Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness: July 18-22
Went in at entry point #4- Crab Lake, out of Ely MN. Six of us: 3 dads, 3 11-year old boys having their first BWCA experience.
Driving to the boat landing, as the outfitter guy was telling us humorous stories about "city folk" who rented gear and had misadventures canoeing on the big lakes, I asked him if anyone came through hammock-camping. "That's just insane," he replied, "you'd be eaten alive by the mosquitos!" I kept my mouth shut..... :mellow:
We did the 1-mile portage into Crab Lake with fresh legs but a full food pack. OUCH. I chuckled thinking about what all the gram-weenies would say about my 42-lb Kevlar canoe, let alone our 85-lb food pack!
We found a nice southern-exposure campsite on an island. Two big tent pads for the other guys, my son and I set up our hammocks/tarps on the top of a 4-foot rock face with a fantastic lake view. It would have been impossible to put a tent there, but the trees were perfectly spaced for us! Two Speer-style DIY hammocks with webbing & ring-buckle suspensions, with mosquito netting tied onto the 550-cord ridgelines. :cool:
Nothing to report after that except for fishing, swimming, hiking, blueberry picking, rock-climbing, cooking and LNT camping. On this trip we saw loons, ducks, snakes, beaver, squirrels, heard coyotes, and left all the big fish in the lakes for the next campers. The bugs weren't bad, the food was great and the company was better yet! It all wrapped up with rain for the duration of our paddle/portage/paddle back out to civilization: it's not a BWCA trip unless you paddle in the rain!!
On the way back into town with the outfitter guy, I told him that we'd hammock camped and didn't get a single mosquito bite. He was truly surprised that anyone could get away with that, and I left him the www.hammockforums.net URL to investigate. Hopefully we'll have another person give hanging a try!!
Thanks to all of you on the forum for the great advice & knowledge sharing, and to Shug for pointing this place out to me!!
St. Paul, MN