Wilderness Food Planning for the unorganized (like I should talk)

I was in the grocery store for a couple hours (seemed like) with a cart load of camping food and my cart disappeared. It was just gone. I found it two isles over being pushed by a very small elderly women with a friend pushing a similar cart. They were shopping together. When I asked her when she was going camping and trying out the smores. her partner being quicker of mind started laughing. The look on my cart abductors face would have gone viral. I told her she could keep the cart if she liked my food choices. Minutes later they were still laughing in the next isle…made my day.BWCA food 2 eml
I am an expert in unorganized. (62) trips has as many stories and more suggestions about “next time”. This year will be (12) meals for (6) people in the wilderness by canoe, portaging from lake to lake and catching some (probably a lot of) fish.

A wagon load of groceries finally appeared on our screen porch. Not by accident mind you, but by semi-careful planning. I am not much of a planner or organizer type person. (62) BWCAW trips have taught me to get way outside of my comfort zone on the planning end of life.  Now I have a list of how to go about getting the food right.

    1. Menu. List each meal of food ingredients, what to drink and dessert if any.
    2. Master ingredient list. a number beside each ingredient for number of meals used.
    3. Cooking and campsite aids. Salt, pepper, ghost pepper, garlic, T.P., zip lock bags and so on.
    4. Buy the food
    5. Repackage the food in waterproof bags by the meal and put in cooking directions (anyone in camp can cook with the menu on hand and directions to each meal)
    6. Label meals. Put each meal in a grocery bag and label it (ie…#1 lunch), on label state meat added (if frozen stuff in collapsible cooler is an option).
    7. Shop again for all the stuff you forgot to put on the list and possibly are missing from the little ole lady putting stuff back (I’m missing (4) things…at least).
    8.  Pack all meal packages in food pack before leaving on the trip. Put in vehicle that you are taking (important. really important. triple check and stop at the 1st gas station enroute and check again).

Simple is good. Just follow the steps. Notice the progression…Focus Gary focus. You can do this (I’m already catching trophy walleye from my canoe on a pristine lake 16 portages and a mile of bushwhacking where few humans have ever seen).

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My assembly line for (2) trail lunch’s.  in a quart bag per person: mixed nuts, dried banana chips, dried mango, dried pineapple, dried blueberries, granola bar, nut bar, jerky sticks, and a couple cookies.

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Filling, fits in fanny pack or a pocket. munchies for noon and after. On the water, hiking or lost.

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As you can see I have a loose structure but it usually works for me. This allows me to announce to the group “we eat to live not live to eat”. I usually hear “speak for yourself” comments  when I leave the cold stuff in the freezer (forgotten at home) as we are whittling out our spoons, forks and knives. Ah… bonding times in the camp site!

There are rewards to planning. you get to eat. Everyone can have a part in cooking if there are directions. we cook over open fire grates so learning fire building and heat control is important. A little stove is as well if there is a fire ban. Bringing the fuel for the stove helps.

BWCA june 07pork steaks on the grill

Ya, I’m looking for a spatula, fork or stick to flip these sunny side up steaks. planning ahead helps

River , no danger here email

I make fun of planning but I know it is off the charts important

Every year we talk in depth on our plans for the future, relationship stuff, hopes, dreams and tell stories. We sense the peaceful solitude helps us align life’s priorities. I want to stay madly in love with my wife of 41 years. We have not had a bad year relationally. Rich, poor, sickness and health. We have done all of it. We are growing, learning and facing the future together. It’s serious to say “til death do us part” and some day it will as it has done to parents on both sides. this is serious stuff for this free wheeling non-planner kind of guy. The fish are biting!

  On the most serious and personal note: Some day I will meet the author and giver of life and I aim to be prepared. I do not have (62) trips for a warm up to spend eternity with God. There will be no” do overs” on this life. I have sat on a rock on shore or around the fire in the deepest of conversation with many people on knowing God personally. Maybe we need to talk. I sure do. My plans are so poor. It’s a good thing God has made that plan for us (it’s a good thing to read the Bible. Read the book of John and understand John 3:16. yes that’s the verse so many make fun of, but God won’t let anyone steal that shopping cart! It holds the stuff of eternal life. Better then chocolate and marshmallows roasted over the fire. I asked God for smores in heaven. We will see on that one.


