Maine-based Rhon Bell of Backwoods Plaid, details how to best prepare for those temperamental Spring camping trips. Rain or shine, you'll be ready.
Your destination may be an old family camp or possibly you're roughing it in the backcountry. Either way, you're hopefully far enough from the bustling city so every element of light pollution is filtered from the evening sky. As you lay back in the dirt against your duffle and point up to the constellations, the chill of Spring nightfall has you zipping up your jacket just a bit more and standing up your collar to cut the breeze. This time of year can be a challenge to pack for. Mornings can be bitterly cold, depending on your location. Short-sleeves might suffice while working in the afternoons, but as that sun begins to find it's resting place on the horizon line, you're reaching back into your truck for your Field Jacket. I've found that Filson gear below provides true comfort in between the melting winter snow and the rising summer sun.
1. Antique Tin Cloth 5 Pocket Pants:
A relatively new offering that lives up to the Filson name - tough, cool, comfortable and good-looking. The Antique Tin Cloth offers wind and moderate rain protection while outdoors. Strong enough to resist abrasions in the thick of the woods by day and presentable at night for dinner around the fire pit, or at the local watering hole.
2. Alaskan Long Johns, Midweight:
Layering this "three-season" pair of long johns with the Antique Tin Cloth pants has always been perfect. When temperatures change, you'll always be glad you layered rather than having opted for one heavier pair of pants. In fact, friends often find me kicking around camp in the long johns alone.
3. Alaskan Guide Shirt:
By far this ranks as my favorite outdoor shirt from any company. Dirt wipes right off, it's tough as nails while remaining supremely comfortable. I like to pack a fresh one for each day I'm at camp, but I'll admit to wearing one for more than a couple days straight while on canoe trips. If you get warm, the cut is loose enough to roll up the sleeves and unbutton the shirt to manage your body temperature while staying protected from the elements.
4. Mackinaw Blanket:
Wool is an option you can hardly ever go wrong with. Plaid is a close second. Feeling rustic? Keep the sleeping bag at home. The Mackinaw blanket will be the warmest option, whether tossed over your shoulders by the evening fire or cot at camp.
5. Tin Cloth Field Jacket:
Stands up to anything, whether splitting and hauling fire wood or the winds and rain while motoring down a large lake to find your favorite fishing spot. Several large pockets keep your essentials at hand. One roomy rear pocket holds your map. The partially lined, Made in USA jacket is perfect for every Spring outing.
6. Large Filson Duffle:
Enough room for days of clothing, food, blanket and boots with plenty of left over room for essentials that make your trip worth remembering, like a good camera, flask (or two), an atlas, and a favorite book. The quality craftsmanship of the bridle leather, stitching, brass zippers and rugged twill will never disappoint - year after year... after year. Because if you're going into the wild - you "Might As Well Have The Best."