America’s Guests

I’m not a sailor, but a good friend of mine is.  He refers to himself as the World’s Guest.  He climbs aboard his boat, sails where he wants to, and drops anchor for the night.  He’s not restricted to anything except the tide and the weather.  I am a camper, though, so does that make me America’s Guest?  I pull out a topo map, drive in my truck, and pitch a tent for the night. I’m not restricted to anything except for state laws and common season.  The weather plays somewhat of a factor as well, particularly because I like to add fishing to my camping.

As a camping fisherman I like that I can keep things simple.  I use a Eureka dome tent that I can set up in about 10 minutes.  The rain fly keeps me dry in a downpour, true, but it also traps in heat if the temperature drops.  I’ll pack a mat in the spring and in the fall to keep my sleeping bag off the ground.  The mat works as an insulator and keeps the moisture from soaking my bag.  I toss in a candle and a globe for light, and a grill, a coffee pot, a skillet and a mess kit.  I fill my cooler with items that I pick up from the general store, and if things work out as planned I’ll have a brook trout with my eggs for breakfast.  Round it all out with a hatchet, some water purification tabs and some biodegradable soap and I’m good to go.

If you are planning on fish for dinner (or breakfast), toss in the following ingredients.
– A piece of tin foil.
– Some butter.
– Salt and pepper to taste (or other seasonings if you want).

How to Cook:
-Clean the fish and rinse it thoroughly.
-Add seasonings to the inside, slice up several pats of butter, and wrap in foil.
-Place the foil package on the grill and place over the fire.
-Flip once and in about 12-15 minutes you should be ready for dinner.
-If you’re trying to pack light then a one foot square piece of chicken wire can be your grill.  One of my favorites is to fry a few pieces of bacon and then pan fry a trout in the bacon fat.  I’ll drop a few eggs in when I’m done and pour a few more cups of coffee.

You can bake potatoes a similar way.  Take a fork and prick the potato so it’ll cook faster. Add salt and pepper and some butter and double wrap in tin foil.  Bury the potatoes in the hot coals or embers.  Depending on the size of the spuds they’ll take between 30-60 minutes.

If you keep it simple, camping can add a new dimension to your fishing.  And to that point, fishing can add a new dimension to your camping. Give it a try.  And don’t forget to bring the kids!

You Might Also Like

Tom Keer

Tom Keer

Tom Keer is an award-winning writer who lives on Cape Cod, Massachusetts.  He is a columnist for the Upland Almanac, a Contributing Writer for Covey Rise magazine, a Contributing Editor for both Fly Rod and Reel and Fly Fish America, and a blogger for the Recreational Boating and Fishing Foundation’s Take Me Fishing program.  Keer writes regularly for over a dozen outdoor magazines on topics related to fishing, hunting, boating, and other outdoor pursuits.  When they are not fishing, Keer and his family hunt upland birds over their three English setters.  His first book, a Fly Fishers Guide to the New England Coast was released in January 2011.  Visit him at or at