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JWilder
senior member (58)senior membersenior member
 
11/22/2020 10:39AM  
I am planning a "lazy" 5-day solo trip through Entry Point #23, Mudro. This will be my 3rd solo, but first trip at this entry point. My goal is to hang out and explore the lakes to the northwest of Fourtown. I am intrigued by Beartrap and Moosecamp Lakes. I do not fish. I am not a photographer. I find contentment in paddling around and soaking up my surroundings. I understand that this time frame and limited amount of area covered would drive most soloists crazy, but I truly enjoy the laid back itinerary!

Night #1: Fairy
Night #2: Beartrap (hopefull). If not, Thunder
Night #3: Moosecamp
Night #4: Fourtown (via the moosecamp river, if water levels allow). Otherwise, back out the way I came. Maybe stay on Boot?

In a worst-case scenario (campsite availability, or lack-there-of) I would basecamp somewhere in a central location (Gun?), and day trip from there.

Question #1 - For those who are familiar with this area. What recommendations do you have on this simple plan?

The two dates I am wrestling with are:
May 17th - May 21st OR
June 7th - June 11th

With these two dates under consideration, here are my thoughts about some of the possible differences:

People/Campsite Availability - should see less people in the middle of May and my pic of campsites would increase compared to early June. Maybe the two dates are so close together, it doesn't really matter.

Bugs - should see less bugs in the middle of May compared to early June. A crap shoot to predict or assume. I should say, a "bug-less" trip increases with the earlier date (colder temps).

Footwear - no doubt will have colder water temps in the middle of May compared to early June. If I go with the earlier date, this will lead me to switch from my Solomon boots for paddling/portaging, to a muck boot.

Clothing - as with all trips, I will adjust my wardrobe a day or two prior to leaving. Watch the forecast trends and then finalize.

Sleeping Bag - My sleeping bag is rated to 20 degrees. With both dates, it is possible to experience temps close to this mark. I am not confident that this bag, as is, would keep me comfortable at night. Unfortunately, this is not on my gear up-grade list for this winter...

Question #2: What advice or input do you have with my current thought process?

Question #3: Which entry date would you ultimately go with?

I am looking forward to the varying viewpoints on this tentative trip plan!

J
 
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dustytrail
senior member (65)senior membersenior member
 
11/22/2020 03:35PM  
I have been in that area all the months from May through October. Have always had several sites open on all the lakes in that area except June. I assume it is because of the fishing in that area. So between those 2 dates I would consider May.
11/22/2020 05:28PM  
Sounds like a good plan J. You've got your bases covered. I make "lazy" solo trip plans too.

I did that trip in 2009 in the fall. I've never been in May/June so can't help you with that part. I liked Boot and Moosecamp better than Fairy and Gun. Fourtown is a pretty lake but maybe a little busier.

Enjoy your trip.
gymcoachdon
distinguished member(542)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
11/22/2020 07:18PM  
Not sure where you live, but right now might be a good time to test out your sleeping bag. I waited for a nice night (meaning no rain/snow or real wind) and set up my hammock in the back yard a few years back. My top and bottom quilts are both rated for 20 degrees, and it got down to 25 that night. My cheeks got cold, but I was toasty under the quilt. That gave me confidence for those 35 degree nights you sometimes get in June or September.
PaddleAway
distinguished member(968)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
11/22/2020 09:48PM  
gymcoachdon: "Not sure where you live, but right now might be a good time to test out your sleeping bag. "

I'll second this. We stayed on Fourtown during the first night of a trip years ago on Memorial Day weekend & woke up to frost on the life jackets. I'd just bought a brand new 20 degree bag & didn't even notice the cold. If you're not sure, go out & get a new one. If you've never been cold overnight you're lucky. It sucks!
JWilder
senior member (58)senior membersenior member
 
11/23/2020 07:23AM  
Fortunately I live in Southern Minnesota. So now would be the perfect time to find out for sure.

