Product Spotlight - Three-Person Water Balloon Launcher

Liven up your family reunion, camping party, or just have fun in your own backyard with the Three-Person Water Balloon Launcher by StreamMachine! Perfect for the older kids (16 years of age and older), it comes with 72 biodegradable balloons and a filler nozzle. 

The three-person launcher is not found online. they may not be available at all Bass Pro locations, but we have them here at Bass Pro Shops Altoona, so check at your local Bass Pro Shops store to see if they have them in stock.

We tried one out at a recent morning meeting here at Bass Pro Shops Altoona. It was a real "hit!" Watch this video clip to see how easy it is to use and aim...and to see how difficult it was for our General Manager to catch the balloon! A great way to start the soaking the GM!


Like us @  Bass Pro Shops Altoona
Tweet us @bassproaltoona
Pin us @
View us @


Outdoor Cooking Primer - Grilled Stuffed Venison Meatloaf

Grilled Stuffed Venison Meatloaf - Bass Pro Shops Altoona


As usual, this was originally a beef recipe, but, as usual, we used venison instead. Very tasty, however I kicked up the seasonings a bit by using salt and pepper blends and adding some smoked paprika and garlic powder. We are already working on what type of stuffing we will use in our next meatloaf...soon!


Grilled Stuffed Venison Meatloaf

2 cups sliced fresh mushrooms
1/2 large onion, thinly sliced
1 1/2 Tbsp butter
Grilled Stuffed Venison Meatloaf - Bass Pro Shops Altoona1 egg, beaten
1/3 cup milk
1/2 cup quick oats
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper blend seasoning
1 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp smoked paprika
2 pounds ground venison

1/2 cup ketchup
2 Tbsp brown sugar
2 tsps prepared mustard

In a large skillet, saute mushrooms and onion in butter until tender and set aside. In a large bowl, combine the egg, milk, oats, salt and 1/2 of the pepper blend. Break up the venison over the mixture and mix well (by hand!). On a large piece of foil, pat the meat mixture into an approximately 12"x8" rectangle. Spoon the mushroom/onion mixture onto the rolled out meat to about 1" from the edges. Sprinkle the rest of the black pepper, smoked paprika, and garlic powder over the mixture. Roll the rectangle up jell-roll style, starting with a short edge. Peel the foil away as you roll. Seal the seam and the ends.

Prepare whatever grill you are using Grilled Stuffed Venison Meatloaf - Bass Pro Shops Altoonafor indirect heat. You will want to have some way to catch the drippings and keep the loaf up out of the juices. On a charcoal grill, use a drip pan and a doubled-over piece of heavy duty foil with three slits cut in it. Put the meat loaf on the foil on the grill rack over the drip pan.

We use a gas grill, so I simply used the metal lifting rack from my usual meat loaf pan, and placed it in a heavy duty foil pan on the rack. The loaf stayed up out of the juices.

Grill (lid closed) over indirect medium heat for about 35 minutes. Brush your combined sauce ingredients over the loaf and cook for another 20 minutes or until a meat thermometer reads 160. Go by the thermometer, not the time because every grill (especially gas) is different.



This Weekend @ Bass Pro Shops Altoona - Gettin' Ready for Camp!


Splash Bombs at Bass Pro Shops Altoona!

This weekend we are putting the final touches on our preparations for Family Summer Camp 2014!

In the meantime, if you are in town for the Principal Charity Classic, or maybe camping in the area at one our many great parks and lakes, stop by and say hello!

Heading to Adventureland and Adventure Bay? Then you REALLY need to come by and check out our water toys - like the VERY POPULAR Splash Bombs!  Soak them, splash them, throw them!

Additionally, we have a great assortment of Coast Guard approved life vests for all ages and sizes!

Saturday, May 31

Legal Heat classes at Bass Pro Shops Altoona, IowaLegal Heat - Concealed Carry Class - 9:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m.

One class qualifies you to apply for permits in Iowa, Utah, and Arizona, expanding the states you can carry in to 36. Taught by nationally known Legal Heat, the class is about four hours long and only $75. Please register ahead of time at

Sunday, June 1

Try Before You Buy

Sunday, June 1 - 12-4 p.m. or while supplies last
Our Gifts Department will be handing out samples of our Uncle Buck's Bacon Jerky - Original and Maple-Glazed!


Like us @  Bass Pro Shops Altoona
Tweet us @bassproaltoona
Pin us @
View us @

Like us @  Bass Pro Shops Altoona
Tweet us @bassproaltoona
Pin us @
View us @ - See more at:

Have Dog, Will Travel

Traveling with Pets - Bass Pro Shops AltoonaVacation time is fast approaching. In our dog-loving society today, many people take their dogs with them now on trips to go camping, hiking, or just to relatives.

