Above: The 2018 Hike to Hunt kickoff.
by Josh Mills
So you’re going to Rendezvous, huh? Get excited. You’re about to be part of the biggest public lands party you’ve ever seen. Your mind is about to be blown, you’ll meet countless likeminded people – who come from a vast array of backgrounds – united in the spirit of fair chase and public lands and waters activism. Saddle up, partners; it’s a wild ride.
Advice from navigating the past three Rendezvous:
Introduce yourself to anyone and everyone.
The connections you make at Rendezvous will span the entire North American continent. People will be there from just about every state and province, and you’ll miss out if you don’t connect with as many of them as you can. Tell stories, share experiences and build a bond or two. Who knows? You may end up with new hunting and fishing buddies.
Pick your seminars.
BHA brings the noise with its seminars, and this year’s lineup will be no different. Plan ahead who you want to hear and get there early, because the meeting rooms fill up fast. A few suggestions include the Chapter Leader Training (Thursday afternoon – open to the public), Public Land Owner Film Fest and Wild Game Cookoff (Saturday). And don’t forget the MeatEater Live Podcast (Friday Night)!
Meet vendors from your favorite brands.
This is your chance to meet the people behind your favorite outdoors brands in the industry. Touch and feel the goods from companies that join you in your passion for the outdoors and public lands.
Hike to Hunt Challenge.
Kick off the day by sweating off the night prior at the Hike to Hunt Challenge. The buses arrive early, but it’s totally worth it.
The community really shines as we come together to share excellent Idaho microbrews, listen to music and spin a tale or two. Sip on an IPA and swap tales of your last backcountry adventure. Thursday, May 1, 5pm-9pm at the Grove Plaza.
Campfire Stories presented by C.C. Filson
The weekend’s crowning event features amazing stories told by some of the best orators in the game. The full effect of community wrapped around spellbinding stories will have you on the edge of your seat. If you’re at Rendezvous, this is an absolute can’t miss (Saturday evening, May 4).
Follow the Tags
There’s no doubt that social media plays a big role in telling the story of Rendezvous, and each year there’s a unique hashtag to help you follow along with the rest of the crew. Currently 973 photos are tagged #rende2018 on Instagram to get you pumped up for this year’s festivities. Follow the road to Rendezvous via #rende2019.
Spring Weather in Boise Is Nuts
Combine that with the indoor and outdoor nature of Rendezvous, be ready for 75 degrees and sun one minute mixed with 40 degrees, wind and hail the next. Moral of the story? Bring a versatile wardrobe.
The party may or may not end after the last session of the day. Boise’s full of great places to eat, sample microbrews and or dance the night away.
May 1-4 in Boise isn’t a time for rest. It’s a get after it weekend where you are going to want to see and experience all you can. The week before, stack up the sleep and eat your Wheaties, because come May 1st it’s go time.
BHA Rendezvous is one of the highlights of my year, and it’s over in a blink of an eye. Get all you can from it, and you’ll walk away with your advocacy and community cups overflowing. It’ll power you through the next year and help carry the flame of our organization to your home communities. We can’t wait to meet you in Boise.
Josh Mills is a steelhead fisherman, upland bird/turkey hunter and struggling big game aficionado from Spokane, WA. He’s a proud father of two boys and husband to a very understanding Kallie. He is proud to be a board member of the Wild Steelhead Coalition and member/volunteer for BHA.
2019 Rendezvous will be held May 1-4 in Boise, Idaho. Click HERE for the event schedule, tickets and more information!
*This article first appeared in the Spring 2019 issue of Backcountry Journal. Join BHA and get it four times a year in print!