We have all seen the camping hack lists around the world wide web that show us how ordinary, everyday items can be used in place of pricier items that serve the same purpose. Here are 15 pretty good fishing/hunting-related tips/hacks we found from fieldandstream.com:
For a really convenient waxworm dispenser when I’m ice fishing, I keep them in a Tic Tac container. The case probably holds about 30 waxworms. Plus, it’s easy to open and shake one worm out at a time without having to take off my gloves. Carl Dixon – Bethalto, IL
More times than I can count, I decided against opening a pack of chemical hand warmers because I knew I’d only use them for an hour or so and I didn’t want to waste them. But after an experiment, I’ve found a way to preserve used ones. I placed two partially used hand warmers inside an airtight container for a week. When I took them out, they still had some heat left. Oxygen is needed for the chemical reaction to work, so cutting off the air supply helps them last longer—and saves you a bit of money. — Robert R. Salter, Libby, Montana
A glue stick offers countless solutions to problems encountered outdoors—patching a hole in your canoe, repairing fishing-rod tips, reattaching arrow nocks. I poke a hole through one end with a heated paperclip, and attach it to the key ring on the emergency compass in my survival kit. That way, I know it’s always there. When I need to make a repair, I just heat the end of the glue stick and apply where needed. — Ken Holtz, Belleville, Mich.
Over the years, I’ve saved the cartridges and shotgun shells from some of my hunts. Reminiscing, I realized I was starting to forget which one was which. To add a new dimension to my memories, I write down the date, weather conditions, and who I was hunting with on a small piece of parchment paper. I roll it up, place it inside and save it as a keepsake. Darryl Orr – Independence, KY
During whitetail hunts, I use one of my wife’s hair ties to keep my shells from rattling in my pocket. I wrap the elastic band around four cartridges. This stops the cartridges from rattling around and possibly spooking the deer. I have been able to sneak up on quite a few whitetails using this method. —Matt Scott, Clymer, Pa.
If you have loose bobbers rolling around your tackle box, put them in an egg carton. They will not roll around and will stay in place with the cover latched. —Shawn Hanley, Cashton, Wis.
I never have to worry about losing my knife if it falls in the water because I threaded rawhide through the handle, flattened the ends, and attached a large cork bobber. —Chuck Martel, Holyoke, Mass.
An effective way to chum for catfish, trout, and other species is to sling globs of chum with one of those “chuckers” designed to throw tennis balls for dogs. Just load up the cup—I use canned corn or cat food—and heave it. I can get chum out as far as 75 feet this way. —Mark Cerulli, Mashpee, Mass.
It’s important to have plenty of water for your dog in the field. To make a handy lightweight bowl, cut off the bottom third of an empty gallon jug. Take another empty gallon jug and fill it with water. The “bowl” will fit snugly over the bottom of the water jug, which makes it convenient to bring both the water and the bowl on a hunt. —Jim Rucker, Lancaster, Ky.
Use safety pins to keep the fishing hooks in your tackle box organized. I got tired of hooks getting mixed up, so now I use safety pins to keep them separated. Simply feed the point through the eye of the hooks. A lot of hooks fit on one pin, and it’s an easy way to keep the different kinds sorted. —Stephen Elliott, Visalia, Calif.
I stuff my boots with newspaper, which absorbs the moisture. Then I keep repeating with dry pages every 45 minutes, and they’re good to go the next day. —Marck Schwarze, Elk River, Minn.
Here’s a great reason to save the cork from a bottle of wine: To keep dirt, dust, and grime out of my duck, goose, owl, and crow calls, I plug them with wine corks. It’s simple, cheap, and really does the job well. —Nathan Miller, Wexford, Pa.
Duct tape can be a lifesaver. But carrying an entire roll takes up valuable space inside a backpack—and you probably won’t need that much tape. Instead, I wrap a couple feet around a Bic lighter, so I always have a short supply inside my pocket. If you need more, you can also wrap some around a Nalgene bottle. —Ben Wagner, Bozeman, Mont.
On still-hunts for deer, I used to worry about whether I was walking too fast. So to make myself slow down, I started keeping a half-full Tic Tac box in my pants pocket. This way if I can hear the candies jiggling, I know I need to slow the pace. —Tom Charlton, Muscatine, Iowa
Have you ever wondered how to keep from losing your fresh salmon-egg bait to a strong current? Simply empty your jar of eggs on a saucer and sprinkle lightly with table salt. Return them to the jar and go fishing immediately. Your eggs will seem to have become “rubberized” and will stay on the hook. —John Minerly, via e-mail