What is the most fun of hunting, fishing and camping?
Have you ever really thought about it? These are the three main activities in which most of us like to participate when it comes to outdoor activities. Each one is clearly different, and each one comes with its own set of challenges and definitions of success.
Each one requires different types of equipment and each one is rewarding in its own way.
And yes, we know that many people combine these activities. That is why, for this article, we will analyze the pure entertainment value of each of these outdoor activities individually.
Let's go camping first because this is the one that everyone has probably participated at some time or another. It is also the most conventional of the three activities here in the United States.
The best thing about camping is that it is open creatively. Camping is what YOU want to do.
Do you want to walk 20 miles back to the Yellowstone National Park desert with your unique camping equipment consisting of a sleeping bag and a hammock? Go for it. Or is your ideal camping trip more in line with a camper visit decked out at a full franchise camp like Jellystone Camp Resort by Yogi Bear? Again do it.
We are not going to tell you that one is superior to the other. We fully believe that when it comes to outdoor activities, people should enjoy it the way they want. If you like the cuisine prepared in the campfire on fire under the stars of the Milky Way, miles away from another human being, that's fine. There is also nothing wrong if you enjoy parking the caravan and then cooking hot dogs on a propane stove for your friends and family in the next space for recreational vehicles.
One thing to keep in mind about camping is that success is measured differently. Did you have a good time? There you go, successful camping trip. Most of the frustrations that arise from the camp arise from the same common problems. You know, don't dress properly and be cold. Getting wet In one case, I ruined a $ 700 DSLR digital camera after my store was flooded during the night and soaked it (Yes, I tried the rice trick. It was too late for that).
While that was annoying at the time, now I can look at it and laugh. That was a great camping trip, even if it hit hard in the pocket.
Camping also has the smallest learning curve of these three activities. You don't need the newest and most expensive equipment to enjoy. True beginners can learn some basic concepts and have fun camping at the local state park with very basic equipment. It's amazing what you can learn just by watching a 20-minute YouTube video.
And things you don't learn online or from someone else, you learn from experience. Do you remember that camera that I ruined? This is how I learned to keep all the electronics in my vehicle at night or in waterproof bags. There is a certain amount of fun that can be obtained simply by learning the ins and outs of the camp in the most difficult way.
Consider also that, unlike hunting and fishing, technically there is no low season for camping. Some areas may close during winter, but there is almost always a place where you can throw a tent and light a nice fire while enjoying a beautiful view.
Fishermen have a little more to discover when it comes to becoming a successful fisherman. I know this will vary from person to person, but most people will define a successful fishing trip as one where you catch something. That is the goal of the activity, after all.
Unlike the camp, fishing frustrations are many and common. Something as simple as a problem with your fishing rod can ruin all day even before it starts. Or a cold front enters unexpectedly and effectively ends what was a hot snack the day before. There are also many junk fishing gear and discovering what works well and what is useless can be a frustration in itself.
It is not that there is no garbage camp equipment, but there seems to be many more things designed to hook fishermen than fish. My credit card has not yet forgiven me some of my dumbest purchases in the past. Banjo minnow, anyone?
Another frustration is the learning curve associated with fishing. It's huge. Unless you have someone to help you, you will experience many trials and mistakes before you finally start putting fish in the boat regularly.
Unlike camp, where tests can be part of the fun, fishing tests are more like lost time by remembering all the things you did wrong.
Now, before you think I hate fishing, one thing you have about camping is adrenaline. When you finally have a large fish at the end of your line and boil on the surface for the first time, it is difficult for your pulse to not accelerate and your nerves to take action.
Nor does it really matter what kind of sport fishing we are talking about. A large pike with a tip while ice fishing can bring as much excitement as a giant black marlin in salt water.
When things go as planned in fishing, and the action is fast and furious, there isn't much in life that can overcome that in regards to the value of entertainment. Create instant memories that can last a lifetime.
I will never forget the first five-pound big mouth bass I caught, or the time I had a 13-pound channel catfish that broke when I was pulling it to the shore (I had to act quickly to grab it in a few inches of water) Before he left!).
There are many frustrations in fishing, but success is what makes fishermen return again and again, hoping to catch the same ray in a bottle. That adrenaline rush that simply can't be replicated by anything else … except maybe the next activity we'll discuss.
Make no mistake, hunting is the most difficult of these three outdoor activities. The learning curve is extremely high. There is not much that can be done outdoors that is more humiliating than a simple deer hunt.