46 inch pike

46″ Pike, his head is bigger than mine. Released. We do not swim there anymore. Yes I was younger.

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A Distracted Mind

I get distracted easily. Well I really don’t, but my mind wanders into every nook and cranny around. Once in awhile (or less, but don’t take a poll) My mind goes off on an imaginary journey if I don’t keep it on a short leash.

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Look, Squirrel!

Focus Gary, focus!

Help Gary’s mind stay inbounds solution: Noise canceling wifi headphones! Download all kinds of nature sounds to drown out all other distractions and thus I will get my work done error free. Gary loves nature! this is a slam dunk in the basketball world.

I am not sure how many nature sounds are available but there is enough to last the day or even a week in five to six minute playing time increments. Just hit shuffle and you go from one to another without catching your breath in between. What an adventure! I am actually able to focus more on my work but there is an occasional hiccup as my mind encounters the wild.

YA, there goes Gary’s mind again!

I now have a long list of items to aid in using those nature sounds. I have a few of them on hand but see for yourself…I have only begun!

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Rain gear, spray lube, repellents, helmet, head net and swatter. It’s a start!

A Gary Adventure

There I was doing my work. I put my headphones on and I am, wow, on a nice beach with the waves gently lapping for a few minutes and then bang! thunder, lightening (saw it in my mind), and it started to rain. I knew I was getting wet and me without any rain gear. The rain subsided after five minutes and the mosquitoes came out. One lit on my back and I couldn’t reach it. My whole back started itching. The black flies were buzzing my head. One flew into my ear.  I could only picture my mosquito net somewhere in my camping equipment boxes as I looked for something to stick that fly in my ear.

The nice birds started singing pleasantly and the crickets started rubbing their legs together and make their evening cricket music. I heard and smelled the campfire. This was not so bad but one cricket was real close and I was wishing for some spray lube for that crickets legs. I must have built that fire close to a bees nest because they began buzzing all around me. Now I’m thinking an epipen might be a good investment if I go here again.

I wandered out to the beach again and a flock of distant sea gulls started heading my way. They were all looking at me and their squacks told me their intentions. I ran for the trees off the beach. I know exactly where my helmet is at home but I am frozen in place as I think I hear a rattle snake. I now need a snake stick! I would look for one but there’s something big in the woods. Sounds hungry.

I was exhausted by the end of the day. Like I said, I have a long list of things to get for my nature adventures to help me focus on my work. I still don’t know how to to keep the walruses from cornering me against the big rocks and high waves. I got cold and wet!

What a mind trip!

Reality check: Just take off the headphones. The mind is amazing but easily swayed. Movies, television, news media, sound bytes and even nature sounds affect our sense of reality. Modern thinking mostly believes that we create our own truth and thus each one of us is bigger and better than someone else’s “truth”. There’s a few holes in that bucket I dare say! What is your foundation for truth and living life?

Personally, I know my mind has an overactive imagination but it seeks truth (that exists outside of me) without making it up. It does not believe much of what the ears hear without heavy duty evidence. I have seen and heard tons of evidence that God exists. I do believe and experience the truth that God loves us and we can know Him personally. This is my foundation for my fragile mind. What I know, think and feel come from a person and not an ideology. It also works for more than just little ole me. What is your foundation?

I could direct you to hundreds of like minded bloggers but I leave you with a bible verse and a blog link (good stuff there Lynn) as good example that I read this morning. LYNNABBOTTSTUDIOS

“So now the Lord says, “Stop right where you are!  Look for the old, godly way, and walk in it.  Travel its path, and you will find rest for your souls,” ~ Jeremiah 6:16

Admit it, most of us struggle with a restless soul. Trust me, nature sounds only cancel out other noise. I think I will only use them for work adventures.


ps: guys at work if you read this and see me dive under the shelves, watch out for the mountain lion. If I am running for the rest room I started hearing that innocent rippling brook.

Posted in abundant life, adventure, deception, devotional thoughts, Faith, GaryFultz Blog, Humor, Nature, Nature and Inner Peace, perspective, quality of life, Spiritual Perspective, story teller, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Images: One Frosty Morning

Imagine for a moment that we have no ability to know or understand the concept of beauty. What the eye sees other than a field, trees, leaves, landscape, sunrise colors and frost on the bush is not attached to any compartment in our brain labeled “Beauty”. The emotion of a moment is never lost; it’s just not there. We would never know.Frosty View ed eml

    I’m sorry but I can’t do it. I can’t imagine what is not because of what I know and experience on a daily basis. Beauty is everywhere, should one care to have beauty in their life. 

