We operate an 8 passenger Otter, but that does not mean as a group of 4 or 6 people you are allowed more weight. Your outpost trip cost is based on a limit of 100 pounds per person. You need to remember that we have to have that aircraft full of either paying guests with their allotted weight or supplies for the outposts including gas, propane, motors, repair materials and employees.
We know that it takes time and effort to pack the right things for your trip. We would like to thank all our guests who took that time and managed to be under, close to and right on their weight limit this past season.
In the past we have tried to accommodate our guests overweight at our own expense. This was done sometimes to keep a time schedule and sometimes to save embarrassment to you, our guests. If we could not get the supplies we needed to camp, then we sent an additional flight. This is no longer possible on account of the price of fuel, the exchange rate and the additional time required.
So, to save your group any delays upon arrival to our base, due diligence is required when packing. Here are some helpful hints that will keep you within your weight limit.
Each person in your group needs to be accountable for their own personal gear. You should have 1 suitcase or duffel bag or backpack for personal gear including clothing, 1 sleeping bag, 1 tackle box and 1 small cooler for the boat. A total of 4 items per person and that should be it for a total weight of 60 pounds per person.
Where we see a lot of overweight problems with personal gear are with these large 30 – 40 pound tackle boxes. We know you are going fishing, but these are premier lakes and there is no need, even on a week trip, for 40 pounds of tackle. Nothing works better than a hammered gold little joe spinner with a 1⁄2 oz. lead sinker or a white or green jig with a twister tail for walleye. For Northern, rapalas and shiny spoons are best. Five pounds of tackle in a small box 6 x 8 x 14 box is more than enough for a 7-day trip to any our lakes.
Clothing is another place we see too much weight. The most important item in your suitcase should be a good set of rain gear. It will block the wind and keep the cold and the rain out. Your traveling clothes also weigh a lot. A good tip is to leave all traveling clothes in your vehicle. If you will not be wearing the clothes up north, there is no reason to take them up north. Bring a small bag and leave some clothes behind in the vehicle. If you are traveling by air, leave your overnight bag in our office.
This leaves an additional 40 pounds per person that must stay in reserve for your groceries and beverages. A meeting with your group at this point will be a good idea. You can discuss weight control, remind each other of the restrictions as far as personal gear and then you can discuss all common items needed for the trip. You can also discuss items that are not needed including 23 pounds of poker chips, a 10 pound flashlight or 6 flashlights, more than one roll of duct tape, 2 suitcases of clothes per person, a 6’ PVC pipe for a rod case weighing 21 pounds or 3 PVC pipes for a group of 6 people weighing 63 pounds. Lightweight plastic cases weigh about 4 pounds each for a total of 12 pounds. That would leave 51 pounds of weight or the equivalent of 3 cases of beer. Make sure that there are not too many duplicated items, the weight adds up.
Groceries would be one of those common items. There is a limit in how much you can consume in a week. We see a lot of groceries coming back to our base from our outposts. More diligence has to be put into the grocery weight. We estimate that 25 pounds of groceries per person is about right. Too many of you are bulk buying. A 2 pound jar of peanut butter or mayonnaise is not necessary. If you buy the supersize version of everything you will have 300lbs of groceries instead of 150 pounds. Remember, we do supply some canned goods and some staple foods at our outposts to help cut down on the weight. Plan out a menu and then purchase only those items needed. Don’t forget to plan the fish fry.
So with 60 pounds of personal gear, 25 pounds per person for groceries that leaves room for 15 pounds per person for the all important beverages. Beverages weigh a lot. A case of beer or pop in cans weighs 22 pounds. Bottled water, bottled pop and gatorade weigh much more than that. We are willing to work with your group, as always, and if we see you doing your due diligence on your personal weight, we will make sure you get your beverages.
Bottled water is a weight issue. We understand what a convenience it is to have but please consider this. There is no issue with drinking the water out of the lake at any of our camps. For those people with a problem with this we do suggest, as our government does, to boil the water. As outfitters, we drink the water at all the camps. Another alternative is this, go to Cabela’s or Gander Mountain (we know you’ve been there before) and purchase an inexpensive, lightweight water purification system. Bring some powdered drink mix and you will have saved your group lots of weight. Again, if we see that your personal gear, duffel, tackle and your groceries are within limits, we will bend over backwards to fly in your beverages.