|Outdoors card, side-cutters, bandages, blue Deepwoods Off. And yes, that is snow this morning.|
Even if it is expired!
Yes, even if it is expired!
We have so many people come to camp without their Outdoors Cards it is incredible, perhaps as many as half.
If you have an Outdoors Card -- even an expired one -- it means you can get your fishing licence in no time flat. We just run the card through a machine, select the licence you wish, and press the button.
If you don't bring it, then you are the person that holds up your entire group from going fishing! That is because now the licence issuer has to key-in all the data all over again. You know -- height, colour of hair and eyes, birth date, etc., etc.
If your card is expired, then the licence machine just prints you out a temporary one along with your licence. The plastic wallet-size card will come later in the mail.
And another reason to bring your card -- it costs $9.
Besides the oft-forgotten Outdoors Card, make sure you bring a set of sturdy side-cutters, another item missing from most tackle boxes. What are these for? Mostly, they are for cutting the split ring that fasten those tiny, incredibly-sharp, treble hooks on your Rapala fishing lures. You need to do this whenever one of those hooks are sunk beyond the barb into your hide.
Remember, cut the split ring, not the hook itself, because if you make the mistake of cutting the hook, it will slip right inside your flesh. If you come back to camp with a whole treble hook dangling from you, we can remove it, quite painlessly, in about 30 seconds. If you cut the hook and it disappears into flesh, you are looking at a trip to the doctor, possibly in some distant place like Kenora where there are surgeons. Big mistake!
Are you on blood thinners? Lots of us are these days. Then make sure you bring a Ziploc-full of BandAids and a tube of ointment and put these in the bottom of your tackle box. And if you aren't on blood thinners, do the same thing. Along with the nicks and fish-tooth punctures that come from catching a lot of fish, these will come in handy for torn fingernails, minor burns and the like.
Finally, unless a miracle happens, there are going to be some bugs out there. The type of bug varies a bit with the month: May and June -- blackflies; June, July and August -- mosquitoes; July and August -- ankle biters (stable flies); September -- blackflies.
Although there are a myriad of insect repellents out there, if you bring just this one it will work for everything -- blue-top Deep Woods Sportsman Off. I repeat, BLUE Deep Woods Off. Not the green one; it will not work on ankle biters. The difference is the amount of DEET. The blue-top Off has 30%. Anything less than this is just a flavouring for when the flies bite you. ("Mmm, nice and spicy!")
If you want a longer-lasting repellent (the Deep Woods spray may only last a couple of hours on ankle-biters) bring Repel Sportsman Max which comes in a lotion form and is also 40% DEET.
It will keep the ankle-biters away all day when you wear shorts and sandals!
Do you still need reminded to bring your passport? I didn't think so.
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