A false move, a mistake and your day can be ruined in a nanosecond.
With camping and fishing, you can simply throw your equipment in the truck and go at any time. While you CAN do that with some forms of hunting, such as a pigeon or squirrel, it is not something you want to do on a regular basis.
Hunting requires planning and preparation, which depending on the person, will be part of the entertainment or simply a necessary evil along the way. For example, I LOVE to check my test cameras to see what happened. Each card check is like Christmas morning and you better think it adds to the joy of hunting!
On the other hand, I hate putting blinds and shelves. It always seems to take me longer than I should, and I find myself questioning often. "What if that big dollar takes that path instead of this one?"
Can we talk about equipment for a moment? Like fishing, there are frustrations that can be won here. There is a lot of garbage in the market. But unlike fishing and camping, buying the wrong hunting equipment can be one of the most expensive mistakes you will make.
Sometimes, you just don't know if that new gun and holster will work for you, not until you've used them in the field for a while.
While I can laugh at the $ 20 Banjo fish, it's harder for someone to laugh if the $ 150 electronic predator call they just bought, which turns out to be a total lemon. More expensive mistakes make the team a little more frustrating for hunting than the other activities.
Then there is the need for patience. From time to time, you may get lucky and reap your target money on the opening morning, but usually, it will take more than that.
You are seeing many long hours of waiting at a station or blind. You are anticipating miles of walking treacherous terrain in climatic conditions that will cause others to question your sanity. There is a lot of hard work on a successful search!
Now, your enjoyment of that job will vary from hunter to hunter. For me personally, I try to enjoy it as best I can, but it is difficult for me not to feel frustrated as the season progresses and I have not SEEN, let alone have shot a decent dollar.
At the moment, I am in the middle of a six-year drought without money, although that is mainly my choice. I have spent many smaller dollars that I wanted to see grow another year. While I enjoy that a bit, I think most hunters can agree that it is not the same as a successful harvest.
Because when a hunting plan is combined and you reap a lot of money, it brings a discharge of adrenaline the same, if not higher, than the one you get from fishing.
The last dollar I shot in 2013 was a 117 10-inch points in the Michigan firearms opener. He was not a monster in any way, but after seeing him fall, my hands began to shake and did not stop for ten minutes after that.
Not even the biggest fish I caught gave me that kind of reaction! That rush erases all frustrations in a fraction of a second.
And I admit that this rush is so great that it has taken me through many seasons of fruitless deer in the past. No wonder I continue to wear camouflage every year.
There is also something immensely satisfying in eating meat from an animal you harvested. You can feel that feeling of a fish you caught, but it is different with an animal you have hunted.
I can't even find the words to explain why this is so, but I am willing to bet that at least some of you who read this nod. You get it.
Which is the best?
So, in regards to the value of entertainment, what do you earn? Hunting, fishing or camping? We could make an evasion and say that all three are equally entertained for whole reasons. It would be true, but it seems too simple an answer. Therefore, I will say that hunting is the best of the three.
Now, don't get me wrong, I really enjoy the other two activities and participate in them as often as I can. I have incredible memories of both camping and fishing. But there is something about a successful hunt that surpasses the other two.
It is a closed race, the type that would need a high-speed camera to determine the winner, but I would say that the hunt barely exceeds the other two.
The reasoning for that is simple. It's about that adrenaline rush and sense of accomplishment that occurs when you have a successful hunt. As I mentioned earlier, I had the feeling of taking me for several seasons sometimes. It is that powerful. And that is why many of us keep returning to the forest year after year. We want to experience it again and again.
I will even go so far as to say that the data supports it. State wildlife agencies across the country depend on hunters spending their earned dollars with effort to obtain hunting licenses. Many companies in popular hunting areas often depend on hunters and their businesses each season. It is comparable to camping and fishing in some areas.
Even our own analysis of what you read on this website supports this. Our best traffic of the year occurs every hunting season when people have deer, archery, weapons and ammunition in the brain.
When you take all these things into account, it really says something about the activity. Would people be spending all the time and money that cost them so much to earn on something they didn't receive immense joy?
If you disagree with my analysis, that's fine too. This is only the opinion of a lover of the nature of each one taken on his own merits. If you still can't choose a favorite, simply combine all three. After all, they perfectly complement each other!
For more outdoor content from Travis Smola, be sure to follow him on Twitter and look at his Geocaching and General outdoor YouTube channels.
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