Hammock friendly campsites

Questions about trails and campsites on the island.

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fredly
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Hammock friendly campsites

Post by fredly » Thu May 04, 2017 8:43 pm

It's been 7 years since my last trip to the island, (way too long, but life happens). Since that time, I've switched to hammock camping and was wondering if there are campsites that are better suited to hanging? Plan on coming out Aug 26 for 5 or 6 days.

I was on the east end of the island last time, 3 Mile, Daisy Farm, Moskey Basin, Lake Ritchie.

Thanks for any feedback.


Donk_67
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Re: Hammock friendly campsites

Post by Donk_67 » Fri May 05, 2017 5:17 am

I'll report back after my June trip. I hope to hang as much as possible but will be prepared to go to ground if I have to.


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jrwiesz
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Re: Hammock friendly campsites

Post by jrwiesz » Fri May 05, 2017 9:32 am

Donk_67 wrote:
Fri May 05, 2017 5:17 am
...but will be prepared to go to ground if I have to.
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My initial and continued impression of Isle Royale, over the years, has always been that, it is not very hammock friendly.
Many of the trees appear ready to give up, let alone support a camper and ones kit.

If one is bushwacking, you will undoubtedly be able to find somewhere to hang.
But, staying at established campgrounds, I never walked into one and thought, that would be a great spot to set-up with a hammock.

Of course, I usually tent camp, so perhaps I don't have that keen eye of a hanger?
I tend to agree with donk in the quote above. Be prepared for all possibilities.

YMMV.
"And standing on the the crest of the Greenstone Ridge, I suddenly had this desire to retreat north to where I just come, to stay in the backcountry, to spend another day in a place where the only deadline I had was to pitch the tent before dark."
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Re: Hammock friendly campsites

Post by Basbh1 » Sat May 06, 2017 3:52 pm

Did anyone see the new greenstone paper 2017 page 5 hammock rules? Hammocks only in designated campground areas? I was planning on using mine as a comfortable chair during lunch breaks on trail, rest breaks on trail , naps, and chilling at the end of the day.

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hooky
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Re: Hammock friendly campsites

Post by hooky » Sat May 06, 2017 4:16 pm

I did Feldtmann, Siskiwit, S.Desor, Malone and was able to hang in each of the campgrounds. It was the week of Labor day and not a lot of people, plus I was the first one to each campground and had my pick of the sites. I think you just need to be able to get creative on the hangs. As long as you have a structural ridgeline so you get the same sag, regardless of the hang, you should be fine.


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Re: Hammock friendly campsites

Post by Donk_67 » Sat May 06, 2017 9:13 pm

Basbh1 wrote:Did anyone see the new greenstone paper 2017 page 5 hammock rules? Hammocks only in designated campground areas? I was planning on using mine as a comfortable chair during lunch breaks on trail, rest breaks on trail , naps, and chilling at the end of the day.
I saw that. I'm just happy they didn't outright ban the use of hammocks. With the explosive popularity of hammock, not all users are following LNT practices.


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Basbh1
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Re: Hammock friendly campsites

Post by Basbh1 » Mon May 08, 2017 4:11 pm

I guess I should ask the Ranger about hammock setup along the trail . I see it done a lot in AT and PCT videos on YouTube at the scenic spots it would be nice to set up and chill out at Mt Obbjibway or on the Greenstone.


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Re: Hammock friendly campsites

Post by bobcat » Wed May 10, 2017 12:37 pm

Last summer, there were a number of people using hammocks in the Rock Harbor area campgrounds, including an entire group of six who hammock-camped around a shelter, using the shelter as their living room. Watch out for hammocks on birch trees - birch trees, especially when old, are very brittle and a hammock has been enough to cause them to snap off - I think I recall a person was badly injured by a falling tree at one of the backcountry campgrounds within the last couple years. Hatchet Lake is pretty much all birch trees......


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Re: Hammock friendly campsites

Post by ruthwj » Mon Jun 26, 2017 8:53 pm

Donk_67 wrote:
Fri May 05, 2017 5:17 am
I'll report back after my June trip. I hope to hang as much as possible but will be prepared to go to ground if I have to.


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Curious what your thoughts are on hammock vs. tent now that you've made the trip. I'm heading up in July and that's really the last decision I need to make as I'm traveling solo and would really like to have that extra space in my pack that hanging would allow.


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Re: Hammock friendly campsites

Post by jhersh » Tue Jun 27, 2017 10:00 am

I solo hiked from Rock Harbor to Windigo, June 3-9, 2017. I camped at 3-Mile, Moskey Basin, Lake Ritchie, Todd Harbor, Desor S., and Washington Creek. I was able to hang a hammock each night, while following the new rules. I also looked at several other places to evaluate them for hammock suitability; if there is interest, I can provide more detailed info. In general, some but not all tentsites at most campgrounds could accommodate a hammock.

