Voyageurs National Park – Camping With My Sister

A nice little campfire in a wilderness setting is mesmerizing.
A nice little campfire in a wilderness setting is mesmerizing.

Not far in the future I will be heading to Voyageurs National Park, Lake Kabetogama region, for a short four day camping trip.  My one and only sibling, my sister Tracy, who has a few years on my 45, is going along.  In fact it was her idea to do this trip.

Keep reading for the details of this upcoming adventure in Voyageurs National Park!

Camping With My Sister

I don’t recall my sister ever being into the outdoors.  Way back when I was thirteen or fourteen my family went to the Boundary Waters Canoe Area for vacation.  It was my first wilderness trip.  I recall having a good time, but the trip ended early after just three nights and I don’t recall why.  I think bad weather was moving in and my parents didn’t want to ride it out.

Whatever the reason was for ending that first trip I had in the BWCA, it was the first and only time I recall ever camping with my sister.  It just wasn’t her thing.  Nor was fishing for the matter.  She just didn’t want to go do any of that stuff.

Now She Likes To Fish And Car Camp

Car Camping!
Car Camping!

Fast forward thirty one years to 2018; Tracy started getting into shore fishing at county and state parks in the area.  She also started car camping.  While her son and husband don’t mind fishing, they don’t seem to enjoy camping much.  On occasion Tracy will just go alone for a night or two close to home.  She finds fishing relaxing and a means to shed some stress from work and the daily grind, and I agree; it’s a great way to cleans the spirit.

She loves it and looks forward to getting out!

This year, while her son is going to be away in Alaska with my parents fishing for halibut, Tracy inquired to me about taking her camping experiences a step further and doing something more remote and isolated.

I had a few suggestions I tossed her way which of course included the BWCA, but she is not a fan of canoes… yet (I plan to fix that).  Of the ideas I tossed her way she thought camping in Voyageurs sounded like the most fun.

Camping On Lake Kabetogama

The plan is to camp on one of the many campsites located on Lake Kabetogama in Voyageurs National Park.  Since she is not interested in canoeing out to the campsite, we are going to rent a water taxi from a lodge on the lake.

The water taxi is affordable, about $40 one way for both of us.  We will load up our SealLine packs onto the shuttle from a local lodge in the area and get taken out to our campsite – which is only accessible from the water.

Campsites in Voyageurs National Park have some basic comforts: Specific tent pads areas, a metal bear box, a campfire grill and ring, a picnic table or two, and a latrine.  Some even have docks, but ours does not.

Lake Kabetogama

The lake itself is one of four major lakes in Voyageurs, is roughly 26,000 acres in size with two-hundred islands of various size.  There are many cabins and lodges to be seen around the outer edges of the lake on the Park’s boundary.  Interior sections of the lake do not have live in homes or the like, and is maintained by the National Park Service.

The lake is home to a variety of fish species; northern, bass, perch, panfish, and walleye.  Lake Kabetogama is well renowned for its walleye fishing.  We’ll see about that…  I’m bringing fishing gear of course, and see what I can do from shore.  It would be nice to have a fish dinner.

Getting Ready For The Trip

My sister is an experienced car camper.  However, this trip we are going on does not allow us the luxury of loading up a vehicle with many comfort items, or big bulky items.  We are each taking a single waterproof canoe pack and one additional smaller pack that contains our food.

All of my kit is small and suited for canoe tripping and backpacking.  Tracy needed to buy a few things for herself to replace some large gear she would normally use car camping.  A few things I loaned her that I had extra of from my own kit.

With that said, gear is not going to be an issue or a concern.  We are set.

Camping And Biting Bugs!

Permethrin works great to kill ticks shortly after the come into contact with your treated clothes!
Permethrin works great to kill ticks shortly after the come into contact with your treated clothes!

I do suspect the bugs will be pretty bad when we go.  Mosquitoes and those nasty little black flies are likely to be plentiful.  Depending on the wind direction and the location of our campsite, it might be ‘okay’ for most the day.  Mornings and evenings could be horrible though.

Of course I will be armed with Picaridin at all times for my exposed skin – this stuff works great.  Prior to the trip I will also be treating my clothes I will be wearing to a Permethrin spray treatment.  I love Permethrin.  Ticks and other biting insects that land on you will just up and die with within moments of contact.  If you don’t know about Permethrin and how it works, check out my post I wrote last year by clicking here.

Camping In Voyageurs National Park – Conclusion

We are both ready to go.  We just need for the day of our departure to get here so we can load up my Jeep and head for northern Minnesota and Voyageurs.  It is only about a four and a half hour drive from where we live in Wisconsin – not bad at all.

I plan to video record this trip and possibly make product videos of some of the kit I like to use on my outings to later be added to this blog.  I have a couple ‘test’ videos up on YouTube already, one is of my BWCA trip I took last month.  To be honest my videos are lame and somewhat embarrassing!  You may want to avoid them.



TD is the owner and publisher of TD All Outdoors. He has been enjoying the outdoors since since he was a child. Over the years he has spent as much time as he can solo wilderness canoe tripping, overlanding, hiking, fishing, bushcrafting, hunting, hammock camping, and more. Aside from this blog, he also own his own coffee brand,

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