An Appalachian Fly Fishing Adventure

Rod WotenBy Rod Woten
Local Pro Staff
Bass Pro Shops Altoona

I’m very fortunate that the company I work for has a facility in Luray, Virginia, that I get to travel to a couple of times every year.  Luray sits in the Shenandoah Valley nestled in the Blue Ridge Mountains. Not long after I started traveling to Luray, I learned of the tiny brook trout that live in the mountain streams around Luray. For a fly angler, to catch a truly wild trout is one of the ultimate goals, even if it is something the size of these small brook trout that come from the small streams up in the mountains. Ever since I first heard about these fish, I’ve been doing research and putting together a plan for that trip where I might have some free time to fish up in the mountains. Finally, I had the opportunity. I was able to time my trip, so that I arrived in the area early on Sunday afternoon, which would leave me plenty of time to fish before checking into my hotel that evening and heading to work at the Luray facility first thing Monday morning. After extensive research, I finally decided that Jeremy’s Run would be the stream I would target. 

Jeremy’s Run appealed to me for several reasons:

  • It was in relatively close proximity to Luray, which would minimize my drive time. 
  • It seemed that fishing Jeremy’s Run was pretty decent year-round, as long as water levels stayed up. 
  • Of all the streams I researched, Jeremy’s Run had some of the best access.  Since time was a premium for me, the less time spent hiking meant the more time I could spend fishing.  Also because I was flying, I was very limited in what I could bring along for gear.  My packable wading boots made the trip, but there just wasn’t room for waders or much other additional gear.

I arrived at the Elk Wallow Picnic wayside along Skyline Drive later that afternoon.  After getting my rod rigged and slipping on my wading boots, I began the trek down the mountain to find Jeremy’s Run. To get to Jeremy’s Run, I actually had to follow the Appalachian Trail, until the intersection with Jeremy’s Run Trail, which was an adventure in itself.  I’ve always wanted to hike the AT, and now I can say that I have. 

It seemed like forever before I finally reached the concrete pillar that designates the intersection of the AT and Jeremy’s Run Trail. I was actually starting to wonder if I had missed it or taken the wrong trail altogether. TheAppalachian Trail marker directions said it was a short hike to the intersection, but apparently the author’s idea of a short hike and mine are two very different things.  From that point on, I added distance to every mention of distance in the directions I was following. Even once I was on Jeremy’s Trail, I still had thoughts that I had taken a wrong turn or maybe Jeremy’s Run had gone dry, because it took what seemed like an eternity before I could even hear the sound of running water. Somewhere in the deep heavily forested ravine that was now on my right was Jeremy’s Run. I wondered how I would even get down to the stream to fish it, and how brook trout could live in the little trickle I was hearing. I continued on, losing altitude as I went, which also brought me to the startling realization that it would take me a lot longer to hike out than it did for me to hike in. The entire time I was awestruck by my surroundings…millipedes as big as a Sharpie everywhere, mushrooms and fungus the likes of which I had never seen, a thick mossy carpet on every rock and massive hardwood trees that were probably as old as our nation. 

I, also, constantly had the thought of bears in the back of my mind. I had noticed two road kill bears on the highway on my way into Front Royal, so I knew that they were on the move and a bear encounter was a real possibility. On one hand, I thought it would be cool to see my first black bear in the wild, but on the other it was situation that I’m not sure I really wanted to have to deal with…especially if it was a sow with cubs.  Regardless, I soldiered on and eventually the trail flattened out, the forest opened up a bit, and Jeremy’s Run had grown much larger. Suddenly the trail ended abruptly at the side of the stream only to resume on the opposite side. I had arrived. 

Immediately to my right was a small pool with a small waterfall above it consisting of rocks and years’ worth of accumulated logs. As I looked further upstream, the entire stream appeared to be made up of this endless series of pools with a drop and small riffle into the next pool. The gradient must have been very steep, because the pool about 100 yards upstream of me was at my line of sight or slightly higher. It was truly a weird feeling looking at that pool of water that was over my head only a short distance away. 

The pool I was on appeared to be about mid-calf deep at its deepest point near the face of the log jam. I roll-casted my hopper-dropper rig into that general area of the pool and, before I could blink, a flash erupted from under the log jam and attempted to inhale my foam grasshopper from the surface of the water. I was so surprised that I totally whiffed on the hookset!  Undaunted, I rolled the hopper back into the same spot. Once again the flash came out, but this time I was ready. I flexed the rod backwards and employed my best strip-set, only to come up empty again. I got a better look at the brookie this time, however, and ascertained that my hopper was too big for him to get in his mouth. I quickly snipped the hopper-dropper from my tippet and threaded on my old reliable elk hair caddis. I roll-casted into that same spot in the pool several more times but the brookie was onto me now and refused to come out again. I crawled my way overWild Brook Trout that log jam and proceeded upstream to the next pool.

It was similar to the previous pool only not quite as deep and with more rocks lining its bottom. I flipped the EH Caddis towards the head of the pool and it was immediately met by an olive green flash. I set the hook and immediately felt weight on my line. I could tell just by the feel that this brookie was larger than the one that outwitted me on the previous pool. I stripped line to bring the brookie to hand and eventually landed a nice 6” wild mountain brook trout!  There is a 9” minimum for keepers on Jeremy’s Run, so, after a quick photo, I slid the fish back into the edge of the pool and he quickly darted from my hand and disappeared back in to the stones littering the bottom. I worked my way upstream repeating this process, catching one or two in every pool before moving along.  Unfortunately, none were as big as the six-incher I landed right off the bat.

This was absolutely some of the most physically demanding fishing I had ever done. This was due not only to the strenuous hike in (and OUT!), but due to all the crawling over, under, or through log jams to get from pool to pool, scaling boulders and tripping over smaller rocks as I waded. The pools are much different than what I was used to at home as well. The deepest ones were only about knee deep and some only as big around as a laundry baskets. It was amazing that these fish can thrive in such small waters. It also made me realize how nice of a fish my 6” brook trout was. The brookies didn’t hesitate to rise to a dry fly, often doing so with fury. If you missed one though, they usually don’t give you a second chance. If you let too much line fall on the pool, or even cast your shadow over the pool, you could forget about getting a rise from that pool as well. 

Twilight began to creep down the mountain, so, with reluctance, I stopped casting, stowed my fly rod and began the hike back up the mountain to my rental car. The hike out was even more strenuous than I had feared. My leg muscles were already sore from all the acrobatics required to fish the stream, as well as working them to control my speed on the hike down, so they began to burn in earnest on the way out.  Somewhere along the way, the barred owls began hooting, which caused me to quicken my step as much as I could. I began to look for my boot tracks from the hike down in the muddy spots of the trial. This not only occupied my mind, but also assured me that I was on the right path.  I actually began to piece this write up together in my head as I walked. I also began to make a game of noting things along the trail…deer track…another millipede…a cairn left by some previous angler…colorful mushrooms…another of my boot prints…bear track… 