In a 2012 survey by AAA and Best Western, 51% of travelers with pets said they would take their pets along on every vacation if they could. According to a 2012 survey by the American Pet Products Association, almost 11 million dog caregivers had taken their pets on a trip within the previous month, and 23 percent of caregivers said they are willing to travel with their dogs for more than two nights.

Almost every day at Bass Pro Shops Altoona, especially in the summer, we welcome guests who are passing through on I-80 and traveling with a pet. Let's face it, we're talking dogs here...we have had two cats that visited, and I think a hamster once, but mostly we have dogs. Here are some tips for items to remember and some "pet-i-quette" ideas for traveling with your dog, whether on vacation or even on shorter hunting or fishing excursions.

  • Make sure your pet is "road worthy."  Take the dog for a ride or two before you go on a long journey. Start with a short ride, then longer.
  • Determine if your dog needs to be restrained or contained somehow. The AAA says about 30,000 accidents each year are caused by unrestrained pets wandering in the front seat. It may seem cute and cuddly to have your dog in your lap, but it's a distraction and could result in injuries to you, your passengers, other drivers, and the dog. Pet crates, portable pet partitions, and cargo area protectors are a good way to protect everyone, two- or four-legged!
  • Keeping your dog contained means not letting them stick their head out the window, at least not for extended periods of time or at high speeds. It could cause hematomas or other ear damage. Additionally, if you do let them stick their head out for a bit, make sure your window lock is on so they don't accidentally close the window on themselves.
  • Make sure your dog is up-to-date on all shots and vaccines. If you're going on an extended trip to bring along your dog's medical records.
  • Have plenty of water along for the dog to drink during rest stops. The RedHead collapsible dog dish is perfect for traveling, since you can put water in it or food.
  • Make sure your dog is comfortable. Give them their spot or "bed" to lie down while traveling. Bring along a favorite toy for them to have nearby.
  • Always make sure your dog goes to the bathroom before you head out and every time you stop.
  • Don't EVER leave your dog in the car. If they can't go where you're going, then don't take them along. Even if the windows are cracked, it can still get extremely hot in a car or truck.
  • However, here's the reverse: Don't leave your dog alone in a hotel room, no matter how well-behaved you think they are. Recently, on a trip home from out west, we stayed in a pet-friendly hotel in North Dakota. Unfortunately, two rooms down there was a dog that barked almost non-stop, while its owners were gone, probably having dinner and out for the evening. There were some unhappy hotel customers that night on that floor. But it wasn't the dog's fault. If you can't take the dog with you, don't go. Consider your surroundings.
  • We are pet friendly at our particular Bass Pro Shops here in Altoona, Iowa. Each Bass Pro Shops has its own state rules it must follow. While most service animals are allowed inside Bass Pro Shops retail locations, further regulations may differ from store to store. Please contact the store you will be visiting prior to arriving for information as to whether or not your pet will be allowed in the store.
  • Please remember to make sure your dog goes to the bathroom before you go inside any place. Accidents can happen, but making sure they've relieved themselves (both ways, if possible!) lessens the chances.
  • Always be prepared to pick up after your pet. It's the courteous thing to do.


Like us @  Bass Pro Shops Altoona
Tweet us @bassproaltoona
Pin us @
View us @

Family Summer Camp 2014!

Family Summer Camp is back at Bass Pro Shops Altoona with more fun and two new workshops for the kids!

Beat the heat with us!

Family Summer Camp Logo

Kids workshop and activities every Saturday, Sunday, Tuesday, and Thursday from June 7 to July 13!

The Catch and Release Pond is BACK! June 7-8, 14-15, noon-5 p.m.!

Free activities from noon until 5 p.m. including the Daisy BB gun airsoft range, casting,
archery, and a free 4x6 photo!

Free crafts - Noon - 2 p.m. - Crafts change each week!

Homemade ice cream sampling - 5-6 p.m. on Saturday evenings, while supplies last.

Last, but not least, our very popular workshops:
Birdwatching, Fishing, Archery, Backyard Adventures, Shooting and Hunting, Water Safety, and, two new workshops this year - Travel Safety and Kayaking!

Workshops are designed for ages 6-13. Each child receives a lanyard at their first workshop and a pin for each workshop they attend throughout the summer. Collect all nine pins!

The workshop schedule is as follows:
12 p.m. - Birdwatching
1 p.m.- Fishing
2 p.m. - Archery
3 p.m. - Kayaking
4 p.m. - Backyard Adventure

12 p.m. - Archery
1 p.m.- Shooting and Hunting
2 p.m. - Travel safety
3 p.m. - Water Safety
4 p.m. - Camping and Conservation

12 p.m. - Fishing
1 p.m.- Water Safety
2 p.m. - Shooting and Hunting
3 p.m. - Kayaking
4 p.m. - Birdwatching

12 p.m. - Shooting and Hunting
1 p.m. - Archery
2 p.m. - Travel Safety
3 p.m. - Camping and Conservation
4 p.m. - Backyard Adventure

Bass Pro Shops' Family Summer Camp is a great way to beat the heat with the kids this summer...and we guarantee you parents, grandparents, babysitters, etc., will learn something, too!

