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  1. #1
    Senior Member BrianWillan's Avatar
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    Ontario Hang - Bon Echo Trip Report

    Greetings

    Here is the start of the trip report for the Ontario Hang on the Abes an Essens Lake trail at Bon Echo Provincial Park.

    To begin with, I picked up Kasuko at his house about 5 minutes from mine and we were on the road. We got to Bon Echo pretty quick, checked in and made the way to the trail parking area. One bonus was that additional cars did not have to pay extra to park. A large portion of our group were to meet at noon. Kasuko and I arrived in the parking lot at high noon.

    Soon there after, Sk8rs_dad, Sk8r (or Lord Pyro as you see later) and shawnh showed up follwed by Jefftrex with a canoe strapped to his truck.

    On a beautiful sunny day that wasn't oppressively humid for a change, we set off on the trail. It was soon evident that doing the "longer" hike to the camp site was less desirable so we took a more direct route. The Abes and Essens Lake trail is 3 overlapping loops and our sites were on the farthest loop on Abes Lake. So we hiked the start of loop 1 to the start of loop 2 and that met up with loop 3 and we hiked that part backwards to make it to our sites.

    The trail is quite rugged with lots of steep hills and descents with lots of ankle grabbing Canadian shield and big rocks sprinkled in with the roots of the pine forest. Lord Pyro (Sk8rs_dad son) twisted his ankle in the early part of the past week and he kept rolling his ankle on this rugged trail and was having a miserable time of it, although he never really complained out loud about it. Sk8rs_dad was carrying his son's pack for a good part of the hike and that was taking a toll on him.

    We finally rolled into our sites after 2.5 hours on the trail. I will say that the sites were quite good for the amount of effort it took to get there. The sites were equipped with a picnic table and a fire pit that were right on a rock outcropping into the lake. The views of the lake were outstanding.

    After setting up our hammocks of which there were many choices to pick from, dinner was made and then the camp fire was constructed and skillfully lit with a single match by Lord Pyro (Sk8r). He was even fully prepared and had the fixing to make smores.

    After dinner entropy and chardpp showed up. They had there own adventure on getting to the site and made up for it with the great story about the car camping people carrying coolers and Canadian Tire type tents up this rather rugged trail.

    A short time after that the last of our group showed up, vgnbkr. All totaled there were 9 of us on the 2 sites. We split them up 5 and 4.

    Other than the lack of cooperating weather for Saturday and Sunday morning it was a great time. Every hammock setup with a separate tarp got to experience the best benefit of doing that, namely being, packing up and staying dry. I had a rather large battle with my DIY synthetic underquilt on Friday night. My shock cord suspension was a little undersized and it wouldn't stay tight. I was cold and kept getting up to tie knots in the shock cord to keep it in place. I also had my foot end of my hammock hung to high and didn't sleep well that night. On my last effort to fix my underquilt, I got some extra guyline out my pack and tied it over the cordlocks on my under quilt through my drip ring on my suspension to the other cordlock on the other side of the hammock. That seemed to do the trick. By that point, it was past sunrise and I couldn't get back to sleep so I got up. The next night I did the same thing on the head of the quilt and finally was warm sleeping. I had to vent my top quilt as I was really toasty.

    Other than my really sore left knee that made my hike out long and really slow, I thoroughly enjoyed my time. Here are some pictures I took. After the spare set of batteries for my camera lasted for 5 shots, these were all the pictures I managed. I hope others will post what they shot.

    There were lots of cool hammock setups, Sk8rs_dad had 3 JRB quilts including a MW4 that he used for his underquilt. Got to see the Big Mamajamba tarp up close. Great looking tarp. The Hennessy crowd had the Warbonnet guys outnumbered 6:3 but everyone was happy. There was some really cool DIY quilts, tarps and mods. Chardpp did a DIY mod 4 zipper mod on his hennessy.


    L-R Jefftrex, shawnh, sk8r (Lord Pyro), Sk8rs_dad, Kasuko
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    Last edited by BrianWillan; 08-23-2010 at 17:13.

  2. #2
    Senior Member BrianWillan's Avatar
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    One more picture

    Entropy brought his fishing kit with him and tested the waters on Saturday morning and reeled in one of these.

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  3. #3
    Senior Member
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    Sounds like a fun trip but where are the pictures of the 9 hammocks!

  4. #4
    New Member coltonalxndr's Avatar
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    Great report,

    Looks like he found himself a keeper.

  5. #5
    Senior Member BrianWillan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by poker88 View Post
    Sounds like a fun trip but where are the pictures of the 9 hammocks!
    As I said, my main and spare set of camera batteries died with the amount of shots that I posted. That's what I get for buying batteries at a dollar store. So I left it up to the other 8 people in the group to take pictures and post them. Give it time, the hammock shots will appear.

    Cheers

    Brian

  6. #6
    Senior Member BrianWillan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by coltonalxndr View Post
    Great report,

    Looks like he found himself a keeper.
    Actually he released it.