Wait…WHAT?!?!?!  BEAR TRACK!! My heart began to race, and I felt the hair stand up on the back of my Bear trackneck. To make matters worse, the perfectly shaped bear track overlapped my boot track from the hike in, so I KNEW that bear had been through there within the past few hours. The single track was SO perfect that I actually thought to myself for a second that someone else was playing a trick on me. Then I realized that I had not seen or heard another soul since I left my car on Skyline Drive. Needless to say, I picked up the pace even more. I as moving as fast as my muscles, heart, and lungs would carry me, but it still didn’t seem to be enough. I was deep in thought trying to determine how much longer I could keep up this pace, when I saw a black streak going up a tree about 100 yards ahead of me. I stopped in my track to see a black bear cub perched at the top of an old dead pine. Within a few seconds, a second cub popped its head out from the other side of the topless tree. Drat! The exact scenario I didn’t want to have happen was playing out before my very eyes. I noticed motion at the base of the tree and then heard the grunting between the cubs and the movement on the ground. The momma bear! My head raced….was she blocking the trail? If so, how do I get back to my car? The forest is way too thick for me to bushwhack and I’d probably just get lost. I slowly eased my way around the corner of the trail to get a better assessment of the situation and spotted the large black mass shuffling around the bottom of the tree. Luckily they were all about 30 yards off the left side of the trail so I didn’t have to worry about coming between her and her cubs. Based on that information, I quickly decided to put my head down and try to scoot past the trio as quickly as I could, attempting to project that I hadn’t even seen them. I was hoping that once they realized I was not a threat, I could just breeze on by. With determination, I stepped out to the middle of the trail and began to move forward with purpose. Within about three steps, the mother bear caught sight of me and bolted into the underbrush the opposite direction of the trail. I let out a slight sigh of relief, but kept right on truckin’ until I got back to the asphalt below the parking lot where I left the car.

It took me a good half day to recover, but, by Monday afternoon, I had already decideWild Brook Troutd to fish Jeremy’s Run from the other direction, starting at the bottom and working my way up. My theory was that I could squeeze that in after work, since it wouldn’t take me nearly as long to drive or hike to the stream. I found good fishing almost immediately and started catching brookies within sight of the bridge over Jeremy’s Run at the start of the trail. The hiking was much easier on the way in and the stream was much wider, flatter and generally easier to fish. I even found a nice pool with an old root ball in the middle of it, where I caught several brookies in a row, including at least a couple that were as big as my big brookie from the day before. I continued to hike upward and fish, wherever the trail was close to the stream. One particular stretch that wandered quite a ways from the stream felt very much like prime bear territory to me. Eventually, I reached a spot where the stream became very narrow and rugged…much more like what I had fished the day before. By that time the sun was starting to set and my legs were in no shape for more log jam wrestling or boulder hopping, so I turned around and headed back to the car. When I reached the spot that felt very bear-like to me on the way in, I spotted the tail end of a smaller, single bear as it crashed into the underbrush headed away from me.  In just two days I went from never having seen a black bear in the wild to having seen four! I arrived back at my car a short time later and brought my Appalachian adventure to an end.

I feel very blessed to have been able to fish in the mountains on this trip. Jeremy’s Run is definitely a stream I will visit again. There are lots of other sections of it I’d like to fish yet. I chuckle now thinking about all the reports that said Jeremy’s Run is one of the most accessible streams in the Blue Ridge Mountains. If that’s the case, I have to wonder what the less accessible streams are like! While the 6” brookies I caught are decent fish by small mountain stream standards, I know there are larger brookies up there, so I’m bound and determined to catch a 9-inch one some trip yet to be planned.


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Made in the USA for your Feet

What do you have that's Made in the USA? We get that question a lot. While we carry many items that are made in the USA, here are some you may not realize - socks.

Many folks are familiar with our Lifetime Guarantee All-Purpose RedHead socks. If they wear out, you can return them any time, without a receipt and at any Bass Pro Shops location (or online), and receive a free pair.

Did you also know they are made in the USA? All of our RedHead socks for men, the Natural Reflections Lifetime Guarantee sock for ladies, and Ascend brand socks are made in the USA. That includes RedHead cotton crews to Mountain Bear to Treestand to Extreme Cold to the RedHead CoolMax liner socks, plus more! Here are a few favorites starting with the king - the RedHead Lifetime Guarantee All-Purpose socks for men.

RedHead Lifetime Guarantee All-Purpose SocksLifetime Guarantee Socks

I left off the "for men" on the heading, because I wear these and I'm not a guy. However, I wear them as slipper socks in the house. They are heavy-duty, warm, and are reinforced at the heel, toe, and in the arch - those stress zones. I love my RedHead socks, especially in the winter or a cold spring like we're having so far!

My husband does wear these socks for hunting and likes the warmth they provide along with a good pair of boots.

They are a best seller and for good reasons - Made in the USA, you buy one pair and you never have to buy another, and they provide durable warmth.

natural reflections socksLifetime Ladies Natural Reflections Sock

Not wanting something as thick as the sock for men? Then try the Lifetime Ladies Natural Reflections socks. All the same great features and benefits of the men's version, but simply a little less bulky.

Lifetime Guarantee Lightweight Quarter Socks

This is my go-to sock in the winter - in quarter or calf sizes - for work here at the store. Not too heavy, extra cushioning on the heels and, of course, a lifetime guarantee!

Last, but not least, the Ascend Hiker Quarter SockAscend Socks

My very favorite. Although I'm not hiking mountains and trails, I am hiking around the store a LOT! The Merino wool, nylon, and elastic yarn blend make them comfortable, flexible and durable. Plus they are what Bass Pro calls FARM TO FEET - the merino wool is 100% American grown, coupled with all-American nylon and elastic yarns, and produced in the Carolinas.

Doesn't get much more Made in the USA than that.


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How to Shoot a Deer

It's a cold, frosty morning as I sit on the ground waiting in anticipation. Petricho Photo

I see him. He moves softly. Quietly. He noses through the leaves on the ground only to peek up a second or two.

I can see the frozen breath hanging around his nose as he exhales, unaware that I am watching his every move. He moves closer to me as I silently focus in on him.

He's even closer now, and I can feel the tingly feeling come over my skin as the adrenaline starts to rush through me. I take a deep breath, focus in, and...


I now have another photo to add to my "already full" collection on social media.

Alright, you got me. This isn't about hunting.

It's just as important to have the right gear when going out into the wild, whether hunting or shooting photography. I have recently found myself getting out more and more and loving every minute of it!

Here are some helpful *starter* tips to get you as close to nature as possible!

1. Get a good back pack!

I can not stress it enough! Not only do you want something to carry all your camera equipment, but you're also going to want room for snacks (I LOVE the KIND chocolate and peanut butter energy bars) and plenty of water, and other necessities like a first aid kit, compass, flint, and even TP; You never know what can happen.

Ascend D2400 DaypackAscend D2400 Daypack

Lightweight, comfortable, and durable, the Ascend® D2400 Daypack gives you a compact pack that's perfect for day hikes. The D2400 helps you handle loads in comfort with contoured and padded shoulder straps with sternum strap, a padded back panel with airmesh pods for ventilation, and a removable web waist belt. Fill up the pack's 2400 cubic inches of space easily thanks to the easy packing panel-load main compartment and zippered front pocket with organizer panel. Pack also makes a great everyday pack choice, with its internal laptop/tablet padded sleeve. Side compression straps keeps load secure and easier to haul. Dual water bottle pockets (bottles not included). Made of 600D polyester, 420D nylon, and 1680D ballistic nylon, the D2400 also features tough YKK® zippers with easy-pull string loops and durable Nifco and Duraflex® hardware and buckles.

(And it comes in purple - my favorite!)


2. Comfy Hiking Boots!Petrichor Photo

RedHead Talus II Hiking Boots for LadiesRedHead Talus II Hiking Boots for Ladies

I literally picked out a pair of these boots today. After my old natural reflection boots finally "gave me the boot" (haha-cheesy, I know) I decided it was time to get a new pair with a little more tread. These bad boys (or girls?) are 100% water proof and have a mean looking tread on the bottom. They're super lightweight on my feet even though they appear bulkier.