Like us @  Bass Pro Shops Altoona
Tweet us @bassproaltoona
Pin us @
View us @



Bike into Bass Pro Shops

It's National Bike Month and while we DON'T sell bicycles we DO sell items that will make bicycling more enjoyable. Besides, this is Iowa, home of the infamous bicycle ride across the state at the end of July. We might know a thing or two about keeping your cool while bicycling! Check out these items from Bass Pro Shops, here in the store or online, to make that ride a bit more comfortable:

Clothing - Look for shirts, shorts, and hats with sun protection, and sweat-wicking technology. For example, the Omni-Shade and Omni-Wick shirts and shorts from Columbia provide sun protection AND evaporation control to keep you comfortable on the ride.

Sunscreen - Protection from the sun is paramount - you may not feel it ON the ride, but you definitely will the next day! Load up on sun protection for your face, arms, and lips. For the very young to the not so young, and special lotions for men, even sunscreen spray with insect repellent, there is a good selection of lotions, sticks, and foam to keep you protected.

Hat - Boonies, ball caps, panama, wide-brim, long-bill, safari, you name it, we probably have it in a hat. Protect your hRedHead No-Fly Zone Hatead from the sun....check out our hats/caps with side and back flaps and protect your ears and back of the neck, too!

Here at the store we have this great RedHead No-Fly Zone hat - a boonie, with flaps, PLUS permethrin bound in it which is good for 70 washes (shown in photo to right). Another plus? It has an alligator clip hanging down from the back so you can clip it to your shirt. Other hats, such as the Columbia Tamiami™ Cachalot II Hat also have this built in security clip,  or you can buy the clip on its own at  our store and possibly other Bass Pro Shop locations.

Hydration - Water, water, water - stay hydrated when you're biking by either carrying a water bottle in your pack or using a hydration pack. There are SO many hydration gear options these days. In fact, Bass Pro Shops now carries hydration tablets from CamelBak. The Elixir Electrolyte Hydration tablets come in lemon lime or tropical punch. Easy to use and easy to tote...the tablets come in a portable tube that can be easily carried in a pocket. The tropical punch tablet also carries a real punch with an energy-boosting 54 mg. of caffeine per tablet...keep that energy going!

Last, but not least, help keep your cool with a Chilly Pad Cooling Towel from Frogg Toggs. Wet it, put it around your neck, and through evaporation, this towel will help you stay cool and comfy. They're machine washable, too.


Like us @  Bass Pro Shops Altoona
Tweet us @bassproaltoona
Pin us @
View us @

This Weekend @ Bass Pro Shops Altoona - Get the Kids Outdoors!

Bass Pro Shops' Go Outdoors Event continues this weekend with activities just for kids! Our sales continue throughout the weekend and Memorial Day.

Bass Pro Shops Altoona Go OutdoorsSaturday and Sunday, May 24 and 25 - Kids' Adventure Activities Weekend!

11 a.m. - 5 p.m.

Our Daisy Inflatable Shooting Range is back! Each child receives a Certificate of Completion for trying the shooting range.

Kids' Workshops

11 a.m., 1 p.m. & 4 p.m. - Kids' Adventures in Camping

2 & 3 p.m. - Safe Passage - Water Safety

Kids' Adventure Scavenger Hunt

11 a.m. - 5 p.m. - Find each item on the card and receive a free flashing clip (while supplies last)!

Metal Detector Treasure Hunt

11 a.m. - 4 p.m.

Free Photo Download

11 a.m. - 5 p.m. - You on the cover of "Bass Pro Shops Adventure Kids"

Free Crafts

11 a.m. - 4 p.m. - Color a wood camping tent and supplies magnet!

First 100 kids who complete the activities punch card each day receive a water bottle and whistle!

Try Before You Buy!

Our Gifts Department will be handing out samples from noon to 4 p.m., or while supplies last. Stop by for these tastes:

May 24 & May 25 - Uncle Buck's Jalapeno and Steak-Cut Sweet/Hot Teriyaki Jerky



Coming Up?Family Summer Camp Bass Pro Shops Altoona

Family Summer Camp 2014 returns June 7- July 13!



Like us @  Bass Pro Shops Altoona
Tweet us @bassproaltoona
Pin us @
View us @

Outdoor Cooking Primer - Grilled Pork Chops with Rhubarb-Cranberry Sauce

Rhubarb arrives in spring and stays during much of the summer. You can chop it up, freeze it (use that vacuum sealer!) and use it throughout the year for pies, cakes, and crumbles. But, there are other ways to use it, such as this recipe. I borrowed the base recipe from Martha Stewart, and changed it a tiny bit to use what was in my cupboards...always one of my ultimate goals!