A few caveats:
1) I was solo. Two hangers (unless they share the same trees) would have a more difficult time, although there are still some tentsites where one could make it work. More than two is generally not practical.
2) I was there fairly early season, and I generally get an early start each day, and reach my destination by mid-afternoon. I therefore pretty much had my pick of tentsites.
3) There are some gray areas in the park rules. For example, at Chippewa Harbor (just a lunch stop for me; I didn't camp there), neither tentsite had suitable trees actually in the tentpad area. But each had a possible hang on the approach trail, just a few feet before the tentpad. Hanging there would not trample previously untrampled ground, nor would it block access to any other tentsite or shelter. I think that obeys the spririt of the rule, but I don't know whether a park ranger would agree.
4) I did a couple times use a birch tree, which I normally prefer to avoid. But I was careful to check that they were large, healthy, and sturdy. Also, one must be more flexible regarding tree spacing than I would be in an area that allows dispersed camping. A couple of my hangs were pretty low to the ground, because the trees were farther apart than I normally use.

My overall advice: if you are solo, bring the hammock, but bring a small pad as a go-to-ground backup (I had a Klymit X-lite pad, never needed it).

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Re: Hammock friendly campsites

Post by jrwiesz » Tue Jun 27, 2017 11:30 am

Thanks for the report.

It reinforces, at least my sentiments, that hammocking on Isle Royale is, at best, limited.

If one were bushwhacking, on the western end, in the hardwoods, one may have it fairly good, finding appropriate trees.

Established camps, just don't offer that many opportunities. At least for numbers of campers.
"And standing on the the crest of the Greenstone Ridge, I suddenly had this desire to retreat north to where I just come, to stay in the backcountry, to spend another day in a place where the only deadline I had was to pitch the tent before dark."
Jim DuFresne

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Re: Hammock friendly campsites

Post by Base654 » Tue Jun 27, 2017 9:39 pm

I kayaked the island last year and stayed at most of the lake superior sites and the one along the inland lakes. Although I "could" have hung my hammock at many of the sites, I was only happy with the LNT of Birch Island because of tree sizes. If you have a strict definition of "within the existing impacted area of designated campsites – not in the surrounding trees or vegetation" it would be very hard to find trees within the the box.

A note about the shelter living room with hammocks...above. The rules now forbid hammocks or tents outside a shelter.

The way I read the rule, the hammock rules are for campgrounds, not of trail camping.


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Re: Hammock friendly campsites

Post by JackieK » Wed Jul 12, 2017 2:49 pm

I will be hiking the Feldtman Loop plus Huginnin Cove with my 15 year old grandson in August. I have a one person tent and he has a hammock. I see from other posts that some of the sites I have been planning on are hammock friendly but wonder about a couple of others. My sites are Washington Creek, Island Mine, Siskiwit Bay, Feltman Lake, and Huginnin Cove. I have quite a bit of backpacking experience but none with hammocks. This will be my grandsons second trip. We hiked Pictured Rocks National Seashore last year where he was able to hang a hammock each night but we did have reserved sites there. So my questions are: Will he be able to hang a hammock at all of these sites and is it possible that the sites will be too crowded to hang a hammock. I guess I am wondering if I should get another tent for him.
Thanks for your help.

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Re: Hammock friendly campsites

Post by JavaHiker » Wed Jul 12, 2017 6:45 pm

JackieK-

We've done the FLoop (my wife's name for it) a number of times and my initial feeling is that there are locations for hanging a hammock/hammock tent at many of the campsites along that route. Siskiwit may be a little skimpy but I believe there is at least one campsite with trees close. The last few times we hiked through there we had a backcountry permit for zone 46 so did not stay at the campground, so my memory there is a little fuzzy. Be sure to pack plenty of water for the hike over Feldtmann Ridge, especially if it is sunny.


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Re: Hammock friendly campsites

Post by paulbates » Thu Jul 13, 2017 6:50 am

Jackie
I'm going in early August with my daughter. We're doing Feldtman in addition to other trails. We're each bringing hammocks, but I also got us a lightweight 2 person tent based on comments here and also the advice in The Greenstone mentioned above.

I'm much more comfortable sleeping in a Hammock and plan to use it when possible/permissible. What's important is a shelter backup plan if it can't be hung: tent or tarp. August is one of the busiest times, so I don't think its possible to guarantee that acceptable hammock sites will be available every night especially when more people use a hammock.

You might want to think about lighter 2 person tent that could accommodate both of you if/when necessary, so he can join you worst case.

Paul

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