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traveler

Camping on islands in muskie/pike waters

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I'm looking for info on primative camping opportunities on islands (or otherwise) on some of the big muskie waters. I finally found out how to get Crown land permits which will let us camp on the canadian side of LOTW, or Rainy; I assume there are spots on the American side of Rainy; How about Vermillion? Leech? Cass? Red I know about, no islands, but campgrounds redily available. On the others, I'm really looking for non-campground choices. Thanks guys.

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I looked into this last summer for Vermilion... seems like there's a bunch of areas on the North shore, east end. Might be designated Boundary Waters area -- not sure?? Also island camping there too. Just google "rustic camping lake x" and you should be good to go!

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I've been camping on the Canadian side of LOW for many, many years. I love our trips up there. That being said, there's a good reason why the resorts stay in business- it's a real pain in the butt to camp on big water when the weather doesn't cooperate. We spent one full day in our tents/under a canopy last year. Also had a tornado come through and had marble sized hail. When you're out there in that, you're completely on your own. Just a word of warning.

To answer your question- yes, there are places to camp. Sounds like you know about the Crown land that you can camp on. Be sure you get a camping permit per person per night. We've been going for a long time and have narrowed our camping down to a few places. We look for a sandy beach to put our boats on and a flat spot right next to the sand to set up camp. Sand isn't too tough to find (not a ton of it in many areas, but there's some). Flat spots to camp- very tough to find. Flat spots right next to sand in fairly wind protected areas- even tougher. Finding these spots will take time and trial and error. It's taken us many years to find good spots for camp- we camped at many crappy spots before settling on a few. A few things to consider: 1) bears, 2) wood and deer ticks, 3) battery power in your boat (this is a huge limitation and pain in the butt for remote camping), 4) put boats on sand (I know a guy who had a hole rubbed in his boat overnight when a wind came up and his boat was snugged up against a rock), 5) have a very good set of maps (not just electronic), 6) know where the nearest resorts are in case of emergency, 7) bring 93 gallons of bug spray per person, 8) bring a crapload of Canadian cash, because remote gas in Canada isn't cheap, 9) pack light- the stuff you "need" adds up in a big hurry. Lastly, have fun!!!

If you have more specific questions, fire away.

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Island lake north of Duluth. I have camped there several times, some very nice spots. Also I don't think the muskies get a whole lot of pressure.

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I found some of my old notes on this... check out websites for both the Superior National Forest and Chippewa National Forest. There are several options for camping -- you can pretty much camp anywhere ("dispersed camping") or find "backcountry" campsites. For example, there are 16 backcountry sites on Vermillion between Cook and Tower.

There's also a bunch on Winnibegoshish, Cass and Leech. The National Forest websites can give you more details and locations. Have a great trip!

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Great post!

BigMusk... did you do your camping on the east or west resovior?

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Cupper, I camp on the big island on the west end. I like fishing the east end the best though. Lots of nice structure in that lake.

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thanks for the replies guys! i used to live on Island, there was a nice MP campsite right across the bay that friends (and I ) used a couple times. it was a few years back tho', before the muskies took hold. I'm looking a little more remote now:) I've done the island/boat-camping on Sag many times, so it's just a matter of switching gears (and a bigger boat!) to some muskie water now. One spot we moored the houseboat on LOTW had a great sand beach, and fairly protected, that one we're going to hit for sure. I'll check into the links for sites on Vermillion, that lake is my next target. Leech...I don't know. Is it possible to be somewhat isolated on Leech? How about Rainy for islands? I would think it would be pretty easy there, although I know that would be more Pike (and walleyes) than muskies.

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Scoot; I've actually never gotten a crowns land permit, but have heard about them for awhile now and last year asked about them in Sioux Narrows. The gent at the bait shop said he sold them there; and could just sell you one on the spot. You did have to make sure you wern't camping anywhere you shouldn't, of course. How/where have you gotten your permits? And 10 bucks pp/per nite! Kind of steep, but oh well...

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Honestly, I don't think the cost is a big deal at all. For a four day fishing trip I pay $30 Canadian for camping- I'm happy to pay it and don't grumble a bit about it. The alternative, of course, is for them to not allow camping at all...

I usually get mine at the Bergland Cafe on the way to Morson. I always call ahead to be sure they will have enough on hand. Regardless of where you get them, the cost is fixed- $10/head/night.

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You're by yourself then, eh? For me, the missus and 2 smallish children it's 40/nite X 5 or so, a couple hundred bucks. Not a big deal, but much steeper than BWCA permits; I just wish they'd charge by the party rather than by the person. It's not like we're all useing hot water for showers:) Still, I'll take it, and not gripe about it (anymore than I already have!)

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Unless the Candian camping regulations have changed recently I don't believe you can camp within 1/4 mile of any water body with Lake Trout. Something you may want to check into especially if your condsidering trout waters.

smile.gif

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Well that sounds odd...Scoot, you've been camping on LOTW, where there are lakers. Have you heard of this?

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traveler- yeah, I've got a wife who's deathly afraid of woodticks and a 2 year old son. In a few years there'll be two of us (with one on the way there'll be three of us a few years after that), but for now, it's just me. When you put it like you did, it's enough money. However, I'd still consider it worth every penny.

I've never heard of anything like the no camping by laker waters. I do know with great certainty that we're totally legal and legit camping where we do on LOW. It's allowable to camp on Crown Land on LOW. There's tons of Crown Land on LOW. LOW has lakers. confused.gif My best guess is that the "no camping within 1/4 mile of laker waters" rule is a generalization of some more specific rule that applies to one particular area??? I dunno.

All I can tell you is that we camp on Crown Land on LOW, we get permits to camp on Crown Land, the officers know exactly where we'll be camping when we cross the border, the sales people know where we'll be camping when we get our permits-- I'm certain we're on the up 'n up with this.

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Scoot; I looked at the map and the area I know on LOTW should be fine. Just so I understand you, are you getting your permits before you cross the border, and if so, where?

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Nope, we're buying them once we're on the Canadian side. I don't think you can get them before you cross. Maybe you can purchase them via the Internet- dunno.

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Yeah, I doubt you'll have any problems. That being said, I ALWAYS call ahead to guarentee that there will be enough for my party. If they don't have enough, they should be able to request more with little effort.

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Darn, just when I think I've got it...What do you mean by "enough" Scoot? I figured they just wrote out a permit and specified the # in your party and # of days. These permits aren't given out on a quota basis, are they? So they shouldn't run out?

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Not a quota issue that I'm aware of. However, for each night's stay, you fill out a seperate permit. So, if four of you are going for four nights, they'll need to have 16 permits on hand.

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