The base recipe called for cooking the chops in a skillet, but, we grill and barbecue, so we grilled the chops. Of course, we used Iowa Chops...the best chops around!

Rhubarb-Cranberry SauceRhubarb-Cranberry Sauce

    1/2 cup dried cranberries (here's one minor change - the recipe calls for dried cherries)
    1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
    1 teaspoon plus 2 tablespoons olive oil
    1/2 cup finely chopped onion (another small change - I used green onions, or scallions as you may refer to them)
    8 to 10 ounces rhubarb, ends trimmed, cut crosswise into 1/2-inch pieces (2 cups)
    3 tablespoons sugar
    Pinch of ground nutmeg
    Coarse salt and ground pepper

In a small bowl, combine cranberries with the balsamic vinegar and 1/4 cup hot water; let sit for 10 minutes to soften.
In a small saucepan, heat 1 teaspoon olive oil over medium-low heat. Add onion; cook until softened, stirring occasionally, about 10 minutes.

Add the cherry mixture, rhubarb, and sugar; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer until rhubarb has softened, 5 to 8 minutes. Stir in nutmeg; season with salt and pepper. Remove from heat; keep warm.

Best to make the sauce while the chops are on the grill. You don't want it to get mushy...don't stir it too much. It's a pretty quick fix. Just make sure to serve the sauce warm over the chops.

The balsamic vinegar and onions provide a great combination with the rhubarb and cranberries...if you freeze rhubarb this will make a wonderful autumn sauce to use with venison or turkey!





Product Spotlight - No-Fly Zone Hat

Do you love the idea of being outdoors in the spring, but dread the idea of the ticks that often come with it?  With our wet spring RedHead No-Fly Hatthe ticks are already thick. But here's a hat that can help protect you when hunting morels or enjoying other outdoor activities, such as hiking or bank fishing.

The No-Fly Zone hat from RedHead has side and back flaps to protect your ears and neck from the sun. It also has UPF of 50. what is UPF? It stands for Ultraviolet Protection Factor and is the rating of how well a fabric protects the skin from damaging ultraviolet rays. So, the higher the number, the better the protection. A UPF of 40-50+ means 97.5-99+% of UV radiation is blocked. No more burnt scalp.

But the really cool thing about this hat is the built-in insect repellent. The "No-Fly Technology" uses Permethrin which is bonded to the fabric and is good for up to 70 washes.

the hat comes with a drawstring cord to help it fit to your head. Remove the fear of losing your hat in the wind by using the handy security clip...tether the cap to your shirt before you head out into the woods or on the fishing boat.


Like us @  Bass Pro Shops Altoona
Tweet us @bassproaltoona
Pin us @
View us @

Outdoor Cooking Primer - Grilled Asparagus

One of the best treats of spring is fresh asparagus. It's usually plentiful in the grocery stores and at farmers' markets and Asparagusmuch less expensive this time of year. Associate Stacey Andersen tried this grilled asparagus recipe that she couldn't wait to share - and I'll throw in a Red Pepper Sauce recipe for you to use, too!

Grilled Asparagus

Fresh asparagus
Green onions (or scallions as some of you may know them)
Olive Oil
Turkey bacon

Rinse fresh asparagus really well – especially the heads. Trim the stalks but but leave about 6" long.
Leave your green onions in long lengths. Rinse, trim ends, and remove outer skin if necessary.
Toss  the asparagus and onions in olive oil.
Take a handful of asparagus and put 2-3 of the green onions in the middle.
Wrap three slices of turkey bacon around the center of each bundle. Don't wrap the pieces on top of each other. Wrap next to each other.
Secure bacon with toothpicks. Wet the toothpicks so they don't burn.
Grill on medium heat turning as the bacon crisps.

Super yummy!!!!!!

Red Pepper Sauce

3 T chopped onion
1 clove minced garlic
2 T olive oil
1 tsp balsamic vinegar
2 tsp orange marmalade
2Tsp Teriyaki sauce
1/8 tsp dry mustard
1/8 tsp ground nutmeg
1/8 tsp dried crushed red pepper
2 T mayonnaise

Saute oion and garlic clove in olive oil over medium-high heat for two minutes. Add rest of ingredients except mayonnaise. Cook for three minutes. Remove from heat; stir in mayonnaise. Serve over asparagus.


Like us @  Bass Pro Shops Altoona
Tweet us @bassproaltoona
Pin us @
View us @

Outdoor Cooking Primer - Rhubarb Cake

Spring is refreshing because of all the fun foods that come up this time of year, including RHUBARB!  The first thing manyRhubarb Cake people think of when they hear rhubarb is pie...whether straight or mixed with strawberries (my favorite!), people either love rhubarb pie or hate it.