When your hike or workday take you into rough terrain or extreme wet conditions, you can trust RedHead® Talus II Water-Resistant Boots for superior traction. These super-tough, mid-height boots feature a rugged suede leather and mesh upper. Your feet will stay comfortable all day with a comfortable mesh lining and removable PU insoles for breathability. RedHead Talus II Water-Resistant Hiking Boots have tough rubber outsoles with an aggressive tread that gives you gripping power on wet surfaces or harsh conditions.

This shoe also has super ratings!

Overall Rating:
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Advantages: Comfortable, Style/Design, Value for money, Quality, Fit/Size
" I bought these boots for myself just to have as out door shoes. I absoluelty love them! they are comfortable, have great grips, and have kept my feet dry for the most part. They are great quatlity. They are over all an excellent boot! "
These boots are also available for Men here: (I didn't forget you boys) RedHead Talus II Hiking Boots for Men

3. A Super Awesome Thermos!Petrichor Photo

Thermos Vacuum Insulated 24 oz. Leak-Proof BottleBeing an uber coffee enthusiast I never leave without my thermos! ....Never! It's important to stay warm on chilly mornings. Surprisingly enough, some of my best snap shots have happened when I was stopped somewhere having a "coffee break".

Thermos Vacuum Insulated 24 oz. Leak-Proof Bottle

Giving you the same strength and insulating performance as the traditional full size vacuum bottle, the Thermos® Vacuum Insulated 24 oz. Leak-Proof Bottle comes sized for easy carrying. This durable bottle features tough, double wall, stainless steel construction for trustworthy leakproof performance. Thermos' classic double wall vacuum insulation delivers great temperature retention, giving you cool-to-the-touch performance with hot foods and sweat-free performance with cold liquids. Easy opening push button lid makes getting a drink quick and easy. Holds 24 oz. BPA-free.

I really love this Thermos and the color is gorgeous! (Midnight Blue)


Petrichor PhotoOf course there's hundreds of other things I could tell you, but this is the most basic way to get you started quickly enough to get you out in the woods! Always wear layers, in the cold weather of course, and be ready to sit for a bit. I promise you will get so close to nature you will want to reach out and touch it.

Visit your local Bass Pro in Kodak (Your favorite of course!) and let us know how we can get you out into the woods! Send us pictures of what you saw on your adventure!

Until the next adventure,


Store 29


My Favorite Time Of Year

Barn and MapleFall is my favorite time of year by far and I'm willing to bet there are a lot of people out there that share my feelings.  We look forward to the temperatures dropping a touch below what you'd find in a steel foundry, the colors seem to explode like nature's version of a fireworks display, and the animals become hyper active in their search for a mate or food for the coming winter.  When I was growing up, the crispness in the air let us know  things were changing and seemed to breath new life into kids who were tired of being beat down by the heat and humidity of a Erie summer.  Our evening bike rides were longer, the football games more competitive, and our search for stored away hunting equipment more frantic with each passing day.  The moment was upon us and we probably weren't quite as ready as we could have been.  Sitting in a high school classroom during the fall was inhumane torture once the colors started changing and hitting the fields and woods was more important than anything a teacher could possible tell us.

Fall hunting season started with archery and then quickly moved into squirrel, grouse, then rabbit and pheasant.  If I'd lived there at this time in my life the season would have also included steelhead and lake-run brown further complicating matters since I couldn't possibly decide whether I wanted to go hunting or fishing.  Some people think fall is a season when things are turning brown and dying but for the outdoorsman, it's a  time of excitement and exploration.  I could spend days afield or on the streams staring in wonderment at the colors, hearing the sounds, and taking in the sweet smells of the season.  It makes my heart ache when I think about what I'm missing by living so far south, but then again, I don't have to shovel snow in January.

Fall in Florida brings on the hunting season just like more northern regions but we don't get to enjoy temperature changes quite like they do, nor do we see the broad spectrum of color changes but things are happening at a fever pitch.  The annual mullet run is underway and the fish are feeding with abandon, the migratory birds are beginning to show up after leaving their summer homes, and the deer are going through the fall rut as they try to create the next generation of monster bucks.  Nature continues to move forward as the days get shorter and the temperatures drop into a range slightly below incinerator levels.  It can be a wonderful time of year no matter where in the country you might choose to call home.  You just need to take the time to get outdoors and enjoy it. Ruffed Grouse

Pull on some hiking boots, jeans, and a nice flannel shirt then hit the road with your camera, rod, or gun and I'm sure you'll fall in love with the fall season like so many of us have.  It's a wonderful time of the year that seems to pass all too quickly so don't miss it this year. because it'll be winter before you know it. 

Brian "Beastman" Eastman

White River Fly Shop

Outdoor World Orlando




Simple Steps with Wes: Snake Bites

So back in June I wrote a blog about rattlesnakes! As per my forte, the article was more about education and entertainment. But what would you do, if you really encountered one? And not just a rattlesnake, but any of the venomous snakes we have in North America? Well lucky for us, Wes is covering that specific subject for this month’s Simple Step blog:

“North America has two kinds of venomous snakes:  The pit vipers (rattlesnakes, water moccasins) and Elapids (coral snakes).  One or more of these snakes can be found almost everywhere in the continental U.S

Many snakes are active at night, especially in warm weather. In the wilderness, it’s important to look where you’re putting your hands and feet.  Be especially careful around areas where snakes might like to hide, such as hollow logs, under rocks, or in old shelters. Wearing heavy gloves would be a reasonable precaution. Be sure to wear good solid high-top boots and long pants when hiking in the wilderness. Walking heavy creates ground vibrations and noise, which will often cause snakes move along.

Not every bite from a venomous snake transfers its poison to the victim; 25-30% of these bites will show no ill effects. Snake bites that cause a burning pain immediately are likely to have venom in them.  Swelling at the site may begin as soon as five minutes afterwards, and may travel up the affected area.  Pit viper bites tend to cause bruising and blisters at the site of the wound.  Numbness may be noted in the area bitten, or perhaps on the lips or face.  Some victims describe a metallic or other strange taste in their mouths.

 With pit vipers, bruising is not uncommon and a serious bite might start to cause spontaneous bleeding from the nose or gums.  Coral snake bites, however, will cause mental and nerve issues such as twitching, confusion and slurred speech.  Later, nerve damage may cause difficulty with swallowing and breathing, followed by total paralysis.

Coral snakes appear very similar to their look-alike, the non-venomous king snake.  They both have red, yellow and black bands and are commonly confused with each other.  The old saying goes: ”red touches yellow, kill a fellow; red touches black, venom it lacks”.  This adage only applies to coral snakes in North America, however.

Coral snakes are not as aggressive as pit vipers and will prefer fleeing to attacking.  Once they bite you, however, they tend to hold on; Pit vipers prefer to bite and let go quickly. Unlike coral snakes, pit vipers may not relinquish their territory to you, so prepare to possibly be bitten again.

A snake doesn’t always slither away after it bites you and it’s likely has more venom that it can inject. If bitten move out of its striking range, which can be twice its body length or mitigate the hazard in any way you can. Killing the snake, however, may not render it harmless: it can reflexively bite for a period of time, even if its head has been severed from its body. Removing the head and bury it 10-12” deep.

