I have been meaning to get this done for a couple weeks now. My brother, father and I take an anual trip into the BW every summer. This year do to some medical issues my dad couldn't make it, but this year was my 10 year old sons first year to go. This was also the first year that I was off the ground full time.
Last year I was introduced to hammock camping the hard way. I was sharing a tent with dad who snores horribly, add to that the site selection was not stellar, rocks and roots. I had to abandone the tent one night and elected to sleep in my GTUL which I had set up to lounge in during the day. Best sleep I have ever had camping, never sleeping on the ground again, back to the trip report.
Before we enter the BWCA we spend the night in Grand Marias. Funny thing happened this year I was planning on sleeping in my hammock, and I was planning on my son sleeping in a hammock. My brother was convinced that this was a bad idea because of weather protection and was going to sleep in his tent. When we got to Grand Marias guess who forgot his tent poles? So Three hammocks it is. Lucky for him we had two extra tarp packed.
We entered at Brule lake and spent our first night on Cherokee lake, this first day is more paddling than portaging. Our first night was decent camp site but trees were not plentiful and we had to camp a little distance from the water. My sone and brother were using pads and I was using a PLUQ. After night one I think my brother was see the light. Great sleep plenty warm!
On the second day we headed north even farther to Long Island lake. This is a beautiful lake with a lot of island camp sites. (no bear bag hanging) The site we found here was perfect for the hammocks, open big fat trees, views of the water. We decided to stay there for a couple days. While we were at the Long Island Lake site we did have about 24 straight hours of nasty weather, luckily it wasn't all rain, but the temps and the wind was horrid. We had a high one day of 48 with a 25-30 mph wind. This day was what I was fearing, I had my PLUQ and I brought my Jarbidge to to try and just in case.
My brother was fine in his hammock he had a very thick pad and down sleeping bag my son was cold even after an hour of being in his bag. (cheaper kids coleman) I had or let him use the Jarbidge that night and 15 minutes after clipping that to his hammock he was happy and warm. This left me with a 30 degree bag and a PLUQ to use on a 40 degree night with 30mph winds. I Pulled my tarp down as close as I could get it and put on all the clothes I could. After 45+ minutes of still being cold, it dawned on me that I had several pieces of closed cell foam. This foam just happened to be inside of the life vests but beggars can't be choosers. After putting a layer of life jacket under me the warmth came and off to sleep I went.
Most of our nights were not nearly this cold and had very little wind. The rest of the trip I used only the PLUQ and my son claimed the Jarbidge and ditched the thermarest. After a couple nights we did some nasty long 3/4 and 1mile long portages spent one more night on Winchell lake found another perfect hammock site with nice trees great views.
Overall we had a really fun trip the fishing wasn't great but we caught enough that we didn't have to ration our food. My son caught a northern that scared the CRAP out of both of us.(of course the camera was on shore) I made a short unedited video of our campsite on Long Island Lake.