I grew up eating rhubarb that my mom cooked, but I've only cooked rhubarb once myself and that was to stew it, with some sugar, and eat it on its own or over ice cream. But now, we have a SOURCE and I'm venturing into new rhubarb territory. Here is a Rhubarb Cake recipe from my mom's recipe box that I recently made. VERY SIMPLE, extremely moist and, on the first bit, my husband said we need to cut more rhubarb now because the cake was not going to last!

So, coerce a neighbor into sharing some rhubarb or hit a farmers' market and try this one!

Rhubarb Cake

1/2 cup oleo (many recipes from the 60s and 70s call for's the same thing as margarine. You can also use butter.)
1 1/2 C brown sugar
1 egg
1 cup buttermilk
1 tsp baking soda
2 C flour
1 1/2 C chopped rhubarb (chop into about 1/2 to 1 inch pieces)

1/2 C white sugar
1 tsp cinnamon

Blend all together. Pour batter into greased and floured 9x13 cake pan. Mix the white sugar and cinnamon together and sprinkle over batter. Bake at 350 for about 30 minutes or toothpick stuck in center comes out clean.


Like us @  Bass Pro Shops Altoona
Tweet us @bassproaltoona
Pin us @
View us @

Product Spotlight - Fling 3-Pack from SOG

Our next new knife product that Mike "the Knife guy" wants you to know about, is SOG's Fling throwing knife. We just received this in to Bass Pro Shops Altoona.

The Fling has these features and benefits:

*  It's a three knife set - styled after traditional throwing knives.

*  A double-edged blade. SOG Fling - Bass Pro Shops Altoona

*  Full tang construction.

*  The three knife set comes with a nylon sheath to carry all three knives.

*  Each knife is 9.5" overall length.

*  3CR13 Steel, RC 58-60 hardness.


Last, but not least, each knife handle is wrapped in 7 feet of paracord - providing 21 feet of paracord for those unexpected situations! Check out this video from SOG:

Like us @  Bass Pro Shops Altoona
Tweet us @bassproaltoona
Pin us @
View us @

Outdoor Cooking Primer - Fresh Apple Cake

We're not in apple picking season, however, if you own (or purchased) a Food Saver then you could have fresh apples in the freezer that you vacuum sealed last fall! That's the glory of the Food Saver!

So, this cake recipe is from my mom's recipe box. She was a good cook and had many friends who were good cooks, so I'm trying to pick out a few recipes each month to try. Like many cooks, she often has handwritten notes to the side where she has changed the recipe. This is obviously where I get my interest in changing things up a bit!

This recipe is super easy. It's a cakey, but ooey-gooey combination that, to me, was better two days later and kept in the fridge. But, if you're a warm cake fan, heat it up in the old microwave for a few seconds and then throw some ice cream on! 


1/2 C Oil
3/4 C sugar
3/4 C brown sugar
1 tsp vanillla
2 eggs
1 1/2 C flour
1 tsp nutmeg
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp soda
1/4 tsp salt

Cream the oil, sugars, vanilla, and eggs. Then add in the flour, nutmeg, cinnamon, soda, and salt. Add to the batter 3 C chopped apples (raw) and 1/2 C nuts (optional, of course - I used pecans). I used about three cups of apples that we vacuum-sealed last fall. I didn't drain them and I will do that differently next time.

Bake the cake 35 minutes at 325 degrees. Because the batter was runnier than it probably should have been, due to the undrained apples, I left it in a little bit longer.

Make the following topping to pour over the top of the cake. However, do not make it too soon, as it will not be runny enough.

5 T butter
2/3 C brown sugar
2 T milk
Coconut - optionalFresh Apple Cake

After pouring over the cake, bake 15-20 minutes more at 325 degrees. Again, make it right before, so it doesn't get too thick and you can actually somewhat pour it.



Like us @  Bass Pro Shops Altoona
Tweet us @bassproaltoona
Pin us @
View us @



It's Time to Go Outdoors!

Celebrate the Great Outdoors at Bass Pro Shops' annual Go Outdoors Classic!
Workshops, cooking demos, and our always popular kids' activities!


Go Outdoors Event - Bass Pro Shops Altoona

May 17-18 Free Workshops

  • Pack, Pitch, Play - Your basic guide to camping and survival - 11 a.m. & 3 p.m. both days
  • Wear it Right - 1 p.m. Five steps to choosing the the right life jacket - Presented by the Lake Red Rock - U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
  • Priorities of Survival - 2 & 4 p.m. both days

May 24 & 25 - Kids' Adventure Activities Weekend  - 11 a.m. - 5 p.m.

Our Daisy Inflatable Shooting Range is back! Each child receives a Certificate of Completion for trying the shooting range.

