Safety in the outdoors

Taking on outdoor activities alone can offer a unique experience. Being able to focus on fishing, hunting, cycling or trail running without distractions provides an opportunity to enter a meditative state of mind and deeply connect with nature For that reason, many sportsmen prefer to spend time outdoors in solitude. But before you go out to hunt in the woods or fly fish from the rocks, all by yourself, you should take some basic safety precautions.

My friends and I spend countless hours in the outdoors, doing our thing, on our own. That often resulted in some hairy situations. This allowed us not only to better understand the dangers, but also to develop some basic practices. They could lower the risk or save our lives if things were to go sideways. In this short article, I would like to discuss some of those practices.

outdoors-safety

Whenever you are cycling, running or swimming, there is a wide variety of GPS-enabled electronic devices at your disposal. These days, most of them can connect to your phone and transmit your location. Some of them even offer functions like crash-detection or fall-detection. In theory, they will trigger a notification to the phone number of your choice, about the emergency that has likely just occurred.

It might be a good idea to use this this type of technology. However, I would advise you to keep in mind a few things. These are usually simple consumer electronic devices, so they are not built or tested to be trusted with your life. They should be considered as bonus gizmos and not as the primary means of ensuring your safety. You will quickly find evidence of that while examining the user’s manuals. Nothing beats the old and still best method: tell someone trustworthy, a family member or a true friend, where you are going and what time you intend to come back. Make sure to inform them if you decide to change your plans. You can also agree up-front to an action they should take in case you do not make contact by the agreed time. Trust is a key factor here.

slippery

Another good practice is to wear a bracelet or a tag with your name, blood type and emergency contact number. This simple item might be invaluable, in the event that something bad happens to you while you are with your friends. The likelihood that they will know your blood type is slim. Remember that having an ID with you is not the same. Reaching into your pockets might not be your friend’s first instinct while dealing with a likely stressful situation. Also, make sure that the information is well protected from the elements, eg. engraved or written with a waterproof pen.

I hope these simple tips will make you think about safety. I also hope you will never be in the situation that someone will have to make use of your tag or trigger an emergency procedure. Stay safe and I will see you in the outdoors!

Pike on jerkbaits

As spring approaches and nature wakes up from its winter sleep, spending time outdoors becomes more tempting. Springtime presents sportsmen with an opportunity to try one of the best, most spectacular and satisfying ways of angling available: fishing for pike with jerkbaits. And by pike I refer to the fish our American friends call Northern pike, as well as to Musky.

Before I start let’s deal with the controversial part of our discussion. There are many different types of lures that go under the name jerkbait. In reality, jerkbait refers more to the way the lure is swimmed by an angler, jerking it using a stiff fishing rod, than to the specific shape of the lure itself. Of course the shape of the lure will make certain types of movement more natural. So, let’s just say that for our purpose, by jerkbaits I’m referring to large and hard, lipless lures fished with a relatively short and stiff spinning rod.

Pike on jerkbaits

What I would like to discuss here, is the experience and excitement that this type of fishing produces. The warmer weather of spring gets the fisherman’s juices flowing and has the same effect on his quarry. The pike, which were weakened from the winter cold and the subsequent spawning season, are now becoming active and feeding aggressively.

Because pike spawn before roach and other species of small fish they have an abundance of food during that critical time of year. Both mature and juvenile fish stay in shallow waters hunting for easy snacks. This phenomenon makes jerkbait angling so exciting and spectacular. The fisherman can often see the pike swimming right under the surface of the water, enabling him to cast the lure right in front of it. The resulting attack is ballistic and powerful. The whole spectacle unfolds within sight of the excited angler.

I hope this short article will encourage readers to try the method that is considered by many to be the quintessential form of pike fishing: jerking.

To find out more listen to episode 5 of Tommy’s Outdoors podcast where I give a short report about springtime jerkbait fishing. Also, check out episode 1 where my guest is Greg Latour from the Tir na Spideoga Fishing Lodge where you can rent a boat to enjoy pike fishing on the nearby lake.

Episode 8: Housekeeping


In this episode I’m talking about some news related to the podcast. Launch of the new website https://tommysoutdoors.com and more. Also answering some frequently asked questions. Sea trout fishing marks and regulations. Bicycle helmets. Cyclists and runners safety in early morning and evening hours. Listen, share and subscribe!

Episode 2: Book review: Meat Eater by Steven Rinella

In this episode I am talking about the book by Steven Rinella “Meat Eater: Adventures from the Life of an American Hunter” I am also diving a little deeper into chapter about catch & release angling and trying to understand what point the author was trying to make.

Episode 1: Pike Fishing Ireland – Tir na Spideoga Fishing Lodge

My guest in this episode is Greg Latour from the Tir na Spideoga Fishing Lodge. We are talking about pike fishing, opportunities for recreation at the lodge and also a few more general topics.