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  1. #1
    RootCause's Avatar
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    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.....

    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.

    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!!

    -Greg H
    St. Paul, MN

  2. #2
    Senior Member Perkolady's Avatar
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    Greg, that's great you had such a great trip with your son! Thanks for sharing it with us.

    Have you been thinking about your next trip yet?

  3. #3
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    Sounds like a cool trip - that is off of Burntside, right? I went into Basswood for a week in May with a tent, but will be hanging next year. The odds are very few people in Ely have ever heard of a camping hammock, but the BWCA is perfect for them in my opinion.

  4. #4
    Senior Member animalcontrol's Avatar
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    A friend of mine (I converted him many years ago) took a boy scout group to the BWCA....seven hangers and one tent guy
    I would love to see the looks of a group of paddlers going by a campsite with seven hammocks hanging!
    On a personal note....I still have never hung in the BWCA...next time, next time
    "Every day is a new day to a better future"
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  5. #5
    RootCause's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Perkolady View Post
    Have you been thinking about your next trip yet?
    I'm always thinking about the next trip! We're now looking at routes that include a SHORT portage to start with!


    Quote Originally Posted by cliff355 View Post
    Sounds like a cool trip - that is off of Burntside, right? I went into Basswood for a week in May with a tent, but will be hanging next year. The odds are very few people in Ely have ever heard of a camping hammock, but the BWCA is perfect for them in my opinion.
    Right, the entry point is on the northwest side of Burntside Lake. (It's beautiful up there, but boy is it desolate in the winter!) It was my first time hanging in the BWCA, and it really struck me how many more campsites would be suitable for larger groups if more people hammocked. The smaller sites with teeny tent pads look completely different if you're looking for suitable pairs of trees rather than flat spaces!

    I completely forgot to take pics of our setups, but picture my son with my nice homemade 10x10 1.9oz ripstop tarp, and me with the cheap noisy one. I went to extra effort to make his first real hammocking experience as nice as possible! He hasn't stopped talking about laying in the 'mock reading and watching the early-morning fog drift across the lake.....

  6. #6
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    Greg

    You almost described the first hammock trip my son and I took. The other tenter's looking for the "flat" spots while Ryan and I looked for trees that gave us the perfect view of the lake.

    I chuckled thinking about what all the gram-weenies would say about my 42-lb Kevlar canoe, let alone our 85-lb food pack!
    I had to laugh at that one .... my canoe is about 65lbs and our food barrel is a reasonable 60lbs.

    I'm off to make my son his own hammock that we can take camping with us next week.

  7. #7
    swampfox's Avatar
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    Dads and their boys, it just doesn't get any better than that.

    I'm really disappointed though, that there are no pictures.
    He is your friend, your companion, your defender... he is your dog. You are his life, his leader, and master. He will be yours, faithful and true, to the last beat of his heart. You owe it to him to be worthy of that devotion.

  8. #8
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    where are the pictures????????
    Peanuts

    "A womans place is on the trail"

  9. #9
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    What made up the 85 pounds of food?

  10. #10
    RootCause's Avatar
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    Okay, I found one picture! This was taken from lakeside, you can see the homemade 10x10 tarp, guyed out with a stick on one side to give a great view of the lake. The hammock is covered with white mosquito netting, and the boy's smile can't get any bigger.

    We're still trying to figure out what made up the 85lbs, but it included the stove, food for 6 for 4 days, lots of fresh stuff (no freeze dried), too many cookies, 1 bottle of Bushmill's (in a Nalgene, of course), and extra poptarts. We actually didn't go too far overboard on the food- those three growing/active boys ate HUGE meals! Since it was their first time in, we wanted to make sure they didn't remember it as "cold, wet and hungry!"
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