I got up this morning, looked out the window, grabbed my camera and ran into our attached, but heated garage in my PJ’s and moccasins. A quick look at the temperature outside confirmed my suspicions that it was zero degrees F and I would freeze fast. A parka, hat and ice fishing pants were handy so I was able to last 10 minutes before my fingers couldn’t function anymore. I captured a few images within a few yards of the house and enjoyed breath taking beauty that could never be captured in whole. I’m sorry that I can only show you some slices of from this amature photographer.  You can click on a picture and go to the slide show feature. I hope you enjoy them.  Which is your favorite?

Imagine for a moment that we have no ability to know or understand the concept of God.

    I’m sorry but I can’t do it. I can’t imagine what is not because of what I know and experience on a daily basis. Like beauty I have a life-time experiencing an interactive walk with God. He is! God shows himself in so many slices, should one care to have God in their life. 

I can however imagine eternity with God if only in small slices of what I see, hear, feel and experience here (without the pain). I cannot however imagine an eternity without God. I cannot even go there. No one should.

The words to the captives in ancient Babylon are as true for us as to them as recorded by Jeremiah “You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.” (Jeremiah 29:13) 


Posted in abundant life, adventure, Build Faith, Know God, Nature, nature pictures, outdoor adventure, outdoor scenery, perspective, picture truths, relationship with God, spiritual adventure, Spiritual Perspective, Uncategorized | 12 Comments

Snow day

winter Hydrenga 2 cp eml
It’s a very nice day to stay home, stay inside, lounge, drink coffee and make plans with my wife for the year. After a solid morning of much coffee and good talks I’m thinking cabin fever is highly overrated! I guess I only thought staying in a cozy cabin in Alaska for the winter would be fun. There is not enough coffee for that!

With camera and tripod in hand I decide an outdoor jaunt would be fun. I didn’t get very far as snowflakes blurred the lens but you decide if endeavouring is worth the effort. Sometimes we get something other than what we sought.

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I had hoped to capture the snow flakes and it was a learning curve for me even in a heavy snowfall.

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Sumac and Spruce contrast. Snow accents the various tree shapes.

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Our Driveway is there somewhere beyond the bush. The mailman said he couldn’t deliver a package today. I say what? the drive is only half a mile long.

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Birch limbs hang low, I suspect the deer will nip these off. Snow changes many things, even our perspective

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Playing with the light meter, getting new perspectives through the viewfinder. Very heavy snow

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A little lighter and happier snow picture of the shed. I’m happier now. What a large difference is made with a small change in perspective.

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Now I notice the railing and blurry wood pile and it’s snowing!

I’m quite sure we should have more snow days. I know my perspective needs to tweaked more often than I would admit. It’s a good day. I needed this snow day.

May your crooked paths be made straight. May we gain an eagles view as we reset. May we have more snow days!

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Even eagles need a snow day. Not snowing so much now.

I shouldn’t minimize the talking, much coffee, making a couple of life direction decisions  and reflecting on the past few years gone by. Our strength lies in our relationships with each other and in our walk with God. Our lens on life gets a cleaning on days like this.

What if we could see through the lens of life through others view finders? Friends, spouse or even Gods?  Our Life: same subject but different perspectives, and yes, in life it gets cold, blows, snows and rains on all of us. Here’s to more snow days!  


Posted in accomplishment, accountability, dreamer, Faith, goals, intentional, Nature, perspective, purpose in life, snow conditions, Uncategorized | 6 Comments

Wintering the Weather

I know, it’s the other way around but sometimes having  moments of lysdexia can be advantaged. I took some photos from inside my sons house while visiting northern Minnesota at -50 below zero fahrenheit (wind chill as it was really only -34).