Kids' Workshops

  • Safe Passage - Water Safety - 2 & 3 p.m.
  • Kids' Adventures in Camping - 11 a.m., 1 p.m. & 4 p.m.

Kids' Adventure Scavenger Hunt - 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Find each item on the card and receive a free flashing clip (while supplies last)!

Metal Detector Treasure Hunt - 11 a.m.-4 p.m.

Free Photo Download - You on the cover of "Bass Pro Shops Adventure Kids" - 11 a.m.- 5 p.m.

Free Crafts - 11 a.m.-4 p.m. - Color a wood camping tent and supplies magnet!

First 100 kids who complete the activities punch card each day receive a water bottle and whistle!


National Barbeque Month

May is National Barbeque Month! Some of us cook outside year-round and others just opt for warmer times. No matter when you fire up the grill, here are some simple tips to remember:

1. Grilling is fast and quick and what most people relate to - burgers, hot dogs, brats, and chicken. Barbequing is long, low, and slow - chicken can also be done this way, but also think ribs, pork butt, and the likes. However, barbeque is also a gathering of people outdoors eating food that has been cooked outdoors.

2. Whether you're using gas or charcoal, pre-heat and clean the grate first. Getting the grill as hot as possible will make it easier to brush off the racks with a grill brush. Long-handled grill brushes work best...just that much less singing of the knuckles!

3. If you do use charcoal, use a charcoal chimney to get your briquettes started. No lighter fluid to interfere with your taste buds!

4. Oil your grill rack. Use paper towels with oil and hold them with tongs, gently rubbing across the hot grate. This will lessen the chances of food sticking.stuffed jalapenos

5. Know the temperatures you need to reach. Cook to safe temps, but don't overcook. If you don't know proper temperatures for meat, check out this previous blog post.

6. Have the right cooking equipment:  An instant-read thermometer (so you get the aforementioned correct temps!), charcoal chimney, tongs, spatula, grill mitt. Use tongs and not a don't want to lose the juices from anything that you're cooking by poking and sticking it! Spatulas come in different widths, so whether you're flipping burgers or flipping a fish, you can flip with grace and without fear of failure! Grill mitt - get a good heavy-duty grill mitt. In fact, the Lodge Dutch Oven gloves work equally well for handling hot accessories or even hot, foil bundles of steamy veggies! Additionally, you might pick up some handle covers which are good to use on baskets, cast iron, etc.

7. Bearing in mind that ANYTHING can be cooked on a grill, with direct or indirect heat, you may want some accessories for cooking various items. For example: Cedar planks (for "smoking" salmon, walleye, or your fish of choice), a smoker box to provide a nice smokey flavor when desired, a grilling basket - the kind you can flip is very handy - a gDirty Rag Chickenrill wok, and a grill grid. These are for cooking new potatoes and other item that would fall through the grate, and a beer can chicken cooker (you gotta do a beer can chicken!). Last, but not least, heavy duty aluminum foil. You can cook many items, like cabbage, new potatoes, asparagus, and stuffed peppers, in a nice foil bundle.

8. Seasonings! This is a MUST HAVE in my book! You can buy pre-mixed rubs and seasonings, or make your own concoctions. Don't be afraid to experiment with combinations. You can't go wrong with the basic seasonings of garlic powder, Smoked and/or Hungarian paprika, onion powder, fresh ground black pepper, oregano, thyme, dry mustard, a little cumin, and celery salt. But, that's just the tip of the iceberg...many seasonings await you!

9. Start with some basic ideas or recipes. One of the best places to find some ideas is right here in our blog! Just look for the Outdoor Cooking Primer Recipes! Here are some to get you started:

Dirty Rag Smoked Chicken

Grilled Pineapple Mango Salsa

Garden Grilling

Mexican Pork Tenderloin


Like us @  Bass Pro Shops Altoona
Tweet us @bassproaltoona
Pin us @
View us @

Product Spotlight - Bear Grylls Compact II

Our knife guy Mike Sibley knows a good knife when he sees one and he is especially happy about this one! The Bear Grylls Compact II is 420 HC stainless steel, under 3" long at 2.6" and it's made in the USA!

Here are some of the key features and benefits of the knife, all of which makes it his pick for a first knife for any young person, especially like Scouts who are reaching that level of training.

*  Softer rubber inserts than normal, which is better for gripping.Bear Grylls Compact II

*  It's orange and black, so it's easy to find if dropped, especially on those wooded hikes!

*  It does NOT have a pocket clip - that means it goes down into the pocket - more likely to stay there and less likely to fall out!.

* Most importantly, it is a lock-back knife, which is a safe and strong lock, AND it has a safety detent for closing the blade safely...a two-step process. Much safer for smaller inexperienced hands!