The treatment for a venomous snake bite is “Anti-venom”, an animal or human serum with antibodies capable of neutralizing a specific biological toxin. This product will probably be unavailable in a long-term survival situation.

The following wilderness treatment strategy will be useful:

 • Keep the victim calm. Stress increases blood flow, thereby endangering the patient by speeding the venom into the system.

 • Stop all movement of the injured extremity. Movement will move the venom into the circulation faster, so do your best to keep the limb still.

 • Clean the wound thoroughly to remove any venom that isn’t deep in the wound

 • Remove rings and bracelets from an affected extremity as swelling may occur.

 • Position the extremity below the level of the heart; this also slows the transport of venom.

 • Wrap with compression bandages snug but do not restrict blood flow. Begin two to four inches above the bite (towards the heart), winding around and moving up, then back down over the bite and past it towards the hand or foot. Do not use tourniquets.

 • Draw a circle, if possible, around the affected area.  As time progresses, you will see improvement or worsening at the site more clearly. This is a useful strategy to follow any local reaction or infection.

The limb should then be rested, and perhaps immobilized with a splint or sling.  The less movement there is, the better. Keep the patient on bed rest, with the bite site lower than the heart for 24-48 hours. This strategy also works for bites from venomous lizards, like Gila monsters.

It is no longer recommended to make an incision and try to suck out the venom with your mouth.  If done more than 3 minutes after the actual bite, it would remove perhaps 1/1000 of the venom and could cause damage or infection to the bitten area.  A Sawyer Extractor (a syringe with a suction cup) is more modern, but is also fairly ineffective in eliminating more than a small amount of the venom. These methods fail, mostly, due to the speed at which the venom is absorbed.“

Thanks, Wes! Remember, you can always request a subject or topic by emailing it to . Get more of Wes at his Facebook and Webpage.


Previous Steps

Floods Dehydration Halloween Edition Survival Kit Daylight Estimation

Determining Direction Eye Protection Nature Calling First Aid Kits

Epi-Pens Scorpions Edible Fruit Search and Rescue Clouds Traps Celestial Navigation

Footwear Communication Trick or Treating Fire 12 Steps (Reboot) Military Lessons


Simple Steps with Wes: Military Lessons

One of our oldest running blog series, and by far one of my favorites, has been Simple Steps with Wes. These started all the way back in 2013. They were the brain-child of one of our amazing associates, Wes. He was a Lead in our store and has extensive survival knowledge. He loves sharing this information and passion with others. Earlier this month, he was back in action at our store and was handling the seminars for our Family Summer Camp.

And that is one of things that I admire about him. He can give seminars to crowds of kids just as easy as talking to a classroom full of adults looking for helpful hints and tricks. Some of that ability to adapt, had to come from his military background. And that is where this month’s Simple Step comes from, his military background. Enjoy!

“I have learned many lessons in the military and in this edition of Simple Steps I hope to convey some specific ones about hiking and backpacking. “Rucking” is the military term for hiking with a full pack or “Rucksack”. As you can imagine, this is a huge issue for the military, as soldiers must wear body armor and carry weapons, ammo, water, communications equipment, and other gear critical to complete the missions. During my last training event I was carry just over 85 lbs. not including my weapon and ammo.

In order to maintain optimal capabilities military service members learn very valuable lessons along the way which can help keep you at your best when you decide to hit the trail.

1. One pound on your feet equals five pounds on your back.

Aside from selecting the proper footwear (which we covered during an earlier edition of simple steps), the weight carried at the shoe takes five time more energy to maintain the same pace of travel  as it would carrying the weight at the torso level. Simply put, lighter footwear equals less strain on the body and is more energy efficiency. In practical terms, this means you could carry half a gallon more of water if you buy boots that are a pound lighter.

2. Managing pack weight needs to be a conscious effort 

Packing what you need, not everything you want, will keep weight out of the pack. Researching potential weather conditions can also help you make decisions in what you leave at home as well. Ideally, a backpack should not weigh more than 30% of the carrier’s body weight. Each 1% of your body weight carried in your pack makes you 6 seconds slower per mile. Small changes such as flashlights that use smaller and less batteries, proper sleeping bag selection, aluminum cookware, and smart food selections can all help subtract pack weight quickly.

3. Comfort starts in how you pack

Packing lighter items lower and heavier items closer to the top of the pack helps keep better posture. As you hike, your upper body naturally leans forward. Weight at the top of the back will work with your body and lessen muscle fatigue in your shoulders and back. Properly adjusting should straps and belt straps will allow the back weight to be supported more evenly, rather than straining just shoulder and back muscles alone.  

4. Downhill is harder on the body than uphill

Going downhill places twice as much strain on your body as going uphill. Why? Braking forces. As you descend, you have to brake your speed with your quads to keep yourself under control. The steeper the downhill, the more braking. This added load on your muscles further affects your uphill performance if you have repeated bouts of up and down work. This also adds to the risk of knee and ankle injuries.

By selecting the proper footwear, bringing only what you need and packing it properly, you can keep the strain of your body and sustain yourself for longer distances and with lower risk of injuries. Read, research and ask questions and you can experience more of life in the great outdoors.

If you have questions or would like to see a topic covered in a future edition of Simple Steps with Wes, submit them to “

Thanks, Wes! With all the upcoming big-game hunting seasons and just people going out into the woods more this is really good stuff to know. Until next time! Get more of Wes at his Facebook and Webpage.


Previous Steps

Floods Dehydration Halloween Edition Survival Kit Daylight Estimation

Determining Direction Eye Protection Nature Calling First Aid Kits

Epi-Pens Scorpions Edible Fruit Search and Rescue Clouds Traps Celestial Navigation

Footwear Communication Trick or Treating Fire 12 Steps (Reboot)


Hiking Boots

Basic Information about Hiking Boots


When planning our outdoor adventures, we must always consider, “What is the proper footwear for my outing”?  Beach sandals and flip flops, Casual and boat shoes or Trekking and hiking boots.  Many people are unaware that hiking boots/shoes actually serve you best when used in the proper hiking adventure.


This short blog is simply to provide a brief description of the types of hiking boots and their purpose in our outdoor lives.  Essentially, there are Hiking Shoes, Hiking Boots, Backpacking Boots and Mountaineering Boots.  Hiking shoes are generally low-cut light weight models designed for short walks or trail running.  These are used mostly by ultralight hiking enthusiasts.  Hiking boots typically are mid or high cut, providing more support, and are intended for day hikes and weekend backpacking trips involving light loads of gear.  Backpacking boots are designed for carrying heavy loads of gear, mostly used for multi-day backpacking trips deep into the back country.  These boots are durable and more supportive with stiffer midsoles than the lighter hiking models.  Mountaineering boots are much heavier than the lightweight hiking shoes, are more supportive, tough and durable and have some level insulating materials.


Bass Pro Shops carries a full line of Hiking Shoes and Boots to fit just about every outdoor adventure.  Our friendly, customer oriented associates are here to help you match your footwear to your adventure.

Matching our footwear to our outdoor adventure enhances our outdoor experience, and when we have the right shoe/boot in the right environment our feet are more comfortable and protected…and when our feet feel good, we can have a great experience in the Great Outdoors.


Michael Lawson

Bass Pro Shops

Grapevine, Texas


The choices in hiking footwear

Spring is in full swing! That can only mean one thing, lots and lots of RAIN. Don’t let rain put a damper on your outdoor activities and invest in a pair a waterproof hiking boots. Hiking shoes are a wonderful shoe option, especially this time of year, because of their versatility. They come on many different brands and styles with features to fit any ones needs.