Tonight's low: 33 degrees. Perfect...


mjmkjun
distinguished member(2694)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
11/23/2020 05:03PM  
Lounging in camp/site 1089/Moosecamp Lake and having that little lake all to yourself for two whole days and nights is something special. That was in September 2018.

11/23/2020 07:19PM  
JWilder, here are my thoughts. It's a great area, busy so going early is good. If you could push your May dates further a week or so I would favor that, your dates are pretty early. Otherwise I would go with June but the bugs will be worse. '

My other thought is since it is a "lazy" trip you would have plenty of time for photography and fishing. I respect your lack of interest in both but I might suggest bring a simple point and shoot camera just in case you see some interesting sites, and a minimal fishing rig and a couple dozen leeches or crawlers to pass the time in camp.Might add a little different dimension to your trip. Examples:




Gun Lake sunset





Boot Lake walleye, caught from shore on bobber and leech


If not, that's okay too.


I thought Fairy Lake was a really cool little lake with a mystical quality about it. There are two decent sites but the eastern one is really nice. Worth a night.

Super clear water on Gun Lake, there is a noticeable difference in going from Fairy to Gun. Nice campsites.

Gull has a really cool peninsula campsite that would be a pleasure to stay at, we only had lunch there.

Thunder was neat too, very remote feeling and the walleye numbers there are really good(oops, sorry)

The 5 star site on Beartrap is really nice. The lake is nice too and you will definitely get solitude. I guess since I had read much about it prior to going I was slightly disappointed in it but don't get me wrong, it's worth it if you get it.

We didn't get to Moosecamp, had planned the route you are doing but we were there late summer and water levels didn't cooperate. Should be fine late spring to early summer. What I have read about it is all good, some good campsites, remote and good fishing. I suspect the Moosecamp River trip to Fourtown would be really cool, we love stuff like that. Expect a couple beaver dam pullovers, part of the fun:)

Fourtown is a gorgeous lake and has many nice campsites which is part of the reason it is very busy. Fishing is also good there...oh never mind.
sites should be available in your early timeframe.

The rest of the trip is well documented, the first couple portages north of the put in are horrendous for the ankle breaking rocks but not the length. The "horrible" longer portage was not near as bad as advertised.

Overall great area and you will love it. The only things I would change are:
Bring a camera, don't need to be preoccupied with it
Bring a fishing pole and throw a bobber and leech out from shore in the morning and evening, you might be surprised and catch some nice fish and even enjoy it:)

We have gone late May(beginning of Memorial week) a few times and have had great luck with weather and lack of bugs. If you could push your May dates forward 7 days I would say that would be better than June.


Have a great trip.
JWilder
senior member (58)senior membersenior member
 
11/24/2020 09:33AM  
PaddleAway: "gymcoachdon: "Not sure where you live, but right now might be a good time to test out your sleeping bag. "


I'll second this. We stayed on Fourtown during the first night of a trip years ago on Memorial Day weekend & woke up to frost on the life jackets. I'd just bought a brand new 20 degree bag & didn't even notice the cold. If you're not sure, go out & get a new one. If you've never been cold overnight you're lucky. It sucks!"


I appreciate the recommendations above. I did this last night and I slept warm and comfortable. Will take with confidence.

Thank you,

J
JWilder
senior member (58)senior membersenior member
 
11/24/2020 09:37AM  
mjmkjun: "Lounging in camp/site 1089/Moosecamp Lake and having that little lake all to yourself for two whole days and nights is something special. That was in September 2018.