My budding Picasso wannabe grandson created a perfect picture which could describe the extreme ends of cabin fever. It only took a few moments to create it. One would think by now there would be a market for erasable anything refrigerators. Less paper trail.Caleb Art cp

While visiting, helping some small house projects and entertaining 3 small grandsons with more energy than a stick of dynamite, I was able to photograph some of the less fortunate but very amazing creatures. They seem to survive whatever life brings and so they winter the weather. Longer fuller hair, fall fattened, nipping nutritious buds (Yum), and eating constantly. I found three deer just behind the house which served as a small wind break until moving on.

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The Doe. Yep, it’s cold facing the wind!

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The Fawn nipping buds in the brush

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The buck. Notice his tines have both been broken off.

We were only guessing but the buck with both antlers broken off probably lost to a larger buck in the rut. The other scenario is a hunter missed and shot them off.

The deer are ready to winter the weather. We (the intelligent ones) try to weather the winter. We buy a new car battery when the car does not start in -30. We get a snow blower after the big snow storm, we look for our shovels after…and I am the picture boy of all the above.

I know people (sometimes they are rather peculiar) who winter the weather well. They seem to be prepared not only ahead of time but to assist those who are struggling at weathering the winter. Why fill your car with extra stuff I ask? Well since the heater on our car went out on our seven hour trek across northern Minnesota, we do now! I think I need a bigger car just for all the stuff needed on a trip in a blizzard at life threatening temperatures.  I’m actually willing, ready and able to help someone who is wintering poorly and in a predicament. I found most of what I needed in the garage. Who knew?

So, how are you wintering this weather or life for that matter. Your job? Marriage? Handling kids? personal integrity? Need I go on? Are you able to assist those who need help? This week I was moved to help a college student who lost her whole family. Someone set up a go fund me page for funeral expenses. I may never meet her or know her but I was moved to help so we did. I confirmed with my wife that we could and we did. We cannot do much very often but it’s important to us to live this way.

I guess it’s never too late to be ready (ahead of time) to winter all of life’s weathers.


By the way: In my Spiritual Blog I am still writing about wintering the Soul. That will post soon for you who have an interest. An ongoing story that moves me may move you as well.  Visit at https://garydweb.wordpress.com/  after january 22/2018.

Posted in accomplishment, Adventure story, Nature, nature pictures, outdoor scenery, perspective, quality of life, Uncategorized, Winter prepared | 2 Comments

Have a Great Christmas To You All Around The World

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To all you readers and fellow bloggers, Merry Christmas from the frozen lakes areas of northern United States. The sun is a bit inconspicuous through the cab and the trees as it sets over the small lake I was fishing.  A safe 7″ of ice with the fold up shelter allowed me to see 9 fish and catch 3.

When I read your blogs from South Africa, UK, South America and so many warmer countries, I often wonder what I am missing that excites you. I only know what you are missing if you have never driven or walked on a frozen lake or peered down a hole in the ice as a monster fish suddenly appears to bite your hook (Or decide not to).

I dropped a camera down the hole to show you just what it looks like down there. I was catching some blue gill that day.  Check out this utube video 

Have a Merry Christmas fellow readers and bloggers. may you keep connected. May you also become more connected to the God who created all that we know and love.

For me, Christmas is a time where I reflect on how our creator exchanged His eternal Glory for a different kind of glory never seen before. A glory He wants to pass on to us through God in a finite human body as a baby. Inconspicuously inserting himself into his own creation to make a way to restore our relationship to Him.  Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men. ” Luke 2:14

may you make room for Jesus in your everyday life this next year.

Merry christmas All


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Get Yourself Out There!

It’s winter here. Quite a ways below freezing and the winter wonderland lies just outside. I cheated a bit and took a few pictures out the window from the comfort of home between sips of strong morning coffee. Here have a look…

I can still hear my mother telling us when we were little kids pressing our nose to the icy windows “bundle up, get your duds on and get out there. Shovel the snow first and play later”

So, whatever is on your daily bucket list that you cannot seem to get to, Bundle up, get your duds on and get out there! I even have a motivational picture for myself  (it motivates me anyway, maybe you need your own picture) from the last time I thought “What should I accomplish today?”

Winter Pike on a spoon email

Caught through the ice on stout line, a hook and a stick as shown! Really!

Don’t procrastinate, life is short. Go get um!


