BWCA Hammock camping in BWCA Boundary Waters Gear Forum
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Amyp
  
05/05/2024 09:41AM  
My husband and I used sleeping hammocks instead of tents last time we went to BWCA and it was SO MUCH BETTER than tents. That was a good 5 years ago, though, and this time we’re bringing our 2 kids and mother-in-law. I’m worried we’ll get there and find that the tree availability doesn’t work out for all of us. We have the spreader poles to hang two hammocks side by side, and the kids are pretty little still. Does anyone have thoughts about whether we will run into trouble with having enough trees? We’re going to the Gunflint Trail neck of the woods. Cross Bay Lake is our permit.
 
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05/05/2024 10:32AM  
One of our group uses a hammock for sleeping and we have to choose campsites carefully to accommodate him. Finding a campsite that would have the appropriate trees for 5 hammocks might be difficult. Some campsites only have room for a single tent even.
 
05/05/2024 11:50PM  
I can't imagine a scenario where you wouldn't find trees. It's what is between the trees that may give you some discomfort. Lower vegetation gets in the way on a few hangs but the taller people could take the higher hung hammocks.

Just my thought.
 
OCDave
distinguished member(722)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
  
05/06/2024 11:05AM  
I would suggest a small tent, large enough for mother-in-law and the kids. In a worst case scenario, they will be guaranteed shelter if hammock sites are limited or weather makes hammocks less desirable for a novice. Consider your husband and yourself as hosts and your responsibility is to accommodate your guests.

Finding a site with options for 5 hammocks is not unreasonable but, the last available campsite on the lake might offer less.

Good luck
 
05/07/2024 05:10PM  
I wouldn't count on finding a site with trees that provide the availability of hanging five hammocks. Some sites finding a spot for two or three hammocks is difficult. I recommend bringing a tent for the kids and mother-in-law.
 
AlexanderSupertramp
distinguished member (399)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
  
05/09/2024 12:35PM  
I have been hammock-curious for a couple years now, over the last 3-4 trips up I have always poked around the campsites visualizing hammock setups and quite frankly, many sites lack good hammock trees unless you want to be back in the woods. I think if I ever did it, I would have to bring the hammock, but also an ultralight tent for backup, because I could never count on a hammock working wherever I might end up.
 
05/09/2024 04:31PM  
My three sons and I all hammock camp on our annual BW trips. It started with me watching too many Shug Emery videos on YouTube. First an Eno setup, then a Dream Hammock RomingGnome setup (converted to DangerBird to winter camp), then a Dream Hammock Darien setup. Each year one would try out one of my setups and then they were hooked and started getting their own setups. Now my spare setup is used by friends who come along with us.
We haven't really found it too hard to find campsites where five can find hanging sites. Of course we stay away from burn areas.
The comfort just can't be beat!
 
StLouisPaddler
senior member (82)senior membersenior member
  
05/12/2024 02:34PM  
We have never had trouble finding a campsite for three hammocks. Five is a lot, but the spreader bar will help there. In my experience, our group has not had trouble finding enough sites that can physically fit our hammocks. The real issue is whether you have enough places where the trees are the perfect distance apart so you have the best hang. That can be tricky. But if you’re willing to have something less ideal than the perfect lay, most sites are pretty accommodating in my experience.
 
05/14/2024 12:56AM  
AlexanderSupertramp: "I have been hammock-curious for a couple years now, over the last 3-4 trips up I have always poked around the campsites visualizing hammock setups and quite frankly, many sites lack good hammock trees unless you want to be back in the woods. I think if I ever did it, I would have to bring the hammock, but also an ultralight tent for backup, because I could never count on a hammock working wherever I might end up. "


I agree you might be back in the woods a bit, but I've never felt the need to hang next to the water or kitchen. As long as I have a reasonably clean path to my quarters, I don't sweat being deeper into the woods. Of course that all depends on the traffic of the site. I've been to some sites where the "reasonably clean path" didn't exist but that's a site I would pass on anyway. Bug magnet.
 
timf1981
distinguished member (136)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
  
05/19/2024 03:57AM  
Amyp: "My husband and I used sleeping hammocks instead of tents last time we went to BWCA and it was SO MUCH BETTER than tents. That was a good 5 years ago, though, and this time we’re bringing our 2 kids and mother-in-law. I’m worried we’ll get there and find that the tree availability doesn’t work out for all of us. We have the spreader poles to hang two hammocks side by side, and the kids are pretty little still. Does anyone have thoughts about whether we will run into trouble with having enough trees? We’re going to the Gunflint Trail neck of the woods. Cross Bay Lake is our permit."

Check out this double hammok.
The single Amok hammock is incredibly comfortable .

https://amokequipment.com/pages/draumr-double-hammock-learn-more
 
straighthairedcurly
distinguished member(1982)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
  
05/19/2024 10:40AM  
We've never had trouble finding hammock spots for 2-3, but many of those sites would not have been able to support 5 and even the 2 to 3 usually had one spot that was less than ideal or was far away from the main site.
 
05/20/2024 06:07AM  
In the BW or Quetico, 10 times out of 10, I’d rather look for a site for five hammocks than one for five tents.
 
timf1981
distinguished member (136)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
  
05/20/2024 12:55PM  
I have done mostly
Quetico trips with much less trafic then the BWCAW. And campsites are not cleared out much. I cant immagine finding 4 hammock sites without significant brush clearing
 
InvertedEgg
member (9)member
  
05/26/2024 12:39PM  
Have traveled with four in hammocks, and never had an impossible site - but certainly would sometimes have to spread out quite a bit. Most sites are OK, though, if you're all in hammocks, as the tent pad areas are usually good for a hammock or two. If you have a hybrid situation (one or more tents) and/or iffy weather, it can be more difficult, as getting a good tarp layout for the hammocks becomes more difficult.
 
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