We’re in the business of hosting anglers in remote places, and the more prepared our guests can be, the better! That’s why we were thrilled when Alaska West angler and blog contributor Bill Lenehan sent us this very well thought out list of 13 things you should bring on your trip, none of which are fishing gear.
A Baker’s Dozen: Things to Bring on Your Trip, None Found at a Fly Shop
- Copy of Deneki’s “pre-trip” list. Review it well in advance and take it seriously. During the trip mark it up with what flies worked, length and weight of the tips you used, the name of the flat where you saw the tailers, and other useful notes. When you come back years later, after your memory of the initial trip fades, this list may be an invaluable reference for a return trip. [Here are our packing lists for Alaska West, BC West and Andros South.]
- Single serve powdered Gatorade or other sports drink. Anything to encourage hydration; it makes a huge difference at the end of the day whether on the flats in scorching heat or in the freezing cold. In a pinch, they are often passable cocktail mixers.
- Hyperlite Mountain Gear tote or stuff sack. They are feather lite, come in multiple sizes, and are fairly water resistant. Emergency spare boat bag, laundry bag, or stuff it with a fleece and it becomes an extra pillow. Lay it flat and unpacked on the bottom of your primary duffle for extra water resistance and to eliminate punctures.
- Disposable foam ear plugs. Basically free and take up no room. Small planes, helicopters, jet boats, snoring tent mates, etc.
- Tabasco. Better yet, Sriracha sauce. While Alaska West recently earned a third Michelin star, in less refined locations it doesn’t hurt to have some control over what you eat. Travel sizes and even packets are easy to securely pack.
- Leatherman tool. Just too useful not to have one. Likely no better gift to a guide in a third world country too.
- Plastic surgical gloves are cheap, compact, and serve a surprising number of uses (e.g. great for getting a good grip to un-stick a frozen ferrule). In really cold and wet conditions they may be the best glove liners around.
- Good luck charm. Plastic toy hyena or a holey rock found by your favorite stream. Believe.
- Universal camera memory card reader. Inevitably the best picture of you with the 30 pound chromer will be taken with someone else’s camera, be it guide or another guest. Best time to get a copy is at camp before everyone gets back to “the real world”.
- Small Pelican case for wallet, phone, valuables. Pelican Mini from 1020 to 1050 work well, but size to fit your preference.
- Small headlamp. Way more functional than a flashlight, not a bad idea from a safety standpoint as well.
- Two large re-sealable freezer bags. There is a reason that Patagonia used to include a couple heavy-duty plastic bags with their fishing vests. Useful for a quasi-waterproof bag, impromptu storage of flies, or to marinate a couple of salmon fillets.
- A USB thumb drive is a cheap and easy way to store a bunch of photos, especially in places where the internet connection may be spotty or expensive.