Or you could go shopping for those last minute Christmas presents…

Posted in abundant life, accomplishment, adventure, dreams, Fishing, fishing adventure, Gary Fultz Blog, ice fishing, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

A Little Harvest Rambling, Time of Year Thing


Frost on the truck windshield. I think my brain looks like this during the harvest season

It’s that magical time of the year when rain turns to snow, lakes are freezing over, forests are bare of leaves and most humans are less than half prepared for the winter ahead. I think our fall-winter harvest season does something to the brain.

Most of us in this area of the country harvest our own meats this time of year. Venison, waterfowl, various small game and fish stack the freezers to last through the next few weeks or months. Early ice fishermen must have strange DNA as it’s possible to take a (non-photoshopped) picture of an ice shanty (with one or more fishermen inside) out on the thin ice and open water with a fisherman in a boat a stones throw from the ice shanty. Self proclaimed sensible people might have a lot to say about how much is wrong with that picture, but the rest of us might wonder which one is catching more fish? after all, we are in harvest mode here!

My neighbor has an odd tradition going; he spends bu-koo bucks on food plots and fancy condo deer stands with heaters, nice windows, a stash of food, cup holders and a place to put the thermos full of coffee. Most years all his deer are harvested quite close to the door of the cabin. I told him it would be more comfortable in his condo deer stands than sneaking out the back door and around the cabin in the snow with his bare feet to harvest the deer taking the last frozen apples off the tree.

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See the deer?

Me, I’m normal. I get my deer walking through the woods or from a simple stand. This year I only had one cup of coffee and was in the middle of contemplating life from a deer stand (a good book title by the way) when a nice buck interrupted me. So now I am looking for my long cross country ski stuff  as they distribute my weight better on thin ice.

My wife has a strange tradition going as well. She seems obsessed with life insurance quotes about this time of the year. I found her stash in my ice fishing bucket. don’t tell her but with all the money we saved by tossing those quotes I am getting her own set of skis and ice fishing stuff as an early Christmas gift.

Meanwhile I’m still looking for my ice scraper as my eyebrows and cheeks freeze sticking my head out the truck window going to the lake.

Happy Thanksgiving Deer



Posted in adventure, Adventure story, Gary Fultz Blog, gone fishing, Humor, ice fishing, Nature, outdoor humor, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Seen in the woods

I carry a camera. When I walk the woods, I see.

See any wildlife in one of the pictures?

To really see, one has to thread their vision into every crevice of sight as far as possible otherwise all that is seen is the forest.

One of our deer hunting tales (true story) tells on one of our hunters who saw no deer from his stand. he was in a very scenic area so he took a few pictures with his camera. when he got home and looked at his pictures he discovered several deer were in one of the pictures.

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I took this picture while trekking through the deep woods when I spotted the rabbit about 4 feet away. See the ears?

Life is a lot like a walk in the woods. Seeing what is really there is a practiced skill and it relates to every area of our lives should we care to interact with such details.

Why notice the pain in a stranger’s smile if I act indifferent? Why notice the old couples broken porch rail for the 20th time when my tools to help are in the garage? Why not see the young mother trying to help feed her family instead of the slow cashier (same person) in the line you happened to be stuck in?  why not purpose to see beyond ourselves?

I am such a non-noticer. I have this tug of war to see or not to see. After all if I see I might have to care. If I care it will cost me something. I,Me, My…selfie time is important right? Do I use the care lens or the selfie lens today?

My daily prayer each morning is that I would see over the logs and beyond the brush and trees of life.


Posted in abundant life, accomplishment, adventure, deception, discipline, Gary Fultz Blog, intentional, Nature, outdoor adventure, perspective, purpose in life, Uncategorized | 2 Comments

A Little Deeper

>Gary Fultz on...The Steak or the Sizzle? Picture truth #7
I often wonder what lies hidden in the lives of other bloggers. the adventurer in me loves to paddle into the fog and discover what lies beyond. The relational part of me would love to get around a campfire discussion with other like minded bloggers. Thus I began to explore a deeper blog about my relationship with God.

SO… I redirect those interested to My Spiritual Blog. Like the picture above, taken early one morning from an island deep in the heart of the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness, there is light shining through the fog. Go toward the light and you will discover the Author of life who would invite you into one’s most important relationship.

Click here to see Gods Ways Are Different…

>Food for thought By Gary Fultz

Some spiritual food, discussion and warmth for the soul

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