angle. We would hunt deer on the many islands located on Lake of the Woods.

There was one year we got stuck 30-miles out when a storm blew in like the one this week. With 50-mile sustainable winds, we had 4 to 6 foot waves as we fought our way back to deer camp! We took two boats, a 17-foot Alumacraft and a Bayliner runabout. I was driving the Alumacraft, while wave-after-wave would crash over the bow; only to land on the motor behind me.

We pulled ashore twice to start a fire and wait for the wind to subside. The squalls would raise the lake to our face — drenching our souls and leaving a chill I still feel today!

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Shish “Kid” Bobs

Whether you’re grillin’ in the backyard or camping in the backwoods, one quick and tasty recipe for kids is shish kabobs! What’s great about these tasty favorites is that they’re so easy to make and the clean-up is close to “null.” Plus, you can make them with anything you like — pleasing even the most finicky eaters (especially kids)!

  • Start with about 3-lbs of wild game, such as: venison, goose breast, duck, grouse, pheasant, turkey, porcupine, opossum or whatever happens to be sneakin’ around or hiding in your fridge. If your kids aren’t keen on coon, you’ll be wise to use farm raised chicken from the local COOP. Simply, cut the meat into 1.5-inch bite-size chunks.
  • For fat and additional flavor, you can add strips of bacon. Wrap the cuts of meat and use the skewer to secure in place.
  • Here’s where you and the kids can get creative — add 1 large onion, sausage, mushrooms, peppers, cherry tomatoes (fruit is a good option too!). Whatever the pallet prefers! Slice the veggies into roughly the same size as chunks of meat.
  • All of this can be chopped and prepared before you head outdoors. Put cuts of meat and vegetables into sealable Zip Lock® bags or containers. This way, when it’s dinner time and your exhausted from hiking, canoeing or biking, all you and your little helper have to do is assemble the kabobs!
  • Make sure to soak the bamboo skewers in water so they don’t burn. Also, clip the sharp ends off so that no little hands or fingers get poked.
  • Now, you and your helper can slide any combination of meat/veggies onto the skewers that you want. Kids love being involved and get-a-kick out of the whole process! Don’t be surprised if some pretty “interesting” creations are made! Sometimes this ends up being the only way to persuade your picky eater into eating a nourishing meal. Often kids feel like this is a snack — and we all know how much kids love snacks! Couple this with the fun they will have making their own kabob, you may be surprised how much they’ll eat!
  • Once your skewers are assembled, season with a little coarse sea salt, fresh ground pepper, and garlic powder, along with any other favorite seasonings! Feel free to use homemade or commercial marinades that you enjoy as well (ex. Italian Dressing). You can get a head-start by marinating the meat overnight at home.
  • Now it’s time for the grill or grate. If using charcoal, I prefer real wood charcoal. If you’re cooking over a campfire, first build a fire.  Be patient — hold out until you have a nice set of coals, then rake a bed of coals under your cooking grate. This will depend on cooking temp, but as a general rule cook for 4 to 5-minutes on each side. Turn kabobs with long-handled tongs. Once done, let set for a few minutes. This will leave those glorious juices inside the meat, as oppose to flowing out onto your plate.

All that’s left now is to savour the sensations of outdoor cooking with your family! Serve with salad, wild rice or potatoes. Enjoy!

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Kids Camping

It was my turn to plan this years springs canoe trip. After searching the Minnesota DNR’s website and fumbling through piles of river maps, I narrowed my search to two rivers.

The first river I chose was the Cannon River, located 60-miles south of the Minneapolis. Like the Jay Cooke and Gooseberry Falls State Parks this river has Nerstrand Big Woods State Park and Rice Lake State Park, which are easily within driving distance.

The second river called, “Long Prairie River” located north of Alexandria Minnesota is approximately 3 hours and 142 miles from Minneapolis.  So, why did I pick one river so close to home — and another so far away? (more…)

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Preparing For Hunting Starts at Home

The hunting season has ended and it’s time to collect piles of camouflage and blaze orange laying on the floor and behind the seat of your truck. You’ve listen to complaints from your spouse all season-long, and finally — you decided it’s time to pick up your gear! Sound familiar? This scene is repeated daily in many hunting households.

Hunting apparel is an investment

Before you purchase your next jacket, I want to share with you simple advice that will keep your investment long-lasting and in great shape. (more…)

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When you’re camping, and hiking you may not always have medications on hand for minor emergencies. Where there’s poison ivy — my grandsons will be sure to play in it!

The scratchy nettles always seem to find me! Nettles are an itch weed after the plant reaches a foot high.

Many people eat nettles. Only the very smallest leaves on very young plants (mix in salads).

*When using home remedies, a person must make sure an infected person is not allergic to the properties used to cure.

poisonivyPoison ivy is the most common to cause irritation. Once you have identified the plant causing a rash. The next thing is to see what’s available to cleanse the area. Time is important here because the plants oils are seeping into your skin and within 2-hours a serious rash can develop.

Sumac is another pesky plant.

See below to identify poison ivy: www.remediesforpoisonivy.com

Below is a list of at natural remedies and quick fixes:sumac

  • Water or ice cubes (Wash immediately to relieve affected area)
  • Full strength dish soap (Rubbed lightly over affected area for 25 seconds, then rinse)
  • Mud (It works!)
  • Oatmeal (Mixed with water into a paste)
  • Banana peels, lemon peels, garlic cloves or green tomato (Rubbed over affected area)
  • Chalk or Baking soda (Mixed into a paste with water)

When camping with kids, it’s a good idea to bring a septic pen for bee bites. These days, using butter or raw steak on a skin infections is not advised. Bacteria in meat can make things worse! Spider bites can be bad, and in some places chiggers and jelly fish.

Quick fixes:

  • Soap and water immediately.
  • Salt or Meat tenderizer mixed with water.
  • Listerine or other mouthwash (Soothes and helps to dry out faster, use for 30-minutes or so)
  • Baking soda or Cornstarch and water.
  • Olive oil or vinegar (Rubbed on lightly)

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tentsChris Walden continues his quest to help others plan and prepare trips to the majestic waters and rugged lands of Minnesota’s Boundary Waters Canoe Area.

If the canoe is not the most important piece of gear on a BWCA trip, your tent is. Anyone who has sat inside a tent during a rainy night understands this completely. Whether you were wet or dry, you understood the value of a quality tent.


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Fat Man’s Landing Logo

Fat Man’s Landing Logo

Good Times Had By All

Do you have a memory of your father fishing or perhaps an old hunting story that gets a few laughs each year at deer camp?

I invite others to share your experiences, tips and pictures that will help others appreciate and enjoy the great outdoors.

Please respond within Comments (shown below) and I’ll get right back to you as soon as possible!

A great way to relive and archive precious moments with family and friends.

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On this trip — Avid outdoorsman, Erik Paulsen and I, along with our two daughters, planned a three-day weekend on Lake Four within the BWCA. We enjoyed all kinds of weather from 50-mph squalls to sunny 60° blue skies. In the BWCA you have to plan for just about everything. The week before it snowed!

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The story behind these pictures…

On this years spring canoe trip to the Upper Iowa river we experienced something called, “Fresh-Air Apnea” a condition sometimes brought on by over-paddling, staying up late and consuming numerous beers by the fire.

What’s the cure? Apparently, a good dose of antiquing, breakfast at the local bakery and an a espresso in the neighboring town of Decorah, Iowa. Everyone recovered and is feeling OK now.

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