A Buddy: Don’t Leave Home Without One
April 25th, 2019 by Curtis Condon

One more reason to explore with a buddy: You can leave your selfie stick at home. Not only will you appear in more pictures, but you will have someone to share memories and talk about them for years to come.
© iStock/sasapanchenko

Going solo is all the rage now. It is borne of a quest to test or prove oneself, or a need for peace and solitude.

However, many of us are firm believers in the buddy system—always have been, always will be. The only time we need solitude is when nature calls.

There are countless reasons to adhere to the buddy system. Here are five tried-and-true benefits of not going it alone:

  • The safety factor. All too often, the nightly news airs tragic stories that might have turned out differently had another person gone along. A buddy can provide assistance, go for help, or treat and comfort someone who gets sick or injured.
  • Someone to share the load. Toting a canoe or hauling any gear is always easier with more than one person. For example, when backpacking, splitting up shared supplies and equipment—such as a tent, first-aid kit or cookware—lightens the load for everyone.
  • An expanded skill set. Research shows multiple people possess more or better skills than a single individual. Some people are good at fixing things. Others may be better at starting fires or cooking.
  • An extra set of hands. Hanging a tarp, pitching a tent and preparing meals are always easier when there’s another set of hands around.
  • A second opinion. Venturing outdoors often requires making choices and decisions, such as which trail to take, where to set up camp, or when to call it quits due to bad weather or extenuating circumstances. Having someone else to confer with can reduce the chances of errors.

Find Largemouth Bass in the Veggie Section
Bass love vegetation. It provides good cover. Vegetation also can provide anglers with excellent opportunities, if they know how to fish it. In dense vegetation, use heavier line and longer, heavier rods. Avoid fishing crosswind, which can otherwise impede penetration. Look for openings or soft spots in the vegetation and cast along the edges. Be prepared for quick strikes as the bait or lure sinks toward the bottom.

How to Get the Wet Out
After a soggy day of hiking, stuff each hiking boot with newspapers to absorb moisture. Replace the newspapers when they start to get soaked.To prevent cracking, avoid drying leather boots too fast, such as in the sun, in front of a heater vent or by using a blow dryer on high heat.


What’s Special About May?

  • National Wildflower Week, May 6-12.
  • National Bike Month.
  • National Barbecue Month.

Catch of the Month
Here are prime fishing opportunities around the state in May.

  • The Keys: bonito, bonefish, barracuda, grouper, martin, shark, tarpon, swordfish, tuna, snook and snapper.
  • Central: bluegill, sunfish and bass.
  • Northwest: jack, amberjack, bluefish, bluegill, catfish, cobia, drum, bonito, grouper, seatrout, snapper, bass, triggerfish, sheepshead, mackerel, pompano, sunfish and wahoo.
  • Central West: bass, crappie, flounder, bluefish, bluegill, drum, seatrout, sunfish, cobia, grouper, tripletail, snapper, barracuda, ladyfish, mackerel, permit, bonito, pompano, porgy, grunt, snook and sheepshead.
  • Southwest: bass, barracuda, tarpon, ladyfish, jack, snook, bluegill, drum, permit, pompano, sunfish, shark, seatrout, grouper, tripletail and snapper.

Got a Tip or a Whopper?
Send us your favorite outdoor tip, photo or story. If selected for publication, we will send you $25 for one-time use. Email your submission to moc.stnerrucadirolfnull@ofni.

Many of Curtis Condon’s fondest memories involve outdoor adventures with friends and family, whether fishing with old school buddies, backpacking in the mountains of the Northwest with his sons, or bird watching along the Gulf Coast with his wife. He feels fortunate having the opportunity to write about the outdoors and other subjects for more than 30 years.