  7. #7
    Senior Member Poppabear's Avatar
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    Thats a fine report thanks for sharing.
    Terry

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by BrianWillan View Post
    As I said, my main and spare set of camera batteries died with the amount of shots that I posted. That's what I get for buying batteries at a dollar store. So I left it up to the other 8 people in the group to take pictures and post them. Give it time, the hammock shots will appear.

    Cheers

    Brian

    Oops, sorry - missed that part!

  9. #9
    Senior Member Kasuko's Avatar
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    Kasuko's side

    I can confirm everything BrianWillan reported to be accurate and I would also like to add some things I experienced and learned during my first ever backpacking trip.

    First I was really dreading the hike, I was imagining some horror story where I would die with a 50 pound bag on my back after 13 hours of pure up hill hiking. Luckily for me this did not happen. Thanks to all the advice I picked up from this forum my bag weighed in at only 24 pounds. Thats half my predicted weight. Then I had new boots, well broken in and some super comfy socks to top it off. I found the hiking to be exciting and near the end I was wanting to go faster! When Jefftrex shot off ahead I was right behind him attempting to match his pace.

    Upon finally getting to the site, I sat down and pulled out my new found love, a clif bar! That was the best tasting clif bar in the history of clif bardom.

    I then did a preliminary sweep of the campground and plopped down at the picnic table and didn't move for several minutes.

    Setting up was simple, I had done it many times before and the weather was very co-operative. I used BrianWillan's handy inclimometer to see what a real 30* angle looks like, boy were all my previous hangs wrong.

    Next was lunch ... Mr Noodles in Chicken Flavor. I had a DIY penny stove and a DIY Heiny pot with a DIY pot cozy (I am a poor university student) and I was eager to test it all out in real "woods" conditions. The water boiled nicely ... too nicely infact and my noodles were too hot for quite some time.

    I skipped dinner that night because I had lunch late and wasn't really all that hungry (read: lazy) so I just hung out with the rest of the gang and talked hammocks.

    The first night I got scared about the temperatures. I had a +5* (Celcius of course) down sleeping bag as a top quilt, a simple blue ccf pad with DIY spe. When shawnh talked about how he forgot his "sleeping touque" and would have to improvise I was expecting to freeze and I went to bed with all my clothes on. I learned 2 things that night. One my sleeping bag is WARM and 2 a vapor barrier underneath is NOT for me. After shedding some layers and just "dealing" with the clammy feeling I did actually get some good rest in.

    The next morning I had breakfast ... and oatmeal bar (breakfasts aren't my thing) and had some nice morning discussions before deciding I would see if the hammock was still as comfortable as before and taking a nice mid morning nap.

    After being awoken by BrianWillan at 12:30 I decided I would make lunch ... what a great way to pass time between meals. Which consisted of Mr Noodle Mushroom flavor with slice of a beef boulioun cube! Yum! During lunch preperations I was having some trouble getting my penny stove to bloom so I could clean my pot. Well I guess some form of vapor built up and out of no where POOOSH! my stove blew up in a giant fireball that singed all the hair in my bangs up pretty good. Also launched the penny somewhere that I never did find again.

    Finally there was more conversation and it began to rain, me being without some serious rain gear retired to the hammock (again, yes still comfy) for some afternoon reading. Around 4:30 BrianWillan informed me that he as well as everyone else was going to the other site to check it out.

    So when I got to the end of the chapter I packed up and headed over to check out the other campers hammocks. I also saw the PCT method of hanging a bear bag demonstrated for us.

    Then it was back to the campsite for dinner which was, Mac and Cheese! Yes more carbs. I was also offered some of BrianWillan's pepperoni sticks which I humbly accepted. Note to self, remember food groups. People were weary of being around my penny stove (with new penny) and I don't blame them. But nothing bad happened and my food (while a bit hard) tasted oh so good.

    Then there was more hanging out and finally it got to be bed time. This time I stipped down to my undergarmets out of fear of being too hot again. I was not, but I did wake up and I had to go to the bathroom, which I was then kicking myself for not having any pants on. Well I just dealt with the cold and quickly jumped back in my warm sleeping bag.

    When I was woken up by BrianWIllan in the morning it was pooring rain and we had to pack out so there was no sense waiting for it to let up. I enjoyed my second oatmeal bar in the hammock and got to packing up. I do love the ability to pack everything up while under the tarp still.

    Then I waited for everyone else to get ready and we made the hike out.
    I like metric, I use metric, for those of you who don't ... you should, for those of you who won't ... here.
    0*C - 32*F, 10*C - 50*F, 20*C - 68*F, 30*C - 86*F
    100g - 3.52oz, 500g - 17.63oz, 1kg - 2.2lbs, 16oz - 1lbs
    10cm - 3.9", 1m - 3.28ft, 1km - 0.62mi

  10. #10
    beep's Avatar
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    Kasuko,

    Sounds like it worked for you! Good on ya!
    "The more I carry the happier I am in camp; the less I carry the happier I am getting there" - Sgt. Rock

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