An Overnight at the Ottawa Lakes Campground in Kettle Moraine State Forest
2017-05-20 Last evening a friend from church invited me to join with several Christian brothers at the Ottawa Lakes Campground which is part of the Ottawa Lakes Recreation area in the Kettle Moraine State Forest just north of Eagle, Wisconsin for a men-only campout. Most arrived around 3:00 or 3:30 in the afternoon. Two of the group qualified for the ADA compliant cabin at the park which served as our "headquarters" and backup in case of weather concerns. I slept in my hammock, two other guys slept in tents and the others slept in the cabin.
When I arrived the clouds which had hung around the entire day began to thin out and about an hour before sunset it was almost clear providing us with a beautiful sunset. I put up my ENO DoubleNest hammock and ENO ProFly Rain Tarp. Since it was expected to get into the low 40's, perhaps even the 30's I supplemented my Snugpak Hammock Underblanket with a Costco Packable Down Throw attached to top side using Dritz Plastic Snap Fastener Pliers and Dirtz 20 sized snaps.
I had planned to use the Snugpak Hammock Quilt with my DIY liner. But at the last minute I decided to take the Outdoor Vitals Summit 20 Sleeping Bag along and ended up using it. I'm glad I did. I was toasty warm, almost too warm.
Trees are plentiful though all the trees within and immediately adjacent to the cabin and campsite had been removed. But after searching around I found two trees about halfway between the campsite and cabin that worked nicely. I purposely slung everything low to keep the cold wind from blowing into the hammock. Turns out that wasn't an issue as the wind died down to almost dead calm about the time the sun set. It was a beautiful evening and overnight. Unfortunately I didn't get a lot of sleep as I guess I drank way too much water and coffee that evening. About 4:00am when I awoke once more for the dreaded trip to the flush toilet in the cabin the wind was blowing, the sky was heavily overcast and it simply didn't look or feel very pleasant. So I grabbed my sleeping bag and went into the enclosed porch of the cabin, put my thermarest mat on the floor, covered it with a wool
blanket I had brought along curled up in my sleeping bag and didn't know the world existed until about 7:30. All was well.
It was fun to impress everyone with the hammock setup and, that I actually slept out in it! Most had at best a passing knowledge of the existence of hammocks but no one had every actually looked into them seriously. A huge storm was moving in so I took everything down, put it in the car and after breakfast some singing and fellowship headed home. All in all it was a very good time with lots of good food, fun, meaningful fellowship and a little sleep.