"


Exactly what I am looking for! Sounds heavenly.
JWilder
senior member (58)senior membersenior member
 
11/24/2020 09:40AM  
lindylair: "JWilder, here are my thoughts. It's a great area, busy so going early is good. If you could push your May dates further a week or so I would favor that, your dates are pretty early. Otherwise I would go with June but the bugs will be worse. '


My other thought is since it is a "lazy" trip you would have plenty of time for photography and fishing. I respect your lack of interest in both but I might suggest bring a simple point and shoot camera just in case you see some interesting sites, and a minimal fishing rig and a couple dozen leeches or crawlers to pass the time in camp.Might add a little different dimension to your trip. Examples:






Gun Lake sunset







Boot Lake walleye, caught from shore on bobber and leech



If not, that's okay too.



I thought Fairy Lake was a really cool little lake with a mystical quality about it. There are two decent sites but the eastern one is really nice. Worth a night.


Super clear water on Gun Lake, there is a noticeable difference in going from Fairy to Gun. Nice campsites.


Gull has a really cool peninsula campsite that would be a pleasure to stay at, we only had lunch there.


Thunder was neat too, very remote feeling and the walleye numbers there are really good(oops, sorry)


The 5 star site on Beartrap is really nice. The lake is nice too and you will definitely get solitude. I guess since I had read much about it prior to going I was slightly disappointed in it but don't get me wrong, it's worth it if you get it.


We didn't get to Moosecamp, had planned the route you are doing but we were there late summer and water levels didn't cooperate. Should be fine late spring to early summer. What I have read about it is all good, some good campsites, remote and good fishing. I suspect the Moosecamp River trip to Fourtown would be really cool, we love stuff like that. Expect a couple beaver dam pullovers, part of the fun:)


Fourtown is a gorgeous lake and has many nice campsites which is part of the reason it is very busy. Fishing is also good there...oh never mind.
sites should be available in your early timeframe.


The rest of the trip is well documented, the first couple portages north of the put in are horrendous for the ankle breaking rocks but not the length. The "horrible" longer portage was not near as bad as advertised.


Overall great area and you will love it. The only things I would change are:
Bring a camera, don't need to be preoccupied with it
Bring a fishing pole and throw a bobber and leech out from shore in the morning and evening, you might be surprised and catch some nice fish and even enjoy it:)


We have gone late May(beginning of Memorial week) a few times and have had great luck with weather and lack of bugs. If you could push your May dates forward 7 days I would say that would be better than June.



Have a great trip. "


Thanks lindylair for your input! I appreciate the encouragement to take a camera. I will do this. It does not come natural for me to see a photographic moment. I will take this trip with a different lens and adjust my focus a little bit :) Everyone loves pictures with a trip report anyway right!?
I will also ponder the possibility of going a week later in May. My initial thought was to stay away from Memorial weekend. But if my last day is the Friday of, maybe that is not a big deal. I will most likely run into some heavy traffic on the Fourtown/Mudro portages on my way out. It would just be imperative for me to find a campsite on Fourtown EARLY on Thursday.

Thanks again,

J
11/24/2020 10:01AM  
Site #1089 on Moosecamp is where I stayed and it's a very nice site. It would be just about as quick to exit from Boot as Fourtown if it seems busy.
11/24/2020 05:55PM  
JWilder, that's exactly what we did. Entered the weekend before Memorial Day and exited on Thursday or Friday before the rush begins. This year Memorial Day is late so entering on the 23rd or 24th could work out great. On average, slightly warmer temps and slightly warmer water, slightly more greenery and foliage. Still few to nonexistent bugs(in our experiences). Obviously every weather year is a crapshoot but going in mid May, there are years when the ice has only been out for a day or two. Who knows about this year. BTW, even going the last week of May on one trip we had overnight lows in the mid to upper 20s. My 15 degree bag kept me comfortable enough to sleep, but not exactly what I would call toasty.

Looking forward to the photos and the trip report:)
chessie
distinguished member (135)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
11/27/2020 07:27AM  
The area is rich with history -- you might enjoy just snooping along Moosecamp and Fourtown. There are sites on Fourtown scattered with artifacts/junk from days gone by - logging camps etc. Water levels on MC river will be A-OK going early summer.
 
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