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  1. #1
    SilvrSurfr's Avatar
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    3rd Annual Adirondacks Lake Lila, NY, Canoe/Kayak Hang, 8/16-21

    It's time to return to the first place I ever slept in a hammock, Lake Lila in the Adirondacks. In the William C. Whitney Wilderness, Lake Lila is a beautiful spot remote enough for a true wilderness experience, but accessible enough for car campers who don't mind portaging their supplies and canoe/kayaks 1/3 of a mile from parking lot to lake. There are no motorized boats allowed, so it's peaceful (well, except the loons that might wake you up in the morning). Cell phone service is non-existent to spotty.

    I first went there two years ago, with KYBob and GMarc, two brothers who have been going there each August or September for several years. Last year, I took my two sons. This year, my daughter wants to go as well. Anyone who wants to join is welcome. There are 22 campsites around the lake, a couple reachable by hiking, but most requiring a kayak/canoe. August is a tough month to find a campsite - the lake is very popular that time of year. However, camping is allowed anywhere, but fires are restricted to the campsites. Campsites are first come, first served, and I believe you can stay at any campsite for two or three nights max (we just switch campsites if we're staying longer).

    Kayaks and canoes are available for rent in Long Lake. Last year, when I brought my kayak back, the lady complemented me on how I strapped the kayak to my Caddy: "That's some might fine ropemanship there. I'm impressed. Nice knots." She knows how to make a feller feel good.

    I usually bring my Old Town 16'9" Discovery canoe, 'cause it can hold 800 lbs. of cargo. Then we rent a kayak or two for recreation. The water is cold, the fishing is good, and there are even crayfish (I'm bringing a trap this year). Temps are usually low 70s in the daytime, sometimes going down into the 40s in August at night. I went in September once and we had 25 degree nighttime temps.

    There are four islands on the lake, and they're the best places to camp. Competition is tough for those islands - we usually paddle up and ask folks when they're leaving, then we're there first thing in the morning to take their island campsite.

    The road to the lake is a brutal 10-mile dirt road, especially brutal in inclement weather. However, the last two years I drove down that road in a 1994 Cadillac Sedan de Ville (180,000 miles). Sometimes we had to unload the passengers and some of the gear to give the Cadillac clearance over some of the boulders and rocks in the road. Some of the looks I've received driving that Caddy down there - are you insane? Yes, I am!

    My 18-year-old daughter Jane and 13-year-old son Andrew plan to head up with me on Thursday, August 16. We're gonna hang by a shelter in Long Lake, then be up bright and early to pick up the kayaks in Long Lake, as well as any supplies. My son Rocco will either drive from Boston and join us Thursday night or meet us in Long Lake Friday morning.

    We'll find a campsite on Lake Lila, and KYBob and GMarc will join us Saturday morning. Rocco will leave Sunday because he has work, but the rest of us will stay till Tuesday 8/21 or Wednesday, 8/22.

    KYBob likes to pretend he's on an ultralight adventure (with his 60 lb. pack), eating MRE's and dehydrated food. However, GMarc and I are decidedly on the side of having good, fresh food and plenty of drink for the trip. This year I'm bringing one of those 5 or 6-day coolers so we can eat good in the neighborhood. And I'm bring a cast iron dutch oven - or two.

    Days are spent fishing, swimming, canoeing/kayaking, as well as day hikes. Remarkably, there is no poison ivy at Lake Lila. I blew out my hiking shoes on the portage in last year, and spent the rest of the five days barefoot (as did my son Andrew, who doesn't like shoes either).

    Looking forward to a grand adventure. Join if you want a great time!
    Last edited by SilvrSurfr; 07-26-2012 at 22:55.

  2. #2
    Manchego's Avatar
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    I'm up on the Saranac Lakes hang the weekend prior, so barring a lottery win can't take the time for this. If this is something you'll do every year I'll keep an eye out for it. I need more planning time.

    We should talk Dutch Oven cooking sometime

  3. #3
    SilvrSurfr's Avatar
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    Yep - this is an annual event, at least for me and the brothers KYBob and GMarc.

    I wish I had found this website two years ago - lots of great info on Lake Lila and Little Tupper Lake:

    http://www.dec.ny.gov/lands/9165.html

    The biggest advantage of Lake Lila, over Little Tupper Lake, is that you don't have to have a designated, state-approved campsite. Camp anywhere as long as it's 150 ft. from lake, stream or waterway. So if the campsites are full, no problem!

  4. #4
    SilvrSurfr's Avatar
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    Only a week left till our trip and it's so much work. My son is at college in Boston, so I have to pack for him. My 13-year-old son is not very helpful in the packing department either.

    I'm amazed at how much my kit has changed in the last year. Being a member of Hammock Forums has definitely changed my perspective.

    Last year the kids slept in Byer Moskito Hammocks, and I slept in my Hennessy Expedition. We all used pads and sleeping bags.

    This year, I'm outfitting them with 11 ft. hammocks. I've got my BIAS DL, a tablecloth DL, and a single layer tablecloth hammock (which I might replace with another BIAS DL if it arrives in time, Brian).

