: How do you plan your trip?
02-08-2001, 11:09 AM
I do all the planning and organizing for our group's annual trip. Most of the guys give me grief for being too anal-retentive about planning and organizing. It's interesting to note that with a baby arriving in late May, I won't be going this year so everyone decided to skip Canada this year. Anyway, since I'm not going and will have to live through everyone's stories here, I'm wondering what does everyone else do to prepare and plan for the trip?
First thing I do is plan the menu for the week. (We do all our own cooking) This way we know exactly what to bring and what groceries to buy. I try to make a menu so that all we take home with us is maybe some ketchup, coffee, etc. Then I start working on a list for a shorelunch box. We always have one rubbermaid container of everything we need for shorelunch. Then I work on a budget so everyone knows what the trip will cost from the second we leave until we get home. (Money is an issue for us!) I also build a checklist of what we've found useful in previous years (zip-ties, duct tape, superglue, etc.) and work up a "scouting report" from the "Fishing Reports" board here. We're all scattered across the state, so about two months before we go I mail out a complete "newsletter" with all the info, expenses, scouting reports, menus shopping lists, etc. Am I just organized or am I truly "anal retentive"?
02-08-2001, 12:48 PM
Doesn't sound anal retentive to me, just good organization. Your friends should be glad to have you. Fred
02-08-2001, 01:46 PM
"People don't plan to fail, they fail to plan" they are lucky to have you doing the leg work for them.
02-08-2001, 03:21 PM
Just sounds like you don't get a chance to go out too often and are enjoying the anticipation. Sometimes the dreaming about it is the best part...I do more daydreaming than actual planning myself :).
>Just sounds like you don't get
>a chance to go out
>too often and are enjoying
>the anticipation. Sometimes the dreaming
>about it is the best
>part...I do more daydreaming than
>actual planning myself :).
I agree that the anticipation and dreaming of the annual trip are a big part of the excitement. "BUT" if you don't have a fairly well organized trip and are on a tight budget and/or have strict weight limits you have no choice.
I have always planned our trips. I have yet to meet a person that is any busier, day to day than I am, but I enjoy it and it all works out every year.
The duct tape and superglue type items are for the most part included in our first aid group. We always like to have a party day midweek with steaks and the fixings; other than that we like to make sure we have food just in case the fish go on strike (light weight) pancake mix, oatmeal, stuffing, pasta, canned pasta sauce, Mrs Grass soup, Mac & Cheese etc.
You don't sound anal to me. Let one of the other guys try it out (the mouthy one) and don't help him - see what happens (bring some rations and supplies in your bags !!)
02-11-2001, 07:04 PM
I also do most of the coordinating when we go to Canada trip. I keep track of all the reciepts and who paid what for gas, groceries, bait, cabin rental etc.... then apply for the Canada tax refunds (GST etc). Then send everyone a bill after we return. Not counting beer & license's, we usually get by for $240 - $265 (US) per person. (pretty cheap week) I insist that 1 person shps for all groceries so we don't end up with 4 bottles of ketchup, 8 bags of chips, no meat etc. I got hassled for this the 1st year, but after that everyone pretty much agreed it worked well, plus our menu & shopping list is getting more refined each year. We always use my boat & truck so I have lots of planning to make sure they are tip/top shape, so someone else gets the food.
There are 3 of us that go regular and sometimes we take a 4th so we do pretty good. We also divide chores pretty good once we are there, but by the end of the week everyone thinks they did more than their share of dishes, cooking etc. I guess we all miss the pampered lifestyles our wives have gotten us accustomed to.
02-12-2001, 09:28 AM
Looks like birds of a feather flock together. I agree with all the post thus far. Planning is ( in some strange way ) fun. I would not confess this to the general public, they would look at us like we had a 3rd head. For those that have never been on this side of the fence, my recommendation is this: either try it once or sit down, shut up and drink a beer. For those that do this well, just take it for granted that we are supply and logistic experts and vastly under appreciated. I do agree the checklist with documented accountabilty within the group works well. This way,one person is less likely to drop the ball as to not let down the others. If it does happen, the open ridicule from the other members is enough pressure to comply.
02-13-2001, 10:35 AM
Like you, I serve as the central coordinator for our annual Canada trip. There is usually 4-6 of us, and we move from lake to lake, year to year. The planning and preparation aspect of it is not at all work. I enjoy the entire process. A typical annual planning starts with where we are going. Then, who is going. Then we get lake maps, trip route, and outfitter selected.
From there, I immediately calculate an approximate budget so there are no surprises come trip time. This gives people the opportunity to decline, as sometimes early commitments are more talk than true intention. There are three of us that are definites every year, others come and go. I never want to get to the last day of the trip when we're paying and someone says "What do you mean it's $400.00 US. I thought you said it was $200.00."
Travel schedule is usually a combined effort. Who's driving, when are we leaving, where are we stopping...etc. is decided by the "lead" people of the group. We come from all over; Ohio, Massachusetts, Florida...so this part of the planning has to be a cooperative effort. Meeting in Toronto or points further north usually works well. From there, we usually do the grocery shopping as we pass the last real town on our way up. All together, we decide on the spot who's cooking what on what day. You get your meals, and everyone is happy. Once again, then nobody can say "Why didn't you get this or that." Basic essentials are typically brought by me, right to your point of no duplicates in mustard, salt / pepper, coffee...etc..
