I’ve returned home from a recent 8-day camping trip along the Mississippi River between WI/MN borders and what a fun-filled journey that has been. The fishery, the wildlife, the peace: all exuding right here in Wisconsin. This article will break down my trip into three segments – preparation, experience, and reflection – so – you too – can vicariously experience the journey I went on through words and images.
“By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.”Benjamin Franklin
Preparing itinerary. I started initially planning for this trip back in March. I knew when I wanted to go on this trip, and made the necessary campsite reservations ahead of time. I used Google Maps’ Trip Planner service to mark destinations, traveling distances, and dates. See below for sample. I live north of these five campsites and my thought process with the itinerary was to start south and work my way north, towards home, which worked well in my case since I was beyond exhausted towards the end of the entire trip. I knew I was going to be primarily kayak fishing, I selected campsites along the Mississippi River, with waterfront access or near-proximity to water. I had 10 days reserved for this trip: two nights per site (I did fast-track towards the end, hence 8 days instead of 10 days). The routine for each trip was:
Meals occurred in the morning and evening, with a snack in the afternoon. After I knew what my itinerary was, the next step for the next few months leading to the trip was the packable items. Below is a list of all the items I packed for my trip. Keep in mind my activities consisted of kayaking, fishing, and photography on this trip. Your list may differ, or be similar depending on your activities.
Kayak Fishing Essentials
“All journeys have secret destinations of which the traveler is unaware.”Martin Buber
I will limit typing so much in this section and let pictures do the speaking. I embarked on this 8-day camping trip with the intent of fishing each day at various sections of the Mississippi River between the WI/MN border. Each area I fished in produced a healthy population of fish. I threw hollow body frogs, the R2S Whopper Plopper 75, spinnerbaits, swimbaits, and several flies from my fly rod. Water condition was relatively clear at 2′ except for 2/8 days where heavy rain occurred, muddying up the water. Quick, daily recap of each day can be viewed on my Instagram or Facebook page! When the fishing became slow, I switched to the DSLR and captured the wildlife and scenery surrounding me. There were ample backwaters on the Mississippi River and I was truly fortunate to capture some of the best nature had to offer.
Aside from engulfing myself in the backwaters, I had a pleasant experience with my fellow camping neighbors, locals, and anglers throughout my trip. Many weekday campers/anglers were retirees and it was absolutely special to be in the presence of hard working individuals who are happily enjoying themselves with nature.
Please enjoy these few slideshows of some of my catches, wildlife, scenery, the Hobbit Home, and my kayak!
Landscape Scenery Photos
The Hobbit Home & Kayak (Feelfree Moken 12.5′) Photos
“Without reflection, we go blindly on our way, creating more unintended consequences, and failing to achieve anything useful.”Margaret J. Wheatley
I believe reflecting on one’s experience improves future occurrences. And the chances of me replicating the same trip is high. This was my first solo, multi-day, multi-campsite trip. However, the end of this trip is a continuation of my journey. Granted, I have camped in the past and have also camped on the water, so I was not foreign to how this all works out. However, eight days – which seemed short during the trip – is quite long; because I did all my planning a few months ahead of time, I was able to cruise through the five campsites with minimal issues. Now let’s reflect. The following 8 reflective questions were created by Marc Cappelletti -Travel Industry Marketing and Product Consultant – on questions to ask oneself after returning from a trip. Comparably, my trip was statewide, but does allow me to broaden my thinking that can be applied to future trips.
All in all, the 8-day camping trip met my expectation. I traveled effortlessly from one site to the next, and had some of the best fishing this year. I definitely plan on replicating this trip (or something similar) next year, and maybe target more (bigger) species than what I did this trip!
I do want to take this time to also recognize the durability my kayak – Feelfree Moken 12.5′ V2 – endured during this trip. Together, we paddled through tons of inseparable duckweed, skidded over entrapped logs, and remained buoyant against boat-formed waves and heavy winds. The Wheel in the Keel was definitely definitely imperative on this trip as I launched and relaunched dozens of times at multiple boat launches. I couldn’t imagine having to drag the kayak without the Wheel in the Keel with all my gears in it, whilst having to also load atop my vehicle. The Moken’s stupendous feature made for a convenient way to transport, move, and fish out of. It was the perfect kayak for this trip!
Thank you for reading!
Trip highlight can be viewed here.
Video on a quick look at the Hobbit Home can be viewed by clicking here.
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