    As for insulation, I'm now sporting HG 20* Phoenix and Burrow, but the kids will still have to get by with pads and sleeping bags. At least they won't have to flop around adjusting the pad, since it will go in the double-layer pad pocket. I've also been testing out a fairly lightweight pseudo-underquilt for my sons that I think they'll appreciate. I found a couple of very light synthetic children's sleeping bags (one has Hercules on it, the other SpongeBob). I insert the pad in the sleeping bag and put the whole thing in the double-layer pad pocket. There's still some condensation, but the sleeping bag is much less clammy than just laying on a pad.

    Last year the hammocks had 8-ft. tree straps and 10 ft. whoopies. This year, 6 ft. whoopies (with Dutch Whoopie Hooks!) and 4 ft. tree straps.

    Last year I had my stock Hennessy tarp, two Grand Trunk Funky Forest tarps, and a tent rain fly for cooking/common area. This year, my HG 4S Cuben Fiber comes along, the two Funky Forests, and a Guide Gear for the common/cooking area.

    Tarp suspension last year was cheap nylon rope from Home Depot, and guylines were whatever cord I had laying around. This year it's all Zing-It 1.75 mm, with Dutch Hooks and Tarp Flyz.

    Last year we cooked real food, and it weighed a ton. We had to go back into town once for more ice. And pulling a cooler up in a tree every night was no fun. This year, I might bring bacon and eggs, and hamburgers/hotdogs/steak for the first couple of days - still waffling on that. After that it's Hawk Vittles for the rest of the trip.

    Last year we brought two Coleman stoves, a Swedish Army Trangia Mess kit, and assorted pots and pans. This year I'm carrying the MBD Elite alcohol stove, a Foster's pot, the Swedish Army Trangia mess kit, and the Emberlit EL mini.

    I've been busy splicing a bunch of Amsteel and Zing-It, so that each of us have essentially identical suspension solutions. I've been retrofitting whoopies with Dutch Whoopie Hooks, making Zing-It soft shackle prusiks to suspend tarp on ridgeline, and splicing Dutch Hooks onto the Zing-It ridgelines. This year I even did a backsplice on the other end of the ridgeline so the kids can't possibly lose the Tarp Flyz. Each kid will also get a couple of continuous loops and soft shackles for general purposes.

    Last year we all had integrated bugnets, but this year we'll all be using BIAS Buginator bugnets (assuming they arrive in time, Brian). I don't think I'll ever use an integrated bugnet again, and I want my kids to know the difference.

    I know I'm spoiling the little brats, but not really. I'm not buying them UQ/TQ or better tarps till they start hitting the trail with me more often. And if it doesn't happen, well, you can't say I didn't try.

    I like to call it Hammock Scouts. My 20-year-old Rocco was a Boy Scout, and he went to Philmont - but he's not totally sold on hammock camping (and especially doesn't understand winter hammock camping, or even winter tent camping). My 13-year-old dropped out of Scouting because we had particularly weak leadership and it wasn't fun for him or me. I may not turn him into an outdoorsman like me, but I do enjoy it when he says, "Dad, you're hard core. The hiking and camping trips we go on together make anything I did with the Boy Scouts look totally wimpy." Makes a dad feel good.

  5. #5
    SilvrSurfr's Avatar
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    Well, I'm off to Lake Lila in eight hours. My 13-year-old son Shelf Life and I are camping at Buttermilk Falls, Arietta, NY, on the Racquette River, just outside of Long Lake Thursday night.

    Friday morning we're gonna rent a kayak at Racquette River Outfitters, then head down to Lake Lila. We're gonna get the kayak down to the lake first so Shelf Life can find us a campsite (could be crowded). We've got 2-way radios so he can keep me informed of the progress. Shelf Life is the rabbit chasing the campsite; I'm the mule who will bring my 85 lb. Old Town Discovery canoe and all the rest of the gear the 1/3 mile portage to the lake.

    Son Rocco is driving from Boston - says he'll be there by 11 am, but Shelf Life and I are betting on a 1 pm arrival.

    My friends GMarc and KYBob are arriving Saturday morning. Looking forward to a few nights in the wilderness with friends and family!

  6. #6
    in it for the naps oldgringo's Avatar
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    Have fun! The Adirondacks are a special place.
    Dave

    http://www.uark.edu/misc/xtimber/rna/pattonsbluff.html

    It has always been my private conviction that any man who pits his intelligence against a fish and loses has it coming.
    John Steinbeck

  7. #7
    Manchego's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SilvrSurfr View Post
    Well, I'm off to Lake Lila in eight hours. My 13-year-old son Shelf Life and I are camping at Buttermilk Falls, Arietta, NY, on the Racquette River, just outside of Long Lake Thursday night.
    Sounds good, was up there last weekend so won't be this weekend. Need to figure out how to make that money stuff work out to just move

  8. #8
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    Ahhh... Missed it! How was the hang? I'll be watching for the 4th Annual Adirondack Hang next year.

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