Deciding what you need out of your shoe and what features are necessary is the first step to picking the right hiker for you. The first decision you will want to make is between a Mid and low top. Mids reach just above the ankle and will offer ankle support for those who need it. They are great for the aggressive hiker or anyone that likes to have that added support. Low tops are a tennis shoe height  and while offering great foot-bed support do not offer ankle support. One more big decision you need to make is whether you need/want waterproof or not. Waterproof is an awesome feature but not necessary for everyone. We have a variety of styles that are full leather with waterproof as well as several that still offer breathability. After those 2 decisions everything else will fall into place.

Now to highlight some of our top styles this season; RedHead offers many great styles of hikers that will give you more bang for your buck. The first I will talk about is the RedHead Ranger Ridge; this particular shoe comes in a mid as well as low top version. Both are waterproof and rated highly for comfort, support, and durability. It is also available in woman’s styles. Another great style in RedHead is the Trekker Low Trail Shoe. This shoe is great for everyday use and light hiking. It is a lightweight breathable shoe that still offers the waterproof feature.

Now for our top selling brand, Merrell is the best of the best as far as hikers are concerned. They are durable and rated the highest across the board in comfort. We carry SEVERAL styles that are sure to please but I will just highlight a few. The first is the Moab Mid Waterproof. This shoe sports a 100% waterproof membrane while still being extremely breathable. It is light weight with an aggressive Vibram rubber outsole that offers shock absorbency and last ability. Just try it on and it sells itself!  We also carry this same style with all the same features in a low top, and they both come in womans styles!!

As you can see we have many great hiking options to fit anyone’s needs, and to think these are just few. Come in to your local Bass Pro Shops to see our full selection and to receive expert help in deciding the best shoe for you!


Check out this other greatly written blog! - Hiking Shoes vs. Hiking Boots

Chelsea McDaniel

Team Lead of footwear


Washington State Parks Free Days

In honor of National Trails Day on Saturday, June 6 and National Get Outdoors Day on Saturday, June 13  Washington State Parks are open for free use to the following activities:

  • hiking
  • biking
  • backpacking
  • picnicking


Typically, day use of state parks is $10 per day when a vehicle is brought onto state park grounds, or a yearly Discover Pass is required (cost is $30) to access the parks by vehicle. With the upcoming free days all day-use fees are waived.

The camping department at Bass Pro Shops Tacoma has plenty of gear to ensure your time spent outside during the state park free days are comfortable, enjoyable, safe and most of all fun! Just a few items you may want to include in your backpacks are:

  • Sunscreen
  • Bug repellent
  • Water
  • Granola bars or trail mix
  • First Aid kit

Other items you may want to wear or bring with you are sunglasses, a hat, trekking poles for gaining traction in rugged or slippery terrain or if you plan on hiking great distances, a hydration pack. Additionally, plan for variable weather conditions, since the climate in the Pacific Northwest can be tricky and changes frequently. Be sure to utilize base layer clothing and/or bring along a light, packable jacket with a hood. Also, wear a pair of hiking socks that wick away moisture and good-fitting hiking boots.

Have questions about hiking or backpacking gear? Feel free to ask our experts! Call or stop by your Tacoma Bass Pro Shops, 253-671-5700.

~Amanda Bretz



How to Choose the Correct Insole!


When hiking, backpacking or running your feet hurt, you get blisters or hotspots that

might mean it is time for new insoles.

Types of Insole


Comfort Insoles


These can be flat or shaped and can be made of gel or foam.

There are different size choices for insoles. Full length, 3/4 length or

arch or heel inserts.


Support Insoles


These are made of a harder material for structural support and stability.

Comfort is from the stability rather than the cushioning.

They are not customized to an individual foot, support insoles come in

different styles to suit most foot shapes.


Tips for Fitting Insoles


First stand on the insole outside of the shoe.

Check to see how stable you feel, and how much

pressure you feel.

Then try it in your shoe. Always remember to remove the insole that

comes with your shoe. Be sure to check stability of the shoe with new

insole make sure it takes up the right amount of space: not to much

or to little. Your shoe should feel comfortable not to loose or to tight.


Insole Care Tips


Most insoles will last up to 12 months if used daily or on a regular basis.

They may last a few years in footwear that is used on an occasional or seasonal



Air them out:  Remove your insoles regularly to dry out moisture

trapped between insole and foot bed.


Wash them:  Use a mild detergent and air dry.


Inspect them:  Periodically remove and inspect for signs of deterioration.

Check out some of Bass Pro Shops Shoe & Boot Accessories in the link above!


Backpacking for Beginners!

If you’re a first time backpacker you need to make the decision of who you would like to team up with, if anyone at all. Partner up with an experienced backpacker or a  group (4-6 people typically) Someone with knowledge is good for peace of mind and also makes it more fun than going it alone.

You should have a backpacking checklist which should include  “The Ten Essentials”. Make sure that whatever gear you take you and your partner know what it is for and how it is all used.

Pick an appropriate destination, something that won’t be too long for your first time and the terrain is something you’ll be able to handle.

For beginners a one night trip to start makes more sense than being out longer and not being too sure or confident.

Start by making a list. Here are just a few things that are essential to make your first backpacking trip a success.


  1. Map or Compass
  2. Sunglasses or Sunscreen
  3. Emergency Shelter
  4. Extra Water
  5. Extra Food
  6. Extra Clothing
  7. Flashlight and or Headlamp
  8. First Aid Kit
  9. Repair Kit/Tools/Knife  (and last but not least)
  10. Waterproof matches/lighter/candles

Now the fun starts by picking out a backpack, tent, sleeping bag or pad, clothing, hiking boots or shoes, food,  a satellite phone or two way radio,

Insect repellant  and bear spray. A trip itinerary left with a friend or  even under your car seat would be wise, in the case of an emergency.

These are just a few things to get you started. Make sure you do your homework by picking the right area, the right equipment and essentials.

The most important step above everything else is to be Safe and have a GREAT time…

Shop our extensive Camping selection at!


Hiking Boot Buyer's Guide

When To Replace Your Shoes


A pair of standard running shoes will last about 6 months. However, there are many factors that

influence how often to replace your shoes. If you use running shoes for everyday use they will not

last as long. Running in old or worn out shoes can lead to running injuries. When you run in worn-out shoes it increases the stress and impact on your legs and joints.



How to tell when to replace your running shoes


The general rule, most running shoes will last 300-400 miles depending on your height, weight and terrain you run on.  If you run on the trails you'll need to replace them sooner than running on a treadmill. If you take care of

your running shoes you will get alot more miles out of them.

The feel of the shoe will tell you before any other way. If your feet start to hurt or your knees ache it is time to replace your shoes. The soles last longer than the cushioning of the shoes. If the soles are worn down it is

definitely time to replace your shoes.




Making Your Shoes Last Longer


Removing your shoes properly will extend the life of your shoe. For example by unlacing them and using

your hand to remove them instead of kicking them of with the other foot they'll last longer.

Rotating your shoes will also extend the life of your shoe.


Check out what Bass Pro Shops holds we have a great selection on boots, crocs , sandals and even casual shoes for men and women!


Wading Through Waders

What do you use waders for?  Do you use them to hunt?  Outdoor work?  Fishing?  Whatever your reason to use waders, let the associates at Bass Pro Shop help you find the right wader for the right reason with the right budget.

Finding the right wader is important, not only can it ruin your mood, but it may ruin your entire day if you get wet.

