Outdoors Xtras: Dry backpacking, wiggling crankbait and squirrel wings |

Outdoors Xtras: Dry backpacking, wiggling crankbait and squirrel wings

Viper Sunfish


If you are a paddler, you know all about dry bags. They’re waterproof, roll-top bags that buckle closed. They’re perfect for protecting extra clothes, sleeping bags, tents or anything else from getting wet on a canoe or kayak trip. What some don’t realize is that dry bags, especially ultralight ones, also are great for backpacking, especially in winter. Put clothes and other gear in the dry bag, then put it in your backpack. It will keep your equipment dry should you get caught in a rain or snowstorm.

lure of the week

Viper Sunfish

Company: Daddy Mac Lures (

Lure type: Crankbait

Sizes and colors: Available in a 4-inch, ½-ounce model with a lip and a 4-inch, 13-ounce model without a lip. Both are colored like a bluegill.

Target species:Largemouth, smallmouth bass, hybrid striped bass and northern pike.

Technique: There are solid-body crankbaits and jointed crankbaits. Most of the latter have one ring connecting two body pieces. The Viper Sunfish is a crankbait that has five joints, all held together by Kevlar. The result is a lure that wiggles as it swims through the water, clacking all the while, to draw predators by sight and sound.

Sugg. retail price: $9.99 and $14.99, depending on size.

Notable: The father and son behind this business started out making saltwater lures, but they later branched out to freshwater lures, too. A video of this lure in action is available on their Facebook page.

recipe of the week

Squirrel wings


• 2 squirrels, cut into pieces (2 back legs, 2 front legs, back)

• ½ cup cold butter

• 2 cups seasoned flour

• 2⁄3 cup hot sauce

• ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper

• 2 tablespoons white vinegar

• 1⁄8 teaspoon garlic powder

• ¼ teaspoon Worcestershire sauce


Who doesn’t like hot wings? Well, with a few weeks left in squirrel seasons in most places, here’s a recipe for making them with wilder fare than chicken.

Heat oil in a skillet over medium heat. Meanwhile, roll squirrel pieces in seasoned flour. Let it sit for a few minutes so the crust adheres.

Next, fry squirrel pieces for eight to 10 minutes per side, making sure you’ve got a tight-fitting lid on the skillet. Then, remove the lid and fry squirrel an additional five minutes or so per side. The idea is to go long enough that the breading gets crispy.

Remove squirrel and drain on paper towels.

Finally, put squirrel in a bowl with a tight-fitting lid or even a sealable plastic bag.

Mix the hot sauce, butter, vinegar, Worcestershire, cayenne, garlic and salt. Pour it in the bowl or bag with squirrel parts. Toss until everything is well coated.

Serve with ranch or blue cheese for dipping.

Bob Frye is the editor. Reach him at 412-216-0193 or [email protected] See other stories, blogs, videos and more at

Article by Bob Frye, Everybody Adventures,

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