Sarah from our Hunting Department shows you this safety feature of the Bear Grylls Compact II:

Like us @  Bass Pro Shops Altoona
Tweet us @bassproaltoona
Pin us @
View us @

A Grand Adventure

Anthony Loos has competed in mixed martial arts and currently studies karate. However, the Altoona Tracker Boat Center Associate says a recent accomplishment was by far the most physically demanding thing he has ever done. Here's his story:

_________________________________________Grand Canyon Hike - Bass Pro Shops Altoona

Our karate master instructor decided to sponsor a trip to the Grand Canyon. However, this wasn’t a vacation/pleasure trip…well, at least not most people’s idea of pleasure. It was specifically to hike the Canyon and to give his students something to achieve – both physically and mentally.

Our group of 15, led by our karate master, flew into Phoenix on May 1. I had checked through my Bass Pro Shops tent and other camping gear in a suitcase and had my clothing and personal items in my carry on. I packed light.

In our rented 15-person van, we headed to Flagstaff, stopping for lunch, and then pulled in at Mather Campground on the South Rim. We spent the rest of the evening making camp and preparing for the next day’s journey.

Friday morning, May 2, it was up and at 'em at 5 a.m. for our breakfast of bagels and peanut butter – calories and carbs to get our energy going for the day. Then we headed to the Canyon.

With my Go Pro camera strapped to my chest, we began our descent into the Canyon, entering at the South Kaibab Trail. We had picture-perfect conditions – sunny, very few clouds, and 45-50 degrees when we started at 6:30 a.m. It reached about 95 and stayed in that range for much of the day. That meant dressing in layers with lightweight, sweat wicking clothing. I also packed rain gear for the hike, because one never knows if the weather will change.

It was typical, dry Arizona air – that combined with the few clouds could cause some problems for the unprepared. Research I did before the trip suggested a calorie intake of 300 calories an hour during this type of hike and 20 ounces of water an hour. This would differ from person to person. For example, one member of our group is a marathon runner so her requirements would differ because her body was used to the exercise. So, I had my Ascend Hydration Pack with 70 ouncesGrand Canyon Ascend Hydration Pack  Bass Pro Shops Altoona of water and there were refill stations along the trail. I also packed pretzels, fig bars, energy bars, and honey, for its natural energy boost.

Our plan was to descend into the Grand Canyon and back out in the same day. Despite cautions against that idea, we were determined that we would finish. The grueling hike was close to 19 miles, with a one-mile elevation down and back up. The four-hour trip down turned into twice as long coming back up.

We navigated our way down the South Kaibab Trail to the Colorado River, where we took an extended break and splashed around in the water. We crossed the Colorado on the South Kaibab suspension bridge, made our way over to the Bright Angel Suspension Bridge, and headed back up the Canyon on the Bright Angel Trail.

Of course, a hike back up a trail is typically the toughest part…and this was no exception. Our group of 15 had gradually migrated into three groups based on our speed. We had radios to communicate and provide some good-natured ribbing and encouragement. Our group talked while we walked, taking in all the sights, but the terrain is always changing, so keeping an eye on where we were stepping was very important. 

There were several switchbacks, which were the toughest part, because of their steep grade. Then it would level off for a while. Good hiking shoes or boots are paramount. We were more than simply walking, often stepping over wood or brick erosion control  steps, or hiking on  rocks, gravel, dirt, sand, and rock hopping over natural creeks. My RedHead hiking shoes were great. Oh, and we had to watch for the pack mules carrying riders up and down the trail…they have the right of way…which meant we also had to watch for mule droppings!

Other than the regular exercise I get through karate, I “trained” for the hike by doing five miles a day on a treadmill, for about Grand Canyon Hike - Bass Pro Shops Altoona Blogthree weeks, at the full incline position. Next time, I’ll do ten. The last mile of the trail was tough…it took us about 40 minutes. Our legs and feet felt like lead. The sun was setting and our group decided to sit down and take a quick break. A group of guys going down into the Canyon came by and said, “Good job - you’re just five minutes from the top!”

I guessed their five minutes would actually be 20 minutes for us…it ended up being ten. Our group finished the hike in the middle at just under 13 hours. The first group finished at about 9.5 hours, while the group following us finished at 14.5 hours.

Would I do it again? Absolutely. Even though that last mile was pure torture. Even though I didn’t see any scorpions, tarantulas, or rattlesnakes, as I had hoped.

A group of Iowa karate students accepted a challenge and accomplished their personal goals.

There are signs at the beginning of the trail noting that 250 people a year are rescued by helicopter when they reach the bottom.

I, Anthony Loos, was not one of them.


Anthony had his Go Pro set to take photos every 30 seconds on the hike. Take part in the virtual hike here on our YouTube channel!