There are three styles of waders to consider, hip, waist, and chest.  Common materials used for waders are rubber, neoprene, waterproof, breathable fabrics, and nylon.

Hip waders are very comfortable in warmer waters.  Very easy on and off they are great for small streams, they pack easy. The Redhead Bone Dry Hobbs Creek Hip Waders have a lug sole and are tough, comfortable, and affordable.















Waist high waders wear just like a pair of pants.  Belt loops and a belt to hold them up.  Your upper body is exposed so again very comfortable for the warm weather.


Chest waders are all around waders that provide the most coverage.  Water can be unpredictable so when trying these on make sure you are covered allowing a few extra inches higher than you need.  The Redhead Classic Series II Brown Neoprene Boot Foot Waders are flexible with 200 grams for warmth and come in men, ladies, or youth sizes.  Need a plus size?  Check out the Redhead Bone Dry Big Man Neoprene Boot Foot Wader with 600 grams, fits up to a shoe size 15.  Chest goes to 58.5", waist 61" and a inseam of up to 41.5".


















What materials do you want?  Breathable uninsulated waders are lightweight and comfortable.  The fabric locks out moisture while allowing perspiration to vent at the same time.  The knees and seat are reinforced. Neoprene waders are tough and hard to beat in the cold weather.  Comfortable and durable but not breathable.  The material reminds you of a wetsuit.  Nylon waders are durable and inexpensive.  Rubber is tough durable and heavy.  It all depends what work or fun you will be having with these.  Simms Freestone Stocking Foot Waders are breathable, waterproof and convert to waist high waders easy.  Add the Simms Freestone Wading Boot with leather upper which are comfortable, durable and are able to lace up for stability.


















Do you need a extreme wader?  Look no farther than the Redhead Bone Dry Extreme Waders, with 1000 grams of pure warmth.  One piece construction makes this durable, comfortable and ready for whatever extreme you give it.












Footwear, do you want a Boot foot wader that is all one construction?  Quick on and off they have a rubber or felt sole.  The only negative is you cannot lace them up for stable footing.  The Stockingfoot waders need a boot for better stablility and some even come with a option of what sole you may want.  Felt soles are great when the rocks are slippery, while a hiking sole is better if you need to walk a distance to your fishing spot.  Metal studded felt is considered the best traction for slippery bottoms.

Which ever wader you choose, taking care of them is a must.  Hang them to dry.  If storing them, make sure the boot is completely dry and then store them in a cool, dark place with no sun.  Something that might help you dry is the Peet Wader Dryer  .  This book dryer has a gentle thermal convection that dries sweat and moisture quickly.  It also neutralizes odors brought on by perspiration.














Stop on by and check out the large variety of waders we have.  We will have one to fit your need, and budget.


Robin Piedmonte - Events Coordinator



Simple Steps with Wes: 12 Steps Reboot

Undoubtedly, the Simple Steps blogs have been one of the longest running articles we produce. We have gone over numerous subjects since we first started these years ago. It is truly awesome that Wes keeps helping us with these, and providing us with extremely useful information. Last year, we started off with a 12-Step program that was loaded with skills to learn. Wes hoped it gave a guideline and some direction for those of us seeking more knowledge. And like any other “New Year’s Resolution” kind of deal, I am sure many put it on the back burner after a while.

That is why we are going to bring it back to start this year’s round of Simple Steps. You’ll notice that some of the subjects, we have already covered and some new ones still remain. We hope it gets you back into the mindset to make this year one of your most resilient! Enjoy!

A Survival Twelve Step Program

Some people may look at me and say to themselves “Man that guy as got a problem, he should get some help”.  Well the first step to step to recovery from any problem is admitting you have one.  Well the last place to have a problem is out in the wilderness and off the beaten path so I’m here to help and the best time to turn over a new leaf is at the New Year.  To get your year started out right make a promise to yourself to learn a new skill every month this year that will help make you a better, more efficient, and a self reliant survivalist.

 Here is a list of suggestions that might get the wheels turning.  Some may take a little more time than others and some may be skills you already have.  There is no order they should be done so plan around your own lifestyle and replace proficient skills on the list with ones you want to learn.  Remember knowledge is power, but you cannot replace real life practice with just reading it in a book so get out and get your hands dirty.

  1. Land Navigation:  I would break this down into two categories, GPS & Map and Compass.  GPS units can be extremely helpful and most units are user friendly but getting the most from your GPS unit takes skill.  Learn how to set waypoints, understand what GPS coordinates are, and if you have one, update the map programs as needed.  Even though GPS is great technology fails and if your luck is like mine it will fail when you need it most.  Buy a good Compass and get some area maps of wilderness locations that you frequent.  Learn to ready the topographic maps and understand how to plot courses.  This skill will be worth its weight in gold if you ever run out of batteries in your GPS or “Smart Phone”.
  2. Fire Starting:  I cannot stress it enough how important being able to start a fire is for survival.  Fire covers all spectrums of survival from signaling rescue, to protection from elements and predators, to water purification to food preparation.  It is also a psychological booster in a time of despair.  I like to practice different fire starting methods every time I use my BBQ grill.  I pay attention to my technique and the environmental conditions, especially when it does not work.  The last thing I want to do is use a method in a situation that is not optimal and waist valuable energy and time.
  3. Identifying Wild Edibles: Living off the land is the key to survival.  Knowing what nature has provided is a skill that has to be practiced and photos in a book do not always properly represent the vegetation in your area so get out and see it firsthand.  Knowing what is poisonous is also just as important.
  4. Make a Survival Kit: Investing in a survival kit is like buying car insurance, you hope you don’t need it but it’s better to have it and not need it, than not have it and wish you did.  Keep it small and light weight.  To do this, select items that are multifunctional and cover more than one of the priorities of Survival (Protection, Rescue, Water, and Fire).  In Previous Simple Steps we have covered some great suggestions for survival kit items.  It does not have to be expensive but it does have to be reliable.
  5. Health and Fitness: It is common knowledge that being physically fit will expand your chances of survival.  You are already taking a step in the right direction by being active, getting out and going on a hike.  Start small and make simple changes to your lifestyle.  A very simple three step rule to follow is to never go three days without exercise, workout at least three days a week, and never miss a Monday.  You will be amazed at how effective this is.
  6. Water Treatment and Purification: If you have not already, purchase a water purification system.  I love the Lifestraw, but there are many other systems out there as well.  I also carry a bulk water purification system and tablets.  I would also practice making water still and a rain catch as well.  Water is top priority and without it nothing else matters.
  7. Snares and Traps: Once you have established a water source food is important.  Hunting takes a lot of time and energy you may not have.  If you are alone, there are a lot of tasks that need to be completes so having passive systems set up to catch small game and fish while you attend to other needs is a great skill to know.  The more you can set the better your chances to bag a meal will be.
  8. First Aid: Wilderness first aid, CPR, and any other medical skill training you can get help you and anyone else you may come across.  Having a first aid kit is not enough.  You need to know how to use it.  Take a class from the Red Cross, or another accredited source. This is not a wilderness survival skill this is a LIFE survival skill.
  9. Shelter Building: Shelters keep you safe from the environmental conditions and predators alike.  Identifying shelters nature has provided and having the ability to use materials you find to improve upon those shelters will not only help you from expending unneeded energy but will help you preserve what energy you do have.  Practice making basic shelters that are time and energy efficient.
  10. Search and Rescue: Knowing how search and rescue works and searches will help you understand how to make yourself easier to find.  Having equipment on hand to help signal for help can shorten your time in the wild and raise your chances of survivability.  Getting things such as a whistle, signal mirror and flares are a must have if you want out as quickly as possible.
  11. Communications: Most people today have cell phones but they are not always reliable in backcountry areas.  Carrying a hand held radio or CB (Citizen Ban Radio) are a great asset. Most off road vehicle clubs and hiking clubs use these and by scanning you may be able to contact someone in your area for help.  It is also good to have in case your group gets separated to link back up again.
  12. Weather prediction: Knowing how to read cloud formations and environmental conditions is a great skill to help keep you using Mother Nature to help you survive.  Seeing when a storm may be near can help plain when to set up rain catches, take shelter, and when to make fire and which method would be best.  