Like another answer stated, there's nothing wrong with being prepared. Some in my group just "show up" and have a good time. They know they have no room to complain about anything, other than maybe the weather. This year will be my 26th year on the annual trip. The "torch" had been passed from my father to me several years ago. The annual trip dates back in my family into the early 1950's, and there's no way I'm going to let it die now. Therefore, I don't mind keeping it going, even if it does mean a little more legwork than the others enjoying the trip. If your buddies are razzing you about your method, tell them to do it. Chances are they wouldn't know where to begin.
Great idea about the newsletter. I hope you don't mind, but I'm going to "steal" the idea and use it for my group. I feel for you not getting to go this year as I start counting down the days until next year the day after I get back from the annual trip. Only 115 to go !!!! And then it's north, baby, north !!!
02-13-2001, 10:42 AM
That's one thing I didn't point out, we have one guy that handles all the cash and receipts. Since he's a financial advisor/planner for a living, we thought it best to put his skills to some real use. One the last trip, things worked out really well. Myself and another guy did all the cooking while another guy iced the coolers carried everything to the boats and loaded them. After breakfast the cooks got the last of their stuff ready while somebody else did dishes and picked up. It worked out well.
But I agree on the "fun" of planning. Whe it's -20 and the wind is howling in January & February, planning a July trip to Canada is the perfect mental vacation. Thanks for everyone's input. I am not alone!
02-13-2001, 07:06 PM
Like the other posts. The best trips are 99% planned out ahead of time. I've always did the set up and general planning. One guy is in charge of food. The banker is in charge of the money. We start out by each putting $100 into the bankers hand. And he doles out to each of us when we have a bill to turn in for bait, food, gas or any expense that should be shared by the group as a whole. When that runs out we each kick in another $50. When the trip is over anything left is split evenly. Then each is responsable for their own camp charge and other personal stuff. Works great. Like others we keep refining our list for each trip and are really getting it down to a science.
Pooch in Central Illinois
02-21-2001, 11:21 AM
By all means, steal my idea! Download some of the pics from your lodge's website and drop them into your "newsletter".
I always include the following info:
Breakdown of cost per person for trip
When we'll be leaving and from where
List of what tackle worked best in the past
List of other "items" we used thru the week (Duct tape, superglue, etc)
Any advance fishing reports (July 2000 was a new lodge for us)
Any additional info on the lodge (size of cabins, cost of additional bait, etc.)
02-22-2001, 06:47 AM
Hats off to you for taking the time to plan the trip...I too plan the trip for my group...and it makes for a very enjoyable trip.
Always remember there are (3) types of people.
Ones who want things to happen.
Ones who watch things happen.
And the ones who MAKE things happen. I'm sure your trips success is because you make it happen on the planning end.
02-23-2001, 07:37 PM
I dont get to plan out the annual fishing trip, I got on after it was already started. The guy that does it, likes it. But, I do plan an annual NASCAR trip, and yes it takes a lot of work, planning to make sure that the whole trip is enjoyable for all. But in some odd way it is fun just to make sure that everything goes off without a hitch. That taken into account, on the fishing trip I make ##### sure that the guy who did the planning and organizing does the least amount of work (dishes etc...)
02-28-2001, 08:23 PM
I hooked up with a group of guys 8 years ago and have enjoyed the best fishimg trips of my lfe since!! Luther, a former marine does all of the trip planning. After 35 years of multiple trips to the bush and marine experience this guy has made trip planning a science. There is no other way to go about it. You must have great laid plans.
With Luther every detail is planned out, from the time we leave until the time we get back. Driving shifts are all scheduled with who will be driving, how far, where to stop, and who will be sleeping. We have a full meal schedule on paper 6 months before departure!! We have 3 meetings prior to our trip: deposit meeting, travel and menu, and gear drop and load 1 day before departure. At the second meeting things like who will bring depth finders and other necessities are discussed as well as any meal alterations, although Luther has never allowed any of us to alter the meal schedule!!
Luther has it figured out to within $20 per man what the total cost of the trip. We have never had a problem with the finances of our trip because we all know exactly what the cost is. 1 person has to handle the finances of the trip. Our costs include gas, lodging up and back, food, camp expenses, and GST. Meals on the road are handled by each member in the party as well as licences, and beer and pop.
And lists!! We have: gear lists, clothes lists, food lists, rods and reels lists, Meds lists, meals list.... everyday is planned!!
You think that you are anal... meet Luther. You will see that you are just doing it right!!
03-20-2001, 10:49 PM
Nate, I hope your buddies appreciate your yeoman efforts. What you are doing is ok as long as it isn't a drag for you. When it gets to the point of being a chore, and not something to which you look forward, do more delegating. I run with a bunch of loonies who love Canadian wilderness canoing and ramming around NE Wisconsin. For a long time one guy took the lead, but has gotten to the point where he's had to "farm out" the major planning to another.
Whoever goes to Canada is in on the planning from the start. We get together beginning in winter, just to set the entry date into Quetico, and decide location. Permits are necessary, and we want our best pick. In about late Feb-early March we start putting together a menu, and decide what we're going to de-hydrate. Two of us do that part. Gear is important, so we're always refining and paring down. We all decide which packs go, 'cause we gotta carry them on the portages. If something is important to the pleasure of the trip, it goes along. We decide on canoes, and who will drive. Itinerary is a group decision, also. It goes much better over a few Labatt Blues.
We've just found that the more the group is involved (4-6), the less individual stress and more commitment to the effort. Maybe we're unique. And, who cares if you're anal retentive or not, as long as it's a blast.