Like us @  Bass Pro Shops Altoona
Tweet us @bassproaltoona
Pin us @
View us @

Outdoor Cooking Primer - Grilled Chicken Crunch Casserole

Casseroles - can't live with 'em, can't live without 'em. Another recipe from the mother's recipe box and this one is a keeper! Easy fix, relatively healthy, and CRUNCHY!

As with most recipes involving cooked chicken, I grill mine or will use a smoked chicken for two or three meals. Really, this is a great quick fix that is a true dump and bake dish!

Grilled Chicken Crunch Casserole

3 oz. crunchy chow mein noodles
1/4 C chicken broth ( I use chicken stock - more flavor!)
2- 10 oz. cans cream of mushroom soup (use the fat free or light and healthy variety if you want)
5 oz can sliced water chestnuts
4 oz can drained mushrooms (or you can use fresh sliced)
2-4 T minced onion (I use 1/2 large fresh diced onion)
1 C diced celery (or more if desired...I use 1 1/2 - 2 cups)
3 C diced cooked chicken (I typically use about 4 medium sized boneless, skinless chicken breasts)

Spray a 9 x13 casserole dish with non-stick cooking spray. Sprinkle the chow mein noodles on the bottom of the casserole dish, covering the bottom. Blend together the chicken stock and both mushroom soups in a large bowl. Add to the soup mixture the water chestnuts, mushrooms, onion, celery and chicken. Mix it lightly and then spoon over the the top of the chow mein noodles. I sprinkle a little smoked paprika, garlic powder, and fresh ground black pepper over the top, or your favorite seasoning combination!Chicken Crunch Casserole

Bake uncovered at 325 for 40 minutes. Sprinkle slivered almonds over the top and bake 5 more minutes.

I have no "after" photo because we were so excited to eat that I forgot to take one!

Leftover chow mein noodles?  Better make some No-Bake Cookies!


Like us @  Bass Pro Shops Altoona
Tweet us @bassproaltoona
Pin us @
View us @



Facebook Q & A -Fly Fishing

It's another LIVE Facebook Q & A with Bass Pro Shops Altoona! Hop on your computer, tablet or smartphone and join us Friday, May 9, at 1 p.m.!

Fly fishing is one of the oldest forms of fishing - artful and often used for its therapeutic effects, too. Bass Pro Shops Pro Staff Fisherman Rod Woten says:

"Fly fishing has a rhythm that’s much slower than almost every other type of fishing.  From the cadence of the cast to achieving the perfect dead drift with your fly, it forces you to slow down and work through each step thoroughly and methodically. To those unaccustomed to fly fishing it seems like slow motion, but for those who practice the art, it’s therapy." 

Join Rod and Bass Pro Shops Altoona Fishing Lead/Fly fisherman Bryce Witt for our LIVE Facebook Q & A and find out what you need to know about fly fishing - how to get started, where to go, tips, and techniques!


Bass Pro Shops Altoona Fly Fishing Facebook Q & A

Like us @  Bass Pro Shops Altoona
Tweet us @bassproaltoona
Pin us @
View us @


Tuesday Savings for Bass Pro Shops MasterCard Holders

Bass Pro Shops Outdoor Rewards MasterCardDuring the month of May, Bass Pro Shops Outdoor Rewards MasterCard holders get a special treat plus continue to earn rewards and help conservation efforts!

Every Tuesday in May all current Bass Pro Shops Outdoor Rewards MasterCard holders will receive 10% off their entire purchase!

So, on May 6, May 13, May 20 and May 27, just visit our store and use your Bass Pro Shops MasterCard and get even more savings with a maximum discount of $150. Your entire purchase must be placed on the card and it's only available on aforementioned listed dates in May.

Of course, not only will you receive the extra 10% discount on those days, but you will continue to reap the benefits of being a Bass Pro Shops Outdoor Rewards MasterCard holder by earning rewards points. In fact, with our card you earn points no matter WHERE you shop...not just at Bass Pro. I know. We just used it on a trip to Montana, earning points along the way as we filled up our gas tank!

  • Earn 5% on every purchase you make at Bass Pro Shops with the World MasterCard credit card (or 3% with the Bass Pro Shops Platinum Plus MasterCard credit card).
  • Earn 1% on all other purchases.
  • Receive $5 standard shipping for online and phone purchases if you don't live close enough to a Bass Pro Shop to take advantage of our free ship-to-store option.
  • Take advantage of special savings throughout the year, such as discount coupons sent through the mail.
  • Receive exclusive offers during our Spring Fishing and Fall Hunting Classics.
  • With each card purchase you make, Bass Pro Shops and the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation will make a contribution to help conservation efforts with a guaranteed yearly contribution of $1 million, at no additional cost to you. Cardholders have contributed a whopping $12 million since 2002.
  • What's also very cool is that you can track your rewards points online at National Fish and Wildlife Foundation logo

Remember, the 10% Tuesdays are ONLY for CURRENT Bass Pro Shops MasterCard holders.