I hope that this list shows you that there is a lot more to hiking in the back country than just lacing up some boots, throwing on a pack and taking off.  Plan to be at your best when things are at your worst.  See you on the trails.    “

What subjects are you most interested in? Tell us in the comments section below! We are always looking to provide the most pertinent and sought after information to our audiences. You can always get more Wes by liking his Facebook, viewing his YouTube or visiting his site. Until next month!


Previous Steps

Floods Dehydration Halloween Edition Survival Kit Daylight Estimation

Determining Direction Eye Protection Nature Calling First Aid Kits

Epi-Pens Scorpions Edible Fruit Search and Rescue Clouds Traps Celestial Navigation

Footwear Communication Trick or Treating Fire


Check it Out List: Tactical Clothing

Two words that have infiltrated the shooting world over the past years, tactical and zombie. From those two words, different worlds have been developed. And combining those words is a whole different ball game!

When it comes to the term tactical, there is a whole slew of things it can involve. Tactical shooting, clothing, maneuvering, reloading, pens, holsters, water bottles, knives, flashlights and so on. So much so that many simply mock the whole “tactical” concept.

But like many things that can come under ridicule, tactical apparel does have sound reasoning behind it. So for this month’s Check it Out List we are going to go over Tactical Clothing.


Tactical Shirt

Tactical Pants/Shorts

Tactical Belt

Tactical Gloves

Tactical Jacket

Tactical Boots


Most often tactical products are concerning self-defense. It goes hand in hand with possible combat and carrying a firearm. You really wouldn’t want to be caught in a gun-fight with pajama pants, flip flops and a lose shirt. You are going to want clothing that is secure, leaving little room for possible issues occurring while drawing and firing a firearm.

Working our way down the list, let us start with the shirt. There is an assortment of shirts: long sleeve, short sleeve, button up, polo and so on. Each different style will provide you with some kind of advantage. Also depending on the weather and possibly your job or plan for the day will help you choose what to wear.

The pants and shorts are well known for having numerous pockets on them. This is for your extra magazines, knife, flashlight, standard everyday items (phone, wallet, etc.) and more. Unlike cargo shorts, these pockets do not bulge out so you are less likely to get caught on something while moving. Also the pockets hold items more securely so you are not fishing around to find the desired item.

The belt may be the simplest yet most important aspect. First thing to notice is how thick it is. The thickness and height of the belt help keep a holster on your person. Try wearing a holster on a normal belt and notice how much wiggle there is. Now when you have to draw your firearm that wiggle space could throw you off and be a huge difference to the outcome. A tactical belt will almost eliminate that “wiggle room” completely.

Two items are more for personal preference. Gloves are great to shoot with, but not always necessary. And you probably won’t go around wearing them all day anyway so it would look a little unnatural. They do allow one to grip a firearm better and can help if dealing with a “hot” firearm. Gloves do not sweat like your hand might in a stressful situation so it helps keep something important from “slipping out”.

A nice tactical jacket will allow you to have numerous pockets (much like the pants/shorts) and may even have special pockets to carry extra magazines or the firearm itself. These jackets tend to be built well so they do a nice job of keeping you warm and providing you with ease of access for items.

You can tell a lot about someone by their shoes. Tactical boots are very nice and many who wear them tend to wear nothing else. These boots are built light, solid and comfortable. Thinking about having to be in a self-defense situation you are not going to want to worry about tripping on your shoelaces or even worse being in flip flops. There has been an increasing trend for use of tactical boots for hunting and hiking because of how well they work.

No matter what your goal is, hopefully this has opened your eyes or opinions to other options.




Gun Cleaning

Game Care

First Aid


Day Pack

Trip Prep

Range Time

Fishing Pack

Boating Day Trip

Camp Cooking

 Dove Hunting

Upland Hunting


Fall Flannel Fest at Bass Pro Shop

Are you crazy about flannel?  What is it about flannel that makes us think about soft fire lit rooms in October?  The simple serenity of feeling warm and cozy.  Here in the Northeast, Fall is a beautiful time of year.  You can still camp, kayak, hike, and hunt.  It is the perfect time to wear flannel, which makes it the perfect time to stop on down to Bass Pro Shop and check out what we have in our flannel collection.

Flannel has been around since the 17th century when it was a popular fabric in Wales.  Well it is extremely popular right now.  Flannel just never seems to go out of style.  Right now you see women in their twenties sporting it with leggings and boots or flats. This is not just for men, lumberjacks or construction workers!  Lightweight, soft to the touch it leaves us warm but not weighed down.

Flannel is affordable.  Check out the shirts and pants below to see just how much flannel Bass Pro Shop has to offer!

Do you want the softest flannel shirt going?  You have to check out the Redhead Ultimate Flannel shirts.  Sizes small to 2xlt and 8 colors give you a wide selection to pick from.  Made of 100% combed yarn, these shirts resist pilling and are virtually shrink free.

The Redhead Flannel-Lined Rock Bluff Shirt is also made of 100% cotton (peached twill outside and plaid flannel in the body).  This shirt comes in four colors and has 100% polyester lining in the sleeves with a two button flap chest pockets.  Best part this shirt goes up to 3xl.





If you are looking for a mix of fleece and flannel check out the Redhead Fleece Lined Flannel.  This top comes in 4 colors and comes in sizes small to 3xl.  Fleece lined body and quilted lining in the sleeves gives you a little extra warmth.

Still can't find a color to suit you?  Check out the Redhead Bear Creek Flannel ShirtThis shirt comes in 12 different colors, 100% cotton and two chest pockets.  Sizes small to 2xlt.






The top half of you is warm now take a look at the pants. The Redhead Flannel Lined Bluff Cargo Pant has two hand as well as two cargo pockets that have hook and loop closures.  They are flannel lined with a 100% cotton twill exterior.   The Redhead Flannel Lined Utility Pant is light weight and warm and with the cotton flannel lining is tough and durable.






You say you love flannel but need something a little more dressed up?  Check out the Bob Timberlake Signature Flannel Shirt.  This 100% cotton shirt is soft to the touch while being more dressed up casual.







Lets not forget the ladies.  The Natural Reflections Flannel Shirt Jacket has a two button flap chest pocket with princess seams and is made of 100% cotton with a sherpa lining.  Cozy and warm this jacket also comes in four colors.  Perfect for fall.







Not to be outdone is the Natural Reflections Flannel Shirt100% cotton flannel with two button chest pockets princess sleeves and it comes in eight colors.  Sizes small to 3x.







Don't forget that we also have Natural Reflections Flannel Lined Jeans and Natural Reflections Flannel Lined Twill pants. 







Your body is set, now how about those feet?  Why we even have some flannel lined casual shoes and boots.  The Redhead All Season Classic Boots for mens and ladies is just what you need.  Rugged suede leather upper, flannel plaid lining, easy on or off.  Perfect for this kind of weather.







