The Paddle Junkie's 2013 BWCA gear test preview

It's that time of year again.  Team Paddle Junkie is only about a week away from our biggest gear test trip of the year.  This year there will be 6 of us spending 5 days in the BWCA.  We will be heading up to Clearwater Lake Lodge for a night, then heading east to Caribou and Pine lakes.  We will be testing a boat load (3 canoe loads actually) of new gear from dozens of brands.  Some of the highlights are as follows...
Hammock Camping: Several of us have been converted to hammock campers over the last few years.  I converted early.  Others have taken a little convincing.  There are a few things to consider when putting together a hammock set-up though.  Weather, bugs and cold are three things that can ruin your trip in a hurry.  Having a proper rain fly, bug netting and insulation are key.  This year we are testing hammocks and top and bottom quilts from ENO, Enlightened Equipment, Underground Quilts and Hennessy Hammock.

Fishing:  Probably the main reason I love this trip is the fishing.  Walleye, Smallmouth Bass and Northern are always on the list.  This year we are going to hit a few smaller lakes in search of Trout as well.  We have rods, reels, tackle and a bunch of fun fishing toys to try out.  Companies from all over the planet have sent us their latest and greatest to put to the test.  Look for gear from Berkley, Rat-L-Trap Lures, Yo-Zuri, Abu Garcia, Fenwick, Aqua-Vu, Okuma, Live Target LuresManiac Custom Lures, Matzuo Lures and Trokar Hooks, just to name a few.

Footwear:  The BWCA poses a unique set of challenges when it comes to proper footwear.  You WILL get your feet wet, it's inevitable. This makes wearing waterproof boots generally a bad idea.  Once they are wet, they stay wet forever.  So, what to wear?  I prefer water friendly trail shoes.  Some of my all time favorites are the KEEN Turia Water Shoes and Teva's Churn Water Shoe.  This year we have new entries from Columbia, Wolverine, KEEN and Astral.

This is just the tip of the iceberg, so keep your eyes peeled over the next few weeks.  If you have seen something cool, or want to know the skinny on something in particular, let us know.

Happy Paddling!

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