Casual is the word today. The Bob Timberlake Forest View is a casual comfortable shoe for relaxing and lounging.  With a cusioned insole and plaid fleece lining one might not ever want to take them off.







Last but not least, nights get a little cold here.  Whether you are camping or just sitting out at a fire pit.  The Bass Pro Shop Sleeping Bags with flannel inside will do the trick of blanket or sleeping bag.  From 0 degrees to 40 degrees, these affordable bags are perfect.  We even carry double, oversized or standard bags.






Whatever your flannel obsession is, Bass Pro Shop is where you need to be.  So stop on out to our Fall Flannel Fest and see the wide selection you have to warm those bones.

Robin Piedmonte

Events Coordinator




Simple Steps with Wes: Footwear

So for this month I decided that Wes and I should “step it up”. I am hoping that by now you all are not hoping that we “put a sock in it”. And that’s about it for shoe puns right now.

We are going over basic footwear concepts for the outdoors. Wes has quite the extensive history of hiking. Military, search and rescue, recreational and more has lead him to have a good knowledge of this kind of thing. And he was in charge of our Footwear department here for a while!

“We get a lot of questions about picking the proper footwear for hiking.  It is a topic that has a lot of variables to consider.  First everyone is different.  There is no standardization within the shoe industry.  A size 9 is not always a size 9.

Aside possible injuries or special needs by the wearer (arch support etc..) I look at a few basic factors.  First it has to have a Vibram sole.  Vibram is a solid cleat that will be more durable over time.

Secondly the geometry of the cleat pattern should be broken up.  This allows for better traction and less potential to slip on loose surfaces.

Lastly you have to select the stiffness of the sole.  In order to maintain balance your foot will flex, then the ankle, then knee, then the lower back.  The more pack weight or rougher terrain the stiffer the sole needed to relieve the stress to the body.

I have two hiking boots types I use regularly.  Lighter hikes (under 12 miles with pack under 25lbs.) I wear the Merrell Moab pictured below.  Heavy hikes I wear the Danner Expeditions.  But like Ford vs Dodge vs Chevy, everyone will have their own preference.”

So there you have it. Another Simple Step and proof that Wes has a great “sole”!

Get more Wes at his site!




Previous Simple Steps:



Halloween Edition

Survival Kit

Daylight Estimation

Determining Direction

Eye Protection

Nature Calling

First Aid Kits



Edible Fruit

Search and Rescue



Celestial Navigation


Walk a Mile in My Shoes

So many shoes! That’s what went through my head when I went to Bass Pro Shops Katy the other day. I couldn’t believe my eyes: there were so many choices to be had. All the associates were super friendly and attentively helpful, but I just wanted to take my time looking. There was a massive wall dedicated to shoes. There were other cases and shelves dedicated to specific footwear and the shelves were sometimes short and sometimes tall enough that I couldn’t see over the top of them. I could imagine all the different reason and scenarios that I’d need ALL the shoes for. Everyone needs to have shoes you know.

Most of the shoes were for outdoor stuff. There were boots, so many boots. I could just imagine hiking through the forest in RedHead® Talus II Waterproof Hiking Boots. They’re so well built. They’d support my ankle and give my foot a little cushion and a lot of grip for if I slip. They’re even waterproof! Then I got to thinking about getting my feet in water. I definitely don’t want to get my feet wet so I’d probably need a pair of RedHead® 800 Gram Thinsulate 16'' Side Zip Rubber Boots, they even zip on for easy wear! Or I could wear one of the many different styles of waders and wading boots Bass Pro Shops Katy had on display. Then again if I just want to protect my feet in water and don’t mind getting wet like at the river then I could wear the Aqua Sox or Crocs that they sell.

While that would all be good for fishing, I started to wonder about hunting: ‘tis the season. They had work boots and hunting boots galore, I turned around and everywhere I looked – there they were. There was rubber and snake boots and insulated and uninsulated boots for men, women, AND children. You wouldn’t believe how happy this made me. With the help of Bass Pro Shops I can take my whole family hunting and properly outfitted in RedHead® gear.

At that thought I decided I needed to do some shopping. They had lots of other shoes for lots of situations and occasions indoors and out, but I needed to get hunting gear: I’d forgotten that was why I’d come to Bass Pro Shops Katy! I do think you should come in and see what all they’ve got though. Everyone is sure to find something they like and at an amazing price!! I love Bass Pro Shops Katy. 


The Cold Never Bothered Me Anyways!

With the weather cooling down it's always a good idea to throw some Hot Hands in your pockets, but did you know the other uses where these can come in handy? Events like late Football Games, Camping, Hiking, etc. I know in our local area it is popular to visit DollyWood in the winter and enjoy the lights, but it can definitely get cold fast when you're walking around the mountains for hours at night.

These are always something I bring along and throw in the toes of my boots and my winter coat pockets because they last for HOURS! In the camo department we sell a two pack (one for each hand, or foot) for $2.00 but the perfect time to find them, and when I always purchase mine, is now-when the bulk packs come out. They're $9.99 and you get twenty, which is perfect for me and my all-the-time-freezing self!

A lot of people who come into the store are reliant on these things and practically use them for every winter purpose you can imagine. Motorcycle rides, Cutting wood, walking the dog, hunting, or even taking a stroll through a "winter wonderland".

So what's the breakdown of these simple heat producing devices? The pouches are extremely thin and activated by air, or in other words, shake it! The friction causes a heat-creating reaction that lasts for about 10 hours. They're safe and easy to use, and can be snugly put about anywhere. You can see the bulk pack online with this link

In the camo department here in Sevierville, we even sell accessories that have pockets sewn into them specifically for hot hands use. There is a variety of items ranging from ear bands, to hats, to gloves, to neck gaitors, and even more and each has three colors to choose from; blaze orange, camo, and black. All having a fleece texture and warm,cozy feel.

Hot Hands come in both the single and bulk packs, as mentioned, but are also featured in a Cold Weather Pack and Footwear and boots pack specifically. The Cold Weather pack features an emergency space blanket which reflects up to 80% of body heat and can be seen here

Make sure to stop by and see our awesome Hot Hands deals and accessories and don't let the cold get the better of you this winter!



There's A Snake In My Boot!

Unless you're a cute animated toy from a Disney Movie, this is NOT something you want to be shouting in the middle of the woods. Snakes are everywhere you hunt, hike, or travel and can have quite the bite when not properly prepared. (There is no bark). Looking towards this fall, it is important to use the right protection when walking through tall grasses, forests, and leaf piles, to avoid snake bites. At Bass Pro we carry various lines of great snake protection. The two I will talk about is the ForEverLast Snake guard shields and chaps.


The ForEverLast Snake guard shields are one of our top sellers at our store for snake protection. They are knee length and are made with adjustable straps to fit any size leg. The chaps themselves are made of a tough 900d nylon composite shell and high density polycarbonate insert. These are $39.99 and exclusively printed in Realtree APG. You can find these items online here

The second pair we carry from ForEverLast is the Snake Guard Chaps. These chaps are a lightweight canvas like material that protect from briars and bushes and snakes from the knee down. The snake protective portion is constructed of a firm nylon.  The chaps adjust around the calf and belt loop for a proper fit. These are featured in APG and are priced at $49.99. The link for the item on our website is

Make sure to check out our full line of snake protection products at Bass Pro ranging from chaps to full length boots in our footwear department.

"Snake in My Boot" Photo Credit